You Don’t Need to be a Buddhist to Benefit from Meditation
The benefits of practicing meditation has reached national news recently, with studies extolling the virtues of the ancient art and claiming it can boost brainpower and creativity. What’s more, studies show that just a few minutes meditation each day can dramatically improve your wellbeing. Meditation is also an excellent burnout prevention and recovery tool.
Jayne Morris, a black belt in Karate and Taekwondo, has practiced meditation since she was a child and recommends starting and ending your day with a few short minutes of meditation.
Starting the day with mediation can help you center your energy, notice what’s going on within so as without (in your internal as well as your external world), acknowledge and let go of any fears you are holding in relation to the day ahead, connect with your power, increase your creativity, become aware of any tension being held in your body so that you can release and heal, reflect upon and set positive intentions for the day ahead.
Meditation can also help you connect with the essence of who you are and your infinite potential to be all you can be, so that you can bring yourself more fully into your experience of each moment of the day.
If you are new to meditation, allow me to dispel some common meditation myths.
Myth 1: Meditation is only for ‘New Age types’
Meditation is accessible for anyone, anywhere, anytime. It has been proven to positively impact concentration and improve problem-solving abilities and is becoming increasingly popular in schools and businesses.
Myth 2: Meditation is religious
Although meditation forms part of many religious and spiritual traditions, it is not specifically a religious practice.
Myth 3: Meditation requires hours of brain training
Some strict disciplines do require thousands of hours of dedication, but the basic benefits of meditation that are available to everyone do not require any lifelong devotion or complex techniques.
Myth 4: Meditation requires the ability to sit in a lotus position
The lotus position is a traditional way of sitting in Asian countries for meditation but this is not a necessary position for effective meditation. It is fine to sit in a regular chair, on a stool, kneeling, or even lying down; wherever you’re most comfortable.
Myth 5: Meditation means chanting over and over
Mantra meditation is only one form of meditation, you don’t have to chant to meditate.
Myth 6: Meditation is about making your mind go blank
Meditation is about becoming aware of your thoughts, sensations and emotions, noticing how they are connected and acknowledging them. It helps us experience the present moment more fully. Meditation helps us develop mindfulness – but it is impossible for the human mind to go blank! What is possible is to slow down the amount of mental chatter and thinking that goes on, so that we are able to connect with our inner sense of self.
Myth 7: Meditation is a waste of time
There are several scientifically proven benefits related to the practice of regular meditation: read some of the benefits of meditation below.
Myth 8: Only vegetarians can mediate
Becoming a vegetarian is not a prerequisite for meditation! Eating healthy high vibrational food will, however, increase your ability to receive inner guidance during meditation.
Benefits of Meditation
- Increases your ability to relax
- Improves your ability to handle life’s challenges calmly
- Lowers your stress levels and the levels of chemicals in your brain related to stress
- Improves your mental and emotional health
- Increases the production of chemicals in your brain that are related to longevity of well-being and quality of life
- Reduces symptoms of depression
- Helps you develop more clarity, solve problems easier, and focus better
- Helps you access your creativity and inspiration
- Increases your self-awareness
- Improves the quality of your sleep
- Heightens your intuition
- Increases your energy levels and vitality