I was inspired to write a piece about the benefits of meditation after the conversation I had with my partner this morning. I have been doing meditations for almost a year now; not every day but I do it many times a week. Aside from that, I have been spending most of my time alone since I began my business. If I am not meditating, I would still do other activities similar to it like drawing, painting, reflective writing or just being on my own.
When I was just starting to meditate, I would just do it mainly to give myself a break from ruminating. Eventually I discovered other very practical uses of meditation. Now I would meditate to:
1. Identify who I really am among the sea of many overlapping identities.
We don’t actually need to meditate to know who we are and to be more capable of identifying our thoughts and feelings. If we spend enough time alone we would also be able to do it. However, meditation provides us a formal and defined space where we could meet our own spirit. By allotting a specific time to do it, we are giving this meeting more value and meaning which in turn would bless us with more surprising, profound and lasting benefits.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the waves of opposing energy around us everyday. We may end up mistaking somebody else’s opinions and emotions as ours which could lead to devastating outcomes. It’s highly important to be sure that we basing our behavior and decisions on our own thoughts and feelings for the obvious reason that following our truth would always lead us to clarity, growth, peace, health and joy. Only we know what is good for us. We should regularly go back to what I call our “baseline emotions” to find what’s real. We’re always clouded with layers of emotions and energy but we can train ourselves to dive to the bottom to access the ground of who we are and what’s really going on.
Likewise, if we are able to clearly and immediately identify our own opinions and emotions, we would be able to respond more and react less to situations and people. Response comes from our higher self. It speaks our truth and it’s always rooting for our own best interests.
2. Gain more clarity about an issue that’s been bothering me.
Most of the time, when we’re stuck in an issue, thinking more doesn’t really take us to any positive or productive place. It only multiplies our anxiety. When we’re only using our logic, we will just create an endless loop for our minds to go around with. Meditation is key because it stops our spiraling thoughts.
Getting to the bottom of an issue and trying to solve a problem do not only require logic but creativity and intuition.
Intuition is simply our ability to remember patterns in our experiences and use this memory to scan and assess emerging situations.
We do this without consciously thinking that we’re doing it and we do it in a speed that is much faster than logical thinking, which is basically, just connecting one thing to the other. Intuition is like the quantum computer of our brains.
Intuition and creativity at partners in crime. We need to get out of the limited space of our logical brain to move forward. As the popular saying goes, we cannot find the solutions if we keep within the boundaries of the problem, by thinking on the level of the problem.
Meditation gives way for us to find creative solutions within ourselves based on what our intuition is telling us. It’s so beautiful to see how our intuition can come up with the simplest and most profound ideas and solutions. We only have to give enough space for them to surface.
3. Make decisions.
This is in direct relation to the previous point mentioned. Using meditation before making an important decision is different from logical thinking. When we use our logic to decide, what we usually do is list down the pros and cons and investigate the possibilities using logical, physical laws of this material world. We assess what’s positive and negative, what’s possible and not through what already worked for us and for those that we wanna use as samples (people we thought of as having had similar experiences). We’re also usually guided by our ideas of what we can gain or lose by committing to a particular choice.
With meditation, however, we don’t set out to classify anything. We use a blank document instead of columns. We’re mostly doing automatic drawing and we’re not trying to give birth to an already existing image in our head. For me and for those who meditate, this works because meditation gives us a space to be creative. It’s what playtime also does for us. It enables us to perceive ourselves in relation to the world around us in fresh ways. It also gives us the chance to come up with decisions that come from our truths and not based on what other people said to be true, possible and good.
I’m not saying, though, that logical thinking is totally pointless. It’s so useful and sensible in many other ways, too. All I’m saying, based on my experiences, is that it is simply limited and I don’t think it’s the best approach to use especially when we need to make a choice that could change our lives.
4. Become healthier.
I also meditate to communicate with my body. I learned how to listen to my body when my asthma suddenly resurfaced after almost two decades of not having a single attack. Since then I learned how to use my body as a measurement device; a way to sense if something or someone is good for me or not. My body also served as my compass. It lets me know if I’m on the right path to health and joy.
