The truth is that there is no definitive answer yet about whether we can change our personality. At least not as proven by scientific evidence. Despite offering one of the most powerful forms of meditation there is to practice, we at Sahaja, still will stop short of making any such claims that it can help change your personality traits.
We human beings are incredibly complex creations, and we were made that way by nature and God. And we are also the ultimate sophistication of awareness within living beings. Perhaps, God created us to establish an ironical truth that the personality and character traits of human beings cannot be predicted or influenced with a high degree of certainty by science or technique or human beings themselves. The fact that the divine itself cannot cross free human will is a testimony to this. In a way, we were built as the ultimate version of living beings – with maximum subtlety, complexity and free will.
Let’s examine, however, the extent to which meditation can influence personality and how we can take advantage of it.
What Scientific Studies Say in Meditation Impacting Personality
Studies over the last 40 years or so have established some basic impacts of meditation on our personality:
- Meditation promotes our aspirations to be closer to our ideal selves.
- Meditation increases our self-awareness and especially of our strengths and weaknesses. It builds respect for higher human values.
- The relaxation provided by meditation eases the negative effects of conflict and tension and steers us more towards our personality development or improvement.
- Meditation gives us an ability to overcome our impulses and tendencies. We tend to be less self-preserving and focus on improving ourselves.
- Meditation can help transcend one’s psychological type (e.g., introverts become more extroverted and vice versa) and help shape one’s primary interests and abilities. This includes the ability to form exclusive bonds or to develop a feeling of “oneness.”
Yet, none of the studies can ever go as far as to confirm that anyone’s personality traits can decidedly change due to meditation.
What Practical and Anecdotal Experiences of Meditation Practitioners Reveal
What we have going for us is close to 50 years worth of experiences and the knowledge of behavioral changes in Sahaja practitioners. That is, how the majority of practitioners tend to evolve over time as far as their personalities are concerned.
And here’s what we have found.
Turning over a new leaf is still very much possible. An incredibly high number of practitioners experience some sort of a personality transformation in the first few months and years, often the cause that makes them permanent meditators. The type and extent of positive changes vary widely. Some can achieve dramatic improvements like getting rid of their worst habit while others undergo more subtle improvements, like becoming more patient and this happens gradually over many months or even years.
As meditators, we are still pulled and driven by our basic tendencies but can detect and resist them a lot better. We likely cannot become a different person altogether, our genes, our upbringing and whatever has made us who we are, still continues to persist within us. Meditation is typically and consistently seen as the driver behind sharpening the rough edges of our personality.
Our problems in life are less apparent or perceptible because our tolerance and patience go way up. So much so that some that were problems earlier aren’t anymore. This obviously has the effect of us behaving more maturely under challenging situations in life than being unpredictable and being unable to manage or control ourselves.
Meditation gives us a fighting chance against our shortcomings, temptations and inadequacies. It provides better awareness. It helps us detach – from them, problems and those around us.
Meditation is your Best Bet for Self-Improvement.
While scientific studies don’t promise a lot, it is virtually certain that if there is a way for organically and surely changing yourself for the better, it is through meditation. Our lives are far too busy to spend and tax our attention more to try and achieve personality improvement without the support of a powerful force like energy-based meditation. Or try to use sheer will power.
While a lot of people use meditation for relaxation and healing in a reactive manner, allowing a form of meditation like Sahaja to build the platform of your personality improvement innately is a great life-changing strategy.