These days, the benefits of meditation that are usually emphasized tend to be quite results driven, whether that’s increased performance, improved sleep or reduced stress levels. These are all very good reasons to meditate, but in many ways they are really just side effects of the practice.
If we look a little deeper, we see what connects us to our relatives 2-3000 years ago. Meditation was relevant then as it is now, because fundamentally the human condition has not changed all that much. We are born into the world, we face many challenges while we live, we almost certainly experience illness at some stage – both ourselves and those around us and, eventually, inevitably, both we and those we love pass away. This is the human condition, it is what connects each and every one of us.
When we begin to examine this journey we see that life is full of uncertainty, even when we are all well. But when someone we love is sick, it becomes very challenging to be at ease with this uncertainty. Intellectually we understand that we have little or no control and yet the mind wants to do something to change the situation. Intellectually we know that everything is changing all the time, that nothing stays the same, that it is part of life, and yet the feeling we experience is one of resistance.