There are many reasons why people take up meditation. Most do so for the immediate, short, and medium-term benefits they receive from practicing. These may include stress reduction, pain management, an improved ability to focus, or just some time out from their hectic lives.
However, it’s got to be said that the best benefit of meditation is a longer-term benefit that most westerners don’t seriously consider when they take up a meditation practice.
Nevertheless, this benefit is the reason why many people join any one of many diverse spiritual traditions…. that is, they seek to become liberated or freed from their suffering by attaining a state of enlightenment.
There’s not really one word that can sum this process up for everyone but if pressed, I would label this as the pursuit of ‘self-realization.’
What Is The Best Benefit Of Meditation?
The best benefit of meditation is to come to the realization of ‘that which we are.’ What we are is something profoundly more almighty than this collection of body cells, thoughts, beliefs, and memories. What we are is that which existed prior to this recent formation of our bodies and minds. And those who seek this understanding use meditation as a tool to help discover this essential true nature.
What Is Self-Realization?
By definition, our ego identity severely limits our perception of ‘SELF’ and the world in which we exist. Our ego attempts to ensure that we behave and interact in ways that are compatible with our core programming, therefore making us predictable and constrained.
And yet, our ego is nothing more than a collection of beliefs we have formed based on our particular experiences throughout our lives. It is unique to us and creates and tries to maintain our personality, and it doesn’t like change!
However, change is necessary for growth and development to occur and it is inevitable. This means that who we are today is different from who we were ten, or even two, years ago.
Therefore, we can say that we are forever an ‘evolving being.’ We change, grow, adapt, and redefine (even in small ways) what we like and don’t like daily. And this means that our body and mind are never complete, never absolute.
However, there is an aspect of us that is absolute, that is complete. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) it is beyond the comprehension of our limited consciousness. And it is this greater ‘awareness’ that is the ultimate goal that some meditators seek to discover…… the main prize, so to speak.
…… it is the overseer of all our experiences….. it is the one that understands everything we want, knows where it is, and can lead us on the path of least resistance to attain all our goals and dreams.
And the best benefits of meditation are the ones that allow us glimpses of this greater consciousness, and the ones that allow us access to this source of infinite intelligence, wisdom, bliss, and freedom. The best benefits of meditation allow us to begin to realize our true liberated SELF.
Why Would Anyone Want To Pursue Self-Realization Or Enlightenment?
We have been conditioned/programmed to focus our attention on a very narrow band of experience. We look outwards to our environment of things, circumstances, and events for stimulation. And we translate the stimuli within our inner environment of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We then interpret, label, and judge all that we experience. And this is the basis of all our suffering.
This is just the way things are when you play the game of life. We ‘act’ out our lives believing we are an individual, and we play in ways to try to make our individual experiences as pleasant as possible. And in doing so, we get so caught up in our ego identity that we forget we are a part of something much greater.
The constant contrast, noise, and distractions of the outer world of experience combined with the confusion, doubt, and fear from our inner world can leave us feeling lost, alone, and unfulfilled.
Meditation and mindfulness are practices that help us reconnect to the greater aspect of ourselves….. They are tools that train our minds to experience the more subtle ‘higher vibrations’ that are available to us. And then we have options to act upon these new sources of information…. (all vibrations are energy which is information.)
These higher vibrations equate to better experiences, to attaining our goals and dreams, to living this life, here and now, in more satisfying and fulfilling ways….. and we can use meditation and mindfulness as tools that help point us to a better and better life experience that eventually takes us home (to a realized-self, or enlightened being.)
The way home is to wake up from the game of life…. it is to transcend our unfocused minds so we no longer identify with our fears, doubts, worries, and concerns. And by doing so, we rise above our suffering and instead embrace a state of overall well-being, bliss, and union with the divine.
And why would anyone want to do this????? Because the journey towards becoming Healthy Wealthy Happy and Wise feels great! And….. there is nothing more important than the way we feel!
How Do We Go About Achieving The Best Benefits Of Meditation?
Meditation is a tool we use that progressively helps us achieve states of higher consciousness. And meditating well is a process we develop and refine with time.
And with time, you will discover that you are less attached to the sensual ‘cravings’ stimulated by your ego. Cravings, desires, fears, judgments, doubts, etc. keep you locked in repeating patterns of thoughts and actions that keep you separated from your diving nature.
However, with continued practice, our minds will transform to be able to perceive more and higher vibrations that are always present and available for us to experience. And each higher vibration we perceive makes our lives a little better.
The process is one of opening up to finer and finer levels of thinking until we attain a state where we become (realize that we are) the witnessing consciousness that is observing the manifestation of thoughts, and therefore, the way our mind is working.
This allows us control of our thinking process instead of being a slave to our conditioned programming. And once we gain control of our minds, we can direct them to create the better lives we desire.
How?….. we direct our thoughts to live lives of fun, joy, bliss, abundance, and love.
Why?….. Thoughts create reality through The Law of Attraction! You get what you most often think about because your thoughts are responsible for your feelings…. And your feelings ‘vibrate’ your desires to the Universal Mind which gives you events, circumstances, and people back to your life to match your vibrations (feelings.)
Therefore, direct the power of your thoughts ONLY towards what you are wanting to manifest in your life!
We Are All Actors In Life. So Why Not Act In Ways That Truly Benefit You?
We are here, and the time is now…. You can’t escape the fact that you are alive in your body and that you have a mind. And so…. now, from this moment on, you have choices about the type of experience you can have.
The first choice is not to make any conscious choices at all. This simply means just live your life on autopilot ‘reacting’ to things, events, circumstances, and people in ways that adhere to your current ego, your existing programming… (which, by the way, you did not consciously choose.) Most of us have been programmed with some pretty crap information which currently causes us to behave in some ways that do not align with our higher goals for a better life!
A better choice is to wake the hell up, accept a greater degree of responsibility for your life, and use your powerful mind to guide your experience in ways so you achieve your goals and dreams for a bloody great life!
What am I talking about?
We are alive… therefore we have no choice but to think and act….. This may mean that we sit on the couch all day, eat junk food that destroys our bodies and minds, and watch mind-numbing crap on TV all day, every day…. Yes, this is a valid life experience, but hardly a very enlightened one!
Isn’t it far wiser to begin thinking and acting in ways that enhance your experience more often?
Why? Because what you do consistently determines the quality of your experience…. Consistent focus on personal growth and development
will lead you to achieve your goals and have a great life…. and isn’t this what you want??????
…. Isn’t this what the journey of life is all about…. learning about what you want and then learning how to achieve it? YES, IT IS!
If you begin doing this, you, your family, friends, coworkers, community, and the whole world will benefit from the higher vibrations that you attain….
And if you want to know which meditation is the best to do…. according to one great master, ‘It is the one that you do!’
So just do it, either for stress relief or for self-realization…. In the end, there is no distinction….. it’s all just part of the diversity that is what we wanted to experience when we chose to play the game of life!