Meditation is a state of just being in the moment, silence, or no-thought. While one is in a meditative state, one can discover the inner guidance and discover all the answers needed in one's life. One of the reasons why meditation is helpful is that humans are constantly bombarded with sensory input and their minds are constantly thinking. One aspect common in people's daily lives is their constant inner dialogue regarding the external events. This internal dialogue usually involves the same thoughts which can inhibit peace and calmness.

meditationEvery time an individual achieves a meditative state one's world is changed. However, when one meditates regularly, one achieves a method to quiet one's mind, allowing it to become more peaceful, calm, and focused. It provides the stillness to allow one to discover who they really are and their answers for their own spiritual path.

Meditation can be practiced in many ways. The key is to find a method that works best for the individual and practice it faithfully. Concentrating on an object can induce a meditative state, such as a plant or calendar, a sound or word, or one's breath. Meditation can be guided to accomplish specific results while in the altered state of consciousness. There are many guided meditation tapes or C.D.s on the market. Some people achieve a meditative state through prayer or exercise, such as Tai Chi, running, or dancing. Some people can achieve a state of meditation through any activity or event that brings them joy or beauty, such as a sunset, a beautiful flower, the swaying of the trees, lighting, a running stream, the roar of the ocean, or watching a child or a pet. It does not matter how one achieves a meditative state. Pick a method that works for you.

The benefits of meditation occur each time one reaches a meditative state. However, if meditation becomes a routine practice in one's life, the benefits have long-term effects. The benefits that one can achieve from meditation besides the spiritual include an increased relaxation, increased awareness, increased spontaneity, and increased mental focus, clarity, peace, reduced stress, lower blood pressure, lower pulse, and decreased metabolism.

The biggest problem that one has when one starts practicing meditation is not to expect anything. By putting an expectation on what one is to experience during the mediation, the process is hampered. If one is distracted either by one's own mind or external events, gently bringing one's attention back to their focus provides the opportunity to reach the stillness of being.

Practicing meditation allows one to bring moments of "beingness" into one's daily life. By bringing a state of being into one's daily life, an individual's internal dialogue is reduced, a heightened awareness of what really is going on is experienced, and one knows what the higher course of action is at the moment. This allows individuals to live a stress free and peaceful life, centered in the NOW, and just being on one's spiritual path.

By April D. Miller