There are numerous benefits to meditation. Some are profound and life changing realizations, for some the benefits of mediation improve health and well being. Meditation can deepen or begin a relationship of a spiritual basis, both with others and yourself or creator. However, sometimes meditation benefits you in less profound, yet still important ways.
I am a huge Chicago Bears fan. My wife always says that I need to do more deep breathing while watching their games on Sundays. One Thursday some years back, the Bears had a game against the Vikings I believe. I woke up, excited about he game. The day went along fine, ups and downs, the usual. At the time I was teaching in the Bronx and had an hour and a half commute to my girlfriends (now wife’s) apartment in Prospect Heights. As the 2 train pulled into the Grand Army Plaza station, I received a message on my phone. My girlfriend wanted me to go to Target and pick up a few items. UGGHH was my first reaction, this was during the holiday season, it was cold out and Target would be a zoo. I begrudgingly hopped back on the 2 and got off at Atlantic.
As I predicted Target was busy, as I was about to get on line to pay, my girlfriend sent me a text about some items she forgot to tell me about. I had to get off the line grab some detergent and get back on line. At this point I was starting to get a little grumpy. Target was busy and the lines were long. I was tired, hungry, getting aggravated with my girlfriend and worse of all it looked as if I was going to miss KICKOFF!!!
Just as I was getting more and more aggravated, I started taking some what I call peace and calm breaths. As I breathed in slowly, in my mind I said “peace”, when I breathed out I said “and calm”. I was starting to relax and accepted the fact that I was going to miss kickoff, maybe even the first quarter. At this point there was nothing I could do so why be mad? Just then my girlfriend called again, I took a few more breaths and felt my inner body awareness before picking up the phone. I was quite surprised when she informed that she was at a fancy burger joint with her friends and wanted to know if she could bring me home anything, All of a sudden things began looking up. A new register opened up and thus a much shorter line. To add to my new good fortune, there was a 2 train waiting for me at the station. I got home just in time to see Devin Hester return the opening kickoff for a touchdown!! Plus I had a real good burger coming my way. The Bears played well and won the game.
I really believe my fortune changed when I started doing the peace and calm breaths. I believe that as I calmed down, I was able to relax and just enjoy the moment as it was. As soon as I was able to do that, my situation improved. Sometime in life it is the day-to-day, moment-to-moment things that are most important.