Meditation is a part of everyone’s life, not least the life of the householder,
family life and life in society – contributing to peace in the world.

Meditation has been linked to a variety of health benefits. A review of scientific studies identified favorable outcomes of meditation which include: relaxation, concentration, an elevated state of awareness, self-observing attitudes, perceptual sensitivity, good memory, self-control, empathy, and good self-esteem. Meditation has been linked to a host of biochemical and physical changes in the body that alter metabolism, heart rate, respiration, elevated blood pressure, and brain activity. Studies also show that meditation can improve academic and work performance.

Meditation has now entered the health care domain because of evidence suggesting a positive correlation between the practice of meditation and emotional and physical health. Examples of such benefits include reduction in stress, anxiety, depression, headaches, pain, and blood pressure.

In a Buddhist Discourse on Concentration, Samadhi Sutta, meditation benefits are indicated and described as follows:

Happy living – We gain immediate happiness by the mere act of letting go of worries and burdens of life. It is akin to unloading a heavy load that one has carried in a long journey. The body feels lighter and the mind is relieved. By training the mind to be free of worries, we find happiness in everything we do and everywhere we go. We sleep with happiness, wake with happiness, and go about our daily duties with happiness. This aspect alone is enough of a reason for someone to meditate.
Happiness derived from a mind that is peaceful is durable and lasting. It is a true kind of happiness. Nothing can adversely affect a person whose mind is peaceful even when facing difficult living conditions. The more we meditate, the higher the degree of happiness we gain. This is the kind of happiness that no one can take away from us.

Super knowledge and insight – It is said that less than 10% of the human brain is utilized, while the other 90% is left unused. Although the human brain is far better developed than other species in the animal kingdom, some of our faculties are underdeveloped and imperfect. Unlike some animals, we can’t see in the dark, smell, or hear from a far distance, nor can we remember things that happened to us a long time ago.
Our minds are clouded by mental impurities like dirt clouds water. Meditation can help purify the mind, perfect our faculties, and bring us transcendental knowledge that has been concealed from us. When we reach a higher point of meditative attainment and our faculties are perfected, we will have clarity that brings forth a higher form of insight and knowledge including the ability to read other people’s thoughts, to see the past or the future, or to recall our past lives. Cases of such supra-mundane abilities have been documented throughout time.

Mindfulness and comprehension – Meditation can help us develop a keen sense of perception and awareness. We will become more alert and mindful of everything around us. Our body and our mind will become more in sync with one another. We will become more focused and less distracted. Our concentration and memory will improve resulting in better performance in school and at work. We will have a better capability to understand and comprehend matters that are complicated. Our success will become easier to attain.

Those who practice meditation earnestly in their everyday lives are all sure to witness progress in their practice.
The followings are 9 examples of the meditation benefits for householders:
  1. In the face of negative external circumstances, it brings a genuine sense of freedom and choice instead of feeling stress or a victim of one’s circumstances. One will be able to remain relaxed and at ease in all situations, without even having to close one’s eyes. One’s working efficiency is boosted along with one’s tenacity in stressful situations.
  2. One becomes better able to make the distinction between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ concerning one’s own and others’ possessions.
  3. One has a cooler head in dealing with problems, better able to control one’s temper, and in case of upset, more quickly able to recover one’s cool.
  4. One becomes a better teacher to oneself, particularly to snap out of grudges and feelings of resentment, reducing one’s tendency to envy. If one’s meditation practice becomes continuous, one’s character will be slowly transformed from aggression to tenderness and compassion.
  5. One becomes a better listener and discerning what is useful or useless in what they are saying, applying the useful part – while being able to accept criticism and improve on one’s shortcomings.
  6. One becomes quick-witted and on the ball in decision-making and work, gaining a constructive and practical outlook on life.
  7. When one has an accurate understanding of where one’s duties lie, one gains a sense of responsibility, not showing reluctance or squabbling over work – especially when it comes to performing good deeds.
  8. The person practicing meditation is apt to have a stronger health than his peers in similar environments, because he is not subject to stress and is better able to maintain positivity of mind.
  9. Regularly practiced meditation will lead the practitioner to develop good nature, refreshens and liveliness. They will tend to age slower than others and will be loved by others.

Thus, meditation is especially important for all those leading the family life – for everyone who lives under the same roof as others.