Do I really need to meditate?

Do I really need to meditate?

Do I really need to meditate?  This is a question that I’ve seen pop up on social media and it’s a question I probably ask myself a couple of times a week as the early morning alarm goes off.  Do I really need to mediate. The answer for me is  absolutely, positively YES!   

So the next question is why?

There’s a belief that the purpose of mediation is to find bliss and that it is a way to escape, relax and go to a happy place.  For some people that’s reason enough, but for me I’ve found that there are so many more reasons that meditation should be a part of every day life.  

Health benefits is the obvious reason, but there are many other compelling reasons to consider the practice.  Here are six reasons that keep me at it…. 


1. Awareness

You’ve probably heard the saying “change your thinking, change your life”.  But how can we change our thoughts if we don’t even know what they are?

The only way to truly know what’s going on inside is to take time out to observe, to become a witness to the inner dialogue.

Knowledge is power.  When we become aware of how much energy we’re putting into habitual thought processes (that often aren’t helpful), only then can we make a choice to change.

2. Focus

The mind is a powerful, incredible tool.  Everything that is in the material world started out as a thought in someone’s head.  Revolutions, scientific break throughs, inspirational ideas and concepts.  They all started as a thought.

When we are able to focus the mind, then we are able to create.  So if we never practice focusing, or if we never have the ability to recognise when the mind has wondered off and taken us with it, then we are never harnessing the creative power that we all have.

Focusing the mind takes a particular type of muscle that can only be developed during a consistent and disciplined meditation process.

3. Discipline

Bob Proctor says, “Discipline is the ability to give yourself a command – and then follow it!”.  After all if you can’t listen to yourself, why would anyone else.

If nothing else a regular, consistent mediation practice teaches us self discipline.  This skill then seeps out into the rest of our lives.  We know that we can use the self discipline tool for other things, we trust ourselves  because we have a proven track record of determination and managing our own resistance.

4. Awake

Meditation practice is for the cushion at particular times during the day. But it is also useful  as a present moment practice or a “pause” during the day.

Having the ability to focus our minds means that we can be really present during conversations; we can notice the flowers, the birds, the gorgeous sunset, the warmth of the sunshine, the __________ (insert whatever makes you glad you’re alive).

Without the ability to come into the present moment we can live a lifetime and look back and wonder where it all went.

5. In the flow

When we’re awake and present we start to notice opportunities that present themselves.   Coincidence, sychronisity and serendipity happen so often that we stopped being surprised.  We feel like we are in the flow.

We’re often in the right place at the right time to meet that person who can open a door for us, or we’re able help to another person who needs our gifts, or we hear what we need to hear.  We spot the best carparks that just seem to magically appear.

Our developed self awareness connects us to our intuition so that we can discern what is right for us, taking the struggle out of choosing the ‘right’ path.

6. Happiness

A lot of the drivel that goes on in the unfocused mind is often worry about something that probably won’t happen.  Or sometimes it’s berating ourselves about things that have happened in the past.

Either way, there is no faster way to kill off happiness than to hang out in the worrisome future or the shameful past.

Did you know that there is a physiological response to every thought?  Often the stress response in the body becomes engaged because the reptilian brain can’t distinguish between a perceived threat or a real threat.  Yes, simply worrying about something feels like a threat to your nervous system.

I’m not suggesting that we change our thoughts to happy, positive ones.  That doesn’t work.  But what I am saying is that when we simply come into the present (especially through embodiment practices) that’s where we will truly find our happy place.

So if you’re convinced that meditation is the way to go, the next step is to find a practice that works for you.

 

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