Someone once asked the Buddha skeptically, “What have you gained through meditation.”
The Buddha replied, “Nothing at all.”
“Then, Blessed One, what good is it.”
“Let me tell you what I lost through meditation: sickness, anger, depression, insecurity, the burden of old age, the fear of death. That is the good of meditation, which leads to nirvana.
Why meditate? Well, for starters… What DO you have to lose? Most of us have a list of stressors that we’d love to eliminate. And, while you may not become a yogi overnight, you can start to feel relief right away. Even if you only have five minutes, you can begin.
I’m not saying that the things that bother you will suddenly dissolve into thin air. But that in fact, meditation can change your perspective, change what you attract, and create a balance within you that promotes overall health. Stress does not thrive in a balanced body.
Studies show that it takes 21 days to re-train our brains out of patterns that no longer serve us. Those stressors…the fears, doubts, worries and physical ailments can create thought patterns that can keep you on the path of unwellness. How this happens is that when we have enough emotional connection to a thought pattern, neurons in our brains lock in that pattern. For example, if driving in traffic causes you panic attacks, then a panic attack is your emotional response to driving in traffic. You are then likely to have stressful thoughts and even raise your blood pressure at the idea of driving in traffic. BUT, if you reprogram your brain through meditation to think that driving is a peaceful experience and lock in that new healthier program with a positive emotional response, such as actually having a peaceful drive, you are golden. So, again we are brought back to increasing awareness and awareness of perception. After meditating on it, your chances of attracting peaceful driving conditions continue to grow.
The hardest thing about meditation truly is the moment you begin. So don’t make it any harder…start today.
To start, don’t clear your mind, make intentions, or consider how someone else does it.
Be alone with yourself for just a moment and ask yourself what your body and mind need. You can move your body into meditation through dance, exercise, stretching, singing or making art. Or, you can simply witness your breath. Ultimately, meditation is about creating an overall calmness and connection of body, mind and spirit. So, if you’re going to be successful at it, you’ve got to be aware of what your body needs in the moment. And, you may not need the same things the next time you try.
You can literally make a difference by spending some alone time each day, opening up to listening to what your body is asking for. That very act of listening to those internal signals creates the space for change to happen. Soon, spending five minutes will not be enough for you because you’ll love the feeling and the effect, and you’ll naturally crave more. Meditation is not magic. It’s practice. You design your practice in a way that serves you best.
A true meditative state means your brainwaves are running at a Theta rate. (4-8 Hz), where you are perfectly aware of your surroundings, but can witness them without judgement. You are at peace. And yet, your creative mind and intuition are sparked. When you first arrive here at Theta, you may get a bit drowsy, may notice dreamlike visions, and may feel quite turned on to life. That is because, here in this state, your brain is much easier to reprogram. A truly dedicated meditator can reach a Delta brainwave state (1-3 Hz) which is very slow. Many of us dream at this rate. But, if you can be awake and aware, the possibilities are endless. And, science is finally catching up to this ancient knowledge to promote meditation for the use of retaining academic information, changing financial situations, and of course gaining vibrant health.
What will meditation do for you? There’s only one way to know.