“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite.”

– William Blake

Meditation is the core practice of transpersonal psychology. While the founder of psychoanalysis characterized dreams as being “the royal road to the unconscious,” the founders of transpersonal psychology called meditation “the royal road to the transpersonal”. There are many forms of meditation; however, most styles of meditation facilitate us disidentifying from our egos and realizing our fundamental nonduality.

Just as exercise is essential to our physical health, the ancient tradition of meditation is important to our psychological and spiritual health. While the body maintains a state of profound rest during meditation, the brain and mind become more alert. Studies show that after meditating, our reactions are quicker, creativity is greater, and comprehension is expanded.

Regular meditation fine tunes the metabolism both physiologically and biochemically. It decreases stress hormones, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while lowering respiration and pulse rates. Meditation promotes a healthy sense of relaxation and can even slow the aging process.

The psychological benefits of meditation include decreased anxiety, depression and irritability; improved learning ability and memory; increased feelings of vitality, rejuvenation and happiness; and a greater sense of overall emotional stability.

Meditation can even act to purify the mind, cleansing our thoughts of psychic irritants, such as greed, hatred and jealousy. Through meditation, we can experience a state of tranquility and a heightened awareness of our thoughts, words and deeds.

Many forms of meditation use breathing techniques to quiet the mind. These techniques are easy to learn; some are as simple as consciously following the flow of our own breath. With practiced meditation, we become aware of the mind and the way our thoughts can produce stress. By quieting the mind, meditation puts us in touch with the inner self, allowing our body’s inner wisdom to be heard.