It is a good question that you might have asked yourself. Why meditate?
Do you call yourself a ‘human being’ or a ‘human doing’?
It might feel like the latter as you constantly juggle your busy life with work, family, squeezed social lives and everything else.
It might be rare to experience simply ‘being’. Meditation can remind you of this.
When you stop still you become consciously awake. Awake to yourself and your surroundings. You stop doing and you simply allow things to be as they are.
Most people define themselves by their job title. What I love about learning to meditate is that you cut through all the outer layers of what you present to the world.
You are left with you, pure and simple.
When you stop and sit still you develop your stamina to stay with things the way they are instead of wanting yourself or something around you to be different.
The Snow Globe Effect
‘Meditation is power. Enter chaos from the place of internal stillness, and your stillness becomes a chaos buster.’
It may take some time for all your busy thoughts to slow down and settle.
Like a snow-globe, the first few minutes of meditation can be a whirlwind of random thoughts and emotions.
You simply observe them and sense into how your body is feeling as everything comes to rest. Or not!
When you sit still and do nothing else at all, your mind might continue to be busy in thoughts. Yet the fact that you are focusing on being present, the body is no longer multi-tasking. You cut out all other distractions, and the mind and body begin to relax.
Even if your mind continues to think, you have the choice to sustain your attention on your breath. You can choose an uplifting thought: ‘I breathe in peace’ or ‘I am love’.
Why Meditate? What are the benefits of meditation?
• Relaxes the body
• Calms the mind
• Lets you connect more with your senses
• Can help manage pain
• Allows you to listen to your thoughts
• Gives you access to your deeper wisdom so you can make more considered decisions
• Develops your stamina to focus
• Gives perspective and balance
• Allows you insight into your emotions
‘Meditation has made me happy, loving, and peaceful—but not every single moment of the day. I still have good times and bad, joy and sorrow. Now I can accept setbacks more easily, with less sense of disappointment and personal failure, because meditation has taught me how to cope with the profound truth that everything changes all the time.’
Meditation helps you grow:
- Patience – sit still and meditate for 10 minutes. Patience is a useful life-skill!
- Trust – that meditating is worth doing. And you learn to trust yourself.
- Inner strength and calm – as you have the fundamental tools to deal with any of life’s challenges.
- Ability to suspend judgment – you are not meditating to win a prize, do it wrongly or badly. You simply become more aware without needing to judge or be critical of yourself.
- Compassion – connect in with your heart and be gentle and understanding to your own needs.
- Loving kindness – open-heartedness to your own self.
The list could be longer! And when you develop these qualities towards yourself, you also learn to offer them out to everyone you are in relationship with.
And in addition, there are numerous health benefits too.
Let’s return to the simplicity of being a ‘human being’. Then it doesn’t matter how long the list of benefits; simply be!
‘Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.’
Share this blog to remind everyone that we are all human beings!
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness and Meditation Coach
Blog post you might find helpful: Your Guide to Learning Mindfulness 6-Week Course in Mindfulness & Meditation: Live from your Heart starts 16 May in Liss near Petersfield. Morning of Retreat: 11 May.
Updated blog post, first published in December 2014