While meditation, by its nature, is a time spent apart from the concerns of daily living, there are numerous ways that the changes brought about by meditation can be applied to our outward lives. Among the most important areas that can be improved are relationships, work, and health.
Little else in life brings us as much joy or as much pain as our relationships with others. We are constantly seeking fulfillment through friends, co-workers, and spouses or significant others. Yet most of the “choices” we make in our relationships are conditioned by individual past tendencies operating on a subconscious level, and by the magnetism of the cultural environment in which we live. Most of the time we react rather than act. Meditation centers us, strengthens our powers of discrimination, and reduces our vulnerability to the hidden persuaders of society. Through meditation we are able to become a cause rather than an effect. This is especially helpful for improving relationships. Ideally, we should become aware of ourselves and others primarily as souls, rather than just bodies and personalities. This realization needs to be gained first through deep meditation, in which it is possible to experience our own deeper nature. It is then relatively easy to transfer that expanded awareness to others. When we begin to relate in this way, profound changes can happen in the way we see others and in how they respond to us. Instead of demanding, even subconsciously, that they fulfill our “needs,” we can rest in the inner fulfillment and contentment that we experience in a meditative state. Thus cooperation replaces competition, and the joy of mutual giving replaces the tension of reciprocating demands. A great sense of relaxation comes as we realize that relationships are given to us primarily to help us learn and grow, especially in our ability to accept and to love.