Is the benefit of meditation real

Is the benefit of meditation to be real?

Is the benefit of meditation  real, and more fundamentally, how do we define or discover what is real?

The ultimate benefit of meditation is self-realization or Unity consciousness, the deep feeling of peace and the physical benefits that attend this feeling are the ‘side effects’ of a regular meditation practice.

 Self-realization is the only way we can define or discover what is real. The external world is an illusion that shifts based on our social conditioning and the way we perceive it in the moment. The practice of meditation is a precise way of calming the mind so that we can attain a state of consciousness that is completely different than the normal waking state. It is a way to explore all the levels of ourselves until we arrive at the center of our consciousness within, which is the place of our truth.   

As he begins his answer to these questions, Lewis Richmond a Buddhist writer and teacher, explains “I often say when I teach meditation, “We meditate not just to be calm, but to be real.”

So, here are Lewis Richmond’s thoughts on discovering what it means to be real…

As meditation is finding its way in the West and looking for authentic cultural roots, we are bound to re-enact Siddhartha’s own search, re-discover his own disappointments and illuminations. As Kalu Rinpoche, one of the young Tibetan teachers (he is in his early 20s) said recently in a public gathering, “Dharma is reality.” I thought this was quite profound, especially coming from one so young. He went on to explain that most religion, including Buddhism, offers an escape from reality, rather than a transforming insight about it. But Dharma is not like that. It is about what is true and real. Buddhist meditation is ultimately a way to discover that truth.

Once a student said to Suzuki Roshi, “My meditation is no good; I’m thinking all the time.” o which Suzuki replied, “What’s wrong with thinking?”

Suzuki meant it as a deep question. What is wrong with thinking? Is all thinking wrong, or just some thinking? Is thinking during meditation a bad thing? The sixth ancestor of Zen, Hui Neng, specifically taught that to empty the mind of all thoughts during meditation is not a Buddhist practice. Thrangu Rinpoche, a living Mahamudra master, once said (in the book “Pointing Out the Dharmakaya”), “sometimes you have a really bad thought when you meditate.” And to stress the point he added, “No I mean a really bad thought!”

When the laughter subsided he went on to say, “No problem. Just keep meditating.”

There is nothing wrong with meditating in order to calm the mind. All of us can use more calmness in the midst of a busy life. In fact, without some calmness in meditation it is impossible to see anything clearly or distinguish what is real from what is illusion. Once we have attained a stable, calm mind, we can then go deeper. We can, as Zen Master Dogen famously said, “study the self.” Who is this person that is meditating? Where do these thoughts and feelings that rise and fall originate, and where do they go when they subside? Why do I suffer? Why do other people suffer? What is the cause of that woe? How can it be convincingly assuaged?

These are the questions that Siddhartha asked as he continued his spiritual quest, continuing to probe deeper, until he was satisfied that he had gotten to the bottom of his inquiry. That is the real treasure that Buddhism has to offer, and it may take us a long time in the West to bring this treasure to full fruition.

It is possible. The Buddha was not a god or a super-being, but an ordinary human being just like us. If he could do it, we can do it. People in every generation have the same opportunity as the Buddha had to see behind the curtain of illusion to the reality beneath.

Each of us can be Buddha, which means being awake to what is real.Original article…

To see ‘behind the curtain of illusion,’ we must learn how to be still and examine what is within ourselves, sometimes found in the silence, but always found in awareness.  

Is the benefit of meditation to be real? If your meditation practice, regardless of the technique, gently awakens you to the different levels of your being, one after another, and you have be authentic with yourself in this process, then you will discover the truth, which is the highest form of reality.  

Please tell me about your journey of self-discovery and exploration of ‘reality.’

And if you want the message of meditation to spread, please click the LIKE button below share this article on Facebook.

Deepak Chopra: The Meditation Benefit of Finding your True Self


The Meditation Benefit of Finding your True Self

The Meditation Benefit of Finding your True Self

A short while back I wrote a piece entitled “the meditation benefit – Abandoning the “true self,” which looked at Joshua Knobe’s piece, “In Search of the True Self,” printed in The New York Times, as understood from a Buddhist perspective.

Now Dr. Deepak Chopra has examined the same article with a different spin as he examines Prof. Knobe’s idea for solving the problem of finding the true self, in his blog post, “The Problem with Socrates.”

I believe that Deepak’s conclusion to the problem of finding the true self is ultimately the same as Bodhipaksa, the Buddhist teacher. However, you be the judge, read what Deepak has to say, meditate on it and see if you can discover your true self, if there is one.

