Meditation: It’s relaxing, it can be enjoyable, and it releases serotonin.
But those are not the most powerful benefits of mindfulness meditation, especially for long-term wellness and healing.
The most powerful benefit of meditation is the awakening of intelligence, awareness, and thus, freedom in our life. We can only change what we can perceive. If a phenomenon is outside our awareness, we cannot explore it, tear it apart, or understand it. The scientific spirit has lead humanity toward the expansion of our ability to perceive. The same curiosity can be brought to our spiritual practice, no matter our existing belief system.
Meditation is the doorway to perceiving, and thus understanding, your own mind.
Often we want to make positive changes in our lives to achieve balance, happiness, wellness, and healing, but we don’t even know where to begin. The wisdom is inside you now, you just need to pay attention. Without this concentration, your efforts to change and tackle negative patterns in your life are like stabbing in the dark at ghosts that end up being nothing but a tree scratching the window. Knowledge is power, as they say, but it’s also freedom. Once you see, your effort will be intelligent, informed, directed, and potent.
Like all of us, you react all day to various stimuli, be it a look from your significant other, a word from your child, a traffic jam, your boss, and, mostly powerfully, the seemingly random thoughts that pop into your head that you, like all of us, greet with a kind of comatose acceptance. When we do this we are asleep, we are flat-lining.
Flat-lining is the opposite of intelligence. This is isn’t an insult, and we don’t need to judge or berate ourselves for our weaknesses, it’s just the truth. Intelligence begins with awareness, consciousness. It begins with noticing, measuring, tracking, not judging. If you don’t even know your own heart and mind, you are a slave to your own entrenched patterns.
The mind is going all day, relentlessly, almost totally without our conscious guidance. How many of our thoughts are self-defeating, self-pitying, selfish, and/or small? You can change your mind; you can change your thought patterns right now; that is the power of meditation.
This isn’t feel-good speculation. This is grounded not only in centuries old traditions and observation but in modern science. A recent study reveals that “meditation leads to activation in brain areas involved in processing self-relevant information, self-regulation, focused problem-solving, adaptive behavior, and interoception..”1
Meditation has been shown to also increase the ability to focus and concentrate, lift the mood, and result in a more compassionate heart. This compassion should first be direct towards yourself, as you begin on the journey of self-discovery, break the habit of hiding from your perceived faults and enjoy the (sometimes amusing) process of getting to know how you operate.
While meditation seems very simple, at in essence it is, there are many tips and tricks to getting started. Read our next article about getting started with mindfulness here. Check out our Sedona Vortex Adventures Zen Out on the Red Red Rocks day package.