In the same way as we exercise our bodies we can exercise the mind. Both physical and mental improvement take about the same amount of time to achieve. We know we are not able to run a marathon within two weeks of practice and the same counts for meditating. It takes dedication and time. With physical exercise over time we notice our toned bodies and we can measure our fitness if we choose to compete. However, with meditation the improvement can only be felt by the practitioner and not ‘seen’ by others. We also can’t measure our ability to meditate against others. In a way it is a pity you cannot ‘look mentally fit’, because if that was the case, we would have a lot more people practicing meditation in our ‘look-obsessed’ society.
One of the most interesting aspects of meditation is the power of the mind over the body.
Just imagine watching a scary movie:
– Are your hands getting sweaty?
– Is your heart racing?
– What happens to your breath?
Just imagine biting in a juicy lemon…
– Did your saliva glands start to work when you were reading this? Once again it is a thought that brings about a physical change!
If our mind can bring about physiological changes to the body, we can use this to our advantage. If we can imagine healing our body with imagination and visualization, we can in fact create our own placebo effect. What if we can visualize parts of our body back to health? I believe this is possible.
During meditation we can diminish the power of the unconscious thoughts by becoming conscious of them. Simply by observing the patterns our subconscious minds have created, we have the power to change any habitual destructive behaviours or thoughts. This kind of active-mind meditation falls in line with what modern psychology calls neuro-linguistic programming and cognitive behaviour therapy.
Meditation helps us to feel peaceful, purposeful and healthy.