“I was one of many readers intrigued by a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times about finding out who we really are. Under the title, “In Search of the True Self,” the piece was by an associate professor at Yale, Joshua Knobe, who attempts something very ambitious. He wants to solve the dilemma that humans are divided between our civilized and our animal nature. The question is far from abstract. Sexual drives have brought down governors and congressmen; violence in the form of terrorism obsesses us; and thousands of deaths by gunshot every year are part of the background of American life. So much for the animal side. On the civilized side we have philosophers pushing the value of reason over passion, the doctrine of “know thyself,” and Freud’s argument that civilization cannot exist without paying the price of suppressed unconscious drives, most particularly sex and violence.

Knobe makes the issue more personal by giving the example of a fundamentalist preacher who has devoted himself to a crusade against homosexuality, taking the common position among fundamentalist Christians that gay sex is a sin and the “gay lifestyle” is against God’s commandments. The wrinkle is that this particular preacher is himself gay and has fought against his sexual inclinations his entire life. Thus, for one man the ancient doctrine of “know thyself,” says Knobe, reaches a fork in the road. If the true self is rational, this man is obeying his true self by living according to higher values — his Christianity — instead of giving in to animal drives. (The preacher, who admits that he sometimes loathes his attraction to other men, takes this self-hatred as a good sign, since it is in accord with God’s own attitudes).

On the other hand, many modern people find such a position abhorrent. They would argue that the preacher’s true self can be found by stripping away the veneer of moral judgments and giving in to the impulses that it takes such effort and self-denial to suppress. If the preacher were out and proud, for example, he would be expressing who he really is. Clearly there is no agreement on the true self, which brings up what philosophers call the Socratic problem. We owe to Socrates, who lived in the age of Pericles in fifth century BCE Athens, our Western admiration for reason. Faced with a society where each person had his own opinions about everything, Socrates went from citizen to citizen (he would talk to anybody, rich or poor) and asked them basic questions about their beliefs. At first the questions seemed innocent, but by the end of the discussion, Socrates had unearthed the illogical or prejudicial basis of things held to be true. The person could see, by the light of reason that the truth was far different from what he supposed. Socrates’ method was to outwit ignorance by calling on the higher faculty of rationality.

Ever since, up to the triumphant rise of science, enlightenment has been equated with reason and ignorance with unreason. So what is the problem with Socrates? It is that Socrates himself was also a champion of un-reason. He said that he had a mysterious inner voice that told him when he was doing wrong (his daemon), and that this voice had a divine source. Socrates was famous for his traditional worship of the Greek gods. In addition, he revered the inspired state known as divine madness. Divine madness was something to be valued highly, because it was the source of art, music, love, the imagination and our connection to the soul. How did Socrates balance reason and unreason? He didn’t. Sometimes he speaks from one aspect of himself, sometimes from another. The Socratic problem is that when you look closely, the father of Western philosophy cannot be defined one way or the other.

Prof. Knobe has a novel idea for solving the riddle of the true self. He proposes a new field known as “experimental philosophy” that would do research into tough problems that have plagued philosophy for centuries, such as the riddle of the true self. For example, he and two colleagues at Yale asked 200 subjects a series of questions about their true selves. But a trick was involved. The questions were weighted toward a liberal and a conservative bias. The point was to see if a person’s value judgments influence his ideas about the true self. Would a conservative approve of fighting against one’s homosexual impulses and a liberal approve of the opposite value? Naturally. Would this give each of them a different idea of which side of human nature was the true side? Yes. People see reality through the lens of their prejudices and social beliefs. The finding isn’t very startling, and I think the whole endeavor may be futile…”

“…I think that the Socratic problem is the result of confusion. Whether we are speaking of Jesus, Buddha or Socrates, the result of “know thyself” doesn’t end in a muddle. Each of them spoke of a higher reality that could be reached, and as the journey unfolds, reason and unreason each play a part. Reason sorts out contradictions and analyzes what is happening as inner experience shifts. Its chief value is to pierce through self-delusion, just as Socrates did with his Socratic method. Unreason brings intuition and insight. Its chief purpose is to deepen one’s experience until the presence of the divine is actually real. Rather than warring against each other, these two aspects of the self are allies in the battle against a common enemy: illusion. So the muddle is ours, not Socrates’. By definition an experiment that seeks to find the true self by asking 20 questions is secretly on the side of rationality, as all data collection is. The results are skewed in advance. After all, a subject who said “This is a stupid experiment. I’m outta here” would be just as true to the self as someone who sat still and obediently took the test — maybe he would be even more true. But all such statements are secondary. The true self means little until it jumps off the page of a philosophy textbook and becomes a vocation, a vision and the ultimate goal of life”. Click here to visit the original source of this post

Deepak’s approach and conclusion is one of transcendence, to go beyond the contradictions of duality and illusion and discover the unity of the true self.

