Meditation is a practice that I know is good for me. Nevertheless I find that resistance can set in, so near the start of each year I like to reaffirm my commitment to meditation in some way. Last year I went to The Relaxation Centre and did a course led by Rachel Darken on Mindfulness Based Meditation. Rachel explained that this resistance is to CHANGE, the mind notices a shift in consciousness and resists. For me it was counter-intuitive to meditate with others, but I was surprised at how much easier it was to meditate in a group. This is because of mirror neurones in our brain that like to echo what's going on around them. I had read about the concept and it was a bit of a mind freak to feel it in action.
This year I am reading THE ART OF MEDITATION by Matthieu Ricard. I have seen Matthieu speaking on a TED talk and am intrigued by this man who was formerly a cellular geneticist and is now a Buddhist monk. It is such an interesting time scientifically, because now all the benefits of meditation are measurable. This is great news for westerners, as we can have proof rather than taking a leap of faith.
According to Matthieu "The goal of meditation is not to shut down the mind or anaesthetise it, but rather to make it free, lucid and balanced." Heady stuff and though I haven't yet reached enlightenment, I can detect changes for the better. Did you know that just 20 minutes of meditation a day can make a difference?