Meditation is deeply rooted in many religions and practices. It can be referred to as deep reflection, cultivation of the soul, or the focusing of the breath. It is, at its most base, the practice of forgetting. It is to sit, focus your breath, and blank your mind, forget all things that are present, past, future, and just be. When you do this, you become one with yourself and with the universe. You are at your most whole when meditating because there is nothing else influencing you. It is only you, and your thoughts. This can be a scary process for some people, since they are in a constant state of distraction. But, do not fear the mind, it is your tool and you control where it goes and what it says.
Meditation has been used for centuries to calm the mind and to center the spirit. Taoism is one of the many places that Meditation was developed. The practice itself is rooted in Taoist belief, and can be used in conjunction with the Taoist lifestyle to achieve fascinating results. The two practices go hand in hand, they complement each other because the same ideals are built into both. Taoism teaches to go with the flow of the universe, and to live in the present. Meditation furthers this idea, by putting it into practice. Meditating can help you to live in the present, to focus on the breath is to be completely present, not focusing on the past or the future.
Most Taoists practice meditation regularly, even daily. Meditation can be practiced in the morning, or at night. It can be two hours long, or five minutes. There are no rules to meditation, just to sit and to calm the body, the mind, and the spirit. Push everything from the mind and focus on nothing but the present, through this you will reach a state of balance and harmony. Through a daily practice of Meditation, you will realize what works best for you. You will know what is comfortable and what isn’t, and you will find your own personalized practice of meditation.
When the body, mind, and spirit are out of balance, your life will become unbalanced as well. Practicing Taoism and Meditation can fix the disjoint in many lives. Many have spoken about the benefits of these practices, showing how applicating regular Tao Meditation can change your life for the better.
Meditation is not just used to calm the mind and create a better state of being, though it is perfect if that’s what you’re looking for. There are many benefits to the practice, other than getting rid of stress. There are three main advantages to Meditation, Body, Mind, and Spirit. These three categories are incredibly important in your lives, and bringing these centers into balance can improve your lifestyle drastically
Benefits to Body
Contrary to popular belief, there are numerous physical health benefits to meditation. Most believe it is just a practice of calming the mind and reducing stress. But, there have been many studies done on the values of meditation on the body. A lot of information exists to back this up, scientific papers, research studies. Many studies have been done on eastern practices, solely to combat the popular belief of the Western world that they are nothing but heresy.
A large amount of people have seen significant reduction in their blood pressure with regular meditation practices. Blood pressure can be caused by stress, so this may be obvious, a reduction of stress will result in a levelling out of the blood pressure. Many people can benefit from this, especially ones with heart disease or even blood clots.
Another advantage that Tao Meditation has seen is a boost in the immune system. Patients have seen their immune system improved when regularly meditating. This is because your immune system reacts to negative and positive thoughts. Surrounding yourself with practices that bring in and encourage positive thought, will boost your immune system and your antibodies with it. Having a boosted immune system can mean fighting off infections and diseases much easier, and this makes for a much healthier lifestyle.
A large amount of people plagued by asthma attacks have also found relief in Meditation. The symptoms of Asthma can be largely reduced through daily or even weekly Meditation. Asthma is usually caused by resistance in airways, causing the person to have trouble breathing. Meditation has been shown to reduce this blockage of the airways, making it easier to breathe, and reducing the symptoms of the asthma itself. Meditation has also been proven to make stressful situations easier to navigate. This has an enormous benefit during an asthma attack, as most asthma attacks are worsened by the panic that one has when faced with not being able to breathe.Meditation diminishes this panic in the situation and can reduce the attacks greatly.
Pain can also be reduced by meditation, especially chronic pain that comes from an illness. People with cancer, severe back pain, and even tension headaches have reported dealing with pain through meditation. Doctors have even begun prescribing regular meditation to patients dealing with regular pain. Primary pain is caused by an illness or disease, but the body reacts to that pain with stress, worsening the pain with Secondary Pain. The Secondary Pain, is where Meditation can help. Meditation centers your mind and brings you to the present, causing you to focus on yourself and not outside forces. This is why the practice has been shown to reduce this secondary pain by large amounts. Some clinical trials have even shown chronic pain reduction by as much as 57 percent.
This list of physical health benefits goes on, heart disease, diabetes, sleep problems, can all be helped through using Tao Meditation techniques. Combine the Meditation with a change in perception on the world and a much more healthy lifestyle can be achieved. These meditation practices also have a large effect on the mind, and the outlook on the world and the universe that we live in.