The meditation benefit of finding your “true self” is seeing beyond the illusion of ‘self’ and experiencing being.

One Meditation Benefits is leaving the Would Be Messiahs Behind

The question is, are we waiting on Superman? And how do meditation benefits fit into this discussion at all? It’s my belief, there are times, when we all hope that a superhero will come winging in from out of the ether and save us from ourselves, all the while knowing, in our heart of hearts, it’s not going to happen. It’s this desire that has historically give rise to messianic thinking, which is not idealism but false hope.

One Meditation Benefits is leaving the Would Be Messiahs Behind

meditation benefit of self-realization

How do we avoid this mind-trap and can meditation help us in that regard? My answer is, yes, and I would make two points about meditation and avoiding the messianic thinking trap, one mental and spiritual, the other physical and spiritual.

The first is self-realization, when someone ‘knows’ who they are they don’t look outside of themselves for answers. Second there’s a physical process that can take place in the brains of meditators called, “self-directed neuroplasticity,” a process that can lead to increased feelings of compassion, self-awareness, introspection, and reduced stress evolving as with changes in the brain structure. You can learn more about this process in my post, “Evolution of Consciousness a Benefit of Meditation?”

Carter Phipps, in the “EnlightenNext” blog, dive deep into the meaning and effects of the trap of messianic thinking. Here’s Carter….ᅠ

“…A few years ago, I was doing research on an article on messianic thinking, and I came across a fascinating historical tidbit from the nineteenth century about Anne Besant, who had been a women’s rights activist in London before joining the Theosophical Society and eventually becoming its president. Besant was an interesting character for many reasons, but she is perhaps best known for her efforts to find the young boy who was supposed to grow up to be the World Teacher of the Theosophical Society. That boy was Jiddu Krishnamurti, the great twentieth-century teacher who rejected his association with Theosophy along with any sort of messianic titles and became a powerful independent philosopher/teacher in his own right.

It’s a fascinating story in many respects, but what struck me at the time was the reason for Besant’s messianic turn. It seems that she was incredibly passionate about progressive causes at the time, and amidst difficult conditions of the poor, and the squalor and poverty of an industrializing London, she began to lose faith in the modernizing forces at work in the economics of the day. After a flirtation with Marxism she met Helen Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy, and became interested in those esoteric teachings.

I’m sure there were many reasons for Besant’s interest in Theosophy, not the least being her own longtime spiritual interests, but one reason struck me as important: she was losing faith in the capacity of progressive causes to make a difference in the rapidly industrializing homeland.ᅠ She had lost faith in politics and progressive movements to change the circumstances of the disadvantaged and so turned to inner dimensions, to spirituality, and, in particular, to a new faith in a coming “world teacher.” Her messianic turn, in other words, was driven by a desire to jump-start, or at least speed up, the processes of cultural evolution. Indeed, it was her waning faith in the possibilities of progressive change that led her to turn away from her activism and look for a heroic, history-changing event.

Indeed, I have noticed that it is often when we don’t have real conviction in the possibility of evolutionary change that we start reaching for revolutionary messianic movements. It may be the global promise of 2012, or the Harmonic Convergence, or some sort of “Earth Change” or massive one-time universal “shift” that will pave the way to the future, but it will definitely be something. In that respect, I see many Besants in our own time, individuals who have a deep desire for change, and a passion to see things truly improve on this delicate third rock from the sun. These are often the same people who have worked hard for noble causes that are slow to take root in our culture. They look out at a world of climate change, terrorism, corruption, overpopulation, and financial disaster, and where billion people live in poverty, and conclude that things are not getting better at all. Or if they are, they aren’t improving fast enough. ᅠAnd then they pray, hope, meditate—for some event; some change of consciousness; some immanent convergence, ᅠemergence, or resurgence of love, light, peace, and compassion to deliver us from the evil and ignorance that has a hold on our collective soul. In other words, they look for a messiah, or a messianic event, to change everything. Sure, they may not use that term, but semantics aside, that is what it is.ᅠ And often they invoke the term “evolution” to describe this change in consciousness.

Ironically, such thinking has nothing to do with evolution of consciousness and culture in the way that I understand it. In fact, I want to suggest something that may be controversial: It is not a faith in evolution that leads one to embrace the messianic meme but a lack of faith. It is this insufficient appreciation of the power of evolution at a cultural level and a failure to understand how cultural evolution works that leads us to start reaching for super-historical forces to emerge and save the day.

