Meditation. It doesn’t have to be some hippy-like practice for which you travel to the high ground in India. Marcia Smalley writes from her home in Temecula, California, that she now meditates regularly, and understands the concept of “going within.”
I started meditating two years ago. It’s safe to say this has changed my life.
At first I wanted to experience what all the fuss was about. If it was good enough for Oprah, then maybe there was something to it. But I was determined not to sit on a pillow in an awkward cross-legged position. I was 60, after all, and I wanted to be sure I could get up. Unassisted.
I also didn’t have a lot of time to devote to this.
Gratefully, neither a lot of time nor a pillow is required. I’ve discovered five benefits of even a few minutes of meditative silence.
1. Better Health
Since I began my practice, I’ve read the scientific evidence of its benefits. I knew from the beginning that meditation was beneficial. It just feels good. My heart rate slows. I release stress. I sleep better. I intuitively know that meditation is applying a salve to the inflammation that’s trying to ignite in me, physically and emotionally.
2. Love of the Present Moment
When in a meditative state, there’s only NOW.
At this time of life, when we’ve come to equate enjoyment with activities, to be able to drop into the joy of the present moment is truly sacred. There’s nothing sweeter than falling in love with the moment we’re given, the only one we have.
3. Increased Sensory Awareness
My meditation practice has shifted me into truly paying attention to everything around me. This has come as a surprise. At 60, you can get a little jaded. You can think you’ve seen it all, maybe done it all.
I notice things differently now. I have a greater appreciation of nature’s beauty, the intensity of color in our world, tantalizing aromas coming from the kitchen. Deeper gratitude for the outside world has been an unexpected gift.
4. The Power of Intention
My desire to live a purposeful life is very important.
So every morning I ask:
What do I want to feel? How do I want to serve? Whom do I want to be this day? What do I want to bring into my world?
The intentions I make in my morning meditation set the tone and help me better navigate my day. My life purpose unfolds too, one day at a time.
5. The Gift of Receiving
At 60, our missions are not finished. Not by a long shot. But our path to “what’s next?” isn’t always clear.
There’s no way at any age to find this path by looking outward for all the answers. We have a wealth of perfect wisdom, unique gifts, and a “special sauce” all residing within.
The benefit of receptivity knows no bounds. In meditation, I’ve learned to receive answers with an open heart and a clear mind. The revelations have been simple, or they’ve been profound. And they’ve come to me in whispers. At this stage of life, it pays to choose things that provide deep and lasting value to our bodies, minds and spirits.
Here’s to a few minutes spent going within.