Some people conjure a vision of monks or mystics sitting together quietly when they hear or read the word “meditation.” It may have its roots in eastern religions, but meditation is actually being practiced by an increasing number of people from all walks of life around the world.
Despite its popularity, there are still misconceptions and confusion and about this thousand-year-old practice. Some consider it as mentally focusing on something, while others regard it as a practice of thinking about something that gives them calm and serenity. All of these methods are done with one goal in sight – to slow down and, ultimately, completely cease the never-ending activity of our minds. These are not genuine meditations – they are substitutes for meditation because completely stopping all thoughts is nearly impossible to achieve.
Meditation is not an act of doing; it is a state of thoughtless awareness. People are either in this state or not, regardless of where they are or what they are doing. A person can be in a meditative state even while busy doing something. But another can be far from meditation even while sitting in a lotus position in an ideal environment.
To sum it up, meditation, or the practice of it, is not about concentration, loss control, exercises or mental effort.
Some of the proven physical benefits of meditation include: increased focused and concentration; decreased tension, stress and anxiety; sharper thinking and less emotional instability; lower blood pressure and cholesterol; and increased creativity and improved performance in work and play
Meditation also brings about psychological benefits. Regular meditation has amazing effects on the psyche of a person. These include: higher self-understanding and self-acceptance; more joy, love and spontaneity; greater intimacy with friends and family; and a more profound sense of meaning and purpose.
True Meditation is Much More and Much Deeper
Meditation is much more than sitting for a few minutes to think or ponder. With true meditation, you reach a state of deep serenity that happens only when the mind is at peace and silent but fully aware at the same time. This is just the start of a journey that can lead us to a great inner shift and a higher level of awareness. For the millions of followers and practitioners of meditation of any type, this is a difficult goal to achieve but one that will take them closer to achieving their true human potential when they do succeed.