A Answers (3)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredFrankly, meditation is not the kind of "me-time" that most of us think about or are encouraged to pursue. It's not retail therapy. It's not the day at the spa. It's not about overindulging because you "deserve" it. In fact, it's about the absence of all these things. You have to tune in to tune out. And while that may be hard, there's not one of us out there who hasn't yearned for that moment. It's not about having no thought process at all; however, it's about slowing your internal thought process and inviting the present in. It's not about the past; it's not about the future. It's about finding peace in the now. This is what meditation allows you to do. This is how meditation achieves its goal.
Yogi Cameron Alborzian, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
If most people today were asked what meditation is, they would conjure up an image of a Yogi sitting in lotus posture with their eyes closed for prolonged periods of time. But what is less known is why meditation exists and what purpose it is intended to serve. Here in the West, meditation is often marketed because of surface-level benefits such as instilling a sense of greater calm, relaxation, and enhanced focus.
According to Yogic tradition, however, meditation is a very high-level experience that comes after many years of devoted practice. We are born with an inclination to suffer--to hold the world beyond ourselves responsible for our happiness--while our true potential for joy comes from within. The Yogic path teaches us to first bring greater balance to our body so that we can then begin to control our mind and alleviate that suffering. Meditation happens when we've trained ourselves to let go of ego-based thoughts and instead are able to reflect the divine perfection that exists within each of us. Meditation's purpose is to liberate ourselves from our personal suffering so that we instead live in greater peace and joy.
Burke Lennihan RN CCH, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
People come to the practice of meditation for different reasons. At my classes at Harvard University’s Center for Wellness, I ask people why they came, and often it’s a fairly mundane reason: “to help me concentrate better when I study for exams”, “I’ve got writer’s block and my dissertation is due,” “I have high blood pressure”, and the big favorite, “to reduce stress.”
Meditation can help with all of these issues. Yet it can do so much more that ideally people will find these goals to be relatively minor compared to what meditation really has to offer.
One way I explain it to people: “Imagine that when your time comes to leave this earth, you are completely peaceful because you feel that you have fulfilled the reason why you took on a human body.” How do you know your purpose on earth? How do you know how to fulfil it? How do you get in touch with your soul, the part of you that is eternal and immortal? All of this is possible through meditation. The rest falls into place around it.