Can you imagine feeling good and natural and full of life? Imagine what it would feel like to feel calm and centered no matter what your circumstances might be. Imagine having more energy while engaging in everything you do, and feeling ever more connected in your life, day by day, breath by breath.
Having taught meditation for over thirty years to thousands of people, I can really say that it is the single most important thing you can ever learn in order to expedite and enrich your spiritual life. Everything you learn in school, by analysis or by study, will be exponentially deepened because you meditate.
Meditation will influence the way you organize your thoughts and the way you develop your personal philosophy. It will affect the way you appreciate art or a poem or a good conversation. This is because everything is energy and vibration, and since everything is energy, every part of your life will be affected. Meditation gives you access to an inner world of knowing. It’s like having a magic carpet, and you can go anywhere, in any time, in any space.
The Many Benefits of Meditation
Scientific studies have shown what has long been known — meditation works. It is a quick stress releaser. It speeds recovery and healing and lessens pain. It lowers your blood pressure and gives you more energy, more stamina, and quicker reflexes. It improves memory and increases your ability to concentrate. In general, you become more balanced mentally and emotionally. Anxiety and depression subside, and creativity blossoms. It also helps in all forms of addiction recovery.
Meditation will teach you to reconnect with yourself and tap into the limitless potentials within you. You’ll feel revitalized and renewed. Through this process, relationships become enriched and enlivened, work becomes inspired, and you’ll begin to discover the potentials of your own positive growth. The list goes on and on. It’s a whole new way of being.
Meditation keeps you emotionally current in your life. It’s like a living journal: you always know where you are. Your heart opens. You learn acceptance, appreciation, and compassion without even trying. By staying connected with yourself and your inner knowing, you reduce your stress level and you generally relax, improving your overall health. It affects every area of your life, from your work to your relationships.
Plugging In To a Greater Source of Energy
It’s like getting plugged into a greater source of energy: you begin to sense and discover your direction in life and even your life’s purposes (there are many, you know). You will see, feel, and know yourself in a way that will change and delight you — effortlessly. Best of all, time begins to change, and you begin to see that you have all the time you need and want in order to take your next step in your life. You relax.
And the great thing about it is that it’s easy. It’s a simple practice of awareness that takes just a few minutes a day. It’s a quick little tune-up, after which you can see how you are, check in with yourself, appreciate the moment, and live a little bigger, all because you simply stopped for a moment, and breathed, and
Meditation is Ancient Yet New
Meditation is as old as the hills and has been used for eons to center and align the self for a happier, more meaningful life. It’s like a hammer and a nail: something you can use every day for a known result, which works when you use it.
Meditation is an ancient discipline designed to help you learn to be more present in your life. It is an art that is practiced, something that we keep growing into, discovering, unraveling, and expanding in order to learn even more deeply the gorgeous difference between thinking and mindfulness.
Imagine feeling grounded and certain and creative and free, and more and more so every day. These are just a few of the things you will learn and experience when you begin your meditation practice.
Be still. For stillness and tranquility
hold the secrets of the universe.
— Lao Tzu
What Is Meditation?
If the wisest part of you could speak with you, what would it say?
Meditation is a state of consciousness. It is a growing thing that, when nurtured and cared for, grows strong and constant, like a big old oak tree. You can count on it.
Every time you meditate, it is as if you are building a mountain, one layer at a time. Meditation is like strata; once a layer is set down, it becomes a permanent part of your landscape. It is cumulative. When you meditate again, you add another layer to your mountain. You keep getting stronger and stronger. Even if there’s a gap of many years in your meditation practice, this stratification doesn’t go away. It’s right where you left it. You just pick up where you left off. Usually, it will have grown on its own some, too.
Meditation: It's More Than Spiritual
Meditation is a discipline of mind blended with spirit that teaches concentration and focus. It brings clarity to every area of your life. It broadens your perspective, opens your mind to new ideas, and helps you feel free.
