Ten Benefits of Meditation
1. Promotes calmness of mind
The external world constantly and forcefully stirs up tremendous activity in our mind space. These experiences leave permanent impressions on the mind which in turn influence our thoughts, words and actions. The mind-space becomes like the turbulent surface of a lake. A calm and serene mind-space is essential for our wellbeing and inner peace. Meditation calms the turbulence and restlessness of the mind by drawing up the positive energy available in the spiritual dimension of our being.
2. Enhances power of concentration of mind
Just as a magnifying glass focuses sunlight and intensifies the heat to bring out the fire potential in a piece of wood, likewise meditation focuses and intensifies the mental energies to bring out the knowledge of the subject matter of our study. A distracted and dispersed mind is like a blunt tool. Concentration of mind is the capacity of holding the sharpened focus of our ATTENTION on a particular object. Meditation exercises and strengthens this concentration.
3. Develops of will-power
Every activity is preceded by two inner stages of will and knowledge i.e. Will --> Knowledge --> Action. A strong will-power achieves success through perseverance and patience while a weak will-power gives up in face of challenges and obstacles. Our conscious activities are initiated by "wills". When these "will-forces" are controlled and aligned in the same direction/purpose, the resultant will-power accomplishes great outcomes. Just as muscular power is developed through systematic and sustained physical exercises in a gymnasium, will-power is developed through regular exercises of meditation. A strong will-power is essential for success in any field.
4. Increases strength of mind
Life is a constant battle between the external and internal forces. We live in an ever-changing world over which we have little control. However, we can empower ourselves by developing our internal and subjective self. Guided by inner values and convictions, a strong mind can hold the course of our actions until desired and meaningful goals are achieved. A weak and fickle mind is inefficient and ineffective as it dissipates the mental energies in stress, anxiety, worry, depression etc. There is tremendous power within us all. Meditation enables us to awaken and manifest these inner powers.
5. Develops the power of internal observation
Meditation enhances our awareness and observation of our inner thoughts, emotions, motives, desires etc which influence the mind. Through meditation, we understand that “we are not the mind but the mind is only an instrument we use.” This capacity to be a detached witness and controller of the inner thought processes and mental states is very empowering and liberating.
6. Promotes better decision-making
Knowledge is power. Meditation enhances our power of internal awareness and capacity to observe and control the thought processes. The capacity to observe the rise and development of ideas within the mind enhances inner clarity. We are constantly bombarded with so much information from diverse sources. A meditator is able to better separate facts from fiction, truths from opinions, etc. This results in making wiser, judicious and timely decisions. The capacity to “make the right decision at the right time” is a precious quality.
7. Increases inner poise and balance
Life is ever changing and full of challenges that tend to throw us off our balance. Meditation anchors us deeply in our inner Self which is the source of all knowledge, bliss, power, intelligence, purity etc. The more we are grounded within ourselves, the less the world can throw off us off balance. Through meditation, we progressively enter into that inner space available within us where the external world cannot intrude and disturb us. That abode of peace is available in everyone; meditation is the key that opens the door.
8. Enhanced self-esteem and value
The self-identity of a person who dwells mostly on the physical level and is extroverted to the external world becomes conditioned by the influences from these sources. The external world is subject to constant change of duality. The pendulum swings between successes and failures, victories and defeats, gains and losses, health and disease, life and death. We are at the mercy of these environmental forces and must dance to their music. When we are deprived of the knowledge of our inner self, we surrender our freedom and enslave ourselves to the external world. Thus our value of who we are becomes dependent on others views, opinions, positions in the society, material possessions etc. We constantly seek to be recognised by others, validated by others, appreciated by others etc. As we progress in our practise of regular meditation, we discover more and more of the wonderful excellences within us such as our inner beauty, purity, strength, knowledge, joy etc. This experience enhances our self-respect, self-esteem, faith in ourselves, etc. This re-positioning of our identity in our inner spiritual Self is very empowering as it frees us from excessive dependence on others’ views, opinions, etc to validate ourselves.
9. Enhances moral and ethical values
As one gets more and more grounded in the excellences of one’s inner Self, one simultaneously recognises the same in others and feels the inner connection such as “we all are just different waves in the SAME universal ocean of Consciousness.” This inner awareness of Oneness expresses itself through our thoughts, words and actions as kindness, compassion, non-violence, collaboration, sacrifice, etc. Thus, meditation promotes a positive relationship with others in the family, community, environment, humanity and existence.
10. Gives greater meaning and purpose of Life
All thoughtful people, sooner or later, ask themselves some of these small but profound questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? What is the meaning and purpose of life? What happens when we abandon this body? However, these questions have been repeatedly asked by human beings for ages. For thousands of years, the Vedic seekers of truth dedicated tremendous time and effort to explore our inner dimensions of human beings. They discovered the laws that govern our minds and spirit and worked out practical methods to utilise that wisdom to hasten our spiritual evolution, promote inner peace and harmony with others. Our meditation techniques and knowledge come from these Vedic traditions. However, we have adapted the ancient wisdom to present day cultures, traditions and needs of people to address modern day challenges of wellbeing.