The side effects of meditation are positive and countless. Studies have demonstrated that those who meditate on a regular basis have reduced illness, stress, and need for rest.

But one of the most compelling reasons to meditate is that the process of meditation itself is incredible. Meditation is not dependent upon the result, but the process of meditation itself is a blissful one, transporting one to a state of peace and calm awareness during the training of meditation itself, not just at the end of training. Actually, because the means equals the end, the training has no beginning and never ends.

Nowadays we mostly experience a constant onslaught of stress. We are overwhelmed by uninvited energies in the form of such things as television, noise pollution, arguments, and angry or envious people. In order to counteract this enormously overwhelming force of negativity and distress, we need a superior power, gathered inside ourselves; and meditation connects us to this internal reservoir of cleansing, enlightening energy.

In times gone by, nature surrounded people in their daily routines and rituals of existence. There were no artificial sound vibrations from telephones or machinery; there were no stresses and diseases resulting from urban industrial complexities. There was the sound of water, the hum of the wind, the beauty of the stars in the sky, and the scent of the earth. There were natural rhythms in every aspect of life, as people planted seeds, nurtured them into foodstuffs, and as they observed the cycles of nature they felt connected to them. These days we can live our entire lifespan without ever contacting nature in a direct way. We live in artificially controlled climates, we gather food from fast food restaurants or from stores where it is packaged in a factory; we invite a total divorce of ourselves from our natural origins and our organic, original pace of life.

Meditation allows us an easy, convenient, portable method to enter into those lost natural rhythms and aesthetics, by closing out the world around us, letting go of our bodies, and clearing the mind of all the artificial stress it gathers knowingly or unknowingly during the course of lives.

Meditation costs nothing, it has no harmful side affects, and it won’t add calories or cholesterol to your body. Neither is it addictive in the sense of drugs and alcohol. But it does provide practitioners with an increased sense of well-being, often compared to a natural “high” more powerful than those caused by drugs, and this component of meditation is one that can be fully embraced for positive, healthy benefits.

The human body is a complex creation, and in the brain the body naturally produces drugs that are hundreds of times more powerful than pharmaceutical narcotics. As one meditates, the body creates mysterious hormones and chemicals that actually provide an incredible rush of energy and happiness, and this is only one of the amazing results of meditation practice.

Meditation is many different things to different people. Some use it in place of, or in addition to, psychotherapy. Others find it most valuable as a tool to improve sports or work performance, and to improve the memory and other mental functions. Some people rely upon it to help them deal with grief or the aftermath of trauma or tragedy, and to regain a contentment and appreciation for life’s beauties. And there are those who use meditation as a creative tool to inspire them in the arts. Meditation gives us stronger and more sustainable vigor, sexual energy, and calm, as it provides a restfulness that is comparable to deep, exceptionally restful sleep.

There are a large number of reasons to meditate, and one way to make the world a better and more peaceful and harmonious place, is for all of us to devote some time out of our hectic lives to pause and drink from the mental oasis of meditation practice.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Eric Whalley and I am a graduate medical scientist. I have an interest in medicine, especially neuroscience, and a particular interest in the mind and how it works. For many years I have also searched for ways of improving the mind and body. I began studying with the dream of starting a career in neuroscience research. I got my degree and began post graduate research into stress and anxiety and its effects on the brain.

Unfortunately mid way through that project my mother, who was already quite ill, deteriorated, and I was forced to leave university to take care of her. I have been doing that now for over a year.
I would like to eventually return to complete my PhD, but that may not be possible for a number of years yet.. Please take a look at my website for further information.