Advertisement

What is the purpose of meditation?

Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

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.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Frankly, 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.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

Continue Learning about Meditation

Benefits of Meditation for Aching Joints
Benefits of Meditation for Aching Joints
Got a creaky knee or a sore neck? Take a deep breath and say "Om." Yep, research suggests that people who practice Zen meditation not only are far le...
Read More
What's the simplest way to start meditating?
Andy PuddicombeAndy Puddicombe
Many people are interested in practicing meditation, but they don't know where to start. Watch as me...
More Answers
What is meditation?
Yogi Cameron AlborzianYogi Cameron Alborzian
We've all heard the term "meditation" thrown around in many different situations and contexts--parti...
More Answers
What Are the Benefits of Meditation?
What Are the Benefits of Meditation?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.