Then, yesterday, I had an appointment for my annual pap exam. These things are never pleasant. I was bit more tense than usual because I was visiting a doctor who was new to me. I was unfamiliar with him, his staff and the office. The waiting room was full of people, including many children and babies. The children were running around the room with moms screaming at them. Many of them brought fast food with them. At one point, french fries became toy missiles flying around the room, with more screaming from the moms. Most of the babies were crying loudly, some unconsolably. On top of that, the air conditioning was not working which made the smell of fast food stronger, pungent even. I knew I had to wait, so I had brought a book with me. Would I be able to read in the midsts of all the noise and discomfort? I focused on my breath.
These two stories bear out some of the results of meditation. Meditation has both immediate and cumulative effects. Many times, right after meditation, I feel grounded and focused. I feel as though I can handle whatever comes my way. There are other times throughout my day when I feel the accumulated effects of my meditation practice. Yesterday, for instance, I was able to read in bosom of life around me. Before I knew it, the nurse had called me into the examination room. Moreover, while the doctor was performing the exam, I was relaxed and comfortable. That had never happened to me before.
The focusing and calming effects on meditation have a real impact on our physical and mental health. A regular meditation practice can help us be productive and efficient, think more clearly and creatively, reduce our blood pressure, and regulate our emotions, among many other benefits. Today is a good day to meditate for both the now and the later effects. Let's take a few minutes to sit in a quiet place, close our eyes and breathe. Let's do this consciously and bring about inner calm, equanimity, better health and our ability to deal better with daily life.
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