When talking with new students about learning meditation
or meditating, I usually get one of two comments; “I feel meditation is a waste of precious time, when I could be getting other things done.” Or “My mind is so active that I can’t stop it. Meditation for me would be impossible.”
Today, I’m going to address the first comment. But first, let me tell you that before I started to meditate as a daily practice, I adhered to both of those beliefs. I felt I had too much to do and by taking time to meditate, I would be sitting, doing nothing while my “to do” list got bigger by the minute. But when I finally learned the meaning and reason behind meditation, I was able to shift those beliefs.
When you sit down to meditate, you are actually doing something, a lot of things in fact.
On a physical level, you are reversing the effects of the automated stress response, fight-flight. Your body enters a state of calm, wakeful awareness. This relaxed state is different from sleep according to researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who did a joint study on non-directive meditation with Sydney University in Australia. Delta waves, the brain activity waves associated with sleep, are decreased while alpha and theta waves were increased. So while in meditation, your brain is actually processing information, experiences, and emotions, allowing things to “work themselves out”.
On a mental and emotional level, you are allowing yourself to sit in silence, which can be a daunting task for anyone who’s never done it before. If we have emotions or feelings that we’ve stuffed inside or not dealt with, these unprocessed emotions can come up during meditation. And that is not only, O.K., it’s healthy. Think of it as a detoxification of your emotional body. The more we continually process feelings, emotions, desires, the healthier we become on a daily basis.
On a spiritual or ethereal level, in meditation we are connecting to universal intelligence. Starting with the higher part of ourselves, we connect to the eternal within. Spiritual connection in meditation is a topic in and of itself. But let me explain that regardless of your beliefs, there is something bigger out there. You can call it the orchestration of nature, Mother Earth, the universe or God. When you link yourself to that, your life becomes more organized, easier, fulfilling. Coincidences start to occur. People, experiences and events spontaneously arrive in your life helping you to live the life you desire.
Finally, on a practical level, for all the benefits, meditation, once learned is easy. It can be done anywhere, anytime and at any location. It’s a tool you can use throughout your life. Once it becomes a part of who you are, it’s like a trusted friend or a familiar face. Thirty minutes of meditation can give you the same amount of rest as several hours of sleep. And it’s much cheaper than medications to calm you down or lower blood pressure.
So now, instead of saying, “Meditation is the same as doing nothing,” I say, “Meditation is an effortless way to do everything.”
Wishing you a lifetime of peace and happiness!