Around the world, people of all faiths celebrate special holidays at different times of the year. No matter which faith we belong to, there are special days for remembering the lives and teachings of saints, mystics and enlightened beings who dedicated their lives, focusing attention on God. The outer customs may differ but the intent is the same: remembrance of the Creator.
Whether we spend a holiday in outer customs such as attending our places of worship, lighting candles, ringing bells, saying special prayers, or reading scriptures, what each faith has in common is that these acts are meant to draw our attention toward God. God is not found outside, but, according to all teachings, He is found within. It is quite easy to perform outer customs, but we can’t contact the Lord within us that way.
Many people today meditate for its benefits such as improving physical and mental health through relaxation. Meditation can slow our heart rate and brain waves, and this calming effect can reduce the risk of contracting stress-related ailments such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, digestive and circulatory problems, headaches, and other disorders.
. Studies have shown improvement of mental capabilities with increased attention and concentration.
But, there is a much deeper and richer value to meditation than the gains to our physical and mental well-being.
Meditation can lead to spiritual benefits, the greatest of these being union of our soul with God. We can invert our attention to find God any time, any place.
When we sit in silence, stilling our thoughts and gazing within, we find inner light and divine music reverberating. This is a current or stream that connects our soul back to God.