Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Benefits of Meditation

My post today is inspired by the presentation given by the Gandhi group, the Gandhi chapter in “Creating Minds,” by Howard Gardner, and the class lecture that took place this evening.
More specifically, I would like to focus on the role that meditation has on an individual. For Gandhi, meditation was a vehicle to ground himself.
Growing up, my father went through a yoga phase and although it was a phase for him, for me it became a weekly practice.
I believe that in this day and age it is hard to focus on the present. Everyone has something going on that pulls their focus away from the present, into their past actions or their future goals. For me, it is knowing that now that I am a junior I need to take my dental admission test and apply to dental schools. Lately everything I do, I do to make sure I have a secure future; whether it is sacrificing time with my friends to rack up more study hours towards the DAT or forfeiting those few, extra hours of  sleep to make sure I am not behind on my schoolwork.
Throughout this chaos, meditation has helped me pull away from my looming future, and into the present moment.

This article, by Orna Ross, embodies everything that I love about meditation. Although the author of this post focuses on the benefits of meditation on writers, her thoughts on meditation can apply to just about anyone. For example,

The human mind operates at three levels: Surface (Intellectual/Ego) Mind, Deep (Emotional/Intuitive) Mind, and Beyond (Imaginative/Inspirational) Mind. Meditation has benefits with regard to all three, most particularly in how it allows us to tap the deeper, wiser dimensions of our minds, which tend to speak in whispers,”

I especially love how she connects current neuroscience research in her writing,

Neuroscience is showing, through brain mapping, how meditation affects brain wave activity.”

I believe Orna Ross captured meditation perfectly and for those who have never meditated I can sincerely say that you are missing out on an experience; whether it be a good experience or a bad one is for you to decide.


  1. I'm curious as to what your definition for meditation is. I completely agree with your assessment of its importance. There are so many people who are very tense all the time and they would definitely be better off with a little relaxation.

    Back to the question. I wanted to know if you think that there are others ways to meditate outside of the stereotypical method. Can someone meditate by taking swings at the batting cage, quilting, creating a lego structure?

  2. I know that this question wasn't for me, but I would say yes, that you can meditate by doing all sorts of things. I am not by any means derogating more accepted methods of meditation. Whether it be guided, breathing, yoga, or walking related, the more well know meditative techniques are incredible; they are known by laymen for a reason.

    However, I don't think this is all meditation is or can be. In the blog post, Shivani mentioned being in the present. Meditation is simply being in the moment. It is mindfulness. And mindfulness can be achieved in anything, as long as you are fully immersing yourself in doing it. That means that Milap's examples of batting cages, quilting, even using legos, can all be instances of meditation. As long as you cement yourself fully in the activity (on all three levels mentioned in the post) you have achieved meditation.

    When I first became interested in meditation, I stumbled upon a collection of Tibetan Buddhist spiels. One simply stated meditation is being mindful. And more importantly, anything can be done mindfully. Anything can be meditation.


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