Alan Watts, in his book Meditation, states: “Most of us think compulsively all the time…If I think all the time…I’m living entirely in the world of symbols and I’m never in relationship with reality…The difference between myself and all the rest of the universe is nothing more than an idea—it is not a real difference. Meditation is a way in which we come to feel our basic inseparability from the whole universe…By going out of your mind you come to your senses.”
A Harvard Spirituality & Healing conference noted: “For more than 25 years, laboratories at the Harvard Medical School have systematically studied the benefits of mind/body interactions. This research has shown that when a person engages in a repetitive prayer, word, sound or phrase—and when intrusive thoughts are passively disregarded—specific physiologic changes ensue. Metabolism, heart rate, and breathing frequency all decrease and distinctive slower brain waves appear.”
Further, “These changes are exactly the opposite of those induced by stress and can help reduce hypertension, palpitations, insomnia, infertility, pre-menstrual syndrome, chronic pain and the symptoms of cancer and AIDS. In fact, to the extent that any disease is caused or made worse by stress, to that extent is this physiological state an effective therapy.”
Regarding the spiritual benefits of meditation, Paramahansa Yogananda wrote, “Why should you think He is not everywhere? The air is filled with music that is caught by the radio—music that otherwise you would not know about. And so it is with God. He is with you every minute of your existence, yet the only way to realize this is to meditate.”
Finally, French mathematician, physicist and philosopher Pascal said, “All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.”
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