Matter Of The Spirit - How Meditation And Prayer Can Work For You
I've already defined spirit as the authentic essence that gives you your individuality; your life force. You are born with it; it is yours to treasure; no one can damage it or take it away.
Everyone defines spirituality in his or her own terms. I define spirituality as an individual's relationship with oneself, other people and their actions, the natural world and the fabricated, technological world. Just as the Creation is a mystery and our universe is largely uncharted, there is also something miraculous and ultimately unknowable about spirit and spirituality.
I choose to embrace the mystery, however, because I know my spirit is my greatest ally, even if I can't explain why. After all, it's worked for me pretty well so far in my journey! I simply tap into the power of my spirit so I can live life to the fullest and help my clients accomplish their goals.
Because spirituality cannot be defined or quantified, there are no large-scale medical studies that provide evidence of a direct connection between spirituality and health. But you should know that there are many compelling studies in the medical literature suggesting that religious faith and frequent prayer as well as meditation help promote stress management, alleviate depression, increase purpose in life, and promote participation in self-help recovery.
Dale Matthews, M.D. discusses this research in his 1999 book, 'The Faith Factor;' Herbert Benson, M.D. also devotes part of his book, 'Timeless Healing,' (1996) to what science says about how prayer works. Another physician who has investigated prayer, health and healing and personal growth is Larry Dossey, M.D. In his 1995 book, 'Healing Words,' Dossey discusses over 100 scientific studies, many conducted under strict laboratory conditions. Over half of these showed that prayer brings about significant physiological and psychological changes in humans and other living beings.
By praying and meditating for health, strength, transformation, courage, love, compassion, patience or other desirable outcomes, you have everything to gain, and nothing to lose. Use prayer and meditation to connect with your deepest aspirations for wholeness, and increased self-esteem will be one the many benefits you'll enjoy.
Now that we've traversed the body/mind/spirit connection, let's get started on defining your goals. Now is the time for you to take responsibility for your mind/body transformation and to visualize what total health means to you.