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
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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.
- You are more likely to think about the honest consequences before doing something – which can affect your health, your relationships, and the environment.
- It’s free psychotherapy – meditation can help you break through anxiety, depression, childhood issues, and, I’m finding, so much more…!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?