Meditation… every time someone says the word meditate, one may think of a Tibetan monk sitting cross-legged with eyes closed highly focused or chanting a hymn. Perhaps someone may say they “meditate on the Word of God,” or it could be someone on their yoga mat focusing on their breathing. There are many mental images that could come to mind, but what does it mean to meditate? The Google search defines it as “think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation” or to “think deeply or carefully about (something).” All of the above examples do fall under the definition of meditation, but why is it so important and what does it have to do with spirituality?
Meditation comes in other forms such as in prayer, focusing on a specific text or idea, clearing the mind, thinking deeply on a matter, and seeking God to find a solution or answers, etc. Meditation has many benefits for the body that are measurable physically, mentally, and spiritually. Astonishingly it is something every single person can do when they may choose. Some benefits as discussed from this source are:
- Stress reduction
- Increased sense of well-being
- Increased connection and empathy
- Improves focus
- Improves relationships
- Improves creativity
- Improves memory
- Improves decision making
- Can aid in overcoming addiction
- Improves cardiovascular and immune system
- Reduces physical/emotional pain
- And much more…
Of course those are mostly physical and mental assessments that can be made when meditating, but what about spiritually? A person can gain personal inner insight which can assist in many pragmatic areas of life or one can even receive a revelation from God. King David was a primary example as he would meditate day and night as illustrated in Psalm 77:12 –
And I have meditated on all your works; I have meditated on your skills.Psalms 63:6 exemplifies his extents of meditation:
I have remembered you upon my bed and in the nights I meditated upon you.In 1 Timothy 4 the author discusses important aspects to meditate upon and in verses 15-16 instructs that we should be meditating upon those facets:
Meditate on these things and abide in them, that you may be known to every person before whom you come. Pay attention to your soul and to your teachings; persevere in them, for when you do these things you will bring life to your soul and to those who hear you.A wise saying from Proverbs 15:28 corroborates the idea that the righteous way is to meditate on faith instead of speaking those negative deliberations going on in the mind:
The heart of the righteous meditates upon the faith, and the mouth of the evils speaks evil things.There are many more aspects to meditation because the soul and spiritual enlightenment are infinite unlike our finite human bodies. Physical and mental benefits are wonderful, but the spiritual ones will continue to grow and advance endlessly as one continues to reflect and meditate.
The catch in today’s society is that the majority of humans are caught up in the cyclical and routine regiment that our governments and environments have shaped for us today. Why is that an issue? The masses spend most of their time working, catching up on the latest trends, buying and playing with the next new materialistic idol, or doing whatever it is that has swept the mind away from achieving a higher level of growth. Not only that, but the media has pushed civilization to be consumed by the negative, and what do we see in the world? – Negativity of hate, division, selfishness, and coldness of heart. When meditation or focus is put on the negative, we can see the adverse effects it has physically, mentally, and spiritually on an individual or group.
As a collective whole, our world has trapped us into advancing our physical well-being over our spiritual well-being. How many people actually take the time to truly smell the roses along the way on their journey? Not many…and the majority probably didn’t even notice the roses to begin with that is how busy they have become. Society teaches us to live and strive towards the future, and yet we are all robbed of the gifts we have in the present moments of life. Realize we have all been blessed with the gift of life, our soul and spirit gains the experience while we have the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings. Not only that but we have this beautiful planet we call Earth which has healing within her when she is appropriately respected. The majestic awe that can be grasped with the five senses when one stops to realize we are all permitted to see a spark of the divine creativity God painted on this canvas.
Begin to understand that meditation comes in all forms and it should be one’s own creative connection to the divine. Meditation can help us essentially smell the roses along the way, while growing closer to God, enjoying and being thankful for our blessings, and being able to find solutions and answers easier and more efficiently. It of course is a practice and results may vary, but if humanity as a whole can slow down, meditate on the good things, they may learn to be more grateful, compassionate, happier, and what God cherishes most of all from us, loving Him and each other.
Take the time to reflect and see if you meditate and focus your time and energy on something positive that either God has blessed you with, or something in His Word that inspires you. Turn off the negative news, and find those positive and beautiful pieces of the world that inspire you. Begin to pray for God’s knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and discernment while you begin to meditate on those positive aspects that inspire you. You may find a revelation given or a physical advantage achieved while taking the time to smell the roses and meditate.