In fact, meditation is intensely practical.
I woke up today rushing around to get ready for church. The more I meditate the less I rush, the less I worry or resent. It seems deeply paradoxical. How can the act of sitting still, breathing deeply for 10mins morning and night help you be more efficient? It works despite the minds inability to see direct connections. Many studies have shown that there are overwhelming benefits to meditation. Meditation improves all dimensions of experience, especially attention, peace, and single-pointed concentration. I like that very much; I also like these definitions:
|Definition / Characterization||Review|
|•”[M]editation refers to a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration”:228-9||Walsh & Shapiro (2006)|
|•”[M]editation is used to describe practices that self-regulate the body and mind, thereby affecting mental events by engaging a specific attentional set…. regulation of attention is the central commonality across the many divergent methods”:180||Cahn & Polich (2006)|
|•”We define meditation… as a stylized mental technique… repetitively practiced for the purpose of attaining a subjective experience that is frequently described as very restful, silent, and of heightened alertness, often characterized as blissful”:415||Jevning et al. (1992)|
|•”the need for the meditator to retrain his attention, whether through concentration or mindfulness, is the single invariant ingredient in… every meditation system”:107||Goleman (1988)|
|*Influential reviews (cited >50 times in PsycINFO),
encompassing multiple methods of meditation.
I’m listening to this right now too: