Updated: Apr 8
I presume you have been advised to meditate before and you have your specific reasons to try. Maybe you are dealing with health issues or looking for a way to ease your physical pain. Perhaps you are seeking relaxation from overwhelming stress and anxiety. Alternatively, you might be seeking solutions for your life’s challenges or searching for clarity and peace of mind.
Whatever your reasons are, mindfulness and meditation have been proven to be incredible, effective tools for improving physical and mental health. It also improves relationships, increases clarity, and promotes calmness. But these benefits are only surface level. How can you benefit more from practicing them?
The reality is that life is unpredictable and often throws us curve balls that we don't expect. You could be taking good care of your health, only to receive bad news from your doctor. You might find relief from stress after working hard, only to find broken relationships with your loved one. And even if you're an incredibly smart and productive you might be surprised to find that a promotion doesn't come your way.
How do we deal with these difficulties and uncertainties? This is where mindfulness and meditation truly shine. Even if they are not magical solutions, meditation can help us cultivate calmness, stillness, and wisdom. By developing these qualities, we are better able to gain a clear perspective of our lives. Meditation is about acceptance and being present at the moment rather than resisting or denying reality. We can reduce our suffering and find greater peace of mind.
By practicing meditation properly and consistently along with living a moral life, we can develop greater concentration and clarity which can lead to mental purity. Meanwhile, mindfulness practice turns our attention to the present moment with non-judgmental awareness. It allows us to observe our physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions, without getting caught up in them. When we practice mindfulness and meditation repeatedly, we experience physical and mental clarity automatically without any effort.
With full consciousness and a still mind, we are able to experience all phenomena clearly and objectively, and we are less likely to be influenced by biases or distorted perceptions. This leads to the realization of the true characteristics of nature, which are impermanence, dissatisfaction, and egolessness.
When we truly understand the nature of reality - inner wisdom - we can let go of our attachment to the fleeting pleasures of life and the illusion of a permanent self that only leads to suffering and dissatisfaction. The power of meditation unlocks the inner potential to achieve liberation from the root cause of suffering. This is the highest goal of meditation which is called Nirvana.
If you are looking to cultivate a regular meditation practice, know that it takes time and commitment, but the rewards are truly priceless. By starting your practice today, you can begin to experience many benefits for yourself. Whether you seek relaxation, good health, calmness, or liberation from suffering, meditation is the perfect tool for you.
Let your inner peace journey begin!
Author: Pranee R Originally from Thailand, Pranee has been working at the Meditation Center of Chicago since 2010. As a long-term meditator and as one who has walked along many peace seekers for many years, she confirms that living in peace is possible if we truly believe and live it.