We piece together the narrative of our lives from each momentary thought and emotion. However, we spend most of our life immersed in past memories and future hopes. We do not spend nearly enough time in the present moment. This is really sad, and a real shame because the present moment is all we have.
Meditation is an effective practice that we can use to bring our mind back to the present moment, to focus on who we are as an individual, and to determine our true needs and desires.
Finding Our True Self
We commonly define ourselves by the role(s) we serve in life. For example, we are daughters, sons, moms, dads, sisters, or friends. Many also define themselves as their job title.
Is this truly who we really are inside? Yes and no. These roles are a part of who we are, but there are much deeper layers to our true inner selves, and unfortunately, the majority of the world’s population will never get in touch with who they really are.
There is a saying attributed to Socrates, “an unexamined life is not worth living,” which touches on this malady of the human race. Most of us spend our lives running from one chore to another, suffering pain and distress as we jump from one unfulfilling relationship to the other, not understanding why behave in certain ways, letting life pass us by without truly experiencing it and not being aware of our true needs and desires.
A time will come when the roles that we identify as being our true ultimate selves no longer bring us satisfaction. Because we have tied our identity so strongly to these roles, even based our self-esteem on them, we will experience a deep feeling of desolation and loss when the satisfaction fades.
Meditation is the Answer
Luckily, we can avoid these feelings of desolation by maintaining an unbreakable tie to our true selves through meditation. By making time to eliminate the burdensome stress, tension, and confusion that plagues us, and by attaining peace and calm, we can get in touch with who we really are, and gain a higher level of consciousness.
Meditation is a tool that enables us to find our true identity within our own being, so that our identity is not based on any type of role but rather on our own source. In doing so, we understand that our thoughts and feelings do not constitute our being. Rather, we are the one above and beyond those thoughts; we are the one who thinks them.
Once we understand this, we come to realize that many options are at our fingertips. We come to find our true selves. Meditation leads to this type of enlightenment, enlightenment that provides peace, understanding, and joy within our soul.
Through the quitting of the mind, comes enlightenment and with it a deep seeded satisfaction with just being. Moreover, through the calming of the mind that is achieved through meditation, we find peace in life.
When we are in touch with our true and inner selves, we can then appreciate the present moment as we truly feel our real emotions.
Health and Meditation
The health benefits of meditation are plentiful:
- Less Incidence of Depression and Anxiety
- Lower Blood Pressure and Hypertension
- Heart Health and Lower Cholesterol Levels
- Stronger Immunity
- Improved Focus, Concentration and Memory
- Reduced Production Of Cortisol and Adrenaline, Both Harmful Stress Hormones
- Healthier Aging
Many believe that the greatest gift offered by meditation is the feelings of calm and inner peace that it brings us and which serves us in our everyday lives. Reflection in the stillness and quite of the mind, allows us to push away a noisy and confusing world, and focus only on ourselves.
The Here and Now
The first thing you need to remember about getting in touch with your needs and desires is that the amount of time and energy that you spend dwelling on the past and the future is what causes a lot of the stress you feel day to day.
Each of us is an assortment of nerves and triggers that are set off by things that happen in our lives. These things are often just the ebbs and flows of everyday life, but sometimes the stress, discouragement, and pressure can be crushing.
When you focus more on the present moment, a skill gained through the practice of meditation, you will be better able to shrug off the everyday stressors. You will also find immense fulfillment, as you perceive life as your real self and make choices based on your true self.
Committing to Meditation
Meditation involves stillness. It involves calming the body and mind; in essence, ceasing thought. This is not as easy as it sounds.
People often complain that they fall asleep while trying to meditate, that they are not making progress, or that they don’t understand how to stop the thoughts in their mind. This is why instructors are so important, especially for beginners.
Instructors not only teach us how to properly perform meditation, but they can also provide advice based on our unique struggles. The best way to find instruction is to sign up for a local, guided class. If this is too expensive or unavailable in your area, then you can also find classes online, which are either live or recorded. With recorded classes, you will not receive tailored instruction, but you could always browse through online forums to find information about your questions and struggles.
Those who take time to meditate and make it a regular practice benefit immensely from it by enjoying long-term health benefits and enlightenment. They are in tune with themselves and their surroundings and their needs and desires.
Just remember that your health and wellness is important, and when you are well, your life is well, so always make the time to take care of yourself and start today with a meditation program that will bring you to new heights of self-fulfillment.