Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thoughts on Meditation

Someone who read my blog asked me a question about meditation. I think I'll use today's blog to give some of my thoughts on this subject. First of all, from my experience, meditation is very useful. I believe meditation saved my life.

I was in a car accident. A volkwagon bug I was driving was broadsided, although it probably was my fault since I pulled out into a four lane highway without paying full attention. Unfortunately, meditation didn't help my driving. I have a vague recollection of being in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. What I remember is that I was repeating my mantra while I was unconscious. After surgery, that removed my spleen, the doctor visited me in the intensive care unit to see how I was doing. He told me that I was very lucky. It seems that I had not lost as much blood as the degree of my injury would have indicated.

Meditation slows down your heart rate, breathing, and blood flow. I believe that after I had been hit I automatically slipped into my meditation mode. I think that this helped reduce my blood loss and saved my life. I really believe it. Why would I have automatically started meditating at this crucial moment? Maybe some self-preservation instinct kicked in. I'm not positive, but I always was thankful that I had been meditating at this time in my life.

There are definite scientifically proven physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits from meditation. Plus, when you meditate you begin to actually experience a state of being that is a doorway towards a new level of consciousness. What was once theoretical and a topic for discussion becomes tangible. There is a big difference between reading, studying, and talking about spiritual work and doing it.

I meditated twice a day for twenty minutes for ten years. I hardly missed a day. It drove my wife crazy because no matter where I was or what I was doing I would take time out to meditate. This is the most important part of meditation, the discipline to do it for an extended period of time.

Meditation is not complicated. There is nothing especially difficult about doing it one time. It is difficult to do it conscientiously every day for years and years. There are those who make it sound like it is an inaccessible practice available for the holy of the holy. This is not true. Anyone can learn to meditate in five minutes.

There are different forms of meditation. If you are serious about learning meditation, I would recommend learning Transcendental Meditation. This is very simple and easily accessible. All the religious accoutrements that may be attached to it are irrelevant. Matter of fact, check out to get the basic principles of TM.

Other good sources for learning about meditation are anything by Joel Goldsmith, especially "The Art of Meditation" and the "The Infinite Way." Chapter two in "Kaballah and Jewish Mysticism" by Perle Besserman may also be helpful.

I have taught the basic principles of meditation to many people throughout my life.
The only one who actually used them was my father who is an atheist and doesn't beliieve in anything mystical. Meditation is not a serious thing. It is not a heavy thing meant for those who are spiritual or religious. It is a practical tool for those who want to enjoy life, have more energy, like to travel (to different physical and mental places), and are willing to put some effort into self development. I would recommend it highly.

1 comment:

  1. thanks. merri and i are looking for places to spend a silent retreat. so far we have a beat on a place up in canada that teaches TM. we'll see.