There are many reasons to meditate, and lots of reasons why people don’t, or don’t want to. My friend Adam Grant wrote a hilariously grumpy screed in the New York Times late last year about how he’s exhausted with everyone telling him to meditate. You could certainly say meditation is having a moment, but then again, meditation has been having a moment for a while now.
The myriad benefits of meditation practice include lower blood pressure, less anxiety, and a greater ability to focus. A growing body of research supports these and other positive health effects.
I have been meditating since I was three years old, so it is sometimes hard for me to put my finger on what meditation does. I can’t tell you that I am a stress-free, vice-free yogini. While those 36 years of practice—give or take—have given me a lot of quiet, it hasn’t made me quiet. And I should say that I dropped my practice for years, choosing instead a nice glass (or three) of Chablis, or the ease of an anti-anxiety medication, or the rigor of an hour-long trail run. Or countless episodes of Law & Order. All of those things do something for me, which is tune out, for a little while, the chatter in my head.
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