There are many reasons why you should practice meditation every day: meditation can relax your body and mind, as well as enhance your spiritual connection. But, perhaps, the most important reason is that you can use meditation to change your perspectives—or rather, to see things as they really are.
Here is the explanation:
The human mind—the consciousness of the brain—has two components: the conscious mind, and the subconscious mind. All your experiences and your perceptions of what happens in your life impacted by your five senses are stored in both your conscious mind and subconscious mind. But there is a big difference in how the conscious mind and the subconscious mind may affect you positively or negatively.
Your conscious mind filters all your thoughts—what you think is appropriate or relevant for your mental storage. In other words, your conscious mind consciously chooses what it wants to remember. Your subconscious mind, on the other hand, simply absorbs all your mental perceptions and reactions to all your experiences; it does not have the power to reason or to analyze any mental input. That is to say, it may not be able to tell the myths from the truths, or half-truths from the whole truths. Yet, it is your subconscious mind that controls your whole being, because your subconscious mind dominates your conscious mind.
What has the subconsciousness to do with meditation?
In meditation, you enter the subconscious mind, and give yourself an opportunity to rummage all your thoughts absorbed and stored in the conscious mind, and to validate them. In meditation, you still your distracted mind, riddled with thoughts of the past and the future by focusing your mind on awareness—mindfulness of what is happening around you, such as your breathing, your bodily sensations, and your thoughts. Meditation is all about re-focusing the mind on what is important and discarding what is irrelevant or insignificant in the subconscious mind. In other words, meditation helps you see things in perspective.
In meditation, you find the quiet or stillness between sounds and thoughts and experiences. It is this underlying quietness—so quiet that you can almost hear it—that forms a link between you and your sensations and thoughts.
In addition to sitting still to meditate, you can also learn how to apply meditation in almost anything you do in life. To illustrate, you can meditate while you are walking, instead of listening to the radio or your CD. This is how you can meditate while you are doing your daily walk:
- As you begin walking, let go of the outside world.
- Focus on your breathing: listen to the relaxed sound of your breathing in and breathing out.
- Make you walk slow and purposeful. As you walk, observe each step that you are making. Notice the physical sensation of your feet, as well as the way your arms are swinging back and forth, brushing against your body.
- If distracting thoughts come, do not deliberately dismiss them; instead, re-focus your awareness on your breathing and physical sensations. Continue to walk.
In this way, you can turn almost any everyday activity into meditative nature to enhance your awareness and clarity of mind, which can be life-transforming in that it changes your perspectives about almost anything that happens to you. Your senses will come to life; you will see how things change from moment to moment, so you have a better understanding of what is important and what is “real” in your life; you will also find it easier to let go of things you found difficult to let go in the past.
Yes, meditation is life-changing in that it changes your perspectives of how you view your life and what is happening to and around your life.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau