Benefits of Meditation: Expanding Your Consciousness
What is it about meditation that expands consciousness? How can sitting there quietly change anything about you? Let me explain an exceptional benefit from meditating.
In order to understand this, there is a spiritual principle which many of us have heard, but not everyone has a subjective experience of - all that you could ever need is already within you. This is the literal truth. In our day-to-day life however, we are not often conscious of this truism, being distracted by thoughts of what we don't have or what we don't know or what we think must be in the far distant future for us. What has been a proven fact in traditional psychology for many years though, is that our minds record everything that we perceive, in split-second increments throughout our lives. This includes every book we've read, all that we've been taught, every television show and film, every word that's been said in our hearing. In addition to that, if you're willing to concede the idea of reincarnation (or something similar), there's even more mental information to draw upon. On a purely material, brain-oriented level, we practically have access to the wisdom of the ages.
From a spiritual point of view, we could look at the idea that we are created in the image and likeness of Divine Omniscience, the All-Knowing. It seems to me that somewhere in there we have a pipeline to some serious info.
So how do we interface with this remarkable storehouse of information? How do we get to know what it is that we know? Meditation and contemplation have been the tool of choice in this endeavor for saints, mystics and geniuses throughout recorded history.
Meditation, the act of stilling the mind, creates the opportunity for the mind to function in a far more effective manner which is an exceptional benefit of meditation. By eliminating the petty distractions and nervous "tics" that a mind can develop to keep itself occupied, its pure power will inevitably rise to the surface. It is then capable of amazing feats of perception, logic and memory.
Contemplation, what occurs when we focus the mind upon a certain concept or area of thought, also tends to eliminate distractions. During this activity extraneous thoughts are shredded, in order to focus on the idea at hand. Then, this focus acts something like a heating element, activating the energy behind that idea or thought, causing it to release its component parts, recombine, and generally take on a sort of life of its own. It will attract other relevant thoughts and together they will form new concepts and ideas.
Both of these activities, having in common the trait of stilling the usual chaos of the mind, allow a sharpening of our perceptions. You're familiar with the way that your vision and hearing will become more acute when there is a sudden silence. You will hear your heart beat and objects around you take on greater definition. This is what we train the mind to do in the regular practice of meditation and contemplation, until the perception and quality of thought are far greater even at the dullest of times than what they used to be at the best of them.
As we continue, we will begin to "see through the cracks" of the physical world. It will become apparent how it is composed solely of energy, and that our thoughts have an attractive power on objects and situations that we could not have previously perceived. If we choose, our minds will become spongelike, capable of soaking up new information at a much more rapid rate and with far greater retention.
Thus, consciousness is expanded. Ahh, what a meditation benefit, indeed!