Why meditate? Some people meditate to improve their health. Meditation has been shown to reduce physical, emotional and mental stress and stress-related hormones, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve sleep and brain function, as well as having anti-aging effects. As a result, meditation is a practice that many physicians prescribe, especially because in addition to these benefits there don’t appear to be any negative side effects. It’s better than a drug, as it’s both effective and safe.
Some people meditate to expand their conscious awareness, improve their self-understanding and even their intuitive abilities. Many of these folks also seek spiritual experiences in support of shifting their beliefs or moving beyond them in addition to altering their sense of self. People with spiritual intentions also benefit from the physical, emotional and mental benefits listed above.
So maybe the question should be, why not meditate?
It takes time and so many of us seem to have so little time in our busy lives. Unfortunately, those of us that feel this way usually are the ones with higher stress and need it the most. However it is true, that meditation will take additional time out of your day, even if it’s only twenty minutes. On the flip side of this argument is that if and when you learn to achieve certain states of consciousness, the time you spend meditating will tend to reduce the time you need to sleep and you will be just as restored.
However that still involves an investment of time to learn to meditate that effectively. And for some, learning to meditate is a challenge they cannot overcome. There are many forms of meditation, but most, if not all of them, are geared to quiet the mind (put the brain to sleep). For many people that goal is never achieved and they stop, as they aren’t able to achieve a meaningful meditative state.
What if learning to meditate was as easy as taking a nap? Everyone knows how to fall asleep. Once asleep the brain is no longer thinking, which is the cornerstone of an excellent meditative practice. After fifteen years of research we have learned how to induce profound meditative states very quickly without years of learning and practice.