If you have even a passing interest in personal development, you probably know meditation is one of the most highly recommended tools for improving your life. Well, there is a reason for the enthusiastic endorsements—it works. I have been meditating for years and it has changed my life for the better more than any other tool I have employed. I believe this is because it addresses the core issues that cause our suffering – our crazy minds and our deeply ingrained habitual reactions to the things happening outside of us. From these things spring forth all our issues.
Meditation can be tough because it forces us to face all the crap running through our minds all day and all the stuff we try to suppress and ignore. In that quiet time it may seem like your mind is racing a million miles per hour, but it is actually moving that fast all the time, we just do not realize it because we are usually moving just as fast on the outside or doing things that distract us. The benefits of meditation are numerous and I could not possibly list them all. The following are the most profound for me and if you are not meditating, I hope it will inspire you to start and if you are just starting, I hope it will inspire you to continue.
Helps You Respond and Not React
Unless you are living in a cave or a mountaintop somewhere, you will likely be assaulted with a million different things that have the potential to anger, frustrate, agitate, upset or downright infuriate you. The lack of control that we often have over our minds often leads us to react to all of these things rather than respond. Something happens, a feeling arises that consumes us and we just react. We are conditioned to think certain situations are supposed to elicit certain negative reactions and we just go with that. But, the wonderful truth is, we do not have to have these reactions. We are not required to act in this way, there is another way.
Meditation shows us this other way. When you learn to sit with your feelings and observe what is happening with you, you gain a greater awareness of what is going on, you gain better control over your thoughts and feelings – the bad stuff may not go away right away, but you learn to deal with it better. There is a space between the essence of you ,which is pure awareness, and your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Meditating helps you reconnect with this space, it has always been there, we are just not aware of it.
When you strengthen this space, you will find yourself becoming more aware of what is going on with you. When something happens, you will be less likely to have that automatic reaction. You will think before you speak or act – maybe sometimes you will not, but that is okay too, happens to the best of us. You will be more likely to refrain from doing or saying things that are not in your best interest. You will be more aware that you have a choice in how you handle the situation.
Helps You Realize You Are Not Your Thoughts and Feelings
We are constantly feeling and thinking things and because of this, it is natural to attach to these entities, to believe they are a part of us. But, guess what? They are not. They are separate from you and they are constantly changing, constantly arising and passing away. Meditation helps you make this realization. Stilling your mind helps you see that these things are not you, they are just things you are experiencing in the moment.
When we grasp this concept, we avoid getting consumed by our negative thoughts and feelings, we know that they are going to pass and we do not get as heavily invested in them. We go into that wonderful space that I talked about before and we just observe what is going on, kind of like a third party. We see these things are not us, they are just something that we are experiencing in the moment. It will allow us to sit with them better. We may still feel like crap, but meditating can help us reduce or remove that extra layer of feeling upset simply because we are upset.
Helps With the Attraction Process
The key to attracting the things you want is feeling good – sounds overly simple, I know . But, I have come to realize this is the truth. Meditating helps you feel better. There may be some moments when you are not feeling so great but it is all part of the purging process that is making room for the good stuff. But, overall, it will make you feel good. You will feel less stressed, it will provide clarity and inspiration. It will give you ideas that will lead to inspired action, which helps you get more done with less effort and drudgery. By reducing the intensity of your negative feelings, it will reduce the impact they have on thwarting your attraction efforts.