Instead of copying and pasting a list of evidence-based and (perhaps agenda-driven) benefits of meditation here, I'd much rather share my lived experience with you.
Despite years of practicing and teaching, despite countless silent and solitary retreats, meditation is still a struggle at times. More so within the context of city life that glorifies staying busy, meditating can feel like swimming upstream.
More often than not, it is just another task on an endless to-do list. It's a chore just trying to pacify this monkey mind, to navigate its wily excuses and to convince it to sit down and be still.
Then why bother?
I meditate to be reminded experientially that I am not that crazy mind that I often mistake myself to be.
I meditate as a practice of self-compassion, patience and perseverance.
I meditate to get out of my head and take refuge in the Heart.
I meditate to weaken and dissolve that false sense of self, and to recognise it as just scaffolding.
I meditate for sweet relief from the suffocating grip of my conditioned thinking, speaking and doing.
I meditate to find the eye in the storm of the human condition.
I meditate to taste that deep "Peace that passes all understanding" and to feel that loving embrace that holds everything.
I meditate to acknowledge where personal effort ends and surrender begins.
I meditate to call in the Grace that helps me remember my True Nature.
This is everything.
These bitter-sweet experiences on the meditation cushion is what better prepares me to face Life's many curveballs.
It builds my capacity to hold space for the suffering of my friends and family. It is what makes me a meditator for Life.
These beautiful words by a Buddhist nun on her deathbed says it all..
"My days are short and as I grow weaker, I experience so much gratitude for my meditation. Not only the joy and ease it brought, but the hard parts. For every bored and restless sitting, and every fearful fantasy, and every pain and ache I sat through, and every itch I didn’t scratch, was a training for kindness. A training for the muscle for bearing witness, for the trusting spirit that carries me now as I face my death.”