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Many people know ( or have heard ) of the benefits that comes from meditation, however it would seem not many are aware of the effort and commitment one needs to put into it in order to achieve the long term ongoing benefits...where effort gradually becomes effortless...
I find it strange to hear people say things like " Oh meditation....Yes, I use to meditate, I found it quite helpful, I really need to get back into doing it again !"
It would seem for many, meditation is 'on request' "Umm I'm stating to become quite stressed again, so I need to start meditating again!" ( like taking the meditation mind down from the closet shelf and dust off the thick layers of dust that has accumulated) ... and not something that is ongoing...
I remember a teacher once saying that in the East meditation is more so for prevention whereas unlike in the West where it's seen more as a cure ( cure is just a by-product) what he meant by this was, if one practices meditation when in a calm state by doing so one will not experience the anxieties that comes from having a mind that is untrained...But one of the hardest things for westerners to do is to sit and do nothing-they feel somewhat guilty/unsettled by doing so...
It's also interesting to hear people saying things like "I've studied Buddhism for many years but I still suffer from anxiety and stress " to the extent it still effects their quality of life and if one were to enquire a little further one would find that some don't bother with daily meditation practice and only do it every now and again ( when it suit them) and think that, that's enough...It's as if one mind knows the benefits of it and the other mind can't be bothered...( I realise that for some people they will also need additional professional help when dealing with severe panic attacks and the like-So I'm not saying that one size fits all)
So are you in two minds when it comes to meditation ?
Or to put it another way...How important is meditation to you ?
Do you practice diligently ?
Or only when stress dictates ?