I don’t have time in this post to argue why cultural evolution is real and a completely legitimate kind of evolution. I’ll leave that for another day. But the point I want to make is that when we begin to appreciate the true dimensions of the vast evolutionary process that we are a part of, we begin to see the present and future differently. While cultural evolution is frustratingly obstinate, yes, and perhaps unresponsive to human timelines, things do change and develop. Huge shifts suddenly happen before our eyes. And even then, there are reactions and counter-reactions, pullbacks and lateral movements, and new problems arise even as old ones are solved. But evolution is real; it is happening, and the deeper our perception and understanding of that, the more powerful will be our response to the evolutionary challenges of our time—even if our best efforts fail to immediately bear the kind of fruit that matches our idealism. We should never underestimate the human spirit, even as it negotiates its way through the considerable horrors of human history. We can influence history, change history, impact history, but we can’t force-fit it to our version of utopia. Things move forward, and the efforts of individuals can have an impact, small and insignificant as they may seem in the moment. In our globalizing information age, I’d argue that the efforts of individuals can have more impact today than they ever could before. That is also part of evolution.

Remember that evolution in the way I’m speaking about it is not just about biology and DNA. Nor is it just about the development of socio-economic structures and political systems. It is also about the evolution of our interior consciousness, things like values and morals, perspectives and worldviews. Evolution at that level is slow but also powerful and consequential. Even a little bit of genuine movement can have a huge impact on culture. We should never underestimate the powerful leverage of evolution at the level of interior consciousness can have on the future of our society. But there are no inevitabilities or guarantees, and we can’t just snap our fingers and immediately change the momentum of thousands of years.

And while things can seem to be changing slowly, sometimes we don’t actually appreciate just how much is moving and shifting under the surface. For example, it seems like the problem of race in America is frustratingly slow to improve, and there is no shortage of voices telling you “nothing has changed”—right up until the day we elect a black president.

I’m sure it seemed like London’s poverty was impossible to impact in the late nineteenth century, and yet look at it today—not perfect by any means, but a heck of a lot different than a hundred years ago. That’s a massive movement forward…”

“…There is nothing wrong with great visions of possibility. We need them, as long as they’re not crazy and unrealistic. We need them in order to inspire us and give us direction and focus. But what truly inspires and invigorates is to participate in actual development, and in doing so to appreciate how that development is connected to the larger historical flow of evolution over the last five thousand years of human culture. When our eyes open up to the reality of evolution in human nature and culture and we can look back and see not five thousand years of stasis but centuries and centuries of difficult and hard-won evolution in the interior of human lives and in the exterior of human society, we will stop hoping for messiahs. We will embrace a different vision of the future, one that requires the challenging but ultimately much more rewarding work of contributing to a process that transcends our own lives and that, miraculously, we can impact with our own actions.”

Maybe that’s the real meditation benefit of self-realization, being able to embrace and embody “being the change,” and the realization, that we’re the superheroes we’re waiting for. ᅠClick here to visit the original source of this post

What is meditation Benefit of Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a type of meditation, unlike most other types of meditation, which is practiced lying down. Yoga Nidra one of the least explored meditation techniques and yet one of the most effective techniques for self-realization. When practiced diligently Yoga Nidra your brain rhythms will entrain at the alpha state; the state in which you slip into silence.

Your parasympathetic and your sympathetic nervous systems begin to align restoring the balance between body and mind. It’s in this state of oneness that you are able to tap into your intuitive and creative power.ᅠ

Meditation has many benefits. It gives peace and calmness to the mind. There are many techniques of meditation. Yog nidra is one of such meditation

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Yoga Nidra takes you beyond the physical barriers of the five senses, it’s not logical or psychological, and it reaches beyond comprehension, and the field of the intellect. This is the state of oneness, where you are in harmony with your intentions, you naturally move towards self-healing.

It’s easy to see that there is more than one answer to the question, ‘what is meditation Benefit of Yoga Nidra,’ and homeostasis of the mind-body is only one.

A Benefit of Meditation – The Transformation of Fear

We all have good and bad Karma, which are dependent on the quality of our understanding or our confusion regarding our true selves. Our minds (the chitta) are the storehouse of our karmas, and are continually under the influence of our karmic properties.

Our thoughts, speech and actions are influenced by the subtle forces of our karma. And just as the present is the result of the past, the future is the result of our present.

Avidya, according to Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras 2.3-11, is translated as lack of knowledge, misunderstanding, or distortion and confusion about our true nature. Avidya is the main affliction connected to the field of afflictions (klehas) that are causing turmoil in our inner consciousness.ᅠ

Meditation increases our sensitivity and skillfulness in reading this barometer. How do we know when we are acting properly? It feels right. Such a sensibility can be developed. And there’s no better time to do this than now.

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The goal of meditation to bring change to the field of afflictions by freeing us from the grip of ignorance, deepening our self-realization, freeing ourselves from attachment, greed, anger, and fear. And the benefit is that the practice transforms and clarifies the field of afflictions by naturally moving us in the direction of preforming positive and constructive actions.