Every time you meditate you learn something new, about yourself, about the world, about life in general.
As I’m in a mood for some self reflection, I’d like to share the top ten things I’ve learnt from twenty years of meditation, from my own experience meditating, and from my experience being an online meditation teacher.
Ten Life Lessons from Meditation
1: We think delusional thoughts that aren’t real…. a lot
Even the most enlightened of human minds tens to think about things that are irrelevant, unhelpful, or just plain darned stupid.
Thing is, most people do not realise how their thoughts are unhelpful (crazy, even) until they sit down to meditate.
Not only are our thoughts unhelpful, they’re erratic.
2: We are all one
Here is a far more inspiring life lesson from meditation: we are all one.
Oneness is real.
Just as Buddha’s inspiring life quote says:
There is a universal oneness that pervades all existence.
This is one of those Buddhist life lessons you learn once you achieve true inner stillness.
Far too many people are obsessed with the idea of the self, that thing which is uniquely THEM, uniquely individual. But really, your experience of your life is influenced by everyone and everything in it. We are all one.
And at the quantum level, scientists are beginning to learn we are all one too.
3: Hate is always ignorant
Hate groups are on the rise because society is a mess. And people who are not enlightened are becoming more an more hateful.
Oftentimes we think we have the right to hate someone. Most of us have at least one person in our lives that we really cannot stand. And we have our reasons, no doubt.
We feel justified to hate.
Thing is, hate does no good for anyone, not for the hater nor the hated.
It is always better to try and understand others, to try and be compassionate.
If only we could get over our animosity for one moment, we’d probably discover that actually, that person we can’t stand really isn’t so different to us.
The life lessons that meditation teaches is that hate is just in the mind. And when we see past hate we can see the good in something we previously despised.
Meditation literally transforms hate into love.
This is something you can see for yourself within ten minutes of doing some Buddhist anger meditations.
4: Now is Everything
Since spiritual guru Thich Nhat Hanh released The Power Of Now (AKA “The Gita for the 21st Century), people have been learning to live in the moment.
This moment right now is all you will ever have.
This might seem strange. So many of us are caught up on ideas about the future. How many things do we put on “Tomorrow?”
But, of course, tomorrow never comes.
When we learn to focus our minds 100% on the present moment, we become more alive.
5: Compassion is key
This is actually one of the life lessons learned from Aikido.
We cannot overlook the importance of compassion. Put all the money and possessions aside and you realise that the number one reason we’re on this planet is to help other people. If only we can get passed our obsessions with ourselves we can open our eyes to other people and truly make a difference in our corner of the world.
one way to develop the trait is with karuna (compassion) meditation.
6: Your religion should be kindness
Here’s a life lesson I learned from a 60 year old friend: kindness is the most important trait.
There is nothing so great, so noble or so rewarding as being kind to another human being. When we are kind not only do we make someone else’s day but we make our own day too. Acts of kindness leave us feeling good about ourselves, feelings as though we can make a positive change in the world. Kindness should be practiced as a religion.
7: Twenty minutes of meditation changes your life
The number one life lessons meditation teaches is that k
I’m sure I am not alone when I say that practicing meditation for twenty minutes a day changes your life. The effect of meditation has to be experienced first hand to be believed. When you meditate you create inner peace and calmness, you feel at one with the world, you let go of stress and find the freedom to simply enjoy life. Twenty minutes of meditation goes a long long way!
8: You don’t exist
Everything we think about ourselves is nothing more than delusion.
Perhaps you think you’re smart or stupid, attractive or unattractive, rich or poor. …
Whatever you think about yourself is only in your own mind. The universe doesn’t give a damn about your delusional sense of self. Everything you think about yourself is merely that: thought, nothing more.
9: Silence is Golden
There is nothing so freeing as sitting somewhere quiet and simply listening to silence. Focus your mind on silence for 20 minutes and you will experience a state of freedom like no other. Seriously, do it now, if you can, just close your eyes and focus on silence. Silence connects us with the infinite creativity of the universe.
10: Heaven or Hell
A man can make for himself a hell out of heaven or a heaven out of hell.
It is all in the mind. You may think you have the worst life ever lived.
You may think you have the best life ever lived.
You are capable of perceiving yourself, your life and the world in any way you choose.
Are you making your life a heaven or a hell?
The life lessons here is that we can choose to make life heaven or hell. Because we can choose to be a positive person or a negative person.
11: Most people are slaves to society
Sad as it is, one of the most inspiring life lessons from meditation is that most people are slaves to society.
Most people live their lives keeping up with the Jones’ and trying to be what society dictates.
Social pressure is largely to blame. Even kids these days cannot live freely without constant pressure
But meditation teaches us to move past the pressure. When we meditate we become free in life, because we are no longer tied to the unconscious shackles that society puts on us.
12: Consciousness is everything. And your consciousness is at war
The single most important life lesson I’ve learned from meditation is this: consciousness is everything.
Forget trading shares. Forget selling gold. The real investment is in your own consciousness.
When you use your consciousness correctly you become powerful. When you use it incorrectly you become a slave.
The one thing every person in the world is born with is consciousness.
There are people born with different levels of intelligence, some people are born with disabilities or even not fully formed, some people come into the world to a life of riches, some to a life of poverty. But the one and only thing that we all carry with us as we step into the green fields of Mother Earth is consciousness. And it is the most valuable commodity we will ever own.
Shame, then, that so many disparate forces vie for our consciousness.
Your consciousness is at war every single day. Literally. That’s no exaggeration.
Take ten minutes right now to think about the amount of forces vying for your consciousness.
TV and internet. Those are two of the main forces taking fire at your consciousness. Just think of how much time you have spent thinking about celebrities, TV shows, movies, games, and so on. You’ve probably spent about a twelfth of your life thinking about various forms of entertainment and media. And has that investment yielded a return? Has that stock paid dividend? I wont do you the insult of answering that question for you.
Facebook and Twitter. Sure, they can be great tools (our Facebook page, for instance, is full of positive inspiration and advice). But I’m willing to bet that half the time you’re on Facebook and Twitter you’re not really focused, you’re just dossing about, right?
What about other people? How many people vie for your attention? And how many of them make a positive impact in your life? I’m not talking about friends and family here. God do I love my friends and family. But there are others, right? There are people who don’t really bring anything of value into your life but whom you somehow end up thinking about all the time anyway.
Then there’s advertising. You’re walking down the street just trying to chill, maybe even Zen Walking to get your focus. And you’re bombarded by companies wanting you to buy their products. Those adverts come at you like a thug in the night. It would be bad enough if those companies just said “We’ve got this new product out; you might like it”. But oh no. Marketers use psychological schemes and manipulations to force advertisements inside your brain where they contaminate your mind like weeds on flowers.
The number 1 life lesson from meditation is that our consciousness is locked in a silent war
Your consciousness is at war every day. And the sooner we all realise just how much is at stake in this war the better.
Because when you lose your consciousness, when you lose control of your focus, you lose everything, you are the ship without rudder cast out in the stormy sea.
Win the war and you’re powerful, you’re the motorboat with the turbo engine and the GPS to get you anywhere you need to go.
This is the number one life lesson that meditation has taught me: the real war, the war for consciousness.
How do you win that war when there are so many powerful forces taking free-range shots at your consciousness, how can you ever win?
How can you win the war for consciousness?
The answer is by learning meditation.