YOGIBANKER’S TOP 5 BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
“What are the benefits of meditation, Scott?”, Gurprit asked me as we were sitting at our desks together discussing all things yoga. Gurprit is one of my ‘converts’ to yoga, having never really practised before starting classes with me. To her, the practice of meditation was a bit of a mystery. It’s as if it were a competition, and getting ‘better’ at it was the aim of the game. She’s probably not alone in that thinking.
Of course, if you read Jon Kabat Zinn’s works, the concept of the ‘beginner’s mind‘ is consistently mentioned as a fundamental principle of meditation. So much for becoming ‘really good’ at it.
That said, there is something to be said for regular practice and exercising the mind as if it were a muscle. It can be somewhat strange to think of the mind as if it had physical properties, but it’s true. The benefits of meditation can really be felt as if the mind were a hamstring or other muscle – keep strengthening and stretching it, and you’ll notice the difference after a period of sustained exercise. The same goes with the mind. Keep meditating regularly, and you’ll soon notice that the period of time when you transcend to different levels of consciousness becomes deeper.
So, here are the top 5 benefits of meditation that make the practice so valuable to me.
1. I Become less Impulsive
I find that my relationship with my phone changes – the compulsion to check social media first thing in the morning ceases – I appreciate social media for what it is, and detach from it. Isn’t that a good thing in today’s uber connected, insane world?
2. I Become less Reactive
In moments of confrontation or anger, I am able to separate my thoughts and observe them. We are, after all, not our thoughts; but in thte physical world, we strongly identify with them. When anger arises, I find there is more detachment from the feeling of anger. That’s not to say that meditators don’t get angry, we do. It’s just that there’s a better relationship with that anger.
3. I Become more Creative
The more I meditate, the more ‘stuff’ comes out of my head. I tend to write more and inspiration comes from ‘nowhere’, literally. When I am meditating regularly, the manner in which I write becomes effortless, especially on the tube to work, where I do the bulk of my writing.
4. I Become more ‘Spatially Aware’
Spatially aware? Interesting. Now that’s a new one (but that’s how I like to describe it). When I process issues or problems, especially at work, I tend to separate and break down each thought into its various components, constructing a logical and coherent response to whatever I am dealing with. Perhaps ‘self-observation’ would be an appropriate term. It’s the City meditators ‘secret weapon’ when it comes to performing better in the work place.
5. I Become more Technically Analytical
I solve problems in my meditation. That’s a fact. I don’t intend to try, but answers to complex issues sometimes ‘float’ into my mind towards the end of my 20 minute session. I quickly note them down and take them back to the office ready to discuss. Kinda cool huh?
So there you have it. By meditating regularly, you’ll certainly see some benefits. For me, the benefits of meditation are interesting, especially regarding work. I’ve mentioned before how meditation previously changed the course of my life. Now I find it really helps me with my life.
My biggest challenge is maintaining the practice. It’s all well and good to preach this stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s about practising too. I’m no angel when it comes to my meditation practice I have to admit, but the intention is certainly there. The key really is discipline and effort.
“It takes discipline to be a free spirit.” ~ Anon.