Meditation reduces the activation of our fear center, Amygdala (Desborders et al., 2012), while increasing the grey matter density in Hippocampus, the area associated with memory (Holzel et al., 2012). In addition, it improves multitasking (Levy et al., 2012), increases pain tolerance (Grant et al., 2010), reduces anxiety (Zeidan et al., 2013), and helps treat depression (Hoffman et al., 2013).
What fascinates me though is the fact that meditation leads to synchronized firing of our 80 billion neurons leading to Gamma wave cohesion on EEG, electroencephalogram (recordings of brain’s electrical waves). This Gamma wave cohesion is the equivalent of orchestra instruments coming together to play a symphony. Interestingly, the studies have shown it to be responsible for insight (the aha moment) in the problem-solving research.
But, these are not the reasons why I meditate.
Vedanta (ancient Indian literature) states that when we meditate, we turn our consciousness inwards towards our Atmaa (our true Self); the divine, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, all-pervading, blissful, luminous, and infinite. When we get even a glimpse of this divine self, all miseries, doubts, restlessness, fears, sorrows disappear. This blissful state is called Samadhi or trance, which has the brightness and energy of a million suns.
When you firmly establish yourself in this transcendent consciousness for good, Vedanta states, you become one with the Brahman (Universal Soul). You become a deity walking on the earth, you become a place of pilgrimage.
It is a long journey, but one worth undertaking. I urge you to embark on it. Sit comfortably, close your eyes. Focus on your gentle breathing for 5 minutes or so. Recognize your thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Then gently turn your attention inwards towards the Divine. If your mind wanders off, gently bring it back to the Divine. Ultimately, your consciousness will rest in the Divine, like a tired child resting in mom’s lap and then you will catch the glimpse your eternal Self.