Effects and benefits of meditation
Our health is based on a relationship between body, mind and spirit, and the well-being of each part, and the physical body itself is only one component in the overall equation of well-being. This holistic principle recognizes that a happy, stress-free mind and a flourishing spiritual life are important factors in our physical health. Just as stress and negative emotions silently erode our life force, the practice of meditation releases a new and positive life force, born of inspiration, happiness, peace, in every part of our existence, creating the optimal conditions for vitality and health. With meditation, even our sleep pattern can change: an improvement in quality, a probable reduction in quantity. More time and energy to live our lives!
It all starts inside
How we feel and function in our outer life is largely determined by our inner life: our happiness, our confidence, our mood, our conscience. We often have little power to change events in the outside world, but we can change the way we react to them. When we are happy and calm, difficulties and problems are easily solved; When we are anxious or unhappy, the same difficulties can turn into nightmares. Our entire experience of life is colored by our own consciousness: our life is the creation of our minds! Meditation balances the inner and outer worlds and brings out the bright colors of our nature: joy, serenity, loving-kindness, strength. These emerging positive qualities reshape our own experience of life, because it all begins within us.
The writings of all the great sages and pioneers throughout the centuries share many recurring ideas and truths; one of them is the belief in the wisdom and beauty of the human soul. Sri Chinmoy describes the soul as our ‘inner pilot’: it is our highest Self, our truest Self, our inner life guide. The more we listen to our soul, the more our outer life will flourish and prosper, and it is in the silence and stillness of meditation that the wisdom of the soul can most easily be felt and experienced. In everything in life – decision making, problem solving, pursuit of fulfillment and purpose – the inner pilot is there to show us the way and we can learn to access it through our deepening practice.
The special promise of the soul
The great sages also tell us that each soul is unique and has something very special to achieve on earth. It is by listening to our ‘inner pilot’ that we begin to feel and understand what is the deepest purpose of our life and then our outer life becomes more and more in harmony with this knowledge. The discovery and fulfillment of the special promise of the soul brings us great happiness.
Power of the mind
The many techniques used in learning meditation share a common theme: harnessing and concentrating the power of the mind. The by-products and benefits of this endeavor are numerous: an ability to focus and concentrate rapidly, an improved memory, a stillness in the mind while meditating that allows us to access deeper, more intuitive, creative and inspiring parts of our being.
Power of the heart
Sri Chinmoy places great emphasis on the spiritual heart in our pursuit of happiness, as it houses many of our most powerful spiritual qualities. A deepening and broader capacity for love; compassion for others; a unity with all life; inner wisdom; a happiness without wishes, like the fragrance of an inner flower, that spreads through our lives: a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered! Sunset over the ocean The heart is an egoless consciousness, without horizons and living “in the heart” is one of the secrets of true happiness. One of the main forms of yoga, bhakti yoga, also focuses on the spiritual heart. Here, the power of devotional love is directed to God and sees the divinity in all things.
A peaceful life
Meditation will make you a very peaceful person. This peace occurs through growing self-acceptance and confidence, and through an inner balance that comes from a deeper part of our being. This peace is not passive and fragile, it is very powerful and dynamic. This kind of inner peace will lift you above success, failure, the positives and negatives in life; leaves in us an adamantine balance and a feeling of calm indifferent to the changes of luck and tribulations of life. People who have developed inner peace are very powerful.
Meditation is awakening to our true nature, a spiritual path to enlightenment, self-realization, oneness with God. That is why one should always feel gratitude for the urge to meditate: we have consciously begun the great journey of awakening that lies at the very heart of all human life.