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10 Ways Meditation is Green, Frugal, Healthy and Sustainable

I realized the other morning that there may be folks who wonder why meditation is something I’ve started mentioning at One Green Generation.  Meditation in our society is sometimes perceived as selfish, intangible, hippy-like silliness, time-wasting or… there are many other terms that could work here.  I’ll admit that I, too, had some of these misconceptions not too long ago.

But since I started a meditation practice a few months ago, I have come to understand how much it can play a role in our daily lives as we strive to be as sustainable as we can be.

If any of you are starting to wonder what meditation is and how it can play a role, or if you’re struggling to make it a part of your lifestyle, I hope this will help encourage you!!

How Mediation is Green, Frugal, Healthy and Sustainable

  1. It can take the place of or reduce medications that cost money, support the pharmaceutical industry and can become hazardous to our waterways and fish habitats.  This includes pain medication,  antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, asthma and heart medications, and more.  (Obviously make sure to work with your doctor on this!)
  2. It brings about compassion within yourself that radiates far beyond you to other people and other living beings.  I personally believe compassion is one of the keys to people chosing to live sustainably.
  3. It increases productivity at work, at home, during daily tasks and in daily thoughts.  I’ve heard it several times, and I believe it’s true: meditation actually puts more time into your day.  If you put 30 minutes into meditation, you get at least 30 minutes back via increased productivity.  It’s shocking (and makes “I don’t have time for meditation” a weak excuse!)
  4. It strengthens relationships as you learn to pause before letting anger blindly strike, to listen more effectively and compassionately, and to become more intuitive and caring in your actions and reactions.
  5. You are more likely to think about the honest consequences before doing something – which can affect your health, your relationships, and the environment.
  6. It’s free psychotherapy – meditation can help you break through anxiety, depression, childhood issues, and, I’m finding, so much more…!
  7. It can make your community stronger. If you meditate with other people in your community, it ties you with stronger bonds to those around you, it brings you together so your compassion ripples outward with stronger effect, and it strengthens, deepens and helps sustain your own practice.
  8. It can reduce your desires for material things, and heighten desires for non-material experiences.  This may be a personal effect on me alone, but it is a strong effect: material things don’t seem to matter as much.  Plus I’m more likely to read a book, go for a walk, chat with my husband or do other energy-saving activities – rather than watch tv or do something that requires driving and/or money.
  9. It makes you more thankful for the beauty and insight around you, more aware of your surroundings, and happier while doing every day chores.  Being present in the moment has made it more fulfilling, calming and meditating as I do the dishes, make dinner, bake bread, even do my taxes.
  10. It facilitates becoming more involved in your community, even in small ways like saying “hello” as you walk by someone on the street, going into a local shop instead of a large chain store, gardening or going for a walk, volunteering, or finding your own other route for becoming involved. Because you have more time in your day, different priorities for your time, and more devotion to well-being.
  11. There is one more big one for me: it has helped me transcend my every day labors to understand my own potential, where I want to head with my life and my work, and how I might best go about it.  This doesn’t happen so much while meditating as it does afterward, in the open spaces in my mind that meditation has cleared for just such important thoughts.

My meditation practice is truly becoming richer by the day.  This is my personal list of ways I believe meditation strengthens our sustainable lifestyle – there are several other resources and studies out there that show the health benefits of meditation. When you start to delve into it, it’s pretty incredible what you’ll find!

What about you?

Did I miss anything?  Do you have a meditation practice of your own?

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15 comments to 10 Ways Meditation is Green, Frugal, Healthy and Sustainable

  • Great points, Melinda. Do you have any suggestions for getting started with a meditation practice? What’s a good way to learn about meditation or to begin practicing for someone (like me) with little experience?

    Thanks!

  • I do a lot of walking meditation, works the best for me. And knitting… :)

    • Kitting, of course! Very meditative. I love walking meditation, spend a lot of time doing it on my walk to work. It’s funny how something in me must be different when I’m meditating while walking, because I have so many more people saying hello to me!

