So much mental illness can be prevented in society if more people meditated, meditation is not something that hippies do or is it for people on the fringes of society. Meditation is a natural process that provides a release valve for our emotions, an off switch for our incessant thinking and a way for our brains, to use computer jargon, to defrag. It provides a means for us to process and put down the burdens of the day, allowing us to relax and to lessen the stress of our day to day lives. It offers a means of dealing with and desensitizing past traumas and also removes the fear of the future; it gives us an understanding, through first hand experience, the functioning of life itself.
Meditation is an exercise, it is an exercise of the mind, and like any other exercise, it requires us to perform it regularly to build up our mental muscles. Meditation requires skill, just as a gymnast needs skill to walk on a beam so too a meditator develops skill to quieten their mind. When our mind is unfit and we don’t take the time to develop the skill we suffer the consequences and so does everyone else around us.
An untrained mind is one with constant thinking, one that never is quiet, one that reacts easily through emotions that lead to friction in our lives. A well trained and skilled mind thinks only when it is needed, it is not ruled by emotions, it does not experience stress, anxiety or depression. It is quiet, still and clear, capable of deep caring, compassion and joy. This is not a fantasy but a reality, one that is available to everyone, if only they did their mental housekeeping, valued their mental health.
Meditation is an exercise that can be started at a young age and be practiced for your whole life. Not only can meditation be done for your whole life but it also is one of the few things that you can do that you will get better as you get older, your skill level will improve. You life will improve, it will feel smoother, less ups and downs, you will experience more happiness, your relationships will improve as will your feeling of belonging in life itself.
What other exercise program can offer you that?
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This article was written by Stephen Procter, instructor from Tai Chi Health for Life, Australian College of Tai Chi & Qi Gong and Meditation Instructor from Meditation in the Shire, Kirrawee NSW, Australia. If you wish to post this article on another website or in a publication please respect the author and reference / link back to this website, thank you.