John Yax, co-founder of Yax Yoga Concepts and Yoga for Life Mastery, talks about the three major benefits of meditation.
When the subject of meditation is brought up, people tend to get this idea that if they meditate they’ll end up having some kind of mystical experience. But, meditation is really more about getting to know yourself.
There are three major benefits that can be gained when someone commits themselves to a cultivated practice of meditation.
“Awareness is the bedrock of everything that is important. Awareness is the ability to be present with life as it unfolds in front of us”; to be able to recognize there’s something going on behind what is actually taking place; what is driving a person to do something or behave in a certain manner.
For instance, if a husband comes home from work, his wife is exasperated and maybe says something off-the-cuff as he walks in. If he has awareness he will be able to read the situation realizing it really doesn’t have to do with him at all but rather she has had a hard day; and that her off-the-cuff remarks are not necessarily aimed at him but there’s something else going on that caused her vent in that manner. He will give her the time just to vent to help her cope with what has happened throughout the day and connect with her.
However, if he doesn’t have awareness, he will just react. John talks about how this is like “running off old programming. We’re running off subconscious programming, stuff that’s been there based off past experiences…” This reaction without awareness has to do with the lack of impulse control.
#2 Impulse Control
“Impulse control is the ability to, not only stop an impulse, but to feel it come up in the first place.”
When a situation comes up where someone might say something smart to you, “there’s an emotional trigger that happens.” This can cause us to “have the urge to react in a specific way.” There’s a pattern that develops.
If you have impulse control, you will be able to recognize that feeling come up and have the presence of mind to step back and allow yourself a few minutes to deal with those feelings. Then, you’ll be able to come back to the situation and deal with it more tactfully; skillfully.
“If I can feel what someone else is feeling I have understanding: and if I have understanding, I have compassion. Empathy gives me the ability to see other people’s perspectives; to take a moment to imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes.”
John talks about how empathy is vital for interpersonal relationships and communications, both in personal and business relationships. It is important to understand how another person “sees life in order to be able to relate to them effectively.”
These benefits of meditation “is a recipe for, not only radical transformation but, beautiful control, beautiful skill in our lives.”