Benefits to the mind
Meditation is about not just relaxing the body, but the mind as well. Relaxing the mind and reaching a more tranquil state, opens up entirely new avenues for life improvements. The mind is the control center of the body, it is the place that we spend all of our lives. Our mind holds our thoughts, ambitions, actions, reactions, everything that we know. It only makes sense to create a positive headspace, a peaceful and poised place for our thoughts to reside.
Most, in today’s society, live a very active and fast-paced lifestyle. Work and social commitments leave very little time for reflection and the mind is always running at the highest level. Meditation lets the brain rest, it creates a mental state that lets us make decisions easier and exist only in the present. This stress that we feel can be relieved easily by daily Meditation practices. When living in the present, and being in the moment, the mind no longer needs to dwell on the mistakes of the past, or the worries of the future. It exists only in the now, and can only be focused on what to do in the moment. Many have found that this helps with Stress, and creates a much better mental state. Stress reduction helps most people to live a better, easier life, a happy mind is a happy life.
Just the aspect of breathing in Meditation can bring incredible physical benefits. Holding your breath and expelling it after a few seconds, will promote better blood flow to the brain, and the benefits are almost immediate. You will notice a increase in brain function and your sense will be heightened. This, compiled with a relaxed and centered mind, lead to some incredible advances in one’s own development.
Meditation also causes the person to become incredibly self-aware. Knowing one’s self is arguably the largest step to getting what you want in life. When one knows who they are, and what they want, they can take the first steps towards getting it. Only until you truly know yourself, can you become the person that you want to be. Most people claim to know who they are, but haven’t even dipped their toes in the waters. Meditation can be the gateway to taking the dive into the pool that is your true self. The largest reason Meditation assists in this so much, is because most do not spend time with their thoughts. Today’s lifestyles lead to constant distraction, persistently running away from the thoughts inside our head, escaping the quiet. Being faced with the silence of our minds can finally show us what is actually inside there, and what it’s trying to tell us.
Producing this better headspace creates a positive environment, and with that comes the ridding of negative emotion. Bad thoughts and negative emotion can lead to the downfall of many. Self-doubt and opposing thoughts can only contribute to the bad things in one’s life. This is where the split nature of man can come into play. When you have negative thoughts your mind will go to war with itself. You will begin to have one side of your brain telling you that you are wrong, while your other side is telling you that you are right. This creates an incredible disjoint in one’s life and can be very troubling. Telling yourself positive things can only go so far, the negative thoughts will still be there. You need to rid your mind of these thoughts, only then can it be truly free from the poison that plagues it. Combatting it with positivity is only killing the symptom, you need to take care of the root, and that is a fresh start. Meditation does this, with the emptying, and training of the mind. You control your own mind to be able to keep these bad thoughts, or negative energy away.
The mind is a very powerful force, and once a person realizes to harness that energy and use it for themselves, their potential is limitless. Use the mind to create a positive outlook and less negative emotions and no outside emotion will be able to affect you.
Creatives have used Meditation for years to boost their imaginations and come up with new ideas. Once you clear your mind and truly let the ideas flow, your creativity will also flourish. The mind cannot truly create or reach it’s potential until it is cleared of all wasteful thoughts and emotions. Meditation can be used as a tool to relax, but it can also be a catalyst, used to clean the mind of waste and blockage. Once it is freed of these bounds, it will truly be able to let thought flow and in that environment, creativity reigns. Famous writers, actors, artists, and even musicians have said that they use meditation to enhance their creative mind. But even outside of the creative mind, there is the mind that must deal with the day to day.
Meditation has been proven to also Increase patience and tolerance, an issue that many of us struggle with on a daily basis. Many find themselves troubled with quick tempers, or short fuses when dealing with difficult people. Meditation creates a much more calm and peaceful mindset, making it much easier to handle these aggravating situations. These stressful situations can also lead to a lot of anxiety, making it even more difficult to navigate.
Many studies have been done on treating anxiety and depression with Meditation practices. And a large amount of people in today’s society use Meditation to treat their anxiety and depression. Much like asthma attacks, anxiety attacks are worsened by the panic that sets in during an attack. Anxiety attacks activate the “fight or flight” sensors in your brain, telling your brain that your life is in danger, when most of the time, it isn’t. This creates for a very confusing, and unusual feeling. Anxiety can be incredibly stressful, and sometimes life-altering. Meditation creates a peaceful and positive mindset, reducing panic, and negative thought. This greatly helps people whose lives are troubled with anxiety, and even panic attacks.
