Is There Anything That Meditation Can't Do?
"Someone once asked the Buddha skeptically, "What have you gained from meditation?
The Buddha replied, "nothing at all."
" Then, Blessed One, what good is it?"
The Buddha answered, "Let me tell you what I have lost through meditation:
sickness, anger, depression, insecurity, the anxiety of old age and the fear of death.
That is the good of meditation, which leads to Nirvana; the end of suffering."
This past Sunday, I gave a Dharma talk at Unity of Tustin with the same title as this blog. With so many challenges happening in the world around us right now, and feelings of fear, worry and uncertainty at an all-time high; many people are seeking out meditation as a way of finding some sort of stability and peace in their lives. And so, in preparation for my talk, I did some research on the actual benefits that have been documented in those who meditate regularly; benefits that have been verified through 3,000 studies, over a period of four decades or more. Though I usually mention the spiritual benefits that happen through meditation in my talks and blogs, here are some of the 76 known benefits that occur in the body, mind and emotions through this ancient practice:
It reduces worry, loneliness and enhances self-esteem and self-acceptance.
Regular meditation reduces your blood pressure and increases your longevity. It lessens inflammatory disorders and asthma, while helping to prevent arthritis and fibromyalgia.
It keeps you from getting depressed; in fact, people who meditate regularly (thats the key), are 75% less likely to experience depression, 30% less likely to feel anxiety, and feel a sense of well-being at a 65% higher rate than non-meditators.
Do I have your attention, because there's more:
It boosts your immune system; in fact, regular meditators experience up to 50% less disease, and report an overall elevation in their moods on a consistent basis, while experiencing a lower incidence of dementia and other cognitive disorders.
It also gives you more energy and clarity.
Meditation gives us all of that (and more), and I haven't even mentioned that every spiritual teacher since the beginning of time has recommended meditation as a way of letting go of our obsession with our constant doing, and instead brings us to the effortless flow of Being in the Present Moment. By turning our attention away from the illusion of the past and future; from the constant dramas and problems in our outer-lives, and turning our awareness within; we rediscover the peace, joy and ease that we long for. By simply sitting still everyday, and engaging in a practice that costs us nothing but a few minutes of our time; by coming to our breathing and resting our Awareness right where we are; we land in the heart of the Sacred Now, where everything we long for is waiting for us just as surely as our next breath. So, is there anything that meditation can't do? Why not begin to practice regularly, and find out for yourself?