(reprinted from The Huffington Post)
Meditation is everywhere. Angelina Jolie meditates. Ellen DeGeneres meditates. Sting meditates. Dr. Oz meditates! Oprah and Deepak Chopra present live webcasts to more than half a million people from around the world in their 21-day meditation challenges. Even Clint Eastwood meditates!
In America, more than ten million adults have a daily meditation practice, and those are just the ones that participated in the poll. Meanwhile, many more of us are quietly meditating in our homes and offices.
Furthermore, scientific studies are showing, by testing yogis, meditators, and mystics of every kind, what has been long been known: meditation really works. It strengthens the immune system, lessens the effects of depression, and lowers blood pressure, just to name a few benefits. Meditating even improves the way we age.
Meditation is being used in every kind of setting, from hospitals to prisons. It is being used to help alleviate the effects of stress and chronic pain. Meditation is even being used to help people through the process of dying. Schools are using meditation to assist children with hyperactivity and keep them off drugs. It is being used worldwide by groups numbering in the millions to purposefully raise humanity’s consciousness to a new level. Meditation is sweeping the Western world!
So what is meditation?
Most of us imagine someone sitting cross-legged on a mountaintop in India. But for most, meditation doesn’t fit this stereotypical image. It is rather a simple daily practice, done at home sitting on the couch, or at the office on lunch break. We do it to keep our balance, to find our center, and to stay present – even when things are difficult – especially when things are difficult.
Life can be so overwhelming. We can get distracted, distraught, confused and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of life. We are bombarded with information and stimulation. There’s so much to do. We are trying so hard to make money, raise kids, to be a good person. We get over-stimulated, over-amped, and finally overwhelmed.
There’s never been a time in history where ADHD and all kinds of other nervous disorders and immune system diseases have been more rampant. We eat too much; we work too hard. We swing from gung-ho exercise programs and massive dieting, to total lethargy and Big Macs. We are a bi-polar nation. We are desperately looking for meaning and simplicity.
We are looking for a way to get back to ourselves – to that part of us that is sacred . . . and it’s been right there all along.
Meditation reconnects us to that simplicity and meaning. It awakens that part of ourselves that is always already connected. When we meditate we have the actual experience of inner peace and a deep inner calm. It’s like the feeling after having returned from a long vacation; you return rested with a greater sense of well-being, but also a broader perspective of your life, and for a while we have a whole new outlook. With a meditation practice, you can have that experience every day.
People by the thousands are turning to meditation every single day, because we’re just plain overwhelmed. We’re stressed out and pissed off. We feel powerless, worried, unworthy, or worse, apathetic. All of these states are conditions of being disconnected – which creates pain. We are in pain because we are disconnected.
Meditation helps us to reconnect to our higher knowing. And the really good news is that it’s easy. It’s simple to do and as normal as breathing. Meditation gives you back your most true and authentic self. When we meditate we begin to feel more and more calm, more sure, and guided in every moment. Meditation takes you where you are, accepts you, and gently, lovingly, and in perfect timing, takes you back to yourself.
So, don’t be surprised if you find out your accountant meditates or your next door neighbor does. Wouldn’t you love to know that the nurse that is caring for you meditates? Or your lawyer? The more conscious we all are, the better this world will become. Where there is consciousness, there is compassion.
Meditation is a return to love. It is a return to your deepest inner knowing and that place within yourself you have always been seeking. Meditation literally makes your world a better place, and therefor, this world a better place.
Meditation will take you home. It creates a clear path to real peace and happiness. The place to start is exactly where you are, and the time is now.
Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of
OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com