Meditation: Importance of Meditation
1.0 What is meditation?
The basic idea associated with why people meditate is that during our day it constantly subjected us to sensory input and our minds are always active in thinking. We read the newspaper, study books, write reports, engage in conversation, solve problems, etc. Typically, as we do these normal activities, we engage in a constant mental commentary, sort of inner “The Drama of Me.”
Usually, people aren’t fully aware of all the mental thought activities that we are constantly engaged in. Meditation allows all this activity to settle down and often results in the mind becoming more peaceful, calm, and focused. Meditation allows the awareness to become ‘rejuvenated’.
Meditation can be considered a technique, or practice. It usually involves concentrating on an object, such as a flower, a candle, a sound or word, or a breath. Over time, the number of random thoughts occurring diminishes.
More importantly, your attachment to these thoughts and your identification with them progressively become less. The meditator may get caught up in a thought pattern, but once he/she becomes aware of this, attention is gently brought back to the object of concentration.
Meditation can also be objectless, for example, consisting of just sitting. Experiences during meditation probably vary significantly from one individual to another, or at least if different techniques are involved. Relaxation, increased awareness, mental focus, and clarity, and a sense of peace is the most common by-products of meditation. While much has been written about the benefits of meditation, the best attitude is not to have any expectations when practicing. Having a sense of expectation of (positive)results is likely to create unnecessary strain in the practice. As well, since meditation involves becoming more aware and more sensitive to what is within you, facing unpleasant parts of oneself may well be part of meditation.
Regardless of the experience, the meditator should try to be aware of the experience and of any attachment to it. Failure to experience silence, peace of mind, mental clarity, bliss, or other promoted benefit of meditation is not a sign of incorrect practice or that one can’t concentrate properly or concentrate enough to be good at meditation. Whether one experiences peace or bliss is not what is important.