There are a lot of twaddle in the world. By the twaddle got even more crazily in different social medias. But there is one place that happens to have more substance than style for whatever reasons. That place is Reddit and you will find a lot of good sharing there regardless of what the topic of your interest in. As a writer for this blog, I am obviously interested in meditation. There is one discussion of thread that is on Reddit that is very popular and has a lot of good responses. The topic of the discussion is “how meditation changed my life”. Let’s look at some of the more interesting responses and see they can inspire you in some way.
“After a year of meditation, my depression is gone and I can think and plan with clarity.”
Here, you can see the benefit of having a clear mind as a result of practicing meditation. Not only that meditation can make your mind clear. The clarity allows you to see a more realistic picture of yourself and the environment surrounding you. But how does that have anything to do with depression? Depression often is a by-product of having stress. Stress, in a lot of ways, is caused by the difference between expectation and the reality. By having a clear mind, you can more effectively align your expectation with the reality. Having said that, you must see a doctor if you have depression. Ask your doctor whether you can meditate while having the rest of the treatment your doctor assign to you. Most of the case, the doctor’s answer would be “yes” or “doesn’t matter”. Unless the answer is a “no”, meditate and it is very likely going to help.
“After practicing meditation, I do things for the right reasons and I recognize it when I don’t.”
The clear mind that the meditation helps you achieve does not only make you think more logically or clearly. It also makes you more aware of your action that is triggered by your subconscious mind. Although not many people who don’t meditate don’t really know what the subconscious mind it, it is something that is more easy to explain if I bring up an everyday example. Have you ever tried to loss or control your weight by for whatever reason eat a big cake? I bet you have. Why do you eat that cake that cause you to move yourself away from your goal. The answer is because that your subconscious mind only care about feeling good and feeling good now. It beats the conscious part of your mind which knows the logic. Sadly, most of our everyday action is triggered by the more emotional part of our brain which is the subconscious part. It is true that even if we are aware of our subconscious, we may not be able to beat or override it. However, we have a chance of winning if we are aware of our subconscious. In the case where we have no idea about its existence, we stand no chance. One of my favorite quotes from Carl Jung says it best, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
“Meditation has changed my life by helping me get rid of a lot of hatred.”
Hatred and anger are very toxic emotion. Although some people may argue that controlled anger can be used as a fuel for achieving goals, I would actually argued that if the anger can be controlled, it is not really anger. Think of it this way. Say if you are a tennis player, would you think that you have a better chance of winning by hitting the ball calmly and accurately or by hitting the ball as hard as you can with anger. I would bet on the former option every single time. Anyway, let’s agree on hatred and anger are toxic for now and explore how meditation can help reduce it. Let’s imagine an example where a man has a lot of hatred towards his father because his father beat him up a lot when he is growing up. Let’s assume that the father has become a better man and has also done a lot of good things for the man. Now, from a normal person’s point of view, the man has all the reasons to hate his father. But if you are being super logical, you would understand that: one, the past cannot be changed; two, the father has contributed in other things that make the man who he is not; three, the father is a better person now and he has love for the man but just didn’t behaved the right way when he was a young father. With these logical reasoning, the one conclusion that you should be able to draw is to forget the past and treat the father well now. Meditation can help to bring that type of clarity to your mind and let you think in a very logical and clear way. Therefore, mediation is a good, indirect way to get rid of your hatred and anger.
“I mediate for ten minutes every day without a specific goal in mind and I have achieve calmness and as a result achieve my goals.”
Here, you can see that your only thing to do when you meditate is to clear your mind. You goal may be to lose 20 pounds or to make more money. It doesn’t matter. Don’t bring these goals to your meditation sessions. All you want to do is to clear or reset your mind. Your mind is your tool to achieve the goals. So, instead of thinking about the goals, you should improve your tool. That’s like sharpening a knife. You are not going to think about the watermelon that you are going to cut with your knife when you are sharpening it. It will slow down your sharpening progress. It may even get your harm by making you cut your fingers if you can’t stay focused.