  • This is a great list! I love how you presented it too…thank you!

  • Amy via Facebook

    What a great way to start a day!

  • Shannon via Facebook

    I meditated through both of my childbirths, no epidural!

  • I keep coming back to this post, Melinda, and trying to figure out what about it shocks me so much. I think it’s the fact that you seem like you’re justifying your meditation practice. It frightens me that our culture gives so little thought to human health and compassion for others that we have to justify doing things for ourselves. You cook healthy, organic meals? You must be a snob. You meditate? What kind of hippie are you? You knit? You must have too much time on your hands. It really frustrates me that we’re thinking so much about how to act and fit in that we don’t think about how to take care of ourselves, too. (I’m incredibly guilty of this as well.)

    Your list is not only 10 ways meditation is “green, frugal, healthy and sustainable” but 10 ways meditation can make you feel like a more complete person.

  • Shannon, I keep coming back to your comment – that is incredible!!

  • Alyssa

    Please take the time to watch and share this video. Marala Scott truly is an inspiration.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBm2OiiC3wM&feature=share
    and her women’s retreat allows women the opportunity of self discovery, personal growth and conscious living by being free from the stress of everyday life. http://www.wix.com/maralascott/womensretreat

  • Uncoupling economy from meaning in our lives may help human beings, natures creatures and the planet. Be it through meditation or simply getting outside and enjoying nature more often; non-material experiences especially those that build commuinty are generally rich and rewarding(I believe).

    As my blog header instills: Creating Community- Community is not static. We need to develop, seek, and nourish community.Join planet beneficial and non-exclusive activities like litter picking that in turn develop community.

    While walking and litter picking, I find my attention tuned into the details of my commmunity environment. Picking up the litter helps me feel I am giving back, writing about litter picking and encouraging others to maintain a green and clean environment helps me feel connected and allows me to show the impacts of littering behavior. I feel empowered to make a difference-real tangible difference that I can see and others walking after me can see.

    After visiting many businesses seeking their support to maintain clean storefronts, I created a way to help others feel empowered. Thus the Clean-Up Coupon was created. Available on my web site posting – http://litterwithastorytotell.blogspot.com/2012/02/clean-up-coupon.html

    Folks can hand to stores where the consumer sees litter and wants a non confrontational polite way to ask the business to take responsiblity to clean up the blight on their storefront.

    Thus this is one way I hope to spread my passion about inspiring people to maintain a litter free environment and build community at the same time.

    Bernie Paquette
    Vermont

  • Zelia Diana Barbosa

    hello, Melinda!
    Your blog has taught me many things, so now I bring some things for you …
    I’m Brazilian and do not speak English, I’m using Google translator to write.
    Here are some uses of aloe vera in everyday life.

    tooth whitening
    Go to a dental lab, ask to take a mold of his teeth and order a silicone mold.

    Put aloe gel inside the mold and stand approximately four hours with pure gel in contact with the teeth and gums.

    In a period of 15 days your teeth will whiten and shining as if you had gone to the dentist and spent a note.

    Toothpaste based on aloe

    The teeth and gums are bright reddish in color and that wonderful feeling of cleanliness and well-being.

    how do
    Cut a small piece of aloe leaf at night and let the liquid drain yellow. The next day morning, shave gel with the spoon and go to brush the teeth, making brushing. Makes a nice espuminha well and has no bitter.

    Use the gel like toothpaste. Wet the brush on gel, brush your teeth normally and remove with water.

    This process can also be used for sensitive teeth and bleeding gums.

    Other recipes are on the blog where I got this:
    http://curapelanatureza.blogspot.com.br/2012/01/uso-da-babosa-nos-cuidados-diarios.html

  • [...] few years, I’ve hinted at some changes. We went on a juice cleanse. And another. I started meditating and doing yoga, and having regular medical massage sessions. I stopped eating [...]

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