Remember the days when a kid could go out and play from dawn to dusk without any interruption from cell phones and GPS tracking devices? I am, of course, speaking about the days prior to Atari and the Commodore 64. And although today’s kids definitely have a leg up when it comes to benefitting from the latest technology, there’s something sad about having lost that Where The Red Fern Grows simplicity. Moreover, because of the almost hyper-drive-sensibility in which our collective society participates, not only are our children less apt to forge solid relationships with themselves, but we as parents and adults do less and less modeling of that solid internal core to future generations.
Jacob C. Toews pens this recent Real Truth post about the state of our culture and what amounts to a “go-go-go” mentality. Citing the 2008 piece “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” which appeared in The Atlantic, Toews points out that something vital is missing from our hectic lives and that meditation might just hold the key.
For some, the word meditation conjures images of someone sitting cross-legged on the floor, arms folded, repeatedly chanting “Ommm.” Many have the idea that meditation is only practiced in eastern religions. Others believe that the purpose of meditation is to go into a trance to receive visions, achieve a “higher plateau,” or experience an “awakening of the inner self.” Still others feel it is idle daydreaming.
The definition for meditate from the American Dictionary of the English Language clears up the confusion: “to dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind,” “to intend; to have in contemplation.”
Meditation is deep, serious, controlled thought. It involves reflection, contemplation, pondering, weighing, studying and imagining. This is exactly the type of activity high-speed lifestyles crowd out—making one feel overextended, frazzled and stressed out.
Not taking time to clear mental clutter can lead to health problems. Medical and scientific studies have found that a continually stressed mind will often become worried, anxious and apprehensive. This may, in time, contribute to heart trouble, cancer and arthritis.
Meditation alleviates these problems. It calms the body, which helps it to repair itself. This allows hypertension to recede.
Some studies have even shown that the risk of heart attacks and strokes are nearly cut in half in those who meditate. Improved memory, enhanced learning abilities, and increased concentration levels are other positive effects.
Yet meditation brings much more than health benefits.
Read more from Toews on using meditation to counter the effects of this fast paced life here.