So you’re a meditator (or you’re considering trying)? It’s helpful to know what the benefits of meditation are so you know where to look.  We want to highlight how meditation is a practical exercise that helps us navigate life with ease. The practice and its benefits are available for all. 

1. Awareness of Your Thoughts

When we meditate, we become more conscious of thought. (The mind likes to think when we choose to sit in silence and do nothing.) 

As meditators, we notice the thoughts that arise: memories, desires, worries, to-do lists, drama.

We also notice that we can let thoughts go.

Some thoughts are easy to let go. We wonder if there are enough eggs for breakfast… then we remember that egg-toss game back in 7th grade and… oops, I’m thinking. Drop the dialog. Go back to feeling the sensations of breathing.

Other thoughts are more sticky: anxieties, what that person said, thoughts about ourselves.

With sticky thoughts, we meet the moment with the same meditation technique. We drop the dialog and go back to feeling the sensations of breathing. We notice the flavor of the moment: sadness, anger, fear. The sensation can be there without dialog. Keep breathing. It feels like this.

And the thought passes. You’re thinking about eggs again.

Suffering is part of life. Meditation helps us realize that we don’t have to twist the knife with unnecessary thinking. 

2. Increased Ability to Be with Difficulty

When we experience something we don’t like, we often make it more difficult with incessant negative thoughts. 

Meditation gives our mind the discipline to prevent our minds from spiraling down into complaining and self-pity. 

Meditation gives us the ability to sit with difficulty – to recognize a situation for what it is without trying to make it bigger or smaller. We also realize difficulties are only temporary. Everything is always changing and passing. 

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3. Enjoyment of the Simple Things

When you let go of thought spirals, you become more aware of your surroundings. 

As you sit and breathe, you will recognize things you may have overlooked, such as the warmth of the sun on your skin, the smell of flowers, birds singing, the silence between sounds. 

Meditation teaches you to let go of unnecessary thoughts and notice these simple miracles. This is called being present, and it can be a source of abundant joy. 

4. Less Fear, Stress, and Anxiety

In an age of 24/7 news cycles harping on how terrible things are, (on top of the difficult circumstances that arise in our personal lives) is it any wonder we spend so much time worrying? 

Excessive worrying is unproductive and unhealthy. Because generally, this moment is fine. Incessant worrying (thinking) causes us to miss it.  

Meditation, however, shows us that we don’t have to let our minds spin off in endless thoughts of worry. We can come back to present-moment sensations (sights, sounds, and breathing).  

Noticing what is happening now allows us to break free from troubling thoughts and unnecessary anxiety. What a relief.

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5. In the Now

Meditation is present moment training. We practice noticing and letting go of thoughts while sitting so we can notice and let go of thoughts throughout the day.

We have so many unnecessary, unproductive, harmful thoughts. It is clear that letting go of these thoughts leads to an improved attitude and increased happiness, and an ability to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease. 

Happy practicing.

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5 Meditate for Beginners Benefits (benefits of meditation on the body)