For those of new to meditation and read about meditation a lot, I am going to honestly tell you that meditation is not as magically as many people have market it to be. At the same time, it is a very useful and helpful tool that has the importance just below diet, sleep, exercise, relationship, work, and books. In other words, I rank it roughly 7th in my daily schedule. Roughly estimating, I think it makes me may be 5 to 10 perfect better in terms of the way it improves my working and decision making. That’s actually very impressive, though not magical. Imagine you and a equally capable co-worker, one meditate and one don’t, who would be the better performance over the long term? Today, I am going to talk about how meditate have changed my both my body and my mind over the past few years of practice.
Can Meditation Really Change My Body?
You may already be wondering what meditation has to do with body transformation. Let me make it clear first that meditation cannot change your body directly which would have sounded too magical and weird anyway. Yet, it did play a very important role in my journey of getting in shape. Let me share with you my observation now. I used to be a little overweight that I needed to get rid of around 15 pounds to get back to a healthy range. To lose weight healthily, the only way to do it is to simply eat less and exercise more. You can do that in an extreme way or you are doing it too unhealthily. Losing half to one pound each week is good and healthy, though slightly slow rate. Needless to say, eating less and eating healthy, doing more exercise, and doing it over a long time, in my case roughly five months, all require a lot of self-discipline. In other words, the more self-discipline you have, the higher change you have to get your body in shape. Now, it may starts to make sense why meditation helps making me get in shape. Meditation is basically a tool that allows me to think more clearly and logically, which is basically what self-discipline is about. If you can think logically, you can see that seeing that cake has a first order consequence of giving you pleasure, but have a second order consequence of making your fat. If you can keep thinking logically, you should understand that you shouldn’t weight the first-order consequence over the second-order one. And since the second order consequence contradicts your goal of losing weight, it is a logical decision not to eat that cake or at least eat less of it. These all make sense when we have a clear and logical mind after meditation but I bet not many of us can resist the temptation of a tasty cake when our mind can only react emotionally.
Getting Our Body in Shape is Pure Decision Making
To summarize my sharing in the previous sharing in a more simple and general way, it is meditation that allows me to have a clear mind to make good decisions. Many people think of getting our body in shape is a physical thing but I would argue that it is all about decision making. Think about it. Eating healthily is a decision to make. Eating less and exercise more are also decisions to make. It just that usually eating snack and lying on the couch are so tempting that we allow our decision making to be based on our emotional instead of on logic. When you have a clear mind, you can think in a more rational way and you will end up with making better decisions. It is worth mentioning that emotion still is important but it is just not that helpful to the decision making process. Emotions like excited and touched are those emotions that make us feel happy and fulfilled. Emotions like fear and anger alert us to check whether there is some potential danger. So, it is obvious that emotions have their places in our life, but we want to make our decisions based on logic to reach good results.
Meditation & Its Effect on our Mind
As I have already touched above, meditation make our mind more clear. Let me start with telling you briefly how I meditate each day. I like to have my mantra meditation the second thing in the morning, around 2 hours after waking up. I usually sit on my sofa or a chair, with my eyes closed and my hands gently put on my laps. I repeatedly read a two-syllable mantra like “so-hum” in my mind. That’s the “part time job” that I assign to my mind to work on so it can stop doing its “full time job”, which is usually some intense and random thinking. That’s basically the best type of rest I can provide to my mind. Throughout the meditation process, there will be some random thoughts or ideas to flow into my mind. Since I don’t want to do any intense thinking, I just say high to these random thoughts and let them pass by. Sometimes, the reading of my mantra would stop in my mind, I just simply start reading it again. After 10 minutes of meditation (it could be 20 minutes for you), my mind would become very clear. In other words, my mind can now think it a more logical way by getting rid of a lot of noise and ego. With the clear mind, better decisions can be made and as a result, I would usually have a much more productive and smoother day.
In conclusion, meditation has a more direct effect on our brains and also has a good yet indirect effect on our bodies. From my own experience, I can tell you that it has helped my supposedly challenging weight losing process a little less challenging and actually did help me stick to my plan until completion. This shows how powerful it is to be able to think logically. Although emotions are still useful in our lives, we should mostly stick to logics when it comes to making decisions.