Pilgrimages to sacred places boost the effects of meditation

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Imagine a moment when nothing external exists. You become one with a place, the present, and your inner self. Your mind opens to new thoughts, understanding, and peace. This is how many people describe meditation in sacred places around the world.

Regular meditation changes lives. And many find that pilgrimages to sacred places around the world significantly boost that effect. Let’s look at the effects of meditation, and the benefits of practicing it in sacred places.

Why is Meditation So Important?

Meditation itself is shown to create permanent changes in health and wellbeing. Harvard researchers highlight the results of numerous studies that show it decreases depression, anxiety, and pain. Promising early research is looking at the impact on numerous other health conditions.

But meditation doesn’t only help with healing. It also improves lives in general, and changes how the brain works. Here are a few ways meditation affects over time, outlined in a report by the National Institutes of Health:

  • Positive changes in brain matter, improving cognitive function

  • Halting and reversal of normal aging in the brain

  • Improvements to the amygdala, related to emotional processing

A related study looked at the impact of mindfulness and yoga, both types of meditation. Researchers found these practices led to a lift in mood, increased ability to deal with stress and problems, and higher energy levels.

Meditation in Sacred Places

If meditation in your living room offers this many benefits, what might the impact be in sacred locations? The possibilities are endless.

The combination of nature, spiritual experiences, and physical sensations is powerful.

Hospitals around the country realized years ago that simply looking at peaceful nature scenes can improve healing. They calm the body’s response to stress and pain. You can now find patient rooms and corridors packed with images and paintings of beautiful landscapes.

If simply looking at a peaceful picture has this type of impact, how might one experience the real thing?

A researcher from the University of Glasgow describes the long history of sacred meditation. These practices date back centuries, and continue to the modern day. Travelers to meaningful places find a sense of purpose, as well as ongoing physical and mental benefits.

Experiences have often transcended the physical, providing incredible changes in body and mind.