health benefits of meditation

The Health Benefits of Meditation

I’m always fascinated when I read about the health benefits of spiritual disciplines, such as meditation.

Recently I came across a study from UCLA’s Laboratory of Neuro Imaging that suggests that meditation literally increases gray matter — that those who meditate show less age-related brain atrophy. Though more research is needed to confirm the study’s conclusions, UCLA professor Eileen Luders says that “meditation appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain at large.”

What does this mean for you and me?

If a secular method of meditation is beneficial for one’s health, imagine how much more beneficial sacred meditation can be — for one’s physical health and spiritual well-being.

Meditation is not difficult at all. In fact, it’s as simple as sitting down and deciding to think about God for five minutes. (Five minutes is a really long time for me.)

God has commanded that we meditate on him, on his Word, on his goodness, on his mercy, on his love. So take some today to do nothing but think about God; it’ll do you good.

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15)

This post originally appeared at PreachingLibrary.com

 

wandering mind

A Wandering Mind

An archived article in Science Magazine reports a study done several years ago regarding the effects of a wandering mind. The article states:

Many philosophical and religious traditions teach that happiness is to be found by living in the moment, and practitioners are trained to resist mind wandering and “to be here now.” These traditions suggest that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Are they right?

The conclusion? Yes, the traditions are right.

The study revealed three facts:

1.) People’s minds wander frequently.
2.) People are less happy when their minds wander.
3.) What people think is a better predictor of happiness than what people do.

This is why the Bible puts so much importance to our thought life. Life is better — more fulfilling, more meaningful — when we remain focused in the moment on what really matters.

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15)

This post originally appeared at PreachingLibrary.com