Now that science finally has the tools to test whether or not meditation actually works, people want to know what meditation can do for them. If you’ve kept up with my blog at all, then you probably already know what meditation can do for you, but just in case you don’t, here is a quick rundown:
- Meditation can reduce your stress and anxiety
- It can increase focus, concentration, and creativity
- It can improve your mood and help you function better at school and work
So, there are just a few examples. In light of those facts, many individuals and organizations are turning to meditation to give them or their members a competitive edge. For example, students who are taught meditation at school are getting better grades and performing better on tests. That’s great news, indeed, but it concerns me that at some point in the near future we might let the results interfere with the process, so to speak.
Meditation was not developed for the sole purpose of increasing test scores or winning football games. It’s wonderful that it can help people in those ways, but using meditation solely to gain a competitive edge is missing the point of meditation completely. There is another benefit of meditation that I haven’t mentioned yet, but now would be a good time: Meditation can increase your overall compassion.
You see, the point of meditation is to have more compassion for everything around you. While it’s great that science is uncovering all the possibilities meditation has to offer, I am concerned that people may start to focus too much on the gains, and how they can use those gains to push themselves ahead while they leave others behind.
We’re always told that “winning is not everything,” but it’s so seldom that we actually see any real world examples of winning not being the most important thing in our society. Hopefully, as meditation continues to gain popularity in the west, it will not become another thing we only care about if it helps us win.
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