The Extraordinary Benefits of Meditation

benefits of meditation

 The Extraordinary Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is not a new concept. In fact many cultures around the world practice some form of meditation. There are many fundamental differences in how it is performed, but the basic concepts behind meditation are shared by the different religions and cultures. The principles that they follow are all founded on spiritual development. The methods vary but there is no denying the fact that universally, meditation is beneficial to human health and well-being. It is also beneficial for the mind and spirit. In this age of computers, social media, and numerous conflicts affecting millions of lives, meditation has become the refuge of people seeking peace of mind and rest from the fast-paced life that they lead. It is also considered a source of strength.

A practice that dates thousands of years

It is important for modern practitioners of meditation to understand how extremely old the practice is. This will help in understanding the whole practice better. Meditation is not only been in existence for hundreds of years, but it spans millennia. There is evidence that even prehistoric cultures engaged in meditation, though they might have called it something else. Wall art from the Indus Valley dating as old as 5,000 BCE depict figures seated in postures suggesting meditation. The eyes of the figures are narrowed although not closed completely, which suggest a state of consciousness that modern practitioners seek to attain. The cave wall figures are seated on the ground with both legs crossed, and both hands resting on the knees, which is the usual posture of a person meditating.

The primary tenets of meditation were developed in the East and because it was deeply ingrained in their culture when it was still in infancy, Eastern philosophies are characterized strongly by a spiritual perspective. From Eastern cultures, the practice trickled into the West. It was not difficult for Western societies to realize that meditation can help them achieve personal goals in life, and so they embraced it.

Mental and physical benefits from meditative practice

There are many positive effects of meditation, including increased alertness, focus, and concentration. These qualities contribute to better memory and reasoning. Meditation can also contribute to deep concentration. Learning ability is also increased, as well as intelligence. Moreover, many people who practice meditation regularly find their creativity welling up. People who meditate have a broader understanding of the world and have the ability to make better decisions. With these changes in a person’s mindset, he or she can be active participants in relationships that are more nurturing—both romantic and platonic. Some universities today offer meditation classes to help their students in their studies.

It is also common for people who meditate to experience immediate physical benefits such as lowering of muscle tension and pain. According to research, there are a lot of symptoms that are reduced because of meditation. When a person experiences less discomfort, irritability and moodiness are reduced as well. A person thinks more clearly, is a better co-worker, friend, and lover, and becomes an even more productive member of society. There are some communities around the world that advocates meditation to their members.

Spiritual benefits from meditative practice

People who lead stressful and hectic lives need to learn how to be still. This state of detachment and non-attachment eventually leads to spiritual awakening. As a consequence, a person attains detachment from thinking and has increased reliance on the faculty of knowing without exercising judgment. Because of the widening of perspective, it is easier to feel compassion for others.

There is no doubt meditation has benefits that can improve people not just mentally but physically as well.

Benefits of Meditation: A Historical Perspective

Benefits of Meditation: A Historical Perspective

Regular practice of meditation has many positive effects on the mind and body. Today, there are many opportunities to practice meditation. It is being offered in fitness centers. There are even establishments that only offer meditation for people. There are countries in Indonesia that are famous for meditation houses. With the help of a facilitator, meditation can be practiced as part of a group. On the other hand, a person who prefers to meditate in the comfort of his own home is welcome to do so. There are some videos that can teach people to meditate. He can do research on the topic and find out which approach suits his needs best and learn it systematically. The option to ask a teacher or expert for help is available as well.

Incorporating meditation into one’s lifestyle is a popular practice nowadays because meditation is proven to change the mind the body for the better.

Universal benefits of meditation

Since the advent of civilization, man has been striving to better himself and searching for ways to attain success in life. Man’s realization that he is capable of thinking and acting for himself led to the never ending search for ways to improve and change for the better. Awareness of one’s thought processes is one of the universal benefits of meditative practice, no matter what technique or approach is used. There are some people who practice this in a hope to achieve mental state of being. Meditation is a recognized method of altering the mental state, resulting in emotional balance and physical health. Therefore, people who devote time to meditate are also better equipped to handle the challenges that modern living throws at them. It is a way to get by the problems that life has to offer.

Meditation is a practice that takes away negative thoughts and emotions in order to reduce stress and anxiety. A person who meditates is better equipped to handle current situations because their thought processes are uncluttered and focused on the moment, instead of wallowing in the future or the past.

The attainment of a calm, focused, and quiet mind is not the only benefit of meditation. There are physical benefits as well. For instance, meditation can effectively lower blood pressure to a baseline value that promotes healthy bodily functions. Perhaps one of the most prominent physical improvements of meditation is on a person’s breathing pattern. The relaxed pace and greater depth of breathing promoted in meditative practice leads to changes in the person’s physiology. The amount of oxygen required is reduced. The body is more relaxed and the balance shifts more towards conservation of energy.

Where did meditation originate?

Meditation is recognized in many cultures and traditions as a means to attain a higher state. Evidently, civilizations that thrived thousands of years ago were already aware that meditation is a practice that brings forth numerous benefits. The prehistoric cultures that emerged in the Indus Valley thousands of years ago left clues for modern archaeologists to find—clues as to how they lived in those times, what they believed in, and the activities that they engaged in. Their ancient Hindu scriptures already described meditation (tantras). These are some of the earliest documents mentioning people practicing meditation.

Even during ancient times, religious tenets and principles of meditative practices were handed down from one generation to the next as they are done today. From the practitioners of Vedic Hinduism to modern followers of Yoga, the best meditative practices are bequeathed by a teacher to his student. It is exciting to learn this practice and apply it on everyday lifestyle.