Meditation – What is it Good For?

Today at Sarvodaya's Early Morning meditation
Image via Wikipedia

To a lot of people, meditation is a mystery. To a lot of people, meditation seems an impossibly intricate process that requires years of practice; something they could probably never master. Many people see no value in learning meditation; it is too complicated and there’s just no time. And what are the advantages?

Yes, meditation can require a great deal of discipline and time. Fortunately, there are different types of meditation for different purposes. Many people find fulfillment in meditating for an hour or more every day. They use different methods according to their preferences and purposes. They sit cross-legged and use aids such as bells, bowls, mantras, candles, incense, water, and music to help them focus.

There are other people who meditate for maybe 5-10 minutes every day. They may sit in a chair, lie on a couch or bed, or sit cross-legged on a pillow or the floor. They may use some of the aids mentioned above to help them focus, or not. Some may meditate for 2 or 3 minutes while on the move; walking in the park, walking to work, jogging, or walking the dog.

In my view, there is as much value in a relatively short meditation as there is in a longer meditative experience. In my opinion, meditative style is determined by one’s personality and lifestyle. Meditation is a practical tool that everyone can use to strengthen them and brighten their day.

Meditation is a solitary experience. The primary purpose of meditation is to relax the body and experience the inner peace, calm, lightness, and joy at the center of our being. It allows us to center ourselves in our hearts where we can connect to our source. We all hold a place inside that is deeply peaceful, where nothing can disturb us. When we experience that place inside, we are refreshed and energized.

What are the benefits of meditation? Meditation can strengthen us to face challenges, we can learn from our experiences by meditating on them, and we can get answers from our inner guidance in meditation. Meditation is like a railroad track to our inner wisdom. It takes us to the place inside where our answers are.

If you are new to meditation, I invite you to try setting aside a few minutes before you start your day. Here is a simple, effective meditation that anyone can do.

To start out, I suggest sitting in a comfortable chair with your back straight and both feet flat on the floor. As you progress, you can experiment with positions to determine which one is right for you. Lying down makes many people fall asleep.

Next, clear your bioelectric energy field. One way is to close your eyes and imagine a white light filling your body and expanding to form a bubble of white light all around you. You can also rub your hands together and pass them over your head and the back of your neck. Notice the feeling of alert relaxation that comes over you as you clear.

The next step is up to you. If you are looking for an answer, ask the question, sit quietly, and notice any impressions you receive. If your mind wanders, gently focus back on the white light. If you don’t get an answer, you could ask for a sign to appear some time during the day that would enlighten you. Another thing you could do is set an intention for the day, such as, “My intention is that today be light, easy, and joyful.” Or, you could simply absorb the feeling of relaxed alertness that you experience.

Finally, clear your energy field again. Always begin and end your sessions with clearing.

You may want to try different meditative processes, as well. There are many good books, CDs, and videos that can teach you other styles of meditation. Meditation can be an intricate experience filled with ceremony or it can be a simple few minutes taken to refresh and energize you. I encourage you to try it. You may be surprised at what it does for you.

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