The Benefits of Meditation

by Shannon Stephens

Meditation may not always come naturally for people. In the beginning, it’s easy to become fidgety, bored and unable to focus. Some people may even find comfort—especially in today’s world—to get lost in their own mind. Chitta vritti is a Sanskrit term for mind chatter. There is a saying in the yoga world, “chitta happens.” Thoughts can be messy, often coming out uninvited, and they have staying power.

Meditation isn’t about trying to get rid of inner thoughts. Instead, when we sit to meditate, we learn to observe the very act of thinking. We become skilled at noticing thoughts without attaching or reacting to them. Letting go of attachments, aversions, fears and false identities gets us closer to the unclouded versions of ourselves.

Meditation makes us more peaceful and less reactionary. Through meditation, we create inner space and clarity. With that spaciousness comes the capacity to stay calm and open, regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually, we develop mental equilibrium and the ability to respond rationally. We see the big picture.

There is research supporting the transformative effects that meditation has on the brain, and some of the studies reveal truly remarkable results. Massachusetts-based neuroscientist Sara Lazar explains during a TED Talk how meditation reshapes the brain.

It is easy to become removed from the deep experience of being in our bodies. While distractions can cause us to numb out and be out of touch, there are times when they can be therapeutic; the key ingredient is balance. Luckily, the body is an intricate machine designed to heal itself. The brain is fully capable of becoming clear and one pointed with training. Meditation is transformative. Tune in and observe the world that lies just beneath the skin. There is so much to learn from simply being here now.

Shannon Stephens teaches meditation classes at Soul Yoga and Radiant Living Center. Radiant Living Center is located at 6051 N. Brookline Ave., Ste. 126, in Oklahoma City. For more information, visit RadiantLivingOK.com.

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