Meditation has been around for centuries, and there are many benefits from meditating. If you google the benefits of meditation, you will find an almost endless list. First there is the 12 science-based benefits. Science based is a popular term now. The benefits are, reduces stress, controls anxiety, promotes emotional heatlh, enhances self-awareness, lengthens attention span, may reduce age related memory loss, can generate kindness, may help fight addictions, improves sleep, helps control pain, can decrease blood pressure, and last but certainly not least, accessible anywhere. Whew, I am exhausted already. Something called the EOC Institute (I’m not sure what EOC stands for) but they are in San Franscisco, say there are 141 benefits to meditation. Needless to say, I am not going to list them. There are other sites that will tell you the benefits of meditation, with the numbers ranging from 6 to 12. Some are into the word science based, while other sites will use the term surprising, when referring to the benefits of meditation. So, if there are so many benefits to meditation, why don’t more people meditate? Even a meditator like myself, really does not believe that meditation can have that many benefits. So, it is no wonder people that don’t meditate are skeptical. There are a lot of opinions of why people don’t meditate, found on the web. Those sites are also into numbers, like 5, 9, and 10 reasons people do not meditate. I was surprised that no one had 141 reasons people don’t meditate, because I bet there are. After reading about 10 articles, on why people don’t meditate, there seems to be a consensus of about 5 or 6 things that keep people from meditating. They range from not enough time, too difficult, being associated with spiritualism and religion, I could never do it, and I think it is just plain stupid.
None of the articles covered the reason that I think that people do not meditate, or if they start, they suddenly quit, and never really get back to doing it. One of the benefits listed above was enhanced self-awareness. This is the big stumbling block when it comes to meditation. Getting to know yourself, like you have never known yourself before can be very scary. The fear of knowing who you really might be, and facing some of your not so good qualities, can be quite traumatic. Fear is the most powerful emotion known to man. When fear is defined, it is always outward forces, that are defined as fearful. What happens when the source of your fear is you? There are many things that a person may not be proud of, or want to forget, rather than have them explained. We have all made decisions that may have affected other people badly, that really did not need to happen, but did because of our actions. There are always things that we feel we should or could do better. Everyone needs to take that inward journey in order to face and resolve issues, that have been caused by unwanted behavior and emotions, that have originated from within. Anytime, we have done things in the past, that were not very kind, we have tried to rationalize that behavior, by blaming someone else’s actions. There is no question, when you meditate you cannot escape yourself. You will get very close to exploring some of that behavior, but you will pull back out of fear, to keep from learning what kind of person you are. That fear may keep you from ever meditating again. Does this explain why people never even start to meditate. Yes, I think it does. Even though you do not meditate, or maybe have no intention of meditating, you still can not totally escape what you know to be true, deep down in your inner sanctum. For people that do meditate, and have faced their inner being head on, and continue to nurture and be kind to themselves, despite their faults, are the ones who can be kind to their fellow man as well. Even though meditation is a simple and easy process to do, and really takes only 20 minutes per day, it still takes lots of courage and guts to face and love the real you.