I am a believer of the emotional and psychological causes of illnesses. I believe that lifestyle as an important factor for our overall health doesn’t only include food and activities. Whenever I feel sick or have suddenly discovered a condition through laboratory tests, aside from following the doctors’ advise, I would always meditate and listen to what my body wants to tell me.
My body gives me advice not simply related to food, exercise, sleep and the likes. It actually gives me all the prescriptions that doctors won’t usually (or maybe never) give.
It gives me emotional and spiritual diagnoses and consequent advise as to what I should do to help myself and improve my condition. My body gets to the root of things and things the overall, bigger picture including all the nuances.
5. Get more creative ideas for my art and business.
This one is so cool. I actually got the idea for my business logo from one of the meditations that I did. This is one of the examples on how our own truths intermingle with what we actually, practically do. Because my art and business is not in conflict with my own spiritual truths, the ideas I get from my meditations also directly benefit them.
In connection with these, I also use meditation to play and just let all the possible worlds and beings come to life. These enables me to be in that constant state of curiosity and wonder; states that are very important for artists and entrepreneurs like me.
Manifesting as a defined and targeted activity has become quite popular in mainstream culture. I’m not gonna repeat what others have said and explain what it is.
Meditation is important for me when it comes to manifesting because it clarifies my head and opens the door for my heart/spirit to enter.
Of course I don’t want to just manifest anything; let’s say, what society tells me are important, or what my family and peers want to manifest in their own lives. I want to manifest what I truly, deeply want and meditation enables me to gain access to my own truths.
Furthermore, meditation offers me the space to teach myself how to focus. Focus is key in manifesting anything. Through our ability to focus we are able to keep ourselves within our path and make decisions that would support our journey.
7. Understand somebody else’s thoughts, feelings, situation and intentions better.
It’s basically a visualization activity. I find it quite easy to do perhaps because I’m both a poet and a visual artist. I’m not always able to visualize myself and the other persons as humans, though. Just like in poems, the symbols that could best explain the thoughts and emotions would be those that would appear. I see them as metaphors and I let them express themselves speaking and behaving in their respective characters. I understand the situation better by weaving all the nuances.
I get instant results after doing this meditation. Sometimes the other person would communicate with me out of the blue (and that person usually doesn’t or we haven’t been in contact in a long while) or I would modify my behavior in accordance to what I got out of the meditation and I would receive positive feedback from the other person.
8. Send telepathic messages to someone.
This goes well together with the previous one. The feedback is sometimes instant and sometimes gradual and varied. However, I can only do this with people I have strong emotional connection with for the simple reason that they’re the ones who are the most open to me.
9. Make myself spiritually stronger.
Aside from the previous benefits of meditation that I’ve mentioned which all lead to strengthening one’s character, meditation is so key in cultivating our spiritual muscles simply because stillness gives birth to personal power. It is through silence that we find our own light, our own heart beat, our own core.
When we spend enough time alone in silence, we are able to discipline our impulses and cyclical thoughts. We learn how to be in control of our moods instead of being controlled by them. We learn how to rule our mind and not let it rule us.
We learn to access who we really are – an eternal spirit living temporarily in a human body. We’re able to perceive reality beyond the facade. We confront our human fears and excesses. We learn how to harness our own power for our own good and the good of others.
10. Cultivate faith within myself and with the forces bigger than me.
The surface of reality presents us with a disconnected picture of all that is. We could feel different, isolated, misunderstood and alone. We could even feel like the world is against us. However, when we go deep into meditation, we would reach that level of affinity with everyone and everything. Underneath it all, there is just that rhythm, that harmony, that sea of eternal warmth and certainty that we can perhaps call, Love/God/Source or anything that represents something that encompasses us all and never leaves us.
When we meditate, we become more sensitive to the unseen forces around us. We notice how common miracles are. It’s something that we experience individually and we know to be true. Meditation gives us the space to connect to The Source that is both inside and outside us. It’s similar to prayer in a sense that we’re establishing a direct line with a higher power. But it’s also different with prayer because meditation is not so much about asking and wanting but more about allowing and receiving. I am Source/Love/God and Source/Love/God is inside me. Therefore by trusting my own higher self, my own inner voice, I am communicating with Source/Love/God as well and Source/Love/God will best communicate only through me.