On the spiritual path, meditation is extremely helpful to quieten the mind. Having said that when we live in the moment, beyond the mind chatter, then life itself becomes meditation.
Before I add an article on 20 scientific reasons to start meditating today, here are some quotes from Osho about meditation.
“To me a man of meditation is bound to be immensely loving.”
“Meditation slowly, slowly turns into your enlightenment. You suddenly become aware one day, where is that darkness? where is that continuous rush of thoughts? where has the mind gone? Suddenly you are absolutely as hollow as a bamboo; but your hollowness is not empty – it is full of joy and full of rejoicing. You will dance for no reason at all, you will sing for no reason at all, songs that you have not composed, dances that you have not learned. They are just bubbling spontaneously in your consciousness.
That is enlightenment, but don’t make it a goal.
Meditation is enough. Everything else follows on its own.”
“Mind cannot do anything about meditation. It simply does not know meditation, and there is no intrinsic possibility for the mind ever to come in contact with meditation. Just as I said before, darkness cannot come in contact with light because darkness is only an absence – so is the mind.
Mind is the absence of meditation. The moment meditation arises in you, mind is found nowhere.”
“You will have to understand one of the most fundamental things about meditation: that no technique leads to meditation. The old so-called techniques and the new scientific biofeedback techniques are the same as far as meditation is concerned. Meditation is not a byproduct of any technique.
Meditation happens beyond mind. No technique can go beyond mind….
It is not a question of sitting silently, it is not a question of chanting a mantra. It is a question of understanding the subtle workings of the mind. As you understand those workings of the mind a great awareness arises in you, which is not of the mind. That awareness arises in your being, in your soul, in your consciousness.”
“Once you turn in, meditation has started. Meditation means the capacity to be joyously alone, the capacity to be happy with yourself, the capacity to keep company with yourself. To be with yourself is meditation. There is no need for the other in meditation; the joy of aloneness, not the misery of loneliness, is meditation…
Meditation in the East is not what is understood in the West. In the West, meditation means contemplation: meditating on God, meditating on truth, meditating on love…
Meditation in the East has a totally different meaning, just the opposite of the Western meaning. Meditation in the East means no object in the mind, no content in the mind; not meditating upon something but dropping everything; neti, neti, neither this nor that. Meditation is emptying yourself of all content. When there is no thought moving inside you there is stillness; that stillness is meditation. Not even a ripple arises in the lake of your consciousness; that silent lake, absolutely still, that is meditation. And in that meditation you will know what truth is, you will know what love is, you will know what godliness is.”
And now for the article. Enjoy.
20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today
New research shows meditation boosts your health, happiness, and success!
It Boosts Your HEALTH
1 – Increases immune function (See here and here )
2 – Decreases Pain (see here )
3 – Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level (See here and here and here)
It Boosts Your HAPPINESS
4 – Increases Positive Emotion (here and here)
5 – Decreases Depression (see here)
6 – Decreases Anxiety (see here and here and here)
7 – Decreases Stress (see here and here)
It Boosts Your SOCIAL LIFE
Think meditation is a solitary activity? It may be (unless you meditate in a group which many do!) but it actually increases your sense of connection to others:
8 – Increases social connection & emotional intelligence (see here and – by yours truly – here)
9 – Makes you more compassionate (see here and here and here)
10 – Makes you feel less lonely (see here)
It Boosts Your Self-Control
11 – Improves your ability to regulate your emotions (see here) (Ever flown off the handle or not been able to quiet your mind? Here’s the key)
12 – Improves your ability to introspect (see here & for why this is crucial see this post)
It Changes Your BRAIN (for the better)
13 – Increases grey matter (see here)
14 – Increases volume in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions & self-control (see here and here)
15 – Increases cortical thickness in areas related to paying attention (see here)
It Improves Your Productivity (yup, by doing nothing)
16 – Increases your focus & attention (see here and here and here and here)
17 – Improves your ability to multitask (see here and here)
18 – Improves your memory (see here)
19 – Improves your ability to be creative & think outside the box (see research by J. Schooler)
20. It Makes You WISE(R)
It gives you perspective: By observing your mind, you realize you don’t have to be slave to it. You realize it throws tantrums, gets grumpy,jealous, happy and sad but that it doesn’t have to run you. Meditation is quite simply mental hygiene: clear out the junk, tune your talents, and get in touch with yourself. Think about it, you shower every day and clean your body, but have you ever showered your mind? As a consequence, you’ll feel more clear and see thing with greater perspective. “The quality of our life depends on the quality of our mind,” writes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We can’t control what happens on the outside but we do have a say over the quality of our mind. No matter what’s going on, if your mind is ok, everything is ok. Right now.
It Keeps You Real
Once you get to know your mind, you start to own your stuff and become more authentic, maybe even humble. You realize the stories and soap operas your mind puts you through and you gain some perspective on them. You realize most of us are caught up in a mind-drama and become more compassionate towards others.
Myths about Meditation
Having an empty mind—nope, in fact, when you start meditating, you’ll find its quite the opposite
Sitting in lotus position—nope, you can sit on the couch (just don’t lie down, you’ll fall asleep)
Sitting for an hour a day—nope, small doses work just fine, (see here and – by yours truly – here)
Chanting in a language I don’t understand—nope, not unless that floats your boat
Buddhist, Hindu or religious—nope, not unless you make it so
Weird—what’s so weird about sitting and breathing? Besides, UScongressmen, NFL football leagues and the US Marine Corpsare doing it, how weird can it be?
“I can’t meditate” because
I can’t clear my mind—no worries, while you’re sitting there you’ll experience the noisy chaos of a wound up mind that’s unwinding: tons of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Don’t worry about how you feel during, notice how you feel after and throughout the rest of the day
I can’t sit still—that’s ok, just sit comfortably, fidget if you need to
I get anxious—that’s also normal, all the junk’s coming up, learn some breathing practices to calm yourself down, exercise or do yoga before meditating
I hate sitting still—that’s fine, then go for a walk without your earphones, phone etc; or start with yoga; or do breathing exercises…give yourself time to just “be” without constantly “doing” something
I tried and I hated it—there’s not just one kind of meditation, there’s a whole menu out there, look for the shoe that fits: mindfulness, Transcendental, compassion, mantra, Vipassana, Art of Living breathing practices, yoga nidra, yoga, insight, loving-kindness, tai chi etc…
I don’t have time – if you have time to read an article about meditation all the way through, you have time to meditate. Think of all those minutes you waste every day on the internet or otherwise, you can definitely fit in 20 minutes here or there to give your life a boost! Gandhi is quoted as saying “I’m so busy today, that… I’m going to meditate 2 hours instead of 1.”
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