What Are the True Benefits of Meditation?

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What Are the True Benefits of Meditation?

Meditation nowadays is a welcomed practice even among people who are not having clear spiritual aims. Research proves time and again its positive physical and psychological effects. Reported benefits of meditation by those that practice include relaxation, disconnecting from daily problems and finding relief from stress.

What if we told you these are only prerequisites of true meditation?

Meditation as a spiritual discipline

Meditative practices have been observed throughout history in various traditions and parts of the world. One of the profound texts on Yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, has identified meditation (when a meditative state is achieved) as a very high spiritual achievement, and in fact the step before one reaches enlightenment. This is beyond relaxation and stress reduction.

Why would I quote a Yoga book when discussing meditation? It is important to understand that Yoga and meditation go hand in hand. In truth, these are not practices that can be separated from one another – Yoga IS meditation and meditation IS Yoga!

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In brief, Patanjali laid down eight steps within the path of Yoga towards enlightenment. Meditation stands near the pinnacle:

Step 8 – Samadhi. Realization of self, enlightenment.
Step 7 Dhyana. True meditation, control of the mind, detachment from all but the act itself.
Step 6 – Dharana. Concentration of the mind, much of what is known as “relaxation” and “disconnection” happens in this step or the previous ones.

As you can see, these are the last steps of a long path. To reach these final steps of a very noble path require a strong dedication and devotion to one’s personal practice as well as an authentic understanding of what real meditation is. Unfortunately, many modern day classes and courses are devoid of this crucial knowledge and as a result spiritual aspirants only learn the tip of a very large iceberg.

You might say that feeling relaxed is enough for you, why bother with some obscure benefits of meditation that require all these steps and effort?

The benefits of meditation are available to all

Whether your path spurs from a spiritual impetus or calling or for the simple reason of wanting to relax, the effort you put forth is directly relational to the benefits and effects a practitioner of Yoga and meditation will experience. One might ask, what are these wondrous effects? A few of the most notable benefits of meditation are:

Controlling your mind – imagine not being defined by your thoughts and emotions, but you defining them.
Expansion of your mind – seeing patterns that make up reality with perfect clarity.
Detachment of your mind – external stimuli do not affect you and you can act as you will.

As the saying goes, “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master”. Isn’t it time you became the master of your mind AND your life?

 

Read more: Chakra Meditation – A Profound Duo

 

Liisa Maimon
Liisa Maimon
Liisa is an experienced Tantra and Yoga teacher of Somananda Tantra School. She is inspired by the life changing power of these spiritual teachings and passes them on with great enthusiasm and love.
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