People come to meditation for different reasons.
Some are “on the spiritual path” and seeking enlightenment. Others have been recommended the practice to help manage physical conditions, mental or emotional distress. What I always tell my students is that your original motivation doesn’t matter, because the benefits will come through on all levels anyway.
Over the course of my life I’ve started and stopped many things to improve my wellbeing—yoga, tai chi, running, boot camp, juicing, wheat-free diet, oil pulling and lots more. But the only thing that I’ve kept up—to my utmost amazement—was meditation.
Since I started meditating, all kinds of life-long ailments quietly went away. Regular headaches, constipation, heartburn, (mild) psoriasis, disturbed sleeping patterns and other issues were such a normal part of my life that I didn’t even think about them. I simply medicated as necessary without stopping to consider why I had them, or if there was a better way to deal with them.
But one day, while clearing out my bathroom cupboard, I found myself throwing out expired creams and pills. And I was flabbergasted to see the evidence before me. All of these ailments that were once such a common experience for me were now a rarity.
And the only explanation I could point to was meditation.
You see, all of these conditions were triggered by stress. And I have no doubt that the overriding reason why I have maintained a meditation practice—despite my interest in the spiritual aspect—is because it has completely transformed my experience of stress.
And not just mine either; meditation is scientifically endorsed as a highly effective antidote to stress.
Photo: Eamon Curry/Fickr