Meditation – A Way to Health and Well-Being
“Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and can even improve certain medical conditions” (The Mayo Clinic).
According to meditation and health websites, meditation can be very beneficial in healing and promoting good health. Research and personal experience has shown me there is a great deal of truth in the fact that meditation is good for our emotional, physical and spiritual health and well-being.
Meditation and Emotional Well-Being
Meditation can create a place of tranquillity within the core of your being to enter into as you unload the stress and tensions of the day. From this quiet place you can experience the emotional benefits of meditation.
- Gaining a peace within from which to see with a new perspective the stresses and irritations of the day
- The ability to focus on the present moment and not stew over the past or fear the future
- Reducing negative emotions by focusing on the positive
- Maintaining a certain detachment to be in control of our emotional responses
- Promoting focused and clear thinking
Meditation and Physical Health
Meditation can assist in bringing about healing for certain medical conditions, particularly if the condition is worsened by stress. Some cancer patients have found meditation helps with coping with the trauma and treatment of many types of cancer. Because of the relaxation and reducing of stress gained through meditation, it can assist the healing processes for:
- slowing the ageing process
- the immune system
- high blood pressure and heart problems
- muscular tension
However, I personally find the most beneficial and healing properties of meditation to be in the realm of the spiritual.
Spirituality and Meditation
Meditation helps me to be more aware of God in my life and in the world around me. When I meditate and come into the silence and stillness of my inner self, it is there that I am able to just sit in an awareness of the Christ who lives within me and know the reality of his presence. Then, as I move out into my daily activities I am conscious of taking his presence with me and experiencing his handiwork in creation and the circumstances of life.
Meditation helps me to pray. For years I battled with the idea that there must be more to prayer than I knew as my prayer life was not satisfying. In meditation I feel I have discovered the aspect of prayer that before I was not aware of; the prayer of silence. Not having to do anything, think anything, have preconceived agendas or structures but just to sit in silence and know I am in touch with and communing with God.
Meditation seems to help me clarify where I am going and give purpose and direction to my spiritual journey. In the silence is a good place to present to God my ideas and concepts and look for his enlightenment. Often as I meditate I become aware of the way I should go with a project or I am inspired to follow a certain path.
Meditation helps me take hold of the peace that Jesus offers to us and let it permeate my life. As the calm of meditation relaxes my body and my emotions, it also brings that peace which passes all understanding in the knowledge that God is with me and in everything I do and have to face.
Meditation is, as Thomas Keating says, “the place of transformation”. At the time of meditation nothing seems to be happening. Often distractions can disturb so much that is seems to be a total waste of time. However, meditation, consistently and faithfully practiced, does have a positive effect on our lives. Slowly, as time goes by, the fruits of the Spirit start to influence our spirit and we find we are becoming more loving, patient and compassionate.
I believe meditation does help me to let go of the pressure and stresses of life, draws me closer to my God and promotes spiritual, physical and emotional health. In “Open Mind, Open Heart” Thomas Keating gives a beautiful description of meditation:
“We surrender to the attraction of interior silence, tranquillity, and peace. We do not try to feel anything. Without effort, without trying, we sink into this Presence, letting everything else go. Let love alone speak: the simple desire to be one with the Presence, to forget self and rest in the ultimate Mystery. … We wait patiently in silence, openness and quiet attentiveness; motionless within and without. We surrender to the attraction to be still, to be loved, just to be”. 1
– Lynette French
1. Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating, © The Continuum International Publishing Group, New York, NY 10010