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Méditation creates amazing benefits. Méditation is a state of concentrated focus.  During méditation you focus on a specific object or thought or mantra. Méditation, when you think of it, does your mind conjure up images of a Yoga master sitting with crossed legs humming some unintelligible mantra? You are correct in the assumption that this is a form of méditation. Do you realize, however, that everyone practices méditation in some manner quite often? When you slip into deep thoughts about facets of your life, your experiences, people and circumstances in your life, you are méditating in a basic way. Those nights that you can’t quite go to sleep, because your mind keeps wandering from place to place, person to person, event to event. Your body and mind need rest and repair, and your brain is constantly working towards those ends.

As you can surmise, your body knows how to méditate. It’s up to you to let it take you to a place of deep contemplation, a place of rest that rejuvenates better than sleep, a place where you can discover and connect with your true self. This discovery and connection can relieve stress, rejuvenate your spirit, assist in physical healing, expand awareness of yourself and your environment, and prolong your life. Illness needs medical attention and, often, medication to jump-start your bodies healing processes. Méditation assists your body in this process.

It has been clinically proven that méditation can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate, diminish pain, and speed post-operative recovery. Students who practice méditation improve their grades and reduce absenteeism, employees raise productiveness and miss less work, and athletes who practice méditation perform better and experience less injury. Seems like pretty good medicine, doesn’t it?

It makes sense that if you relieve stress, you would lower your risk of heart attack, decrease the probability of ulcers and irritable bowl conditions, and certainly feel more at ease facing the world each day.

There are many ways to méditate, and each person needs to find the method, place, and time that best fits them. There are many good books on meditation, such as Total Wellness by Belleruth Naparstek,  Insight Meditation by Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, and 8 Minute Meditation by Victor Davich. Browse these and countless others at your favorite local or online bookseller. Many websites offer a wealth of help and information on méditation. A quick perusal of your preferred search engine will supply seemingly endless links.

The need to and ability to méditate is natural to you. It is genetic. Studies suggest that the practice of méditation originated about the same time that we came into existence, through eons of evolution as some believe, or through intelligent design as many believe. You have the need, you possess the natural ability, and you are ready. Find your most comfortable seat, relax, turn off the world around you  and focus on  something that you find relaxing such as a gentle waterfall, or the sounds and smells of a gentle spring rain, and let your self go deep into contemplation. Méditation might just be what you’ve been waiting for…

By Jane May

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