Benefits of Meditation:
A Historical Perspective
Regular practice of meditation has many positive effects on the mind and body. Today, there are many opportunities to practice meditation. It is being offered in fitness centers. There are even establishments that only offer meditation for people. There are countries in Indonesia that are famous for meditation houses. With the help of a facilitator, meditation can be practiced as part of a group. On the other hand, a person who prefers to meditate in the comfort of his own home is welcome to do so. There are some videos that can teach people to meditate. He can do research on the topic and find out which approach suits his needs best and learn it systematically. The option to ask a teacher or expert for help is available as well.
Incorporating meditation into one’s lifestyle is a popular practice nowadays because meditation is proven to change the mind and body for the better.
Universal benefits of meditation
Since the advent of civilization, man has been striving to better himself and searching for ways to attain success in life. Man’s realization that he is capable of thinking and acting for himself led to the never ending search for ways to improve and change for the better. Awareness of one’s thought processes is one of the universal benefits of meditative practice, no matter what technique or approach is used. There are some people who practice this in a hope to achieve mental state of being. Meditation is a recognized method of altering the mental state, resulting in emotional balance and physical health. Therefore, people who devote time to meditate are also better equipped to handle the challenges that modern living throws at them. It is a way to get by the problems that life has to offer.
Meditation is a practice that takes away negative thoughts and emotions in order to reduce stress and anxiety. A person who meditates is better equipped to handle current situations because their thought processes are uncluttered and focused on the moment, instead of wallowing in the future or the past.
The attainment of a calm, focused, and quiet mind is not the only benefit of meditation. There are physical benefits as well. For instance, meditation can effectively lower blood pressure to a baseline value that promotes healthy bodily functions. Perhaps one of the most prominent physical improvements of meditation is on a person’s breathing pattern. The relaxed pace and greater depth of breathing promoted in meditative practice leads to changes in the person’s physiology. The amount of oxygen required is reduced. The body is more relaxed and the balance shifts more towards conservation of energy.
Where did meditation originate?
Meditation is recognized in many cultures and traditions as a means to attain a higher state. Evidently, civilizations that thrived thousands of years ago were already aware that meditation is a practice that brings forth numerous benefits. The prehistoric cultures that emerged in the Indus Valley thousands of years ago left clues for modern archaeologists to find—clues as to how they lived in those times, what they believed in, and the activities that they engaged in. Their ancient Hindu scriptures already described meditation (tantras). These are some of the earliest documents mentioning people practicing meditation.
Even during ancient times, religious tenets and principles of meditative practices were handed down from one generation to the next as they are done today. From the practitioners of Vedic Hinduism to modern followers of Yoga, the best meditative practices are bequeathed by a teacher to his student. It is exciting to learn this practice and apply it on everyday lifestyle.