The two reasons we meditate

By Arden Martin

On a recent episode of the Untangle podcast, Susan Piver shared that most of us try meditation for one of two reasons.

Reason 1: We want to make life more bearable.

Insomnia, anxiety, depression, and other chronic disorders are all too common. Furthermore, cancer and other debilitating diseases continue to affect millions despite medical progress. People whose mental or physical struggles impact their daily life are seeking meditation and, amazingly, finding relief.

Reason 2: We crave a deeper meaning of life.

"What is the meaning of life?" This question is easy to dismiss because of how trite it has become, but many of us grapple intensely with why we are here. I've always been existential and this perspective has intensified with age. I am easily beaten down by adversity and can easily slip into an attitude of "We live in a broken world, so what exactly is the point?" Meditation has helped me feel at peace with my existence on Earth and inspired to deliver fulfillment to others. I take a secular approach to meditation, but the practice has given me the inner peace and compassionate worldview that many people seek through religion.

Your motivation to meditate probably boils down to one of the two reasons above. But meditation offers a delightful bonus gift: those who choose Reason 1 will usually find that the practice raises their level of consciousness in addition to making life more physically or mentally bearable, and vice versa. We all begin meditating for different reasons, but gradually the benefits we experience begin to converge in an undeniable way. When you give your body deep rest, everything uplevels and it is truly beautiful to witness.

CONSIDER THIS:  Do you identify more with Reason 1 or Reason 2? How might the other reason also manifest in your life with a steady meditation practice?