Before the early 1970s, the benefits of meditation were not even suspected. Meditation held little appeal for Western medicine until a young UCLA physiologist named R. Keith Wallace proved that besides its spiritual implications, meditation had profound effects on the body. The mantra meditation very quickly produced profound relaxation and significant changes in breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure.
Millions of Westerners wrongly assume that this makes meditation non-physical, something you do in your head.
Unfortunately, our culture has made the mistake of deciding that the human body is a machine, an inert lump of matter that works without any intelligence of its own.
This kind of prejudice against the body runs contrary to the way that nature fashioned us. Nature balanced mind, body, and spirit as co-creators of our personal reality.
When the material, psychological, and spiritual dimensions are brought into balance, life becomes whole, and this union brings feelings of comfort and security. Only if you feel sure of your place in the universe can you begin to face the fact that you are surrounded by creation and destruction as they constantly play themselves out. You cannot defeat entropy as a physical force, but you can rise to a level of realization that is not touched by entropy.
Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2007).