Many think of meditation as a silly New Age practice or “too hippie” for their taste. Some others think it is against their religion.
In the 1970s, Swami Muktananda arrived in Santa Monica, California from India to kick off his “meditation revolution” in the USA. A young reporter asked if her rabbi would allow meditation. Muktananda responded with this question, “Does your rabbi allow you to sleep?”
Meditation is not sleep. But it is very personally subjective and doesn’t conflict with any religious dogma or belief system. It requires daily practice for optimum benefits. It’s considered better to meditate for short periods daily than long periods occasionally.
Meditation requires you sit comfortably in a restful space, close your eyes, and allow mind chatter to settle on its own without forceful intervention. It also includes focusing on your breathing while calmly witnessing your thoughts and mental imagery without attachment or aversion.
Remain relaxed, aware, and alert. Start with short sessions daily and increase durations as you get more out of your practice. Eventually you’ll come to enjoy the tranquility and clarity of a quiet mind. This takes steady, patient practice.
Recently, medical researchers have been exploring the physiological and psychological benefits of daily meditation.
Research on meditation proves health benefits
1) Heart health: Meditation leads to calmness and better stress management. One report from England claims it cuts heart disease in half. The study was done on people with a history of heart health problems. Another study in Southern California had similar conclusions.
2) Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is lowered naturally by practicing meditation daily. This has been measured and recorded.
3) Stress reduction and improved energy levels: General health, immunity, and energy levels are boosted by meditation in that it reduces sympathetic nervous system activity, resulting in reduced stress hormones released. Chronic fatigue or adrenal fatigue and a compromised immune system are the direct results of too many unnecessary adrenaline and cortisol secretions.
4) Increased intelligence: AUniversity of California, Los Angelesstudy showed MRI evidence of increased gyrification (brain matter folding) in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain associated with overall cognitive intelligence.
5) Self awareness and reflection: Similar studies in Massachusetts and Germany showed brain matter changes corresponded with feelings of improved self esteem and peacefulness within eight weeks of daily meditation.
A meditation opinion
Now medical science assures us it’s a good idea to meditate for practical health reasons. Consider how this benefits us as our food and water is being poisoned, beneficial foods and supplements are being banned, and toxic pharmaceuticals are shoved our way.
Let’s add the worsening economic and financial situations inflicted upon us by elite financial manipulators. All this awareness is conducive to stress unless one is oblivious. Even those who are oblivious have other daily functions that are stressful to them.
We simply live in stressful times. But with meditation, we all have an equal opportunity of release that helps us maintain good health despite all this.
Escaping into delusional fantasy is avoided. This release doesn’t require expensive vacationing, drug and alcohol use, or binge eating. Lots of TV makes you duller and more stupid. Lots of meditation makes you smarter and more able cope in this mad world through tolerance.
All these benefits haven’t delved into the increased spiritual awareness that eventually leads to absorption into inner realms of existence and eventually even total spiritual salvation. Meditation masters consider this the ultimate goal of daily meditation.
Starting meditation with only your health in mind will get you going on that journey too. Guess that makes reason number six.