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.