While you may not feel flashes of insight when practicing meditation, its effects will become apparent to you later, when you may notice that you responded to a crisis with uncharacteristic calmness, or failed to get "triggered" in a situation that would normally disturb you. Trust in the process, let go of your expectations of achieving "results" (after all, meditation is not a contest), and you will reap the results.
The real miracle of meditation is a subtle transformation that happens not only in your mind and your emotions but also in your body. And, this transformation is a healing one.
You become what you think. Meditation allows you to think in a positive way thereby making you feel positive.
The benefits of meditation are enormous. It calms the body and mind. In these fast and frenetic times, it has the most important ability to replenish mental and emotional energy.
Meditation enables you to create new attitudes and responses to life, giving you a clear spiritual understanding of yourself.
Meditation is the process of re-discovering, enjoying and using the positive qualities already latent within you. Like any skill, meditation requires practice to achieve positive and satisfying results. By doing a little every day, it soon becomes a natural and easy habit, which generously rewards you for the little effort it involves.
Meditation energizes your awareness bringing both peace and wisdom to a busy mind. It expands your capacity to love and heals broken hearts. Also it dissolves many fears replacing them with lightness and freedom from anxiety.
Meditation is both the journey and the destination. It reveals the secrets of consciousness and the treasures of the soul. It develops the power to be more alert and effective in our interaction with each other and with our precious world. But perhaps the greatest gift that comes with meditation is the glow of inner peace that is both gentle and strong.
1. Physical Benefits of Meditation
- Deep rest, as measured by decreased metabolic rate, lower heart rate, and reduced work load of the heart.
- Lowered levels of cortisol and lactate-two chemicals associated with stress.
- Decreased high blood pressure.
- Reduction of free radicals- unstable oxygen molecules that can cause tissue damage. They are now thought to be a major factor in aging and in many diseases.
- Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels.
- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients.
- Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular diseases.
- Younger biological age. On standard measures of aging, long-term Transcendental Meditation (TM) practitioners (more than five years of practice) measured 12 years younger than their chronological age.
- Higher levels of DHEAS in the elderly. An additional sign of youthfulness through Transcendental Meditation (TM); lower levels of DHEAS are associated with aging.
- Meditation relaxes the body, mind and rejuvenates the flow of energy in order to more effectively face the responsibilities of the demanding and active life.
- Meditation helps to develop a more relaxed and positive view towards life.
- It develops a peaceful and more clearly functioning mind.
- It enables to tune into a creative inspirations for artistic expression.
- It enables one to get rid of addictions such as cigarettes, alcohol, narcotics and tranquilizers.
- A scientific study showed that meditation induces greater communication and interaction between the two hemispheres of the brain.
- Meditation is also extremely restful and rejuvenating for the heart.
- Another indication of the deep rest is that the number of breaths needed to be taken each minute during meditation drops significantly. Another indication of the deep rest produced by meditation is the significant drop in the blood lactate level. The lower the lactate level the more rested and rejuvenated is the muscle tissue.
- Deep physiological rest is shown by a distinct drop in the metabolism rate, as measured by the oxygen consumption by an individual in meditation, waking activity, sleep and hypnosis.
- Brain wave measurements during meditation show a higher incidence of alpha waves indicating a restful alertness. There is a sense of peace and yet a wakeful awareness in one`s environment.
- In the long run both the heart rate and breathing rate develop a slower pace as the body experiences less mental-emotional stress and learns to waste less energy. The body becomes more relaxed and more efficient.
- Persons who meditate experience much more stable health. They have fewer illnesses in general in their lives.
- Meditation reduces blood pressure in those with high blood pressure.
- Meditation significantly reduces the dependency on tranquilizers, alcohol or drugs.
- Meditation can reduce sleeping disorders.
- Meditation can normalize a person`s weight. An overweight person can lose weight through meditation and vice versa.
2. Psychological Benefits of Meditation
- Increased brain wave coherence. Harmony of brain wave activity in different parts of the brain is associated with greater creativity, improved moral reasoning, and higher IQ.
- Decreased anxiety.
- Decreased depression.
- Decreased irritability and moodiness.
- Meditation purifies one`s character.
- Improved learning ability and memory.
- Increased self-actualization.
- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
- Increased happiness.
- Increased emotional stability.
- Meditation helps to develop will power.
- Meditation can make you build relationship with God.
- It helps to attain spiritual growth, soul consciousness and enlightenment.
- Studies have also shown that those who meditate regularly react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.
- Memory recall is also enhanced by meditation.
- Studies on high school students showed that those who meditated had a higher intelligence growth rate than those who did not.
- Meditators showed greatly increased ability to recover from psychosomatic illnesses.
The conclusion is obvious. Meditation increases whatever is good and life supporting in a person. It strengthens our immune system, harmonizes our endocrine system and relaxes our nervous system. It creates health and vitality.
On a mental level it develops inner peace, clarity, self-confidence, self-acceptance, creativity, productivity and eventually greater self-actualization. It makes our work environment more satisfactory, improves our relationships with co-workers, supervisors and subordinates. It makes us more creative, more responsible and more productive.
On a spiritual level it puts us in contact with our inner voice, with our inner strength, with our inner spiritual wisdom and love. Think now, what would happen if many people in our society meditated? How would it affect our society? Think what would happen if you meditated daily.