When an individual meditates, he/she comes into more contact with the Soul and Spirit. The delusion that one is a separate self, an ego, begins to dissolve.
As more connection is forged with the Soul through meditation, the person feels increasingly more calm and at peace. This is one reason that meditation is so positive for mental health. Anxieties and depression dissolve into peace and calmness. Individuals uncover deeper resources of compassion and empathy. Relationship impasses find resolution.
Meditation does not prevent the loss or suffering of life. A meditator still experiences life with all its ups and downs. My friend, Steve, now 92 years old, had been meditating for 40 years when he was surprised by many unexpected losses: two of his four children passed away, his wife became incapacitated with Alzheimer’s, and he became functionally blind. He was able to accommodate these changes in his life without being traumatized by them.
Steve, (who had been a medical doctor and director of a pain clinic), told me that as a result of meditating a new perspective opened up for him.
“Instead of being the victim, identified with suffering and loss, I became the spectator, watching the play from the position of being identified as the Soul. Life goes on. There may be hurts to your ego. You may cry with losses and take in more joy with your grandchildren. However, these losses and gains do not sway the Soul. It is changeless in calmness, simply observing …the play of the ego. When this happens you know your mental health is stabilized on a firm foundation.”
The Effects of Deepening Meditation Practice
As a person proceeds more deeply into meditation practices, karma that has held that person in a see-saw of ego-games, drama, negative relationships and disturbances begin to loosen up and change. These habits and tendencies which are the foundation of physical pain and emotional suffering may dissolve completely through regular practice of spiritual exercises and the inspiration of participating in spiritual community.
Even desires that at one time seemed compelling can also transform or disappear. That means, sex addiction, or substance abuse can stop completely when one is persistent in the practice of meditation. At the same time compulsions wane, the individual becomes more motivated to be in service to others—to help them improve the quality of their lives. Creativity blossoms, and answers to problems are more readily available.