Almost an entire year ago, I wrote the Beginner’s Guide to Meditation. It provides you with the basics that you need to get a meditation practice going. I now want to reflect on how meditation has completely changed my life. I hope at some point that more and more people become willing to give it a try, because it is definitely the world’s best kept secret. Don’t let the stereotypical image of a meditating monk fool you; anyone can benefit greatly from just a short sit-down everyday.
First, a few ways meditation transformed my body and my experience of life. The main thing I noticed is that I am always living in the present moment. What that means is that I spend extremely little time dwelling on things or nervously anticipating the future. By practicing mindful meditation and putting my mind to rest, I experience life as it is happening right now. Do not confuse this with being in some kind of drugged, trance state. People who meditate, wake up in the morning awaiting to experience the day as it may unfold. The simplest of things can bring joy because you can slow down and appreciate them. When you aren’t feeling jammed up with anxiety or any other extreme emotional state, life is much more enjoyable. After meditating on the regular, I became much more sure of myself and the exact person that I am. You get this comforting sense of calm and it lets you see life in a different way. Meditation lets me think about things with less emotion.
I noticed my body change for the better. I need less hours to sleep and wake up fresh every day. My digestion system, among other parts of my body, function better than before. My athletic performance went through the roof in comparison to my progress in previous years. The mind-to-body connection gets stronger which opens the door to a much fuller experience, regardless of what you are doing. I feel better now, more than ever before. It feels very liberating to put all life’s doubts to ease by becoming more in tune with yourself. After a long day of work, nothing resets the batteries like meditation. It is literally a start-over button that will give you a great afternoon/night regardless of what happened during the day.
Many people think they do not have time to meditate. Between school, kids, work and this-and-that, it seems like there will never be a free fifteen minutes to shut the world off. The truth is that we can start very small and eventually meditation can become a larger part of your life. Whether you meditate for fifteen minutes or an hour, it will still be longer than most people will meditate in their entire lifetime. I have noticed amazingly stronger effects from longer durations of one hour or more, but that is something you can work up to.
The main idea here is to focus on breathing and the mantra. The mantra is not in your native language, but in Sanskrit, so it doesn’t sound like a sentence you may normally use. Your brain relaxes almost immediately and goes into a thoughtless state or “the gap” as it is described. Thoughts, at this point, come and go but linger only for a quick second. Don’t try to chase them away; simply replace them with mantra. This absence of thought brings about so much bliss that it sometimes can feel like an out of body experience.
Remember that we can exercise our bodies for a very long time, but a person’s greatest tool may just be their mind. Meditation lets us access areas of our brain never felt before and explore the depth of your own person.
In the next part, we will focus on the healing effects of meditation. This review, among other scientific studies, shows how meditation provides blood pressure control, enhancement in insulin resistance, reduction of lipid peroxidation, and other incredible documented medical effects. By entering a meditative state, we allow our bodies to heal themselves and achieve a constant state of homeostasis.
Stay tuned for PART 3 which will focus on healing and achieving amazing well-being by using meditation! Try it today and I promise it will become a part of you!