Sometimes we associate it with prayer, and of course, it is this too. Meditation is an elegant mental discipline that increases our spiritual connection. In the oldest recorded teachings, thousands of years old, it is said that meditation is the settling of the mind into stillness. This is true, and yet to meditate is not to silence the mind, or to not think, or to be thought-less. It is to be full of mind. Mindful. Full of mind, without attachment, without judgment.
This growing knowing is deep within you and always available to you. It is right there, always. It is a conscious breath away. We are never separate from our knowing. It is an infinite continuum of everlasting love and appreciation, ever available, ever knowing, ever loving. All we have to do is open to it. It’s right there. If ever we become disconnected, it is only because we have disconnected ourselves. And that’s all right. All you have to do is choose again. The moment we choose again, we are reconnected, instantly and always. And one of the easiest ways to connect is through meditation.
You've Been Meditating Without Knowing It
Very likely in your own life, you have been in a meditational state and not even known it. Meditation is a quality of mindfulness, a heightening of awareness, an acute perception, and a more complete usage of all your sensory awareness.
If you’ve ever taken a walk and, as you strolled, noticed a birdcall, and a little shift of wind, and the rhythm of your footfall balanced to your breath — then you were in a meditation.
If you gaze at the sunset and time seems to stop, this is a meditation. If you are ever moved by the sound of a singer’s voice and your heart thrills, or you feel the expansion in your body as a dancer leaps, and seems to hover in midair, in that moment you are meditating — and in that moment you remember who you are.
Whenever you are fully present and every part of you is awake, then the sparkle in a loved one’s eye, or a touch, or a prayer becomes a meditation.
If the wisest part of you could speak with you, what would it say? It is not concerned with the details of something, or even the outcome of a plan. It would say to you that you are good, that you are worthy, that you are loved beyond anything you can imagine. It would say, Live big. Manifest your dreams. Risk loving again and again — and again and again. And it would say, in a thousand ways a moment, All truly is well.
Meditation Is Easy
Meditation is as simple as breathing.
Meditation is easy. You can do it right now, right where you are. It’s a simple practice of awareness that takes just a few minutes every day. It is not mysterious or esoteric. It is your natural birthright as a human being. It is as simple as breathing, and one of the most powerful centering techniques there is. You will discover that it’s easier than you ever thought and deeply fulfilling as well.
Meditation is an age-old practice that quiets the mind and allows our inner spirit to shine through our life more and more. The effects of meditation unfold over time. It is a practice of awareness that increases our focus, our consciousness, and our soul-knowing.
Meditation creates a foundation that lets you know yourself deeply — your true self, the part of you that is eternal. It allows for the full potential of your soul to be expressed in your life.
Meditation helps you to become self-realized — to realize who you really are in your deepest essence. In meditation, you arrive at a state of awareness where you consciously recognize the link between your personality and your soul. Meditation aligns these two seemingly separate parts, so they become one and act as one. This is called congruency — a conscious bridge between the self and the soul.
Choosing to Live an Awakened Life
The path to self-realization is a choice. It is the ongoing decision to live your life as truthfully and lovingly as possible. Every time you sit to meditate, you are choosing to live an awakened life.
Meditation reveals a beauty beyond words. By turning within, we discover a world of knowledge and the bounty of our rich inner knowing. We discover that we are more than what we seem; we are better — far greater — than what we have believed ourselves to be.
At our core, we discover we are simply and absolutely the radiance of pure love. Allowing this love to shine more brightly throughout our life is an inevitable and direct consequence of our meditation practice. We are the directors of our own growth; it is always we who choose how receptive we are to our inner knowing. This inner knowing is always available to us. It does not waver or vary. The flow of our soul is constant. All we have to do is open to it.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New World Library. ©2004, 2015.
Opening to Meditation: A Gentle, Guided Approach
by Diana Lang.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book.
About the Author
Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and counselor and the director/owner of LifeWorks - Center for Growth in Los Angeles,California. She has been teaching meditation and yoga since 1980 and conducts seminars in the United States and internationally on meditation, body awareness, stress reduction, and relationship development. She is a "teacher's teacher" of meditation and yoga, as well as a radio personality. Visit her website at www.dianalang.com.
Watch a video About Meditation (with Diana Lang)