This list, just like the health benefits to the body, could go on. But all of these issues that Meditation helps with, are symptoms of a troubled mind. When you create a better headspace, and start to live a more positive lifestyle, these symptoms start to disappear. Taoism and Meditation, used in conjunction, create a very positive and different lifestyle than most live today. Look at the world as a river, and you are part of that river, whether it is a small flowing brook, or a white water rapid, that river is you. And you have no choice but to flow with the river, and make peace with what the universe brings you. That is, in essence, Taoism. It is the choice to take what is set in front of you, and deal with it as it comes. You don’t look back, and you don’t look ahead, you look at what is now, and what is today. Meditation only furthers that practice, it helps to center your body and your mind, and bring you to the present, it forces you to see who you are, not who you were, or who you will become. All of this is meant to make for a better life, and bettering your mind and body, are just pieces of the puzzle. The puzzle is completed, when we talk about bettering the spirit
Benefit to the Spirit
Taoism refers to the Spirit as “The Mystic Nature” or “The Root of The Universe.”. It is immortal, it cannot be destroyed or consumed, it lasts far beyond our material bodies do. It is engrained in the universe and it is without end. It teaches to bring the spirit and the body together, to achieve “Oneness”. This is the balance that we spoke of before, the joining of the physical and the ethereal. When these two are one, you become in balance, a state of serenity, of tranquility. This is where your soul will be truly at peace. The soul is left to wander, through the dark, in the ether. WIth the practice of meditation, you can reel the soul back in, and create a “Oneness” with the body that Taoism speaks of.
This “Oneness” is formless, nameless, and unidentifiable. It is a presence, a nontangible force that exists. It is a subject that Taoism is incredibly vague about, and many have differing opinions on the subject. But, one thing is clear, that you may achieve “Oneness”, but it is a personal journey, that you must embark on.
The Tao, may be in some case, vague or difficult to grasp. But even though we are speaking of forces that cannot be felt or studied, they are nonetheless, full of substance and of virtue. They are brimming with feeling and many positive benefits to life. These forces enact themselves without discrimination. And you can only feel these forces through personal effort. You must practice meditation on your own to believe them, and your own experience will surely be different from that of someone else’s. Many people have talked about the benefits of Meditation and even Taoism. When speaking upon this subject, most feel the need to only talk about the tangible evidence, clinical studies, health benefits and stress relievers. But there is another aspect of meditation that is not talked about as much, the spirit.
There are many spiritual benefits to meditation, that lie mostly in the metaphysical. The spirit is the foundation of everything we know, it can’t be felt like our body, and cannot be measured, like our mind. Only you know your spirit. Your spirit is what you are, it’s your core, deep down inside it’s what makes you, yourself. It is compromised, and made up of the energies of the Tao. The Three Treasures that we talked about before talk about the subject more in depth. But your spirit will be with you even after you die, so it is on Treasure that should not be neglected.
Meditation calms the mind, it creates a positive head space, and it relieves the body of the stress pressured upon it by the daily world. But it also frees the spirit. Meditation is a doorway into a world, undiscovered by most. You are entering into a new domain, one that provides many benefits to you and your spirit. The practice allows you to tap into an entirely new worldview. Some say that it can even lead to you transcending into another state of being. Letting your mind become blank, focusing on the present, all of these things let you alter yourself, so to speak. You are allowed access to the building blocks of yourself, you gain an inner view on yourself, and who you are. Once you have this window into your soul, you can know yourself, and the man that knows himself, is a powerful one. Some, have even described becoming closer to God, through Meditation. Buddhists and Taoists use these practices to center themselves, but some use them to transcend to a more spiritual level of being. They can use this to access other states, and other dimensions of peace and prosperity.
All of these things, are The Way. These benefits all come with going with the flow, and with centering yourself, becoming harmonious with the universe, and balancing yourself. Body, Mind Spirit. That is why people have practiced Taoism and Meditation for centuries. They practice because it brings so much joy, and balance to your life, why wouldn’t you practice it. The rewards that a very short amount of time and almost no effort give you, are endless. But practicing is only the first step. It can bring many benefits in itself, but putting them into place in the real world, is another task on its own.