Does the word “meditation” bring up resistance in you? Perhaps even fear? These days, lots of other words are being used in its place, like breathwork, mindful breathing, relaxation or contemplative prayer. They are all basically the same thing. It’s about slowing down the constant activity in your life and taking the time to pay attention to what’s going on inside you.
Some people have even been warned that meditation is dangerous. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. For me, meditation is like sitting with a really good friend, one who knows me much better than I know myself. I can turn inward to this friend for advice in difficult situations or help in making decisions. It has never steered me wrong.
Since discovering this treasure within myself, I often refrain from giving advice to friends going through challenges and suggest they learn to meditate instead. Those who’ve accepted that suggestion have had similar experiences to mine. In fact, many of the people who came to my meditation groups in the past have now gone on to teach meditation themselves, because it made such a difference in their lives.
I’ve been asked over the years whether meditation could help in certain situations, like a struggle with a co-worker or problems in one’s marriage. I’ve been approached by people desperately trying to find better ways of parenting or searching for their true love. Some had health issues, depression, anxiety or anger outbursts that were affecting their lives and relationships negatively. Others were facing addictive or compulsive behaviors they longed to be free of and for some it was the financial area of their lives that caused the most worry.
My answer to all of the above was always a resounding “Yes! Meditation can help with all of those and more.” In fact, I would go so far as to say that there is no area of your life that will not improve if you start meditating regularly. There’s a reason why meditation is becoming more popular.
It’s not just gurus and yogis practicing in far away caves anymore. It’s not restricted to any particular religion. Actor Alan Alda said this about meditation: “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
Maybe that’s just what some people are afraid of. Yes, there will be uncomfortable parts of yourself along the way that you’ll need to sit with and learn to love. Tears and fears are part of the journey, but if you just take one more breath, they’ll pass right through and you’ll feel lighter afterward.
The best, wisest friend you’ll ever have is waiting for you to slow down and ask for help. All the answers you seek are just a breath away.
Sita Rebizant is a resident of Clearwater and author of the book Safe, Loved and Free: How hitting rock bottom inspired by awakening and led me to the life and love I’d always longed for.