The Importance of Meditation
Julian Websdale, Contributor
Meditation is helpful for the body, it stills anxiety, and is generally beneficial. This is scientifically proven. So there are many reasons to meditate. There is no doubt that it can help stress, depression, and anxiety. It is helpful for the emotional problems of daily life, and when things go wrong it opens the heart and makes you more aware. When awareness rises, so does wisdom, and the wisdom that rises from meditation is very powerful.
Everyone can meditate, no matter who they are. You should commit to daily meditation, no matter for how long. Until you sit down on a cushion or on a chair, meditation won’t start. The most important point is to take a comfortable seat. If you practice meditation every day for fifteen or twenty minutes, after a while when you look back, there will be no doubt of its effectiveness.
So you must keep the continuity of a practice, like a river. Regardless of whether your mind seems better or worse than before, you should continue to practice, and you will improve. It’s like washing your clothes or dishes. If you wash them regularly, it won’t be difficult. But if you don’t it will be difficult to clean them.
Sometimes your mind may seem worse after meditating for a while, as your emotional problems come to the surface. It’s important to let what needs to come out, come out. Try not to judge your thoughts. And do not chase after them or hold onto them. If you follow this instruction, meditation becomes very easy. When these emotions come up, hold on strongly to your mental focus. If your mind is calm, your focus can be more relaxed. All meditators experience emotional upset and crying when they practice. Let this be and afterwards there will be peace.
If you keep focused on your breathing, in and out, naturally you will become calm. You will feel joyful and light. As you continue to meditate, that feeling will stabilize. Then a feeling of love and compassion will arise. Inner peace starts from there. Why does that happen? All the emotional upset has come out, so the mind is calmed.
Sleep is a totally natural human function, and it’s something we need every day. But if you have a busy mind or if you are stressed then you may find that your sleep is not as restorative as it should be. Meditation dramatically improves the quality of your sleep, and it is one of the most powerful natural treatments for insomnia. A great reason to meditate.
Studies into the effects of meditation have shown that the regular practice of meditation can slow the aging process. The biological age of long term meditators is generally less than those of people who have never meditated. It is believed that the physiological cause of this is due to the fact that meditation helps to reduce the body’s production of free radicals. Free radicals are organic molecules that are responsible for aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases.
A Simple Breathing Meditation
The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid. This can be accomplished by practising a simple breathing meditation. We choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. We can sit in the traditional cross-legged posture or in any other position that is comfortable. If we wish, we can sit in a chair. The most important thing is to keep our back straight to prevent our mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.
We sit with our eyes partially closed and turn our attention to our breathing. We breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control our breath, and we try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is our object of meditation. We should try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.
At first, our mind will be very busy, and we might even feel that the meditation is making our mind busier; but in reality we are just becoming more aware of how busy our mind actually is. There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but we should resist this and remain focused single-pointedly on the sensation of the breath. If we discover that our mind has wandered and is following our thoughts, we should immediately return it to the breath. We should repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.
Benefits of Meditation
When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within. This feeling of contentment and well-being helps us to cope with the busyness and difficulties of daily life. So much of the stress and tension we normally experience comes from our mind, and many of the problems we experience, including ill health, are caused or aggravated by this stress. Just by doing breathing meditation for ten or fifteen minutes each day, we will be able to reduce this stress. We will experience a calm, spacious feeling in the mind, and many of our usual problems will fall away. Difficult situations will become easier to deal with, we will naturally feel warm and well disposed towards other people, and our relationships with others will gradually improve.
About the Author
Julian Websdale is an independent researcher in the fields of esoteric science and metaphysics, and a self-initiate of the Western Esoteric Tradition. His interest in these subjects began in 1988. Julian was born in England, received his education as an electronic and computer engineer from the University of Bolton, served in a Vaishnava monastery during 2010, and has travelled to over 21 countries. Julian is also a member of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.
http://www.lamagursam.org/importance_of_meditation.html [March 2013]
http://www.the-guided-meditation-site.com/reasons-to-meditate.html [March 2013]
http://www.how-to-meditate.org/breathing-meditations.htm/ [March 2013]
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