The Benefits of Meditation
by Tomás Garza
Meditation gets a lot of press these days. You will find people reading about
it, talking about it, thinking about it, and many people practicing. It is most
definitely a “thing.” Why is it, though, and what are the benefits?
To many people, meditation seems esoteric and “out there.” Many of us
weren’t raised with it, and of course it didn’t get the coverage it does now.
The simple truth is that anyone can do it, and you don’t have to belong to a
specific spiritual tradition or religion. Anyone can meditate, from anywhere
and from any background. It is a practice that is open to all of us.
Because we live in a world of instant gratification and a society where
people like to pride themselves on being “busy” and racing around
exhausted with an impossible to-do list, we feel the need to justify our
actions and ask: “What’s in it for me? Why should I care?” It is what it
is—twenty-first century life. Let me then list several reasons why you
should care, and outline what’s in it for you if you take up the practice of
meditation. Here are a few of the benefits:
1.) Meditation creates a sense of mental calm.
What would life be like for you if you were just a little bit calmer? Please
think about this for a moment. Would you not rush to judgment as quickly?
Would you be able to focus, to better prioritize? Would you make better,
less impulsive decisions? Would you find yourself with more to give to your
family, your job, your relationships?
A simple Google search will reveal dozens of articles on the physical
benefits of meditation. In day-to-day life, people are always telling others to
“just breathe” when they are stressed. This sends oxygen to the brain.
When oxygen hits the brain, good things happen. We can literally calm
ourselves. Read some of these articles if you must; many are the result of
scientific observations. If you don’t believe me, try it: take in one deep
breath, pay attention to it, and exhale. Pay attention to that. Now, do you
feel any calmer?
2.) Our sense of calm brings calm to others.
Any type of self-care we do will have a ripple effect. Meditation is no
different; a calm person naturally exudes calm, and people feel more
relaxed around them. By contrast, a person running about in a state of
panic will share that stress with others.
What people may not realize is that we are always teaching. People are
always observing our actions, and since we’re interacting with people all
the time, what are we teaching them? Are we teaching presence of mind
and ease, or are we teaching them stress, rage, and panic? Whose
presence would you rather be in: a relaxed person’s or someone in a fit of
Meditate. Exude peace.
3) Meditation creates space.
Let me explain what I mean by this one. With a regular meditation practice,
you will find you create space for yourself. This space is mental—when
someone says something annoying to you, for example, and you would
normally tell them off, flip them off, or roll your eyes in disgust, possibly
starting a confrontation, a bit of mental space, however small, will allow you
a second or two to choose a different response. You open up space to
make better decisions. The more space you open up, the easier your
interactions with people.
The good news is that you can begin to experience all of these benefits
right away. Meditation is not the sole purview of monks and a meditation
session does not have to last three hours. The truth is a perfectly
successful meditation can be done with just one breath. It isn’t true that you
don’t have time for meditation, because I know you have the time to
Meditation at Boho Yoga
You may have seen that Boho Yoga has begun a regular meditation class
for all levels of experience. We meet every Wednesday from 12:15-1,
deliberately placed smack-dab in the middle of the workweek. We have
meditation instruction, practice, and Q&A. If you are among those who are curious what this is all about, stop by and see us, and give yourself a
much-needed gift of peace and tranquility!
Nothing exists until you experience it. Come experience some mental
peace, and see what the ripple effect is in your life!
See you next Wednesday from now until Mid October! (Don't wait! - Join Tomás Wednesday afternoons before he leaves McMinnville for 6 months to find warmer weather!)