This post talks about why you should meditate and what are the benefits of meditation for your life in general.
I dare say 80% of people are slaves to their own mind. I mean, when you look at how much anger and hate there are even on the everyday street setting, and how easily can someone lose their focus by drowning into the depths of social media or television, then it’s safe to say that most of us are unable to control our own behavior fully.
Some aspects of us remain hidden to even ourselves, like our belief systems, habits, patterns of acting and thinking. They’re always running on the background like programs.
If your physical brain were to be looked at as the hardware of your mind, then those things are the software. They’re just apps that have been installed there by outside influences – your parents, education, culture, the best friend you spend the most time with and even the books you’ve read.
With meditation, you can first realize that you are not the things that have happened to you – not your thoughts, your upbringing or genes. They have risen only due to causality. Certain causes lead to certain effects and, if your mind is filled with thoughts of doubt, you’ll inevitably start reproducing them yourself.
Why People Don’t Want to Meditate
What makes the majority of people shy away from meditation is the fear of some sort of a religious stigma that gets attachedThe first thing that comes to mind is a bearded old man sitting under a boji tree with his legs crossed while vibrating his chakras.
In reality, it’s just a simple mental technique with which you can control your distracted monkey mind. On the physiological level, you’re regulating your central nervous system and making both hemisphere’s of the brain working more coherently as well.
Who Do You Think You Are
The purpose of meditation is to also discover and enquire the ‘true self’.
Realize that you are not your mind – you have a mind. (Click to Tweet)
A mind that has developed the tendency for non-stop chatter.
Our minds natural state is actually silence – pure stillness – because thoughts rise only as a result of certain cause-and-effect.
- You wake up in the morning, the sun is shining and you’re feeling good
- You sit on a hard chair and it gets slightly uncomfortable
- Someone cuts in front of you in traffic – SON OF A B#¤!
Who You Really Are
A great analogy to remember is to think of a projector projecting pictures onto a wall.
- The projector itself is any object in the world: chairs, cars, other people and physical phenomenon, like the temperature, light and sound waves etc.
- The projection is the sensory experience – those mental images that get created in your head, the sound you hear, the kinesthetic touch your feel, or the pain you feel while sitting, and all the corresponding thoughts you experience as a result. These mental images travel to your brain, but they’re still objects. Herein the majority of people would stop, but herein is not the core essence of yourself.
- The ‘true self’ is not the projection, but the blank wall onto which the images get projected on. You are the perceiver – the higher consciousness behind the sensory experience – who can recognize that there is indeed an ‘I’ and that I am a subjective being inside a world. Inside a world, whose phenomenon contribute to my self-image but aren’t an inseparable part of it.
Sounds pretty harsh. What do you mean that I am not I? Of course you are you and I am I, but that ‘I’ is there exactly because I can distinguish you from myself and because our behavior is very much influenced by the social aspects between us.
Other Benefits of Meditation
But meditation has many other advantages.
- Improved concentration and focus
- Less stress and anxiety
- Better sleep quality
- Reduced monkey chatter
- Greater sense of gratitude and well-being
Now it sounds pretty promising, right? Where do I sign up? How do you meditate then?
How to Meditate
Here as well there are many misunderstandings. There are various techniques but essentially meditation is the effortless silencing and calming of mental activity.
Don’t think, don’t think…Wait…is this a thought?
It’s very difficult for the mind to become still because it’s afraid of silence. You’re afraid to go silent because you’re afraid of your own thoughts and what could rise up. That’s why forcing it to happen will never work.
Much rather, you have to focus on the things you can control.
If you can take control over the most important thing for your survival – your air supply – then your aroused monkey mind has no chance. Every time you feel that the mind starts to wander, simply acknowledge it and take your attention back
Every time you feel that the mind starts to wander, simply acknowledge it and take your attention back to your breath. After a while, you’ll establish a meditative state of consciousness, in which the mind is left in stillness but is completely alert and aware.
Biggest Reason Why You Should Meditate
Meditation is a technique, with which you can condition your mind to perceive sensory experiences more deeply. Instead of just reacting to everything that happens to you (i.e. that guy’s a real jerk – drives here like that…), instead of that, you become more proactive.
There gets created an empty space between you and the event – a temporal buffering – during which you can choose to create a much more logical and preferable response.
I think that such a skill not only preserves a whole lot of brain cells and not only makes everything you do much more effective but also makes the entire society a much better and more self-aware place to be in.
If you’re having trouble meditating, then join the Body Mind Agoge to get a FREE guided meditation soundtrack for beginners.