Note: This is a guest post written by Katherine Cortes. Here she shares how meditation has such a profound impact on her life. Further, you may wish to check out her travel blog and see the world. – ROBERT LEE

In a casual conversation, a friend asked me how meditation has helped me and in what ways. Unlike many other Filipinos, she wasn’t skeptical, just genuinely curious. She knows that I practice regular meditation and read books on this subject such as the law of attraction, co-creation and so much more.

I thought for a moment and told her, “It helps me be a better person.”

Let me expound on this a bit.

Here in the Philippines, most people are unfamiliar with meditation. We know the basic practices of Christianity and Islam, but meditation is still quite new.

There are many who associate the word meditation with mysticism, monks in monasteries or Buddhist temples. To clarify, meditation isn’t a religious practice, but a spiritual one.

There are different kinds of meditation under different schools of thought, with different benefits.

I started with basic guided meditation two or three years ago to clear out negativities. From accumulated stress to anxiety, hurt, and memories of it, among others. Since then, I’ve done advanced types of meditation and explored its many forms under different schools of thought.

So, coming back to the subject: meditation has helped me be a better person and continue to improve myself.

4 Benefits of Meditation

Meditation

I’ve learned to let go of emotions not serving my highest good

We’re so used to carrying baggage that we don’t realize how heavy it is, so we don’t put them down. Some of these we’re aware of, while some we’re not. Some traumas and fears buried in the subconscious still affect our present lives.

The first time I did a guided meditation for release, the amount of baggage I was carrying surprised me. I didn’t realize I had resentment towards my parents for being too strict years ago. I was still annoyed with a co-worker. And then there’s the leftover grudge with a past lover.

These are the things I’m happier without. It has also helped me renew my current relationships by forgiving. At the same time, welcome new ones without all those excess baggage.

Meditation

I’ve become more aware of what I do in life

You see, meditation makes a person aware of his/her inner world. I’ve become more conscious of what I do and how my words affect people. I’ve also become more accountable for my actions and recognize my shortcomings.

“Most of us believe we’re good people. We wake up, have breakfast, leave for work, go home and then sleep,” a friend in the same circle once said. “We don’t harm others, but in what way are we helping them?”

After starting meditation, I came to understand why people give tithes to church and help or donate to charities. So I looked for organizations I can personally relate to and start there. I’d also joined voluntourism events with fellow backpackers in which we held outreach events for school children when we travel.

Meditation

I’ve learned to accept that I’m different and that’s okay

Society is like a framework that molds our beliefs from childhood up until we’re strong enough to hold our own. We’re taught what to think, what things to buy, and what career lines to pursue. Being different can make you feel like an outsider.

Personally, I don’t watch local television anymore. I don’t know most local celebrities. Instead, I like quality films, indies, and thoughtful reads.

I thrive to pursue financial abundance like everyone else, but I’m also careful to stick to a minimalist lifestyle. Luxury brands do not interest me and have a small batch of make-ups which I use only when necessary. I don’t exactly fit the average person.

Meditation taught me that we should, above all else, listen to our Inner Selves. Listen to what makes us happy personally, what drives our fire and be comfortable even if these do not fit into the mold.

Meditation

I’ve learned to understand other people better

There are many of us who trap ourselves in the here-now, in the present situation. It is easy to judge and condescend. For instance, our current world has a dominant “us versus them” mentality and we’re not even aware of it. You can see it in the news, in how we treat each other.

It’s Christianity versus Islam, whites against blacks (or in general race against race), or immigrants versus locals. It’s the Philippines against China or United States, the pro-Marcos against the anti-Marcos, this country’s economy versus that of another. This division isn’t real.

The truth is, at its very core, we are one. Humanity is one, and we’re here for each other. We all live to love, be happy and make others happy. The more I meditate and tune into my Self, the more I understand this interconnectedness.

And so …

This isn’t to say that I’m without flaw and I’m all understanding. I have my bad days too; of which I forgive myself. There are times I fail to understand because of my ego. When these happen, meditation helps me to continuously improve myself and re-focus on important things in life, such as love and happiness.

20 COMMENTS

  1. I wrote an article about Meditation and mindfulness so I found myself into your post. As European, we’re all about material stuff, and I’ve been trying meditation when I was living in the Middle East. I though it could definitely help me with all the stress I was experiencing from living abroad, on my own and traveling constantly. But I felt so much more at peace when I started to meditate constantly, every morning at sunrise. For me, it was definitely necessary and one month after starting I realized the work I did on myself was amazing and huge. Before, I wouldn’t be able to stay seated for 15 minutes without moving or trying to control my thoughts. I really have to work hard again, but everything is moving in the right direction I guess! Thanks for sharing! I totally agree!

  2. There will be those days that would make us feel so insecure, down and lost. Then, we stumble upon something inspiring that would allow us to ponder on how’s life and what have we been doing. Next thing we know, we’re picking up things where we left them and improve ourselves and be better. I see it as a vicious cycle that is a part of life. It would be too sad to remove. I just wish I could meditate soon and calm my nerves down even for just a bit.

