In this blog, we will explore some of the benefits of meditation and why it's something I would recommend for anyone looking to calm their mind, work through some harbored emotions/feelings, stress, anxiety, or work on their self-actualization.
First, I want to outline a couple of things for some context before diving in.
The phrase "Self-Actualizing" and what it actually means. By definition, "self-actualization is achieved when you can reach your full potential. Being truly self-actualized is considered the exception rather than the rule."
Self-Actualizing starts with something most of us are familiar with from our high school/college psychology class. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. This map represents all the various needs that motivate human behavior. The Hierarchy is displayed as a pyramid, with the lowest levels representing basic needs and more complex needs located at the top of the pyramid. At the peak of this Hierarchy is self-actualization. The Hierarchy suggests that when the other conditions at the base of the pyramid have been met, you can focus your attention on this pinnacle need for self-actualization. (Here is a link for the 9 characteristics of self actualized people).
A quick history of Meditation: The most common conception of meditation was coined by Buddhists that lived high in the mountains in the temples of Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India. Meditation, however, extends beyond that. The earliest dates of the practice start to show over 1500 years BCE (Before Common Era). Meditation had been an integral part of the earliest forms of the Vedic/ Hindu, schools in India. In the 6th to 4th centuries BCE era, the Chinese Taoist, and Indian Buddhist traditions began to adapt and develop their own versions of meditation practice till it traveled west and ended up here.
As meditation was practiced and adopted through several cultures and religions to attune the body and mind to attain enlightenment or to get closer to their deities/God(s). As it progressed, meditation became more than just about enlightenment; it served different needs like concentration and mindfulness meditation to be purposeful in thoughts that serve a greater mental, physical, and spiritual growth.
A practice that ultimately assists with self-actualization.
I write this elongated explanation to set up the things that we are going to talk about so you can see the progression over the centuries and how you can utilize meditation to attain levels of awareness, confidence, stress handling, and so much more within this practice.
Let's get started! Meditation Benefits: Top 5
#1 Meditation improves learning, memory, and self awareness: