It’s normal to see meditation described as a calming, soothing activity to reduce stress and anxiety. While it certainly can and does deliver these things, there’s so much more that is available.
1) Increased self awareness. If you regularly pay attention to your breathing, your thoughts and the general state of your body then your awareness the rest of the time will also increase. This can help you change your lifestyle to better match your needs.
2) Self control. If you learn how to drop into calmer states, how to calm yourself and direct your thoughts in very specific ways, this will be more available to you when not meditating as well.
3) Visualisation and pathworking meditations stretch and develop the imagination so that your mind becomes more flexible and creative at all times.
4) Consciousness shifts. Meditation is not just about being calm, it’s about deliberately being able to change the way in which your mind is working. Once you can change the way in which you are thinking and experiencing, you open up all kinds of other possibilities.
5) Self discovery. Find your own still, quiet voice, the voice of your insight and wisdom, which is very probably waiting for you on the other side of all the busyness, anxiety and routine mental clutter. This knowledge changes things.
6) Once you can slow down and shift your mental states, whole other perspectives on your life and its issues will emerge, allowing you to think and act differently.
7) Spiritual depth. Turn up to any kind of spiritual activity with a head full of everyday clutter and fretting, and you will have a fairly limited experience. Know how to focus your mind and hear your own voice and you become much more open to spiritual experiences. It can also impact on what you do in those routine situations too, once you are more relaxed and open, all options shift.
8) By changing the ways in which you think for a while, you open the way to other things getting in. You have room for new ways of thinking and for flows of new ideas and inspiration. You make room for creative thoughts that have the potential to inform and enrich any aspect of your life.
9) Spiritual experience. Meditation paves the way to trance. Pathworking and visualisation enable journeying and more shamanic modes of working. As you go further into these practices you open the way for more spiritual experiences.
10) You can’t do all of these things and remain unchanged. The more in control of your mind you are, the more open you are to ideas and experiences, the more likely you are to discover your authentic self and figure out how to live in accordance with your own nature and the callings of your own soul.