Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Rewards of Meditation

Imagine you are riding a strong,well built 'ratha' or  a chariot driven by five horses,each having a mind of it's own.You might be anxious to reach a certain destination but the horses do not cooperate with you.Depending upon which one has the strongest heft,you are carried to that particular region.There are diversions and distractions galore.Plus the dissipation of time,energy and resources.You are not driving the ratha,the horses are driving it.When will you reach your utopia?When you can control the horses.

Meditation-for peace and well-being
This in a nut-shell,is what meditation can facilitate for you.It will empower you to control your five sense organs,prime your faculties,enable you to focus on what you want to achieve,make you strong-willed enough to channelize your energies in your chosen direction and thereby improve your performance.Peace,equanimity and success shall follow.

Meditation has been defined as the practice of spending time in quiet thought, focusing upon your breath or a single object like the third eye (the spot between your eyebrows), or the core of your heart, for a given length of time.It has been a part of the spiritual practice in India since millenia and perhaps because of this,we often set it aside as a religious ritual fit,only for the yogis.

But Recent scientific research on meditation found that meditation brings about positive physiological changes in the brain of the practitioner.The research showed increased activity in parts of the brain associated with happiness and a decreased activity in the portions related to negative emotions like depression,fear and anger.An unusual increase in empathy and compassion was also seen.

Going into the benefits of meditation:--

Meditation calms the mind.Various thoughts will flicker through your mind when you sit down to meditate but as you concentrate on your breath these thoughts will subside.By and by,you will learn to control your thoughts,they will cease to disturb you and you will be free of anxiety--meditation is very good for curing General Anxiety Disorder.

It improves the power of memory and concentration.Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that regular meditation increases blood flow to the cerebral cortex which is responsible for mental functions like attention,learning,concentration and memory.

It promotes self-awareness. Strange though it may sound,we bumble through life committing the same mistakes,throwing off unseemly reactions,misinterpreting reality and deriving wrong conclusions.When we begin to meditate the thoughts which pop up,aside from the insignificant ones like--it is too hot,my legs are stiff,how long will I have to sit like this--point to the issues which are troubling us.

These are moments of realization,we become aware of the quirks in our personality,the deep-seated complexes,irrational prejudices,unfounded fears and unreasonable expectations.All this becomes crystal clear.It now depends upon us to  make corrective changes in our thinking and behavior by discarding the negativity which had stalled our evolution till now.This is the first step towards a more organised and fulfilling life.

It promotes understanding of others.When we become aware of our own fault-lines we feel more attuned to those with whom we had been at cross purpose till now.Meditation confers a largeness of heart--an ability to overlook others' foibles and transgressions,to relate to them on an equal footing.It has many spiritual benefits.

It cures sleep disorders.Meditate before going to bed and you will enjoy sound sleep.If like me,you too are plagued by countless dreams about unknown persons and places,you will see a decrease in them.I can vouch for this.Now even if I dream at night,the next day during meditation,I suddenly remember snatches of that dream.It just shows that meditation helps us to penetrate to the unconscious mind.

It helps us to get rid of intrusive thoughts.Only those who suffer from intrusive thoughts can understand how injurious they are.These thoughts cause shame,guilt and frustration because they are inappropriate and hard to banish.They could be a facade for a severe emotional problem probably relating to an abusive past,hatred for a blood relation or an iniquity on our own part;which we are not ready to acknowledge.Meditation lays open the labyrinths of our unconscious mind and enables us to apprehend the emotional turmoil which lies at the root of our anxiety.We can nix those thoughts by sorting out the real problem.

It augments our confidence and will-power.Meditation has a miraculous effect upon our self esteem.The sharpening of our mental faculties results in greater confidence and will power.We feel in control of our lives.

It promotes physical fitness.It is a well known fact that many diseases arise from stress.When meditation soothes our state of mind this automatically results in better physical health.Meditation brings down hypertension and in this way saves us from strokes and cardiovascular diseases.It can also ease suffering caused by chronic pain like migraine or colitis.This study found that 72 percent of patients suffering from chronic pain experienced a decrease in the level of their pain after being trained for meditation.It also strengthens the immune system and curtails frequent bouts of illness.Probably that is why yogis living in forests did not need doctors to keep them fit.

