benefits of meditation

There are many advantages to meditation. Meditation is a powerful practice – whether in a spiritual or neutral context. The list here is a summery of most benefits.

There are many forms of meditation, ranging from contemplative prayer to Buddhist Zen meditation. All have their value for what they try to accomplish. The list below shows mostly positive side effects of meditation, but does not necessarily constitute the sole purpose of meditative practice. While we appreciate these benefits, the purpose of zazen (sitting meditation) is clearing the mind. Everything we do becomes meditation, i.e. Zen, and hence our Zen practice results ultimately in a peaceful, meditative lifestyle.

It needs to be emphasized that the effects of meditation will become apparent in relation to the intensity of meditation. In other words, occasional meditation can only produce relatively few of these elements, while regular meditation, especially under the guidance of a teacher (Zen master), will produce most if not all of these benefits.

I. Physiological benefits

1 – lowers oxygen consumption decreases respiratory rate

2 – increases blood flow and slows the heart rate

3 – increases exercise tolerance

4 – leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation

5 – good for people with high blood pressure

6 – reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate

7 – decreases muscle tension

8 – helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.

9 – reduces pre-menstrual symptoms

10 – helps in post-operative healing

11 – decreases respiratory rate.

12 – enhances the immune system

13 – reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress

14 – enhances energy, strength and vigor

15 – helps with weight loss

16 – reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage

17 – higher skin resistance

18 – drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease

19 – improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing

20 – decreases the aging process

21 – higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

22 – prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases

23 – makes you sweat less

24 – may help in curing headaches & migraines

25 – greater orderliness of brain functioning

26 – reduced need for medical care

27 – less energy wasted

28 – more inclined to sports, activities

29 – significant relief from asthma

30 – improved performance in athletic events

31 – normalizes to your ideal weight

32 – harmonizes our endocrine system

33 – relaxes our nervous system

34 – produces lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity

35 – may help in curing infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).

II. Psychological benefits

36 – builds self-confidence

37 – increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour

38 – resolves phobias and fears

39 – helps control own thoughts

40 – helps with focus and concentration

41 – increases creativity

42 – increased brain wave coherence

43 – improved learning ability and memory

44 – increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation

45 – increased emotional stability

46 – improved relationships

47 – mind ages at slower rate

48 – easier to remove bad habits

49 – develops intuition



50 – increased Productivity

51 – improved relations at home and at work

52 – ability to see the larger picture in a given situation

53 – helps ignore petty issues

54 – increased ability to solve complex problems

55 – purifies your character

56 – develops will power

57 – greater communication between the two brain hemispheres

58 – react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event

59 – increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance

60 – higher intelligence growth rate

61 – increased job satisfaction

62 – increases the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones

63 – decreases the potential for mental illness

64 – more sociable behavior

65 – less aggressiveness

66 – helps in smoking cessation and alcohol addiction

67 – reduces the need and dependency on drugs, pills and pharmaceuticals

68 – less need of sleep to recover from sleep deprivation

69 – requires less time to fall asleep, helps to cure insomnia

70 – increases sense of responsibility

71 – reduces road rage

72 – decrease in restless thinking

73 – decreased tendency to worry

74 – increases listening skills and empathy

75 – helps to make more accurate judgments

76 – greater tolerance

77 – gives composure to act in considered and constructive ways

78 – grows a stable, more balanced personality

79 – develops emotional maturity

III. Spiritual benefits

80 – helps to keep things in perspective

81 – provides peace of mind, happiness

82 – helps to discover your purpose

83 – increased self-actualization

84 – increased compassion

85 – spiritual growth

86 – deeper understanding of yourself and others

87 – brings body, mind, spirit in harmony

88 – deeper level of spiritual relaxation

89 – increased acceptance of oneself

90 – helps to learn forgiveness

91 – changes attitude toward life

92 – creates a deeper relationship with your higher power or deity

93 – attains enlightenment

94 – greater inner-directedness

95 – helps living in the present moment

96 – creates a widening, deepening capacity for love

97 – discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego

98 – experience an inner sense of assurance

99 – experience a sense of oneness

100 – increases the synchronicity in one’s life

Meditation is completely free. It requires no special equipment, and is not complicated to learn. It can be practiced anywhere, at any given moment, and it is not time consuming (15-20 minutes per day is recommended). Best of all, meditation has no negative side effects, whatsoever. There is nothing but positive to be gained from it. With such a huge list of benefits, the question to ask yourself is, “Why am I not meditating yet?”

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