5 Ways That Meditation Makes You Happy

Posted by Morgan Dix on

meditation makes you happy

Are you happy? I mean, really happy?

What do you think of when you imagine happiness? For me, I think of people smiling and laughing in a beautiful place with their friends. Everyone is attractive, self-assured, and glossy.

Generally, that’s what comes to mind when I think “happy”. But what is happiness really?

Isn’t it closer to something like a sense of calm fulfillment and completion? Maybe an absence of self-consciousness and a sense of connection to life? I would also include the feeling that life is full and good and deeply positive. That’s more what I think of when I think of real happiness.

538821514_0a0c428101_zWhat about the first kind I mentioned? I think it’s a version of happiness that’s skin deep. Yes, I love belly laughing with my friends. That’s one of THE best feelings. But it’s not a steady state experience. And I’m not sure I’d want it to be.

In truth, the kind of happiness that most of us pursue will rarely lead to deep and lasting contentment. Why? Because it’s oriented towards getting things like beautiful people, places, objects, experiences.

Sure, these things can bring us pleasure, and that’s lovely, but it rarely lasts and often it becomes a burden. Why, because things, in and of themselves, can only bring us so much satisfaction.

Ultimately, I agree with a lot of folks out that who say that real happiness comes from within.

That’s where meditation fits in the happiness equation.

In my experience, meditation is one of the deepest keys to lasting happiness that I know of. Why? There are lots of reasons. Let’s unpack it together. Based on my 20 years meditating, here are 5 ways I’ve observed that meditation makes you happy.

And full disclosure, these aren’t traditional definitions of happiness, but for me they define real happiness. My guess is that its true for you too.

1. Meditation Empowers You
2. Meditation connects you to life
3. Meditation helps you embrace more of life
4. Meditation connects you to yourself
5. Meditation reinforces your sense that life is good

1. Meditation Empowers You

meditation makes you happy Meditation can empower you in amazing ways. Here’s what I mean.

Meditation is a practice of acceptance. You are letting everything be just as it is. That means you aren’t trying to change anything at all. It’s a posture of total acceptance and embrace.

If you have meditated before, you know how hard that can be. It requires tremendous focus, relaxation, and alertness. That’s why meditation is a practice. The more you do it, the better you get at letting everything be as it is.

But another way to put it is this. Meditation is about stopping your endless struggle against reality. In meditation, you stop trying to control everything. You let everything unfold exactly as it will. And you accept everything completely as it is.

That means that you no longer try to control your mind, your thoughts, your moment-to-moment experience, or anything else. You simply accept it as it is.

In time, this posture of total acceptance empowers you in dramatic ways. It shows you how to stop struggling against life. And it gives you confidence that you don’t have to always defend yourself. You can meet life as it is, without the need to control or hide.

And this releases tremendous energy and a sense of deep connection. All the energy you usually invest in trying to control life and your human experience is freed up and available for you to consciously channel in new directions.

This is the kind of happiness that can touch you at your core.

2. Meditation Connects You To Life

meditation makes you happyWhat happens when you stop resisting life? You find the answer to this question through meditation. When you practice meditation and stop controlling your experience, something amazing begins to happen.

Your connection to life changes. You become aware that all the energy and effort you are making to control your experience is preventing you from experiencing life as it is.

What does that mean exactly?

Your investment in your mind is like a cloak that you live behind all the time. It cuts you off from the ever-flowing current of life and free awareness.

When you start to really let go of your mind and step beyond the relentless stream of thought in your head, you experience an inexpressible sense of wholeness and connection. You realize that your awareness is not seperate from all of life.

In fact, you know, through direct experience, that life and awareness are one thing.

Like a river, life flows and unfolds through our moment to moment experience. Our minds are used to chopping it all into pieces and framing it like this and like that. But when you make direct and immediate contact with this current of life energy, all your doubts and fears are replaced by a deep sense of calm confidence.

You know that you are connected to all of life right now. And it’s not theoretical in the least. There are no words that can really match the experience of this kind of happiness.

3. Meditation helps you embrace more of life

meditation makes you happyMeditation is about total acceptance. When your practice gains momentum, you become rooted in a deeper part of yourself where you can let everything be as it is.

This practice can help you embrace situations in life that previously seemed like obstacles. What does that mean?

First, you start to see people, experiences, and events as moments that you can learn from. Everyone says that life is the best teacher. And I agree with that. Things happen that you can never expect. But how flexible are you when those things happen? Are you supple like the kung-fu master who bends like a reed in the wind?

Or are you like the rest of us. Kind of uptight and brittle and challenged by the onslaught of experience that’s almost always out of your control?

The thing is, meditation helps you create space inside for everything you can’t control. Which is, by the way, just about everything! From this position, it’s possible to embrace a much greater range of your experience and learn from it. Why? Because you aren’t avoiding it any longer.

4. Meditation connects you to yourself

meditation makes you happyMeditation can give you access to a deeper part of yourself. If you’ve read my blogs at all, you know what I’m talking about. But there is more to it.

The truth is, after so many years of practice, I don’t feel like myself if I don’t meditate regularly. The practice of meditation keeps me anchored and grounded. It erases the distance that can naturally build up between me and the limitless depths of awareness itself.

That sounds strange, but you can never underestimate the conditioned habit of believing that you are what you think. Without a steady meditation practice, slowly but surely you can easily lose connection with the part of yourself that is always at rest and at peace.

I know this from first hand experience. There is a reason that spiritual and meditation masters never stop practicing. They never take their connect to the deepest parts of themselves for granted.

Meditation is as much about forging a new and deeper relationship to your self as it is about experiencing powerful states of expanded awareness.

On a practical level, I am nicer, more relaxed, less reactive, more confident, and less distracted when I meditate regularly. I am more myself.

5. Meditation reinforces your sense that life is good

meditation makes you happyLife is good. Do you believe that? You don’t need to be sitting on your deck sipping a beer at the end of the day to know and feel that life is really really good.

You can live with a palpable and immediate sense that life is positive beyond measure. Think about how valuable that is in our day and age. We need that kind of conviction in our lives. I know I do.

And this is one of the natural gifts of meditation. As you practice and get more connected to the limitless dimensions of your own awareness, your conviction in the positivity of life will grow and grow.

How is that possible? When you have that experience over and over again in meditation, it penetrates you to the core and your confidence in life increases in measure.

That knowledge and understanding can even transcend the inevitable highs and lows of life which most us avoid. It provides a rudder and a context for the hard times.

And there is another part of this positivity. It’s the simple experience of moving through your day with the calm confidence that everything is ok and there is nothing wrong and there never could be.

You may be running around and totally active, but at the same time, you are deeply at rest, unmoving, and already full. This is something that meditation teaches you and it’s a wonderful way to move through the world.

I appreciate it like you would the subtle scent of night blooming jasmine on a summer evening. It fills you with this wonderful feeling that you are exactly who you’re meant to be, seated in the cosmos, exactly where you were meant to sit. Your heart beats in tune with everything. And you understand that you are living in the midst of a mystery that you will never comprehend, and it takes you breath away.

Now that’s the kind of happiness I’m talking about.

By Morgan Dix

The post 5 Ways That Meditation Makes You Happy appeared first on About Meditation.

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