We work out to tone the physical body—build muscle, heal injury, improve flexibility, etc. Meditation is also a workout, but for the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. Most of us are well trained in physical exercise—whether we do it or not—and in developing our minds through school, other studies, and perhaps even our jobs. But few of us are trained to let go of thoughts and feelings that derive from past experiences but influence or even control how we experience our lives in the present. And few of us are trained to nurture a sense of connection with the universe as a whole that can help us feel safe and grounded, with a sense of purpose that feels fulfilling. That is the promise of meditation—that with practice, we can strengthen, heal, and improve the flexibility of our other bodies and free ourselves from old patterns and stories that no longer serve us in the present. We can live more peaceful, more contented, more joyful lives. Like with physical exercise, this takes regular practice, and we see results only over time. But it does pay off! So if we wouldn’t work out the upper body but ignore the legs, why would we go to the gym or run or spin but not meditate?
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