Meditation results in a rest for the body that is often deeper than sleep. ~ American physiologist Vernon Barnes
Meditation is a practice of profound repose that can lead to a unique state of consciousness: transcendence. While meditation is suffused with religious history, its practice is so ancient and natural that it is likely to have been instrumental in the cognitive evolution of humans.
The benefits of regular meditation pervade the system: improving mind-brain functioning, mood, and tolerance to pain; reducing anxiety and stress, both physiological and psychological.
There are many meditation techniques. The metric of effectiveness for meditation is how easily it facilitates transcendence.
Meditation techniques that employ concentration, such as extended prayer, are grossly inefficient and often ineffective, as they rely upon mental exhaustion to trigger a window of opportunity to transcendence. Mindfulness meditation is equally inane, as it requires attention to thoughts, which are the worthless meanderings of the mind.
The most effective meditation involves no concentration, no contemplation, no monitoring of thoughts. The technique is effortless, allowing the mind-body to transcend for extended periods as the natural form of rest that transcendence is. With daily practice, noticeable stress relief is attained with a very few days.
The best-known meditation technique is Transcendental Meditation® (TM), which uses a silent syllabic mantra as a point-of-focus to ease into transcendence. TM was developed by Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who deftly parlayed his meditation technique into a worldwide enterprise. (Meditation instruction selfsame to TM is provided in Clarity: The Path Inside, and more extensively in Spokes 8: The Hub of Being.)
Meditation’s efficacy and health benefits are beyond question. Meditation can be easier than falling asleep. It can even be helpful in quieting the mind to ease into sleep.