Benefits of Meditation

Benefits of Meditation

Benefits of Meditation

Nature has bestowed upon us the abundance of resources that can be used as food and shelter and as cures for ailments that a body might develop. Being connected to Nature diminishes the chances of becoming sick, but getting hurt cannot be ruled out when fighting the battles of life.
However, the battles of life sometimes inflict blows that can break us from within. The scars and scratches from those battles on the mind are not visible but are often the most difficult to heal.

Understanding our consciousness and its connection with Nature helps to set our expectations. One would not depend on the form of prayers that seem to go unanswered. Meditation helps to engender the awareness of the self and the Almighty.

Meditation is Self Healing. However, do not meditate to cure a disease. That is not what meditation is for. Nevertheless, the effects of meditation would often cure a disease. More likely, it would even prevent a disease upfront.

Stress can cause or worsen many diseases, including those related to the heart, brain, and digestion. Since meditation helps mitigate stress, a significant part of the healing may occur by reducing stress levels.

We know from the ancient scriptures that the Buddha would sleep for only an hour a day. We also know from our own experience that sleep is essential for the body. How could an hour of sleep be enough for the Buddha when studies after studies have proven the criticality of sleep?
You must have noticed that the mind is tranquil during the state of deep sleep. Dreams and thoughts are not active during this state. Deep sleep is a state of complete unawareness. One does not feel any pain or sickness, even though the body might be hurting when awake. That is also why one cannot recall anything that occurs during this sleep period.

Deep sleep is also the time when the body recuperates. Since the mind has no demands for processing any thoughts, the brain quietens down. At this time, the brain gets the chance to store new memories created during the awake period. The organization of the impressions and recollections by the brain helps to recall information when needed the next time. Its relaxation replenishes its energy for the next awake cycle. Since the brain is also the controller for the secretion of many hormones in the body, the deep sleep period helps the brain keep the hormones balanced. Deep sleep is when the pituitary gland in the brain secretes the human growth hormone that regenerates cells in the body.

The commonality between the deep sleep state and meditation is the complete quietness of the mind. The difference between the two is related to awareness.

During deep sleep, the mind is tranquil, but one is unaware. While meditating, one can quieten it just like it is during deep sleep but can be fully aware at the same time. Since this calm state of mind during meditation is the same as that during a deep sleep stage, the body and the brain can recuperate during meditation just as they do during the deep sleep stage. Therefore, the need for sleep is decreased.

At the US National Library of Medicine, Kaul et al. also came to a similar conclusion in their study that meditation acutely improves psychomotor vigilance and may decrease sleep need. That is why the Buddha, who practiced deep meditation for several hours each day, did not require sleeping more than an hour a day.

The awareness that comes from meditating provides the ability to focus on healing a body part where one might be hurting the most. Therefore, one may be able to heal up an ailing organ of the body. Besides the focused healing of a body part, the healing powers of meditation manifest in other forms also. For example, meditation stimulates the regeneration of the brain cells and the connections between its nerve cells, thereby improving the neuroplasticity in the brain. Lardon et al. conducted a study, “Mindfulness Meditation Is Related to Long-Lasting Changes in Hippocampal Functional Topology during Resting-State: A Magnetoencephalography Study.” They have suggested that the practice of meditation is associated with neuroplasticity phenomena, reducing age-related brain degeneration and improving cognitive functions. In addition, neuroimaging studies have shown that brain connectivity changes in meditators.

Studies have also found that meditation can help prevent and fight Alzheimer’s disease. Modern medicine is still struggling to find a reliable cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Prophylactic medication for Alzheimer’s diseases, heart diseases, high blood pressure has many adverse effects on the body. Meditation, on the other hand, has no such adverse effects. The healing from within, with meditation, is not just analeptic.

Meditation brings one face to face with the reality of Nature. One learns to accept the pain and suffering without any remorse. Moments of pleasure can become immersed and enjoyable. It becomes evident that neither pain nor pleasure would be everlasting.

Meditation, therefore, makes one more humble and empathetic. These qualities foster better relations and understanding of the world around them. These qualities also enhance the peace of mind within oneself.
The calm mind is also confident. Confidence provides a sense of security as one is more prepared to deal with adversity. The feeling of security eliminates avarice. Therefore, a society that practices meditation is more peaceful and crime-free.


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