Meditation, a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I have been meditating for 26 years. I can say that it changed my life. I believe that it is something that every one should do, and is essential to living the best life that you can. I did not say that it would solve all your problems, and let you live a perfect life. I think that most of the benefits you read about are overly optimistic. Meditation, according to many sources is booming right now, with almost double the amount of people meditating, compared to 2012. There are meditation apps and thousands of books on the subject. The estimate is about 14% of the people in the U. S. meditate. What if I told you that 14% of the population drinks enough water to survive. That 86% of the population dies of thirst. Water is essential to life. Your first thought would be what is wrong with those people. Everyone knows that you have to take fluid in to survive. In my view meditation is the same. Obviously if you don’t meditate, you are not going to physically die, but your life will not be as full, and your soul will whither away. I know that may sound strong but it is what I believe. So, why don’t more people meditate? The most common reasons you read about are not enough time, I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work, it’s an eastern thing, and I just can’t do it. I believe that there are only two real benefits to meditating and one of those is the reason that people do not meditate.
The first benefit of meditating is, it allows your body to totally relax for the 20 minutes that you are doing it. I feel 20 minutes is the minimal time that you should meditate. There are a lot of apps and articles now about how 10 minutes a day may benefit or have the same benefits, but I am not in agreement. It is just an excuse to try to get people to meditate who say they don’t have the time. What is amazing, is that just allowing the muscles of the body to relax for 20 minutes is all the time the body needs. It will help you have more energy and you will feel more refreshed if you meditate daily for 20 minutes. People seem to confuse relaxation with sleeping. They think that when I sleep my body is completely relaxed. When you sleep you toss and turn and dream. Your mind is still active and this can keep the muscles stiff and tense. Dreaming can cause more issues than real life. Besides relaxing the physical body, meditating can relax the mind. The mind can relax doing meditation, but it also can serve another purpose during meditation, which becomes the second benefit of meditating.
The second benefit, is that it makes you look at your inner self. It makes you look inward to what makes you tic, and why you are where you are, in whatever stage of life you are in. The vast majority look at the outer world to evaluate their lives. We have bad relationships, our job is no good, the economy is bad, our luck is bad, and just about anything else that someone is doing or not doing that we perceive is keeping us from reaching are goals and having a full life. This give us comfort, and blocks us from taking responsibility for where we are at the present moment. Meditating can make you look at your inner self and it can be very scary. It takes real guts to take a good look at how you function and why you are in the circumstances that you are in. That is the number one reason why people do not meditate. When you look inside and see the person you are, it can be quite disconcerting. All those perceived benefits from meditating, relieving stress, helping manage anxiety, helping with depression, increasing your immunity, better sleep, relieving IBS symptoms ( I had to throw that one in there), and improving your over well being, is still not enough to over come the fear of finding out your true self. There is one site that lists 76 benefits of meditation. Wow! It’s always tough finding out things that you may not like about yourself, although that is the only way you are going to improve your life.
Even though I have been meditating for 26 years, I have had my ups and downs with meditating. I started in 1993 and was consistent for about 18 years. Then around 2011 I began to feel that I did not need meditation as much anymore, and began to skip days. I felt this way because so much good was going on in my life, that meditation was not as important. I was wrong. Over any life you make a lot of mistakes and do things you wish you had not done and maybe if I would have been more diligent meditating I would have made some better decisions over the last 6 years. Over the last 6 months I have gotten back on track and do feel much better. Meditation is something that is essential to living and every person that is breathing should do. On the next meditation blog, I will give some tips on how to get started. This is not really a how to blog. There is tons of apps and books on the subject, but I will go through what I think is good and what is just salesmanship on the creator . In future blogs I will discuss situations not really related directly to meditating but come about because we live in a non meditating world.