By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
It is helpful to clearly understand the purpose of meditation before engaging in the practice. As the practice of meditation becomes well known in mainstream culture, the discussion over what it means and how it is done becomes increasingly passionate. Like so many other topics, the differences in meditation often may lie more in perception than in actual intention. Although meditation styles vary – Buddhist, Transcendentalist, Christian, Zen, Sufi, and others – their purpose is largely the same. At the core of each style or lineage is a desire to return to one’s true nature.
People meditate for a variety of reasons, such as getting better sleep, improving health, making better decisions, concentrating, or reducing stress. Although these are legitimate benefits, the true purpose of meditation is spiritual growth. According to Deepak Chopra, “The purpose of meditation is to take us into the field of infinite possibilities, to go into the gap between thoughts, then to come back here in order to create our dreams.”
Merely transcending the thoughts in the conscious mind, however, may not be enough to achieve the ultimate goal of meditation. In the early stages of the process, the practitioner must become aware of the negative thoughts that are stored in the subconscious mind – where they lie dormant, until triggered by an emotion, or a fleeting thought, and are suddenly forced to the surface. As meditation continues, our thoughts and feelings are filtered by a higher consciousness. As a result, the mind is able to free itself while learning how to refrain from snap judgments or emotional reactions.
With the power to still the mind, we put an end to its emotional reactions and stored resentments. Hence, the potential for greater understanding and awareness of the self and the world around us arises. As a by-product, the floodgates to creativity and passion open, which provide an abundance of new circumstances, and opportunities, that were previously hidden. No longer controlled by traumatic programming, the subconscious becomes aware of the synchronicities and joy in its path.
Although the purpose of meditation is to restore the authentic self, there are several obvious benefits of the practice. Below is a short list of the obvious benefits of meditation.
• The little worries and annoyances in everyday life seem smaller and less upsetting.
• As a result of clear thinking, creativity and productivity increase.
• Health improves because of the reduction in stress and anxiety.
• There is a better understanding of one’s true path in life.
The purpose of meditation ultimately creates happiness and reduces stress levels. Meditation helps to create happy and balanced human beings – the basic ingredients needed for a better world.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Visit our online meditation teacher training course.