There are many reasons people meditate. Meditation can help us relax, reduce mental and emotional stresses, and bring us greater spiritual awareness. Engaging in meditation can feel really good; to still the body, quiet the mind, notice the emotions and tap into the spirit can be a rewarding experience. Yet the benefits of a regular meditation practice, like any form of exercise, can have longer lasing effects on our whole being.
These are some of the benefits of a regular meditation practice:
Physical: reduces stress, relaxes your body, helps you become more aware of the condition and needs of your body, and perhaps increase your potential for better health care, allows your body to experience states of bliss
Mental: increases your ability to concentrate, helps you focus your attention for extended periods of time, relieves mental stress, reduces the pattern of self judgment, allows you to contemplate what is truly important in your life
Emotional: brings greater awareness of your emotions, enhances your ability to be non-reactive to the changes in your emotions, brings feelings of inner peace and contentment
Spiritual: allows you to experience your own spirit, helps you feel closer to God/Spirit/Source, helps awaken your innate intuitive (psychic) abilities, expands your ability to experience Oneness, or the connectedness of everything, assists in your “ascension” or enlightenment
When we reduce the normal distractions of our outer world, we can discover the subtleties of the world within us. Meditation allows us to experience both our human and spiritual selves directly in a profound and peaceful way.
Are you feeling a bit vulnerable, stressed or worried about your survival right now? Most of us acknowledge the outer influences that may be stirring up these feelings – including mass lay offs, foreclosures and our overall economy. As human beings, we are deeply affected by the everyday experiences of others and when experiences are happening at such a large scale it is easy to feel vulnerable in hard times. As spiritual beings, we can feel the effects of intense times in deeper ways. Our inner gifts of compassion and spiritual oneness connect us to others on a soul level and this can be both a curse and a blessing.
When we go through life without recognizing our spiritual connections to others, this can make us feel more unstable if the collective is experiencing instability, or more fearful if the larger masses are in fear. This is the part that is the curse. Bringing awareness to this innate spiritual gift can help transmute it into a blessing.
One simple thing you can do to soften the intensity of the feelings you experience when negativities abound is to “disconnect” from the collective (fear) consciousness on both the human and spiritual levels. I suggest you literally disconnect by turning off unpleasant news (or even your TV), or don’t answer the phone when caller ID tells you it’s that whiny neighbor calling to complain about life. Disconnecting from fear on the soul level is actually reconnecting to your heart! A simple exercise is to breathe deeply into your heart center. With each in and out breath, focus fully on your heart and allow peace encompass you. Ah!... Try that for a couple of minutes a day!
As a calmer, more heart centered human-spiritual being, it becomes easier to see that our qualities we perceived as our curses or weaknesses are actually our blessings and gifts!