The Benefits of Meditation for Adult
The benefits of meditation occur on many levels: spiritual, mental and physical. As noted above, meditation can bring us closer to God or our own Higher Self. Meditation has also been shown to have many benefits for improved mental and physical health. It helps to increase our ability to concentrate, it accelerates learning and improves athletic performance. Meditation also reduces anxiety and builds self-confidence.
In the physical body, meditation has the following benefits:
- Lowering of oxygen consumption
- Decreasing of respiratory rate
- Increasing of blood flow
- Slowing of heart rate
- Lowering of high blood pressure
- Decreasing of muscular tension and headaches
- Enhancing of the immune system
- Accelerating of post-operative healing
The Goal of Meditation
The goal of any meditation technique is to bring us closer to the heart of God where we can listen to the intimations of the Blessed One and maintain that sweet communion and contact. Meditation can raise our consciousness above the physical senses into the higher senses.
Although meditation is experiential, ultimately we must come to the point of not seeking for anything but simply being. “Being” requires a sensitivity that is born of purity of heart, mind and soul. We must first purify ourselves through an emptying process—the emptying all desire. When one is free of desire, then one can contain God-desire, which is simply to be light and love.
How Do I Meditate?
To enjoy the benefits of meditation, the process includes the ability to get beyond our thoughts. So meditation is as much the observation of the distractible outer mind as it is resting our attention on the object of our meditation. This process should never become a struggle. We observe our thoughts and redirect our focus gently. There should be no sense of self-condemnation or disappointment when our minds do not cooperate with the process. This is normal.
What this process looks like is the gentle but persistent return of the attention to the object of contemplation…repeatedly. Over time, there will be a stilling of the myriad thoughts that dance and play in our heads. Over time, we will feel the results. Some schools of meditation urge that the practitioner contemplate nothing, or emptiness. Others urge the contemplation of something such as a virtue, a color, one’s breathing, a sound, a feeling or a form. All methods work.
It can seem daunting at first, but the benefits of meditation are well worth the effort. If we set aside some time early in the morning each day or whenever we are able to practice this art, results in a matter of weeks or perhaps a few months may be felt, depending upon our level of effort. It’s better to practice for even a short time every day than to attempt to practice for long periods less frequently.
Meditation as a Creative Process
True meditation is not simply the sublimation of all external senses to allow God to speak to us and inspire us but it is a co-creative process in that we enter into the eternal mind and heart of God by observing light, love and purity in all. This is applying the alchemical tool of holding the immaculate concept for every person, situation, project and desire. Each of us must conceive immaculately the universe that we desire to be outpictured in our lives, and then it may be so.
We are always conceiving something. Isn’t it better if our conceptions or creations are immaculate, joyous and lovely? Isn’t it time that our perceptions are no longer clouded by doubts of the future, fears of what may be coming upon earth, entering into a death spiral through the giving away of our internal God-power through these fears and doubts? If we are to create a golden age,4 isn’t it time that our perceptions become immaculate conceptions of all—ourselves, our families, children and communities? Surely this would be one of the greatest benefits of our meditation practice.
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