7 Benefits of Buddhist Meditation

1. Meditation helps to improve health:

Stress Reduction: Meditation has shown to reduce the stress. In many studies Mindfulness meditation also helps reducing anxiety disorders including PTSD and also has shown to reduce the recurrence of depression in patients (Wikipedia). Since stress impacts the immune system, meditation indirectly helps to improve overall well-being.

Chronic Pain: Meditation helped to reduce pain by 50 % and maintained for over 4 years according to Kabat-Zin. (Clinical Journal of Pain (1986)

National Institute of Health (NIH) states the meditation and relaxation therapies markedly improved ease of low back pain problems, arthritis, and headaches. (Jama, 276 (4) (1996)

Insomnia: 75 % of insomniacs were able to go to bed within 20 minutes. (Jacobs, Harvard Medical - Say Goodnight to Insomnia, Owl Books (1999)

Mental Health: There was 50 % reduction in psychiatric symptoms, 70 % decrease in anxiety in the inner-city group residents that were suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, diabetes and hypertension. Roth and Creaser, Nurse Practitioner 22 (3) (1997)

2. Meditation helps to improve your focus (one-pointedness concentration):

Buddhist meditation (Anapana Sati - Mindfulness Meditation) helps to improve your focus. During the meditation, you will learn how to have a one-pointedness concentration on your breath or abdomen rising and falling. Calming down and focusing your mind on one object allows bringing about your awareness in your daily activities.

3. Meditation helps to achieve inner peace and serenity (equanimity)

Buddhist meditation has shown immediate effect of calmness and serenity. With more meditation, you can expect to have equanimity. Over 100,000 meditators at S.N. Goenka 10 day retreats experienced equanimity within first 3 days of meditation. Equanimity is an ability to be a neutral observer and see things as they are and not react to cravings and aversions.

4. Meditation helps to remove suffering (Dukkha - un-satisfactoriness):

In Buddhist philosophy suffering (Dukkha un-satisfactoriness) is a result of excessive desire and attachment. This desire leads to craving of pleasant sensations and aversion of unpleasant sensations. Meditation allows step-by-step understanding, experiencing and having equanimity to deal with suffering.

5. Meditation helps to live with loving-kindness and compassion:

The Neuroscience research using Tibetan Buddhist Monks with over 10,000 hours of meditation showed that Loving-Kindness Meditation has profound effects on the brain by developing compassion towards unknown people. (Richard Davidson). It makes the meditators feel much happier and compassionate.

6. Meditation helps to bring moment-to-moment awareness (power of now):

Meditation helps to cultivate the mind by bringing moment-to-moment awareness and calming down a busy mind. This can have a broader application to your daily lives and make your much happier and live mindfully.

7. Meditation helps to achieve Buddhist Enlightenment and Nibbana (Nirvana):

Perhaps the overarching goal and benefit of Buddhist meditation is to achieve Buddhist enlightenment and Nibbana. Buddha said that everyone is capable to achieve in this lifetime Enlightenment by understanding Four Noble Truths, meditating and following Eightfold path towards liberation and Nibbana.

May you be happy!

With loving-kindness,

Spencer, a.k.a the Urban Monk

Spencer is the Urban Monk. He is a blogger, writer, healer and is a dedicated and long-term Buddhist Meditator (Theravada tradition).

The Urban Monk lives simply and his life goal is to share his insights with everyone interested in bringing Buddhist meditation to their everyday life. Focusing on experiential approaches, Spencer is a student on the path of 'seeing things as they are.'

Check his website: http://Buddhist-Meditation-Techniques.com

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