How these “secret” effects of Meditation can transform your life
You probably have already heard about the many benefits of Meditation. Most of them almost instantaneous: relaxation, stress relief, serenity, strengthening the immune system, creating grey matter… All these are amazing effects, but there are even more and even better ones, some could say “secret” ones, that are not so well known, and that can transform your life.
Let’s take a look at 5 effects of Meditation that are not so recognised in the public eye:
1. Creating a new template
When we sit to observe our breath, we will also start to observe our thoughts. Already the fact of observing our thoughts creates a new template for the individual of how to relate to thoughts. Meaning, we are no longer stuck to our thoughts and at their mercy, we are learning to develop a new relationship with them: that of observing. Serene observing. To witness without judgement. It sets a template to help us learn to respond instead of to react.
This way the thoughts have less power over us. This may seem like a minor point but it is ground-breaking for our system. Many people think their meditation is not working because they observe too many thoughts. In reality, it means they are gaining awareness over what is happening in their mind, and this can be a bit overwhelming at first. The key is to continue. The only way to really create a new template, a real new habit, is to practice. Habit is created by repetition. That is why regular practice is essential.
2. Gaining insight
Another effect that is not understood is the fact that we are gaining insight when we meditate. The mind, as amazing as it is, has its limitations. We cannot understand the profound truths and meaning of life with the mind.
The definition of insight is: “the capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of something”. What we are observing in meditation is what is happening in the present moment. In other words, what is happening in reality. Therefore, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the nature of reality.
3. Elevating the level of consciousness
What we are training when we are meditating is to transcend the mind. If we are transcending the mind, what are we moving into then? It’s into consciousness. We are raising our awareness.
As we observe our thoughts, day by day, we become more aware of how the mind works, of its content and of ourselves. We become more familiar with being in a state of consciousness and less identified with our thoughts. We learn more about ourselves and this develops self-confidence.
Furthermore, when we are conscious, we are at peace. It is not possible to be conscious and worried at the same time.
4. Experiencing Causeless Love
This may seem like an airy-fairy, unrealistic statement. How can it be possible to experience Love “just” by meditating?
First it is important to realise that Love can be a state. It is not a feeling created by an external cause (another person), and therefore unstable and co-dependant. How can we access that state? It’s what is left when the mind has been quietened.
5. Developing intuition
As we tune into a new way of relating to our mind, as object rather than subject, we start to transcend the intellect and move into the realm of intuition. Consciousness acts by intuition.
Why do people take “wrong” decisions? Many times it’s because they are taken solely by the mind. Most of us believe that a decision can be taken either by the mind or by the heart (equated to emotions here). Therefore we are either rational or emotional. There is a third way: intuition. Have you ever had that sensation that you “just know” what to do? It is so clear and there is no room for doubt. Intuition is Wisdom and it is a precious thing to develop.
I encourage you to not take my word for any of this, and to try it for yourself.
What is the catch? Why doesn’t everybody know this and experience this? Part of the answer: it requires patience and practice. Two things which are not valued in our current fast paced society. Two things though, that can transform you.
Start with 5-10 minutes. Practice, have patience, and watch what happens. Apart from having the known beneficial immediate effects, you will be investing in long term, long lasting treasures.