How do we master ourselves by using our own minds? First, understand that our minds, just like our bodies, are full of movement. That movement is the key to health, integration, confidence.
       A very direct way toward this mastery of mental movement is through meditation. Research has indicated that when we meditate our bodies can actually show tissue, chemical and electrical changes, including higher oxygen levels in the blood, balanced hormonal levels and beneficial nervous system shifts. Blood pressure normalizes. