There is a massive amount of information available about meditation. The problem with that is how to make sense of it all. Where to start? How to start?
The first step, in my opinion, is to understand the ‘why’. Why meditate? What’s the point?
Once you understand why, and are convinced that it’s something you need to do, you’ll take the necessary steps to make it happen.
So, in an effort to help you see the light, here are five reasons to get you started ASAP:
1- You’ll be happier (scientifically proven: happier)
When Dr. James Austin studied the effects of meditation on the brains of practicing Zen monks in Kyoto, Japan, he discovered that their brain chemistry and brain wave activity were consistent with that of a person in a permanent state of bliss (that means really, really happy).
Granted, these monks meditated for 8-10 hours a day, not something most of us are willing to commit to, but a regular meditative practice of 15-20 minutes a day has been shown to have similar effects, bringing the brain, and it’s chemistry, closer and closer to that perma-happy state.
When you find yourself suddenly smiling for no reason, you’ll know it’s working.
2- You’ll learn how to breathe
Wait, don’t you already know how to do that? We all breathe. If we don’t, we die.
However, most of us don’t maximize our breathing. We practice shallow breathing, meaning that we aren’t taking in as much oxygen as we could be with each breath.
Our respiratory system, much like our muscles, gets stronger and more efficient with practice.
When you practice breathing, you get better at it.
When you get better at it, you get more oxygen with each inhale, release more CO2 with each exhale, your blood becomes richer and healthier.
Your heart, your lungs, your liver, and even your brain all benefit from deeper, more efficient breathing.
To breathe is to live, to live is to breathe.
3- You’ll become more focused, and yes, it will make you smarter!
The brain is a complicated thing. Built like a biological mega-computer, it is capable of millions, if not billions of computations and calculations.
Like a computer, how it’s wired and how its data is stored can have a huge impact on how it functions.
Meditation acts like this awesome technician who comes in and rewires your circuits (neurons) and cleans up your hard-drive (brain functions) for maximum efficiency.
Also, the ability to focus is best defined as the ability to eliminate unwanted thoughts and concentrate on the task at hand.
To improve one’s focus is to increase the brain’s ability to sift through massive amounts of stored information as efficiently as possible.
The more efficient that process becomes, the faster we can access that information, the smarter* we become.
*Please note that this statement covers a very wide range of definitions for “smarter”
4- You’ll begin to realize that you’re not that big a deal (that’s a good thing)
One way I like to describe meditation is that it’s like taking a break from yourself.
When you practice often enough, you can eventually learn to slow down, control and even silence your thoughts.
On some occasions, you get to experience a sense of weightlessness, where your physical self no longer ties you down.
When you experience those events often enough, you feel a stronger connection to everything around you, and it’s that connection that dilutes the ego, that makes you realize that you are part of something so much bigger than your own little life and the problems that come with it.
Fears, stress and anxiety are all based on our ego, on our interpretations or speculations of past or future events. When you learn to quiet the ego, you learn to focus on what’s important, which is being happy and appreciating the present.
“Learn to be happy with what you have, while you pursue all that you want.”
– E. James Rohn.
5- You’ll become part of an elite club of highly successful people
One of the best ways to evaluate a practice of anything, is to consider it’s ability to influence or even create positive change in people.
Many of the most powerful and successful people in the world meditate every day.
People in the worlds of finance, science, entertainment, sports and especially the world changers, those that are making massive, positive impacts on the world around them, all share this common practice.
So the question is: if the highly successful people of the world are meditating, then why aren’t you?
Meditation is a practice. Much like a sport, or an art form, in order to improve at it and perform at a higher level, you have to put in the work.
You also need to make sure that you are working in the right direction, learning at your own pace and focusing on your own objectives.
Read, listen, ask, educate yourself, but most importantly, start!
When’s the best time to get started? RIGHT NOW!
Share with me how meditation helped changed your life!