I’ve benefitted greatly from enlightened meditation. Let me be honest, I don’t like meditation that much. I do force myself to meditation, but the benefits are always worth it. Stress is reduced, and there’s a general improvement in my health.
Okay. I’m saying it again, I’m not a big fan of meditation. It seems somewhat unnatural to me. This is even though I’ve studied the martial arts for over 36 years along with astounding interests in health-hacking, self-improvement, and overall enlightenment.
I understand that this paints a somewhat poor image of me as a person, but it is okay.
You see, when I meditate, I discover that my life gets better. Stress is reduced, and my general health improves. I can concentrate more on my work, and can also watch what I say. Yes! I don’t make speeches that I’ll regret later. My problems seem smaller while I see myself getting bigger. I don’t think I’m the only one experiencing this. Over the past few decades, several studies have verified the health benefits of enlightened meditation, encouraging us to meditate a few minutes every day.
- Several studies, which can be found here, here, and here have shown that enlightened meditation reduces stress, together with emotional, social, and physical benefits.
- Several studies have also shown that enlightened meditation can be used to fight depression and anxiety.
- A 2003 research showed that regular enlightened meditation served as an immune system booster.
- Meditation also helps with
pain control. These have been verified by two studies, each conducted in 2016 and 2017.
What you’ve learned so far is just a tip of the iceberg. The key point is that I’ve found that meditation is beneficial, to my health, and I’m 100% sure that you’ll also find it beneficial. We might not like it very much, but at the end of the day, it is helpful, just like being a vegetarian is.
Below, I’ll share with you what I know about enlightened meditation and how to use it to improve your life.
SITTING AROUND DOESN’T HELP
People who do not meditate imagine that it is one boring exercise. They might also imagine that it must be done in a set way and if not, then it gets boring. Well, you should note that there are several kinds of meditation available. What you should do is to find one that suits you. The following are some alternatives:
- Walking meditation: Your mind gets calm when you focus your attention on your strides. Walking in a labyrinth is a century-old technique of contemplation shared among several faiths, including Catholicism.
- Kata: This is the practice of martial arts, such as Tai chi. Tai chi and other forms of kata have such complex movements that it becomes impossible to cast your attention to other things, thus giving room for enlightened meditation.
- Mindful attention to music: Paying attention mindfully to music, especially music with no lyrics has effects that are similar to those of meditation. The sound drifts you away, away from extraneous and stray thoughts.
- Daily task meditation: This involves focusing on the process of a task, such as doing dishes, dressing up, or cooking a meal.
These are just some of the many examples. Other examples of enlightened meditation include guided relaxation, loving-kindness meditation, awareness meditation, breathing meditation, pranayama, kundalini, and zazen sitting meditation.
The point I’m trying to make is that there is a particular type of meditation that suits your tastes, needs, and outlook in general. The task lies in finding the right match.
YOUR BRAIN MIGHT PLAY YOU SOME TRICKS
A session of meditation should involve quieting of the mind, where you are focused on nothing but the actions of the meditation. Because you’re focusing on nothing other than the act of meditation, the background noise filters out and lets you rest. This explains why exercise can be meditative: at some point, all you can think of is nothing but the exercise.
Even at that, at some point, you’ll begin having distracting thoughts. This happens all the time in the beginning, but here’s what you should know: Even the masters also experience it all the time.
You can overcome these distracting thoughts not by eliminating them, but by letting them pass through your mind without you holding onto them.
During the initial stages, you’ll experience failure most of the time. You’ll be meditating for a while, and suddenly you realize you stopped somewhere along the way to think of other things.
Eventually, the frequency at which that happens will reduce, and you’ll start getting yourself distracted by getting frustrated that you have intruding thoughts. With time, you’ll be able to overcome them, so that you can continue meditating for as long as you wish to.
ENLIGHTENMENT MEDITATION NEED NOT BE VERY LONG
Stories abound of Gichin Funakoshi also known as The Father of Modern Day Karate, who meditated for a whole day while standing under a waterfall, and about retreats where people spend one whole weekend in a trance of some sort. Chances are that these stories may be true.
This doesn’t mean that you have to meditate for hours to get anything out of enlightened meditation.
In the studies highlighted above, subjects meditated for less than an hour, in some cases even less than 15 minutes, and these brief sessions caused a great improvement to emotional, physical, and psychological health.
Some experts in enlightened meditation have advised that newbies start with a minute of meditation daily. Certainly, this is not enough to reap huge benefits, but it has two major features:
- It is a stepping stone to success. Anyone can spare a minute to meditate, no matter how distractible or busy they are.
- You’ll be amazed at the difference that a minute of meditation can make in your life for the next few minutes of your life.
These two factors are very important motivators.
ANYONE CAN MEDITATE. IT ISN’T MEANT FOR A SPECIFIC GROUP OF PERSONS
The ‘hippie’ or new age reputation that meditation once had has been shed. Anyone can meditate. The following groups engage in active meditation and also encourage others to do the same:
- CEOs and entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Richard Branson
- SEAL Team Six
- Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Jackman, and other actors.
- Athletes playing in the NHL, UFC, and NFL.