Meditation or Medication? That is the Question!
Apart with being a clever play on words, the concept of meditate BEFORE you medicate is taking hold fast. This is in part due to emerging evidence that we are fast becoming, if not already have become, addicted to the ‘fix it in a flash’ or ‘give me a pill and make it go away’ approach, which is ultimately causing more harm than good. I am not ‘against’ the appropriate use of medication but feel that in many situations, we can resolve an ailment, be it physical, mental or emotional, by a gentler, less invasive approach which broadly can be termed ‘meditation’.
Meditation is far from the stereotypical activity which many of us envision as being done whilst sitting atop a mountain in total isolation. Rather, meditation is a powerful and timeless tool which you can use to restore harmony, flow, vitality and confidence within yourself at any time and in any place during your day. You do not need to have the perfect surroundings and ideal situation to be meditative. Certainly, learning meditation works well when you can create an ideal, quiet, calm and harmonized space within which to practice, however, know that you can also be in a ‘meditative’ state of awareness when standing in a bank line up, stuck in traffic or doing housework. The key is to be self-aware and mindful of what you are doing, what you are thinking and how you are feeling. You can then choose to focus your thoughts on a specific mantra, prayer or positive affirmation, all of which harmonize your thoughts and produce a relaxed, clear mind.
Practically speaking, I have found that by taking this approach to life, I stay centered more often as I deal with the daily life challenges which we all must address. Instead of going into fear, judgment, irritation, anger or resentment, I am able to maintain my equilibrium and accordingly, keep my energy calm and unmoved by whatever, or whomever, is trying to upset me. Thus, it is rare that I need or resort to ‘medication’ to take away a stress or tension headache or to lessen my anxiety or even depression. There is also ample scientific research available which documents statistically the benefits of meditation, including 84% success rate in reducing blood pressure, 80% reduction in heart disease, 75% decrease with insomnia, and up to a 75% decrease in sexual dysfunctions (a fact which certainly the makers of Viagra do not wish to advertise!).
The point here is to understand that we must develop the ability to determine when it is appropriate to medicate and when is it advisable to meditate prior to medicating. Even when we are in a serious situation which requires medication, you will find that meditation to be an invaluable tool in helping you heal faster and better. In such an instance, the ‘or’ becomes an ‘and’, that is, to meditate AND medicate. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, review the ample research, both current and from ancient texts and you will come to understand the power of meditation. Yet, to take it beyond understanding into a place of knowing, you will need to further commit to becoming an active meditator, for like chocolate, only upon personally tasting it will you fully and truly experience its qualities!