Indeed the benefits of meditation are all over the media these days but the flip side is, that initially it is difficult to make it a part of your regular routine.Other,pressing matters take precedence over what a beginner may regard as--just sitting down and doing nothing.Another fact which may reinforce this belief is,that the fruits of meditation take time to emerge.It is akin to sowing a seed.You have to keep watering and nurturing it and wait patiently for the fruits to appear;but appear,they will.Once you have mastered it you will notice greater mental,emotional , physical and spiritual well-being;which is a reward worth working and waiting for. 

Do you practice meditation?Have you found it beneficial?Please share your experiences here.

Image courtesy google search.

27 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Welcome to jeeteraho,thanks for readiing.

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  2. Good morning Indu ji
    This is one post I cannot comment about --because day in and day out my husband keeps on telling me to meditate --but I just cannot concentrate --i have time for everything else except meditation , though I know the benefits but still ...

    thanks
    love
    and regards

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    1. Yes it does seem like something which can be put off but once you start,you feel good.
      Love n hugs.

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  3. Totally agree with you! Meditation has so many benifits that it is really difficult to capture these in one post!

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    1. Thank you Rahul.It is true,i too left off many benefits because lengthy posts are so tedious for the reader.

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  4. I have been to the Art Of Living meditation classes...I sometimes practice the Sudharshana kriya meditation routine they teach and its amazing....But these days find it hard to practice with my little one around...

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    1. I know it is impossible to spare time for yourself with a small baby.

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  5. The only type of meditation I practise is when I listen to music - though I do not know if it counts :)

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  6. Interesting read.. Meditation puts you in touch with yourself and I think that is most important!

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    1. You are right Archana.Welcome to jeeteeeraho.

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  7. Ah ha I dont think i have the patience for meditation .. but some day maybe I will surly try.. I do feel that it is a good exercise and one needs to do it

    Bikram's

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    1. Yes Bikram,patience is sorely needed.

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    2. Yes Bikram,patience is sorely needed.

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  8. This is one thing I am trying to conquer for the past three years, aunty. Had been trying to do it on and off and never worked. The reason I fail is the thoughts...the numerous thoughts that keep invading my calmness one after the other. I started again from last weekend...let us see how it goes...this time, I am not going to quit. Let me see how far my determination takes. I need sound sleep and need to control my GAD. Thank you for writing this.

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    1. Latha i too am still a novice at this but i have seen that it does sharpen the mind and memory.Since i have felt the benefits i am motivated to be regular.First i could not sit for more than 5,7 mts,then 10.and now i can meditate for 20 mts--all in say,3 mths.
      I am sure you will catch up.
      Love n hugs.

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  9. Indu, such a lovely post. I needed to read this because I have been ignoring my meditation of late. Just one thing, I wish to add. In my practice I have noticed that instead of controlling thoughts or suppressing them, I become calmer with them streaming through. I think many people give up meditation because they think that they must have no thoughts which is not possible.

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    1. Thank you Rachna for this fulsome praise and also for your insight.The thoughts which come also signal where lies the cause of our distress.
      Love n hugs.

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  10. nice read!. it surely brings in peace of mind and lets the mind wander less!! :)

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    1. Thanks Sahithya,i am glad you agree with me.

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  11. Given my anxiety and restlessness, I need to meditate. Believe me, I have tried but I fall asleep!
    A relevant post Indu.

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    1. If you fall asleep Alka, it is a sure indication that you have curbed your anxiety :-)

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  12. I have started many times but yet to bring it into my routine. With so much travel with odd flight timings difficult to fit in regular timings for activities like meditation and exercise.

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    1. Yes meditation asks for strict dedication otherwise it is not of much use.

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  13. Me too, for some time now I've been wanting to make it a part of my routine. You are right, until we get strict with ourselves, we are going to get distracted by what have become pressing matter around us.
    Yes, I agree that it is a panacea.
    It is great for the mind and body. For a while when I took it up seriously, it took care of my migraines too. :)

    I think I'll come by and read this post every now and then, for that motivation to get back to doing some meditation. I really need it, now. Thanks Indu. :)

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    1. Happy to help :) D.Nambiar.
      No matter how early we get up,mundane matters take precedence over self care.I hope you get rid of your migraines very soon.
      Good Morning!

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