What does meditation do for you?

Max asks…

What does meditation do for you and what do you mean ‘go straight to the end state?’ I mean, if I could I would… isn’t that what I’m trying to do? How do I get there right away?

What meditation does for you

If I had to sum up the benefits of meditation in one word it would be this one: SANITY. You can break that down to…

  • Happiness
  • Peace
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Playfulness
  • Spontaneity

Happiness is HAPPEN-NESS, playfulness is in the moment, love is who you are under the mind-chatter.

Once you’ve tried meditation for a while, you’ll see clearly that the way you were before was kind of like a bad dream, a bit mad, a bit insane.

© David Shrigley

The bad dream is the dream of ego — a false sense of self, caused by rapidly firing thought-habits you identify with.

Go straight to the end state

In a practical sense, the end state of meditation is a perfectly still mind. That’s the condition for all that love, joy and happiness. There’s a wonderful line right at the beginning of the famous Yoga Sutras by Patanjali that simply says; “Yoga is the cessation of mind.”

Practicing meditation
© Jessebezz

I recommend going straight to the end-state — why? Because you can.

You can just do it right here and now and there’s nothing difficult to understand about a still mind, you can do it. I know you can do it right here and now, because I once tried out the Happy Guide method for stilling the mind (listening for the next thought to pop) on someone in a highly agitated anxious state, and it worked right away. If it can work for someone in that state, it can work for you.

The beauty of the Happy Guide method of listening is that the method is so easily dropped… it’s the tiniest step from listening as an “activity” to just being — an effortless awareness. Other methods can be problematic in that their effect is temporary (you end up relying on the method) or they’re not easily dropped (they become habits themselves).

The mind has momentum

All those rapidly firing thought-habits you identify with have momentum. At first, having a still mind is hard to maintain for more than a few seconds at a time. Yet, the only other thing you need is a persistence to keep applying the very simple method, and trust that the benefits I said can be yours will be yours.

Habitual mind-chatter is a bit like being dragged along and pulled under by a fast-moving current. And when you apply the listening method for a few seconds, you’re able to bob your head up out of the water before being swept under again. It’s hard to maintain awareness for more than a few seconds because of momentum of the mind. But as you commit to the method more and more, you’ll be able to keep your head out more and more until soon enough, it’s natural to you, you’re free — you’re home.

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Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.

Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
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4 thoughts on “What does meditation do for you?

  1. That’s wonderful Mark. Holding back the tide yes definitely, that’s how it feels at first. I’m sure there are other factors playing into this too. So be sure to “do it all” :-) I do that too… first thing… meditation as soon as I’m awake… go straight into “listening.”

    Keep it up Mark!! :-)


  2. I woke up this morning Mike with a running mind and a tide of thoughts wanting to thrash me around….so from 6 am to when I got up at 6h50 ….I just listened and it has helped me start the day in a more present state. It is getting easier and at first it seems like you are holding back a tide that wants to push over a dam wall but it somehow gets easier after you have “listened” for a little while
    The “live in the moment” section is the most thumbed section of my Happy Guide, I feel all the other areas Im in far more controll but I am continuing to read it untill its imprinted in my mind.

    Is’nt the rescue of the Miners an inspiring news storey for a change :-)



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