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Jeremy Tattersall

Subjective, unconfirmed evidence that meditation really works!

I’m really happy to read on this blog that neuroscientists are investigating meditation and finding that it has measurable benefits. If meditation is ever going to become a real force for social evolution, then governments, social agencies, vast multinational corporations, environmentalists, bankers, students and the guy on the cash till at your local corner shop all have to be convinced that it works. Scientific research is a vitally important factor in this process, and I hope that the number of research projects increases exponentially.

But you don’t necessarily need science to discover that meditation works.

You just need to sit down and start meditating.  I know that when I do, I feel better. It’s as simple as that. I don’t need to be shown the ’proof’ before I accept the evidence of my own perception. Anyone can experience the changes that meditation makes directly, and that’s something people have known for thousands of years.

Unfortunately, meditation doesn’t solve all the challenges I face. I have not, for instance, noticed any increase in cash flow through my bank account that can be directly attributed to meditation.  And if I had a dog, I would still have to walk it in the rain on dark winter evenings.

However, when there’s a problem between myself and other people, I can at least sometimes be mindful enough to see that I might be one of the factors causing the problem. Gradually I can persuade myself to try to change the situation by improving my own behaviour. Meditation grants us the mental space to do things like that, and that really is a blessing.

I meditate because my senses tell me that my perception of myself, the world and the people in it have gradually changed for the better since I started meditating. And that has helped me enormously.

Ultimately, realization born of personal experience is much more valuable than anything anyone can tell us, even if they’re wearing a white coat while they’re doing it. All you have to do to find out whether meditation works or not is learn what to do, do a little every day and watch what happens…