The Value of Mental Discipline

Here’s an interesting article about mindfulness, and how it promotes happiness.  According to research, it seems, we are happiest when we attend to the present moment, even if it doesn’t seem that interesting or pleasant.  It is when we allow our minds to wander that we feel less happy.  The article discusses the benefits of mindfulness meditation as a means to focus the mind and achieve greater happiness, but does not discuss spirituality at all.  Nevertheless, it is nice to have some scientific support for the existence and value of a side benefit of meditation.

The mental discipline we learn when we begin meditation is only the first step, however.  It is this discipline that allows us to sit quietly enough to hear God’s voice, as well as enjoy the side benefits of greater calm and happiness.

It seems that many people turn to meditation of some kind for this very reason – its health benefits or to soothe anxiety or some other emotional discomfort.  What needs to be understood, however, is that meditation that is undertaken for spiritual purposes is not always salutary for the individual practicing it.  Sometimes, God speaks to us in ways that are difficult or even frightening; sometimes we are asked to do very hard things that we do not at all wish to do, such as speaking truth to power.  When we comply with such arduous demands, though, we are sometimes able to provide immense benefit for society as a whole.  Mr. Gandhi was able to stand up and work for what he knew was right, and he succeeded.  He was also assassinated.  So was Dr. King. 

Meditation does not only lead to peace and light.  Rather, it is the peace and light we gain from meditation that we must take into the world so that we may change it for the better, even if we personally suffer for it.  Today, it may be that many of us will be called on to do this.  May God give us strength.


Copyright © 2017 Teresa Chupp.  All rights reserved.


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