By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Doctors and scientists have been studying the body-mind connection and its relationship to physical health. Medical researchers have linked certain illnesses to our state of mind and to our emotional condition. They have found that when we undergo mental stress or emotional pain or depression, our physical resistance to disease drops. We become more susceptible to contracting a disease because our ability to keep our immune system in top working order decreases.
Science has pinpointed certain diseases such as digestive problems, breathing problems, heart disease, and migraine headaches, to name a few, that are sometimes stress-related.
Meditation can help us in several ways. First, it can lessen our stress, and in turn, reduce our chances of developing a stress-related illness. In this hectic world, our mind is often agitated by stress and pressures. Life has become so complicated that people seem to have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Some people hold jobs that require long hours and too much responsibility. Other people work two jobs and raise a family. Too much pressure often causes people to seem to snap—they become irritable, off-balance, and “stressed-out.” They begin to act in ways that are not “themselves.” Sometimes they take out their frustrations on their loved ones and hurt those they should love the most.
Meditation is a way to eliminate the lack of balance caused by the mental stresses of life. By spending time in meditation, we create a calm haven in which we restore equilibrium and peace to our mental functioning. Researchers have recorded that the brain activity in people who meditate reflects a state of deep relaxation. Their mind becomes calmer. Meditation also calms the body. If we could spend some time each day in meditation, we would find our stress levels would be reduced and our health would reach a more optimum level.
Besides reducing stress during meditation, there is a carry-over effect. We can maintain more peace of mind as we continue our activities throughout the day. As we perfect our meditations, we can maintain that calm state of mind even in the midst of turmoil and strife. We would be more in control of our reactions and would maintain an even keel in the face of other people’s conflicts. Reducing our stress throughout the day can reduce the risk of becoming victim to stress-related ailments.
Second, meditation can lift our attention to a higher level of consciousness so that we do not feel the pinching effects of any illness we do develop. Through meditation, we come in contact with a stream of bliss and joy within that takes our attention away from the pains of the world. Through mastery of meditation, we have a refuge of bliss and peace within, safe from the ravages of physical pain.
Although at times we may get sick because we break natural laws, meditation can help us rise above the discomfort and find solace and peace above the consciousness of bodily pain. We have only to look at near-death experiences to see how people who undergo excruciatingly painful accidents were lifted above their pain when they temporarily left their body. They could see their body with injuries and trauma lying below them, but they no longer experienced any physical pain until they returned to the body. This is one analogous situation to give us an idea of the power of protection from pain afforded to us when we perfect our meditations.
Recent medical studies are drawing a correlation between patients who pray and meditate before and after surgery and those who do not. Early studies find that patients heal and recover more quickly from surgery when they pray or meditate before surgery or after surgery.
Spending regular, accurate time in meditation has been shown to reduce stress. Many medical centers and hospitals offer classes in meditation as a way to reduce stress and eliminate certain illnesses. Many people have requested to learn our introductory meditation, called Jyoti meditation, taught at our Science of Spirituality centers throughout the world as a way to reduce stress.
As you continue to meditate, you will experience the inner peace and bliss. As you do this, you will experience a reduction in stress. Meditation is an effective means to help us reduce stress and increase a sense of calm and peace, which can help us heal our physical body. (www.sos.org)