Meditation seems to be changing some lives in our community

COLUMBUS, Ga. – We introduced you to local business owner Ben Link a couple months ago. He shared his meditation practice with us and his radical story of healing, but now he introduces us to two people whose entire marriage has found healing simply through closing their eyes.

Ben meditates 40 minutes a day. If you’ve ever tried the ancient practice than you know all of this silence is not easy. However he has lots of experience and has been at it for about seven years, but these long sessions of “quiet” haven’t always been.

“I was suffering from depression and it was dragging me down,”  says Ben.

Now that meditation is here to stay in Ben’s life….it’s leaving little room for anger as his default. He says the best part is he traded in his depression medication for meditation.

“It really just enhanced my life and I got off any medicines I was really just made me a happier person,” says Ben.

Then the real healing came….when Ben couldn’t help sharing his story. He says he wasn’t about to keep his light hidden. He set out on a journey to help the Chattahoochee Valley find healing.

Matt and Tiffany Szabo and their marriage are the fruit of Ben’s labor!

“He has changed our lives and you can definitely tell that he cares about the community and that he does want to get this out to make the town better,” says Szabo.

This former Army Ranger’s wife says it is the perfect anti-inflammatory for her husband’s spirit.

“He was military and he’s had so many experiences…he was just angry…look what they have to do. So it was really affecting our marriage and this has brought him from here to here…. like crazy difference,” says Tiffany.

Stephen Muse with the Pastoral Institute was not surprised by the Szabo’s story of healing through meditation. He shows us an example of the difference between a meditating and a non-meditating brain. The difference is dramatic.

A group of Harvard neuroscientists enrolled 16 people in a 2 month meditation program. The study’s senior author Sarah Lazar says at the end of the study it “Demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”

William Douglas, the long time pastor of Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church, doesn’t believe meditation is necessarily a myth, but he also doesn’t believe it’s magic.

“There are probably some physical and health benefits from meditation,” says Pastor Douglas.

However, he says Christian meditation is different than the other types because it doesn’t focus on emptying, but rather filling.

“Christian meditation is certainly a time of being quiet, but connecting to God and the things he has said to us. So meditation on the things he has said to us, his precepts, his promises, his truths,” says Pastor Douglas.

No matter what side of the aisle you fall on with meditation it certainly is growing in popularity and it seems to be changing lives right here in our own backyards.

“This guy right here is not the guy from a year ago..kind of like in Ben’s case like we could have gone and had him on medication and that’s how important and amazing meditation has been for us and for him in general…a totally different person,” says Tiffany.

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