The older I get the more I realize that life’s greatest joys come from the simplest of things. Some of my most pleasurable experiences come from spending time with good friends, hiking up Kennesaw Mountain, and the most surprising for me – meditation.
When it comes to meditation most people see it as a way to reduce stress. Well, that’s a benefit of meditation, but that’s not what it’s all about. I like Deepak Chopra’s definition of meditation best. He says “the real purpose of meditation is actually to tune in, not to get away from it all, but to get in touch with it all. Not to just de-stress, but to find that peace within, the peace that spiritual traditions talk about that passes all understanding. So, meditation is a way to get in the space between your thoughts. You have a thought here, a thought here, and there’s little space between every thought”.
Until I read that definition I could not articulate what it is that draws me back to meditation again and again. Meditation has a way of bringing you into the moment and into a place of acceptance. It allows you to accept whatever is happening in your life. You see it for what it is – just a moment in time that will eventually pass. It gives you a knowing that not only will everything be alright, but that it’s already alright.
For many people the practice of meditation is intimidating. They see it as complicated. Actually, it’s really very simple. It doesn’t require a lot of time. Even as little as 15 minutes a day will benefit you. You don’t have to be a guru to do it, and you don‘t have to do it perfectly. I know for me if I have a hard time stilling myself and all kinds of random thoughts enter my mind I feel like I failed. What I’ve learned is it’s okay for thoughts to enter your mind. Meditation is not about trying to rid your mind of thoughts. Instead, we just acknowledge the thoughts that come up and then allow them to pass through.
So, now that you know you don’t have to be perfect and it’s not difficult to do, here are some reasons why I think you should consider the practice of meditation:
- It teaches you to be present. Most of us lead extremely busy lives and we spend so much time focusing on the next thing on our “to do” list that we miss a lot of the moments that matter. Meditation allows you to savor the NOW.
- It improves your health. Studies show that meditation reduces stress, which is one of the leading causes of multiple health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, headaches, and obesity. Meditation also increases immunity and improves emotional balance.
- You reap the benefits even if it doesn’t feel like it. At the foundation of meditation is the pursuit of a deeper spiritual connection. The term Namaste, which is usually associated with yoga and meditation, means –“the spirit in me honors the spirit in you.” Therefore, some of the things that may happen to you without you realizing it are more compassion towards others, less judgment, and an indescribable, unexplainable peace.
Now all you have to do is give it a try. It’s a small investment that will yield a tremendous return.
What are your thoughts about meditation? Are you willing to give it a try?