Meditation has existed as a central pillar in most spiritual traditions, past and present. By simply training attention and expanding awareness we are greeted by a whole host of psychological and physiological benefits. Commonly our state of rest, is one of incessant thought. When we take a break from our schedules we are faced by similar levels of mental activity albeit of a different kind. There’s no way out of our chattering mind. Except by either escaping it momentarily through drugs, or through the arduous route of training the mind to remain tranquil. Imagine for a moment, if we could switch off our problems, our thoughts, and our emotional dilemmas at will. Not dependant on a substance to do this for us. Time and again, through the ages, meditation has been presented to us, pregnant with this promise.
1. Reinventing Value Systems:
Most spiritual practices kick-start a process of self-enquiry. We begin to assess our patterns of behavior and ask questions about why we act in the ways that we do. Our emotional responses, triggered by our environment are put under scrutiny. We begin to question. Our childhood conditioning. Societal conditioning. Why must we suffer from things we have the ability to change? A child can be a victim of conditioning, but an adult that passes the blame has not matured. Through this process we become more amenable to change our belief strcutures and value systems. Over time we reinvent our value systems and de-link them from the ghosts of our past.
2. Redirecting Motivation:
As we pursue a daily practice for long periods of time, we become more attuned to what it is that we really want. We get in touch with our purpose, long-term goals, and to what we want to make of our lives. Living less for that next transient pleasure and more for what we’ve come here for.
Motivation has two components:
The ability to dream big.
The ability to stay focused on that dream, regardless of hardship and percieved failure.
Meditation helps us stay on track as we begin to respect our own dreams, unwilling to cast them aside at the first hint of failure. We are not defined by success and failure, but by how we respond to them.
3. Transforming Emotions:
We all suffer. We all go through our own unique hardships. The spiritual process is about metabolising this suffering into growth. To transform difficult emotions within us to fuel our passions and dreams. There is no bliss like the bliss of being unfazed by circumstance. Two individuals could go through experiences of similar intensity, and yet you may find one completely broken as a result of it and the other reborn; stronger and more mature than before. Regular spiritual practice allows us to see beyond our circumstance. Once we realise that we are so much more than a reflection of our circumstance, we are liberated in a way that nothing can break us.