8 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Life

8 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Life

We can’t imagine what life would be like without meditation. It has seen us through tough times and many life  changes, keeping us sane and grounded and real. Life is challenging enough; we  can never know what will arise next and only when our minds are clear and  focused can we make the best decisions.

How are you able to deal with the madness and chaos that occurs daily? How do you deal with the challenges  of life? Meditation is highly misunderstood and often under-rated yet is perhaps  what it takes to be a truly sane person. How does meditation affect us? How does  it shift our priorities, enable us to make friends with ourselves, to find  answers to our questions?

Here are eight ways meditation can make your life more meaningful and  enjoyable!

1. Living With Kindness

No one deserves your kindness and compassion more than yourself. Every time you  see or feel suffering, every time you make a mistake or say something stupid and  are just about to put yourself down, every time you think of someone you are  having a hard time with, every time you encounter the confusion and difficulty  of being human, every time you see someone else struggling, upset, or irritated,  you can stop and bring loving kindness and compassion. Breathing gently,  silently repeat: May I be well, may I be happy, May I be filled with loving  kindness.

2. Lightening the Load

In a stressed state, it is easy to lose touch with inner peace, compassion  and kindness; in a relaxed state, your mind is clear and you can connect with a  deeper sense of purpose and altruism. Meditation and  medication are derived from the Latin word medicus, to care or  to cure. A time of quiet calmness is, therefore, the most effective remedy for a  busy and overworked mind. Anytime you feel stress rising, heart closing, mind going into overwhelm,  just bring your focus to your breathing and quietly repeat with each in- and  out-breath: Breathing in, I calm the body and mind; breathing out, I  smile.

3. Letting Go of Me

Stillness is always there between the thoughts, behind the story, beneath the  noise. What keeps us from experiencing our natural state of being is the  habitual and ego-dominated monkey mind. Meditation enables us to see clearly, to  witness our thoughts and behavior and reduce self-involvement. Without such a  practice of self-reflection there is no way of putting a brake on the ego’s  demands. From being self-centered, we can become other-centered, concerned about  the welfare of all.

4. Dissolving Anger and Fear

We do not accept or release our negative feelings so easily; we are more likely to repress  or disown them. But when denied they cause shame, depression, anger, and  anxiety. Meditation invites you to openly meet these places, and to see how  selfishness, aversion and ignorance create endless dramas and fears. Beneath  these is a quiet stillness where you can get to know yourself; this is a  wondrous and beautiful experience. Whether you practice for just ten minutes a  day or longer does not matter. You are releasing your limitations, while opening  to self-acceptance and awareness.

5. Awakening Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and  others. As you sit in meditation and watch your thoughts and feelings moving  through you, so you can observe that who you are now is not who you were just a  moment ago, let alone a day, a week, or a month ago. Who you, or someone else,  was when pain was caused is not who you are now. When you experience your  essential interconnectedness you see how the ignorance of this creates  separation and suffering, so that forgiveness for such ignorance arises  spontaneously.

6. Generating Harmlessness

Simply through the intent to cause less pain you can bring greater dignity to  your world, so that harm is replaced with harmlessness and disrespect with  respect. Harm is usually caused unintentionally, whether by ignoring someone’s  feelings, putting yourself down, reaffirming your hopelessness, disliking your  appearance, or seeing yourself as incompetent or unworthy. How much resentment,  guilt, or shame are you holding on to, thus perpetuating harmfulness? Meditation  enables you transform this through recognizing your essential goodness and the  preciousness of all life.

7. Appreciating Appreciation

Take a moment to appreciate the chair you are sitting on. Consider how the  chair was made: the wood, cotton, wool, or other fibers, the trees and plants  that were used, the earth that grew the trees, the sun and rain, the animals  that maybe gave their lives, the people who prepared the materials, the factory  where the chair was made, the designer and carpenter and seamstress, the shop  that sold it—all this just so you could be sitting here, now. Then extend that  deep appreciation to everything and everyone in your life.

8. Being Aware

Awareness is the key to awakening. Through awareness you can see your monkey  mind and all its mischief. Almost everything we do is to achieve something: if  we do this, then we will get that; if we do that, then this will happen. But in  meditation you do it just to do it. There is no ulterior purpose other than to  be here, in the present moment, without trying to get anywhere or achieve  anything. You are just aware of whatever is happening, whether pleasant or  unpleasant. No judgment, no right or wrong. Simply being aware. Enjoy!