People often ask, “What is the purpose of meditation?” Meditation takes us on an inner journey. By meditating, we attempt to go beyond the mind and experience our essential nature. This experience is described as peace, happiness, and bliss.
However, if you have tried to meditate, you often find the mind itself is the biggest obstacle standing between you and the accomplishment of this purpose. Our minds tend to be undisciplined, and resist attempts to guide them on a particular path.
You will be rewarded when you learn control of your mind. Meditation is a practical means for calming yourself and for learning to let go. Through meditation, you train your mind so you are not distracted and caught up in the mind’s gyrations.
Meditation teaches you to systematically explore your inner dimensions. It is a system of commitment. You commit to your path and your goal of knowing yourself.
Follow the instructions below to enter a meditative state.
How To Develop Stillness
To meditate, learn how to be still. To cultivate stillness, begin with the body. When you practice meditation, keep your head, neck and trunk straight while sitting in a meditative posture. You can use a straight-backed chair if sitting on the floor on a pillow is uncomfortable.
With back straight and eyes closed, bring your awareness slowly down your body, and allow muscles to relax (except, of course, the ones that support your head, neck and back.) Take your time and let go of the tension in your body.
Once you are relaxed, bring your attention to your breath. Notice how you are breathing. Are you breathing primarily through your chest? If so, you won’t be able to relax. Your breathing is too shallow. When you breathe, feel your belly expand. Now you are deep breathing.
Continue to observe your breath, but do not try to control it. Gradually it will become smooth and even. Give your full attention to the breathing process.
Experience your breathing in an accepting way. Do not judge or try to control or change it. Many thoughts will pass through your mind. Observe the thoughts and let them go. In the process, you will realize how restless your mind is.
Do not react to all these thoughts, because if you do, you will not be able to lose the restlessness. It is important to remember that it is not the thoughts that are disturbing, but your reaction to them.
From meditation, you learn to attend to what is taking place within you without reacting. When you can do so, you will find you are free from the mind and its wanderings. You will find you then can experience more joy and contentment
Once you learn how to reach this calm inner place, you can begin to learn the true purpose of meditation. It can be a way to relieve stress or to heal a past issue.
Discover Your True Self
Meditation allows you to dig deep into your soul so you may answer your questions about yourself. Your conscious mind often leads you to believe that you are limited in what you can accomplish. Through meditation you can get past these limitations and gain access to your subconscious mind.
Meditation is a practice of self-control. If you can control your own mind and body, you are ready to deal with any problem you might face. Though the purpose is not to provide a solution to your troubles and worries, it allows you to see beyond your current situation.
Meditation Cares For The Mind
Some people make the mistake of thinking distractions like alcohol, drugs, or even a cigarette can clear their mind. Instead, they are actually adding to their problems. Meditation will clean the mind by allowing you to let go of intangible things that are buried deep in your subconscious.
Our Relationships Are Strengthened
With meditation, we can strengthen our relationships with others and with ourselves at the same time. Though it is an inward experience, it also affects how we connect with those outside us. As we meditate, we can review our participation in our society and how our choices have affected our current relationships.
Here Is The Secret Purpose Of Meditation
An important purpose of meditation has to do with creating balance between the two powers of the mind. These two powers are your intent and your ability to let go.
If you create balance between them, you will experience peace and stillness. Imbalance between these powers create restlessness, anxiety and frustration. Balancing intent and the ability to let go gives you a key to extremely effective meditation.
Here is an example: Say when you meditate, you focus on your breath to calm yourself. The breath then becomes your meditational object. Focusing on your breath is your intent.
Now, While You Focus On Your Breath, You Will Let Go
As you breathe, let go of needing your mind to be in a certain state of focus. Let go of trying to change your thoughts, emotions, or how you feel. Let go of needing the meditational experience to happen in a certain way.
If you want to achieve peace, you have to let go and surrender while having the intent of relaxing your mind. Then you can create a peaceful balance inside your awareness.
When your mind wanders and you lose focus on your meditational object (in this case breath) bring your awareness back to the meditational object, but don’t force it. If you do, the mind stays restless. You can’t force your mind to be calm.
A Spiritual Wake-up Call
Meditation is about spiritual awakening, or enlightenment and self-realization. These two things are important because they give you ultimate freedom.
As you meditate, you will notice that you can observe your thoughts. Perhaps these thoughts are tied to emotions. Realize that the awareness that can observe these thoughts and emotions is you.
The thoughts and emotions come and go. The presence that observes them is always there, and you are that presence. This is called spiritual awakening or enlightenment.
Often you experience inner conflict because you identify too much with thoughts and emotions. But when you recognize you are not your thoughts and emotions, you can observe them and let them go.
Life becomes more like watching a movie. You are not the scenes or the characters in the movie. You are only watching. The presence that is observing is and always will be there. That presence is you on a more fundamental level.
Effects Of Chronic Stress On The Brain
Chronic stress negatively changes our brain. The changes can make us more stressed. When we meditate, the practice can help eliminate stress and increase more peace.
Stress has one main negative effect. The amygdala, located at the bottom of the brain, becomes stronger. The amygdala is your fear center, which triggers the fight or flight response.
The stresses of modern life are numerous, and in response to all that stress, the amygdala grows larger and more active. Then you experience more stress, making the amygdala even more powerful. You must stop this cycle.
The antidote for this cycle is meditation. It can reverse the negative effects of your brain caused by stress, shrinking the size of the amygdala. Meditation lowers its activity level and the number of neural connections.
Meditation also thickens the hippocampus. This part of the brain is used for learning, memory, and emotional regulation. After a stressful event is over, this part of the brain helps shut off a stress response.
Meditation will also increase the density of the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain helps us concentrate, solve problems, and make decisions. It also helps us in controlling impulsive behavior.
In other words, you can upgrade your brain by practicing meditation. With this practice, the parts of the brain that cause stress become weaker. Meanwhile, the parts of the brain which help create more peace become stronger. Meditation will keep your brain healthy so you can live a life of inner peace and happiness.
To sum up, here is a short list of some benefits of meditation:
- Develops inner peace and calmness
- Gains the ability to remain in the present moment
- It helps unlock the source of inspiration in our mind
- It brings well-being and fulfillment
- It helps attain a deep, abiding compassion, with its resulting benefits
- It reduces fatigue, insomnia, and depression
The purpose of meditation aids us in our spiritual health. Through meditation, we have a way to actively improve our lives. It teaches us to see that we can live in peace and love if we learn how to control our thoughts and emotions. Meditation gives us a way to handle them better.
Meditation also will remain the doorway to our inner world. Go through that doorway with meditational practice and you can improve your life in dramatic ways.
The following are the references I used for this article: