I want to share just a few reasons why it could be a good idea for you to meditate. I choose not to flaunt a big number of reasons why you should meditate and read this article about mediating because it seems a contradiction.
Meditation is a lot about stepping out of the rat race, while competing for the biggest number of good reasons to meditate to put in the title of the article, feels like a rat race.
I actually have really few reasons to meditate myself and they are more than enough because they are really good, really relevant for me and really transformative.
I’ll list them here below and as I write I’m not sure yet how many they will be, but I promise they will be good, relevant and transformative reasons.
Disclaimer: don’t believe anything I say or write. Try it yourself, research it, discover what works for you.
1 | Meditation brings you home to yourself
Whatever you do in life, whatever you want to achieve, learn, accomplish, you have to deal mainly with yourself: your thoughts, your emotions, your abilities, your experiences, and the list could go on.
Ultimately you are the person that you spend the most time with, the one you can rely the most on, the one that can execute what you want and that can have blocks, limits, traumas. It is always you.
The more you know yourself, the more you know ‘the instrument’ you are working with, the better you can use it.
Personal development is simply knowing yourself more and more so that you can influence your circumstances reacting in ways that are on track with your goals, dreams, and desires.
You may start from a place of not daring doing something because you think that it is too difficult or not attainable for you and knowing yourself deeper you can soften the thoughts of not being good enough for that task, discover what’s behind, heal it and being able to decide more freely what to do, being able to receive an eventual rejection from a different place, or deciding to do something completely different from what you originally wanted all together. You are anyway more deeply in contact with yourself and you are taking decisions from there.
2| Meditation can literally change your brain
‘I was calmer and I was able to better handle difficult situations. And that indeed I was feeling more compassionate and open-hearted towards other people and I was able to see things from other people point of view’ Sara Lazar, neuroscientist, after a couple of weeks of meditation.
The areas of the brain involved in working memory and executive decision making and emotions regulations, decrease their functionality with age, however, studies have demonstrated that meditation reverse this: like being 50 years old and having the brain of someone of 30 years old.
Also, the area of the brain responsible for perspective taking, compassion and emotions regulation show a positive development as a result of a regular practice of meditation.
I personally experience a lot of these benefits in my meditation practice. I often refer to my increased ability to digest things in life. It influences how effectively and quickly can you process something unpleasant happening to you and I personally noticed that thank to meditation I can now do that much better. Meditation enhances also the perception of pleasure: the opening of the heart and the connection with others around you. This is what in spirituality is known as ‘becoming more and more one with everything and everybody’
3| Your meditation practice can influence society at large
In 1993 there was an experiment in Washington DC where 4000 people sat for a couple of weeks in meditation with the goals of reducing crime in that area. The result was a 23% reduction of crime in those weeks that couldn’t be explained in any other way.
I personally participate to a meditation group that sends healing to a list of people that ask for it and I have been a personal witness of the transformation that a week of daily healing meditation can produce in the life of a person.
I deliberately choose not to name examples to protect the privacy of the people involved and their suffering, however, I can tell you this, after years of doing this I can still get completely flabbergasted at the messages that I get and the stories I hear about the effects of this healing meditation practice.