How to practice meditation for personal benefit and spiritual growth.

Here is an interesting and useful article on meditation I recently found in a website on Nepal

Harmony Through Meditation

By P. Gopakumar
MEDITATION is the natural course of withdrawing concentration from environmental, physical and mental processes and consciously directing it inward to a chosen focus of attention. But not many people know how to practice meditation for personal benefit and spiritual growth.


Most forms of meditation involve turning your attention inward, away from your usual preoccupations and activities. In the process, you make a simple but significant shift from thinking and doing, to just being. With repeated practice, the mind begins to settle down and your breathing slows, and you get into a relaxed, peaceful, harmonious state. The common thread in all forms of meditation is the cultivation of awareness.

The beneficial effects of regular meditation practice include stress reduction, detoxifying the body, stimulating the immune system, more orderly thinking, improvement in the power of concentration, and a slowing of the biological ageing process.

Meditation increases the ability of the mental muscle to concentrate longer on your breath, your body, a hymn or sound, all of which could have a powerful impact on the rest of your life. The development of the mental muscle helps calm your mind when it starts worrying, by gently leading it away from its painful or frightening preoccupations towards the present. Hence, instead of spinning out of balance when problems crop up, you stay focused and grounded.

Cultivation of inner satisfaction thwarts us from getting swept away by circumstances. Engaging in self-examination and self-discipline is important in order to clear away any of the psychological conflicts that might pose a problem. Study of lower or secular knowledge helps us function effectively in the world.

Many get educated so that they can live more effectively. But also important is the acquisition of higher knowledge or metaphysics to inquire about god, the cosmic mind, manifestation of the universes, our relationship with god � why are we here, and for what purpose.

In the last few years, people have turned to meditation as a way to overcoming emotional and mental strain. Since the time when man experienced the first flicker of self-awakening, his attention has remained focused on problems of worldly existence. No sooner is one problem solved than a new one springs up, creating stress and tension in the mind. A disturbed mental state can lead to stress-related illness, and so we need to find an acceptable way of preventing mental, emotional and physical effects of stress.

Meditation helps us withdraw attention from the outer world and focus it at a point between and behind our eyebrows. This stimulates what is called the ‘third eye’. By focusing our attention on it, we can reach higher levels of consciousness. By meditating on the inner light and sound, we are placed in contact with the radiant energy coming from the realms that lie beyond the physical world. There is a powerful current of divine love, consciousness and bliss.

Meditation does not literally eliminate problems of life, but gives us a new perspective. We become detached from suffering because we are able to find a spiritual anchor. Through meditation, not only can we learn the art of living, which helps us overcome life’s stresses and strains, but also discover a way to experience the divine.

Meditation is a way to connect with the divine power. We might feel infused with a feeling of love, which surrounds and fulfils us. We experience intense peace and happiness unlike any we can find in this world. The meditation process helps us at two levels. First, it relaxes us physically. Second, it puts us in a state where we are absorbed in happiness and become oblivious to the problems of the outer world.

When engaged in daily activities and relationships, endeavor to maintain a state of mental calmness and self-awareness. Cultivate cheerfulness and optimism. Maintain your emotional balance. Adhere to wholesome routines of activity and rest. Maintain a healthy lifestyle – choose a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. Let all your thoughts, feelings, and actions be wholesome and constructive. You will then be empowered to live enjoyably, effectively and successfully.


There are those who fear that meditation will de-focus them, relax them to a point of lethargy while they need to experience high anxiety and energy levels to do the job at hand in these demanding times. They believe they need tension to bring out their best. But meditation will have a healthy effect � it will bring you down to earth into the present moment, where your life is actually taking place.

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Stress is an internal experience. Regular meditation helps you slow down the mind and create an inner space so that you do not feel so pressured in your mind and heart, where it really counts. The purpose of meditation is mental and physical awareness and peace.

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