Benefits of Meditation

How Meditation Helps You

For thousands of years in ancient India, people have been benefiting from the practice of meditation. The primary goal of meditation is spiritual awakening and enlightenment. However, the consistent practice of meditation brings with it benefits on many levels, including the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.

People who meditate find that they have dramatic increases in awareness, calm energy and general well-being. Scientific technology has been used to validate the many benefits of meditation by measuring changes in brain wave activity, as well as physical health benefits over time. Over 500 scientific studies conducted at 200 independent universities and institutions in 35 countries and published in over 100 leading scientific journals concerning the tremendous benefits of meditation.

Meditation replenishes mental and emotional energy, but there are also some direct effects on the physical brain and nervous system. For example, recent scientific research has found that meditation actually increases the pre-frontal cortex of your brain, that part of the brain responsible for positive emotions. People who meditate regularly also show improved capacity for learning and retaining information – a plus for the college student!

Below is a list of benefits you may expect to gain from meditating:

Physical Benefits

  • Reduced levels of free radicals that cause tissue damage.
  • Decreased metabolic rate.
  • Lower heart rate.
  • Reduced work load of the heart.
  • Lowered levels of cortisol and lactate, chemicals associated with stress.
  • Decreased high blood pressure.
  • Drop in cholesterol levels, lowering risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
  • Healings from chronic diseases (allergies, arthritis etc.)
  • Improved post-operative healing.
  • Higher levels of DHEAS, decreasing the aging process.
  • Higher skin resistance due to decrease in stress and anxiety levels.
  • Immunity enhancement.

Psychological Benefits

  • General feelings of well-being
  • Normalized brain wave activity
  • Greater creativity
  • Increased clarity in thinking
  • Increased learning ability
  • Increased levels of energy
  • Increased abilities of healing and rejuvenation
  • Decreased anxiety, depression and irritability
  • Increased emotional stability
  • Increased ability to deal with difficult situations and people
  • Increased self-control

Spiritual Benefits

Meditation is primarily for the seeker of knowledge. There is a whole science behind it, based on teachings from thousands of years ago. The spiritual benefits are too numerous to list, and depend on the sincerity, orientation, and persistence of the spiritual seeker.

If done correctly, meditation energizes your awareness, bringing peace and wisdom, expanding your capacity to love unconditionally, and prepares the soul for deep spiritual communion with God, the One without a Second.

Many siddhas (psychic or spiritual powers) are natural fringe benefits of meditation. For those of you who are interested in these spiritual powers, I suggest reading a book on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There are many good translations available.

Dhyana is the Sanskrit word for meditation, but it has a narrower meaning. Dhyana is when the concentration is focused on a single point. See Swamiji’s words on meditation.

This article was copied from Swami’s other website,