Meditation: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
The more I meditate, the more I learn to appreciate life in the present moment. It becomes a natural state of being. There are times where I get lost in my mind absorbed about the past or the future. Once I snap out of it, I notice the difference.
The topic of mindfulness creates mixed feelings in some people. They are some who still imagine it to be an open door of invitation to the demonic realms. Such allegories formed a bad reputation among certain religious circles. It is true that just because something is good for someone, it does not mean that it’s good for everyone. The opposite holds true as well. Negative reports about another person is not an indication that you will experience the same.
This topic has certainly raised some eyebrows among well-meaning acquaintances. They are utterly convinced I should stay on the other end of the stick for fear of hidden dangers. Our uniqueness is the cornerstone of individual-based therapy. The small print on prescription drugs may caution you of a possible bodily reaction. It may be unlike that of which your friend may experience. The same is also true of mindfulness. For some, it may be very effective or it may not work at all. For others, there may be harmful effects..
Fad or Trend?
Across the nation, mindfulness and meditation are becoming increasingly part of daily routines and less associated with alternative culture. What makes mindfulness especially appealing to some is the idea that it could be a magic pill. There is enough evidence that shows how practicing mindfulness and meditation has impacted the brain and cause positive behavioral changes and experience. There is however study subjects from other researches that have reported adverse effects associated with the practice.
Despite long-standing disputes on whether it is safe to practice, meditation has been around for millennia, and virtually every spiritual path integrates some form of them. It has its roots based on early Eastern religions to the now modern, secular presence in Western science. The number has grown, with a rough estimation ranging between 200 and 500 million globally today and steadily increasing.
You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.
– Eckhart Tolle
Meditation has its roots in ancient tradition as a tool to keep attention focus on gaining better understanding and connection between self and the external world. We are susceptible to interruptions and distractions caused by various trains of thoughts and feelings. Therefore through meditation, the aim is to refocus our attention on the mind and body in the present moment. Different groups of people approach meditation differently. There is no one right way to do it. You can explore different variations until you find one that works for you.
Regardless of its long history of being part of religious practices, meditation does not necessarily have a religious element. It is a natural part of the human experience and is increasingly used as a therapy for promoting good health and boosting the immune system. It is a psychological method, not a belief system. It is merely the momentary pause of thought.
Do You Gain or Lose?
You don’t gain anything but lose things during meditation. You lose your ego identification; you lose your frustration, anxiety and your distractions. When you lose all your mental chains you are free.
We have no ability to control everything that happens in our life, but we can change how we handle the events that mark our journey. For this, meditation is invaluable. By setting aside a portion of your time every day to mindfully sit, we learn that our thoughts, emotions, and sensations come and go. When we can remain attentive to the present moment, we can choose which event truly requires our attention and which ones are simply distractions.
The practice of meditation is not something you do; it’s actually more a non-doing, a stopping, and a resting in your natural state of being however you find yourself, without wanting more or less. It’s about developing calmness, practicing awareness and de-cluttering the mind.
The goal of meditation isn't to control your thoughts, it's to stop letting them control you.