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Buddhism: Benefits of meditation


By Newagemag.com - 6/20/2013

Ancient chinese pagoda
  Photo Credit: meanmachine77 / Shutterstock.com

Meditatio4n is recognized as an important part of Buddhism - so important in fact that it was included in Buddha's Eightfold Path to enlightenment. I've always been given plenty of reasons to meditate, but the most convincing are those that tell you what Buddhist meditation actually can do for you.

Health

One of the most important benefits from meditation is that it can improve your health. Meditation has been shown to reduce pain by up to 50 percent for people who suffer from chronic pain, and studies have shown that meditation helps against headaches, lower back problems and arthritis.

Focus

Meditating regularly can help you focus even on the most boring of tasks. With many kinds of meditation you will learn to direct your attention to only one thing and keep it there for extended periods of time, sometimes on your breathing and other times on a fixed object. Meditating can increase your concentration on everything from work-related tasks to grocery shopping.

Inner peace

Meditations focusing on reducing stress have been shown to have a great impact on people with stressful lives. Those who have taken up meditating recently report that they feel less stressed and more at peace with life. It is also a fact that mindfulness meditation inspired by Buddhist practices has helped thousands of people suffering from anxiety disorders and depression. People who meditate have shown increased activity in parts of the brain related to positive emotions, relaxation and good mood.

Compassion

A study on Buddhist monks in Tibet showed that meditation has enabled the monks to feel increased empathy and compassion towards strangers. Another study shows that people who meditate regularly show more activity in parts of the brain related to empathy when hearing emotional sounds such as distressed cries or laughter.

Enlightenment

Meditation helps us calm our minds, be mindful of the moment and make us happy. It can even make us smarter; a study has shown that people who meditate have increased folds in the brain's cortex which may help us think faster than people who don't meditate. But the overall goal of Buddhism is to reach enlightenment, Nirvana. Regular meditation, combined with the other steps of the Eightfold Path, can bring us closer to that goal.

No matter why we choose to meditate, it might be time to sit down and focus on nothing or everything. I certainly know I will. By the sound of it, there are some important advantages to be had straight away.


 








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