by Karen Palaszek

There may be quite a few of you already meditating on a regular basis.  On the flip side, there are likely a lot more of you who aren’t.  We hear a lot about meditation as it begins to find its way into the media.  But really, what is the big deal about meditation?  It seems like such a powerless thing, just sitting there, feeling bored and doing nothing, right?  If you share this view of meditation, you are definitely not alone.  As a teacher of yoga, I am well acquainted with the concept that simply knowing that something is good for you, does not automatically mean that you will do it.  We are bombarded with so many choices, many that are very good for us, but yet we may have already established patterns that push us to choose something else counter to our best choice or knowledge.  So if I said, “Meditate because its good for you,” I would not expect my phone to explode with calls from people wanting to learn to meditate.  Even so, meditation is good for you.  Here’s why.

There have been many studies done, proving the benefits of a regular meditation practice.  It lowers blood pressure, increases gray matter in the brain, lowers stress hormones, increases digestion and helps us heal, just to name a few.  So yes.  It’s good for you in those ways.  But there are others as well.  Answer these questions.  Would you choose not to take a shower for say, a week, or a month?  How about leave the garbage in your house for a month or even a year?  Of course not, right?  But this is exactly what you do when you don’t take time to quiet the busy mind.  Quieting is actually a process of emptying the mind, allowing the millions of thoughts that we have, many of them not useful in any way, to be progressively released.  Taking the time each day to consistently slow down, observe your thoughts and release them, is incredibly powerful.  Emptying your mind is literally like washing the film of the day off your body.  Life leaves a film on all of us. If we don’t clear it, it builds up.  That film creates a momentum in our lives. Over time, those accumulations can clog our thinking processes if we aren’t actively and regularly clearing them.  We can “wash” our minds with quieting techniques, releasing the thoughts and creating “space.”

This space we make is for our deeper wisdom within to become more readily available.  This happens very naturally.  Now imagine how you could increase the capacity of your work life, or creative life by accessing clarity and intuition that becomes available to a quiet mind.  Many of you are making important, pivotal decisions every day, so increasing the power of your decisions and actions becomes paramount.  Those decisions will be well served if driven by clarity and deep wisdom.  This is the definition of working smarter not harder.  To receive these tremendous benefits, would you be wiling to slow down for a few moments everyday to empty useless thinking and create space for that powerful energy to emerge? So many great people in history have done exactly that.  That state is never something we create; it’s readily available, waiting patiently to be uncovered beneath our stressful minds, constant activities and distractions.  It just needs a little space to show itself.  It requires only the choice to move our attention inward instead of outward, with some willingness to sit tall, be silent, close the eyes and follow the breath.  No special skills are required.  In yoga, the most powerful practices are also the most subtle ones.  Your meditation seat is indeed, where you will find the silent capstone to your true power.

Always for You,