Simply stated, meditation is a way to relax the mind.
If it’s that simple, why meditate? The most common reasons why people learn to meditate is for anxiety, depression, relaxation, or spiritual awakening. Research has shown that meditation can have physical and emotional benefits with things such as improving the immune system, reducing cognitive decline, helping with conditions such as stress, heart disease, chronic pain, high blood pressure, trauma, addictions, and much more.
However, just as there are a multitude of ways to exercise the body, there are many different forms and types of meditation. Generally speaking, all meditations will provide some improvement in health. But it is important to understand, each meditation is different and provides different benefits. For example, one meditation may help relieve anxiety, but it may do little to relieve depression.
Many meditations address only the mind and body. These will provide some health benefits over time. But one must realize, a human being is more than body and mind; they also have a third aspect. Each person may talk about their experience of that third aspect with different words such as Spirit, Unconditional Love and compassion, or even expanded consciousness or awareness.
Addressing only the mind and body with a meditative practice is like topping off the oil in your car daily rather than addressing the leak. The car will continue to operate, but the leak remains and may cause further issues down the line if the leak is not found and corrected.
Every human being comes with a built-in desire. We all desire to connect with the third aspect, to bring more love and light into our life through direct experience. You may have noticed when someone falls in love and commits to a loving relationship, you see a great positive change in them. This happens because one is resonating with that third aspect and they are expanding their boundaries.
Finding and committing to a meditation that addresses all three aspects, body/mind/spirit provides greater foundational support and helps to address more chronic dis-ease, depression, addictions, trauma, etc. For a person learning a new meditative practice, again the analogy to physical exercise fits. One may not see the benefits immediately. Most likely, benefits will be seen when used regularly for about 6 weeks. Meditations, like exercise, work best when used daily and consistently. The more hours you meditate over a lifetime, the wider the array of benefits you will notice and the stronger these benefits become.
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