What are the benefits of meditation?

Scientific studies and anecdotal reports suggest the following benefits:

Health Benefits:  Medical literature increasingly recommends meditation as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, good nutrition, and sufficient sleep.  Since mind and body are interconnected, meditation can produce increased relaxation in areas of chronic physical tension and slowing down the incessant churning of thoughts in the mind.  Meditation can assist in the prevention and treatment of a variety of stress related illnesses and in the management of chronic pain.


Attitude:  Many of us have difficulty receiving.  Being given a compliment, recognition, or praise can produce discomfort, embarassment, and denial.
"It was nothing," we say, and try to escape or change the subject.  We don't pause to be present and truly receive the gift that the other person is offering, and so we deprive the giver as well as ourselves.  Meditation trains us to be receptive.

Intuition:  Through increased receptivity and attention to the subtleties of our experience, many meditators will notice a deepening of their intuition and creativity.

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Vipassana
Vipassanâ (Pâli) or vipaúyanâ (विपश्यना) in (Sanskrit) means "insight" and is often referred to by Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike as simply "insight meditation". While it is a type of Buddhist meditation as taught by the Buddha, it is essentially non-sectarian in character and has universal application. One need not convert to Buddhism to practice vipassanâ meditation. While the meditation practices themselves vary from school to school, the underlying principle is the investigation of phenomena as they manifest in the four Foundations of Mindfulness highlighted in the Satipatthana sutta; namely: Kaya - Body (or breath), Vedana feeling, Citta - Mind, and Dhamma - Mind objects. These phenomena differ from the Khandas — aggregates — because the Citta factor is not connected to any aggregate, as it is the basic mood of the Mind-Body aggregate, while the Dhamma encompasses all mind objects, i.e., the VinnanaSanna and Sankhara aggregates, and also all mind objects that are not a fruit of kamma such as, for example, the Four Noble Truths.
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