by Helen Easton
Our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy. The aim of meditation is to transform the mind. As things are now, our minds are often filled with troubles. We spend a great deal of time consumed by painful thoughts, overwhelmed by anxiety or anger. It is such a relief when we are able to master our mind to the point where we are free of these disturbing emotions.
We spend years learning to walk, read, write, or acquire professional skills. We spend hours doing physical exercises in order to get our bodies into shape. We do so because we believe these efforts are going to benefit us in the long run. Working with the mind follows the same logic. It will not change by doing nothing.
Meditation is a practice that makes it possible to develop and cultivate positive human qualities in the same way other forms of training make it possible to acquire any other skill. Some of the qualities meditation cultivates are love, kindness, wisdom, generosity, joy, ease, harmony, concentration and altruism.
The goal of meditation is not to stop thinking and to shut down but to have a mind that is free, clear and balanced.
Scientific research has shown the benefits of meditating 20 minutes a day for eight weeks. These benefits include a decrease in anxiety, anger and depression, as well as strengthening the immune system and increasing one’s general wellbeing.
Practicing meditation allows you to experience life with greater ease, peace and joy, to be more open and accepting of whatever happens and to view the future with confidence. Such a transformation enables us to act more effectively in the world and to contribute to building a wiser, kinder, more altruistic society.
Helen Easton, CPCC, is a facilitator for anxiety and depression workshops. Helen has been studying meditation since 2001, primarily with the Insight meditation (Buddhist) tradition. She has been teaching meditation and mindfulness since 2008. Her website is www.yourgreatestpotential.com or call 651-481-3266 for more information on her workshops and individual counseling.