Because you are greater than you know. Meditation gradually introduces us to a hidden, deeper and remarkable part of our nature that is usually veiled by the endlessly busy mind and our immersion in the dramas of everyday life. Regaining control of the mind, learning inner stillness and silence, is the beginnings of a whole new self-discovery. We have a mind, but we are much more than mind. Our deeper spiritual nature is a source of great capacity and power.
Because you can be happier than you are today. One of the early-on benefits of meditation is a growing happiness – you’ll wonder ‘Why am I feeling so good today?’ Outer happiness is always dependent upon people and circumstance, and thus changeable; inner happiness is one of the lasting fruits of meditation, and is unaffected by outer circumstances entirely. Happiness is really an inner achievement, a rediscovering of the soul’s joy in existence itself.….
Because inner peace is your life’s most enduring treasure. Peace is another of the fruits and benefits of regular practice, like the fragrance of an inner flower. It comes in different forms – inner calm, equanimity in the face of life’s challenges, egolessness, a widening capacity for love and kindness. Peaceful people are very powerful people.
Because you’ll find your life’s deepest purpose. Every human being is unique, with different gifts and purposes – inner stillness won through meditation reconnects us with an inner wisdom, the heart’s intuitive intelligence, a clarity about our own special direction in life. Meditation is a life-navigator, shows us where to go, gives us the courage and freedom to follow our own unique path through life.
Meditation will upgrade your health! Stress, tension and negative emotions silently erode our life-force, but as we decrease these negative influences through our meditation practice, the positive health benefits become very apparent – increased vitality, a greater sense of general wellbeing, better sleep. Happiness and inner peace are powerful health factors and restoratives.
A new relationship with the world. The way we feel and function in our outer life is determined to a very great extent by our inner life – our happiness, our confidence, our moods. We often have little power to change events in the outer world, but we can change the way we react to them - our whole experience of life is colored by our own consciousness. Meditation balances the inner and outer worlds and brings out the bright colors of our nature – joyfulness, serenity, loving-kindness, strength. These emerging positive qualities reshape our very experience of life, for everything starts within.
A ripple in the pond. Our own daily meditation also has an effect upon the world, since in the vibrant web of energy everything is connected. Every thought and action spreads out into the world like a pebble tossed in to a pond. If you are able to achieve a calm and quiet mind, you will be bringing peacefulness, calmness, tolerance and beauty into the world around you. Your own deepening peace is the highest thing you can do for our troubled planet. “Be the change you want to see in the world” as Gandhi put it. This is also the teaching of quantum theory – consciousness is the ground of all being, the universe is a single conscious entity, we are its ongoing architects and creators.
The concept of soul. ‘What did your face look like before you were born?’ asks a Tibetan master of his disciple. To the mind the question is nonsensical, but not so for the instinctive intelligence of the heart. The puzzling inquiry reminds us of some essence of ourselves that is neither body nor mind, something birthless and deathless that never ceases to exist. The teachings of all the great sages and pathfinders over the centuries also share this belief in the reality of the human soul – and it is in the silence and stillness of meditation that its wisdom and guidance can most easily be felt and experienced. In everything of life – decision-making, problem solving, the search for fulfilment and happiness – our access to our intuitive, deeper Self is the key to showing us our way forward, with meditation training us to reconnect with these deeper capacities.
Making friends with the universe. We start meditation with self-effort, but over time we come to understand that all effort – like the law of attraction – seems to attract grace, as though everything needed is gifted to us by a benevolent universe. Spiritual masters call this ‘grace’. The direct experience of this can shunt years of skepticism and agnosticism to one side and open our minds to a mysterious and beautiful and responsive universe, to the idea of a creator or presiding intelligence behind the appearances of what we call reality. Here a whole new science of meditation awakens – ‘bhakti yoga’ – where the finite is now conjoined with the Infinite.
Meditation as sacred quest. From cradle-rock to last breath we live in a busy, enchanting and all absorbing world – the ability to stay in touch with our spiritual purposes, the quest for happiness and enlightenment and God-discovery, is rarely uppermost in our lives. Meditation is a reality check, reminding us of what is truly important in our lives, and equally, what is not. It lifts our lives above the everyday necessities and needs – eating, sleeping, working, surviving – and reminds us of a deeper truth and purpose, the great quest that lies at the heart of all human life, and the great happiness and liberation that will be won at the end of all striving.
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