  3. Wow, I can see why you are so drawn in doing meditation! I really think this practice could help me achieve a better life, too. I am constantly busy and wanted to have a release with everything — maybe meditation can help me relax a bit, no? I’ll research more into this so I can apply it as well 🙂

  4. I’ve long toyed with the idea of injecting meditation in my daily routine. However, with a toddler in our little house, I don’t think it is possible. When my daughter is a bit older and I can leave her to someone without fear and I can truly meditate without any pieces of baggage or thoughts to consider, I will definitely give myself a little time out to meditate. I think when you learn to listen to your inner silence, you get more at peace with yourself. Thanks for sharing. I will keep this in my bookmarked articles so I can reread in the future.

  5. I must admit I was part of the minority that initially thought meditation was associated Buddhists and monks. What is said is very true about being conscious as to how your words affect people. I am really focusing on becoming mindful of others. I have not yet attended a yoga class. It’s so good to know it helps you find a balance and most importantly helps deal with past issues and seek forgiveness. The fundamentals of humanity is to love and let love… 🙂

  6. Meditation (like yoga) is one of those things that I know can help my anxiety, but like most thing that I know are good for me… I procrastinate and avoid year after year. I appreciated reading this article because it REMINDS me that I should stop procrastinating on the important things!

  7. I had little knowledge of mediation. I have read a bit about it, but never tried it. I always assumed it wouldn’t be something for me because I am very restless and chaotic. But maybe I should just give it try and see it works for me. The benefits of meditation sound good. Becoming aware of what you do is a very important one. Being aware enable you to make decisions and be conscious of your reasons for doing things. Great guest post!

  8. I certainly agree how helpful meditation is. Yoga is considered one too and yes, meditation comes in different forms. It’s just funny how some people see meditation as a religious practice well, in fact, it isn’t. The first time I heard about meditating since the word is so new to me and so as the practice way back then, from a client I was working with.

  9. Ooooh, I’m personally scared to try this because of its other-worldly implications but I’m happy for the good things it has brought you! 😉

    The closest thing I’ve done to this kind of meditation is probably doing yoga, but then I was hardly at peace cos my body is mostly struggling with the workout hehe. Other than that the only meditation I subscribe to is meditating on God’s word during my Bible devotions. 🙂

  10. This is one of my wishes to have a self-meditation. In our busy lives, we forgot to think if what is really our purpose life if what is our mission. We just go with the flow of life. Thanks for sharing this one it’s really a great help to know what is the true meaning of meditation

  11. I would love to practice meditation to keep my sanity. I heard lots of good things about it. I agree with everything you said here. This made me inspired to pursue the inner happiness more. thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  12. I’ve tried meditation before through a yoga class. I agree with all the benefits here! It really is relaxing and it helps you forget about everything that’s not important. Great post I’m going to check out that person blog!

  13. I must admit, when I hear “meditation”, the first thing that comes to my mind are the monks. Just like you, I have bad days. Some days are just worse than the others. This is very interesting. I will research more about this and probably try it as well! Thank you for sharing this!

  14. Hello, Katherine. As a fellow meditation practitioner, I can’t help but agree to all of the things that you said here. I started meditating in 2014 to help manage my depression. It does bring wonder to the mind and my overall wellbeing. Being mindful about what we think is one of the hardest things to do especially if you are used to worrying or thinking negatively. It is only through meditation that I’m able to be aware of what I am thinking and when I’m aware, I have the chance to change it right away. Some people find meditation weird. If only they know the many benefits it can bring to their lives. I am going to share this on my page to help spread awareness. This is definitely a good and useful article.

  15. Meditation has some great benefits but for some reason, I could never manage to get into it. I think that you need to be in a very quiet environment and find time to do it. It’s great that you had an introductory course where you have been explained how to best do it. I am in search of spiritual release methods and because I will be going to South America soon, I will try to search for a meditation practice there. I would love to be able to meditate and get rid of all my daily stress.

  16. I am always fascinated by meditation, the calm and spirituality … just gorgeous. I can drift away and meditate best on the beach. Just by listening to the sea. I wish I could get more into it, at home I can’t just ‘switch off’, my mind is too busy 🙂

  17. Thank you for these. I am emotionally battered for a few months now, starting with the hospitalization of my son. Until now, my cough seems not to leave me for more than a month and I am always frustrated and tired. I need peace of mind so I again started writing. Writing somehow helps me be perfectly sane but then I am struggling for time, it seems. I have so many issues and really, I want peace. These meditation benefits are what I am after. But then, how would I start?

    • Hi, Berlin! This is a common question, and although I’m still a beginner myself, my advice would be to find a teacher. There are different schools of thought in meditation that it’s better to stick to one. I know you can find dozens of tutorials on YouTube, but it’s better to start with a strong foundation. Even with a simple meditation for releasing stress, you need to know the do’s and don’ts. There’s a saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

  18. To me meditation is to be aware of what one is doing, think and behaving. It does not come easily and it requires sustained practice. But, whenever I do a 2-minute pranayam, it helps me calm down for some time. I am trying to do it regularly and for extended hours so that it becomes my habit.

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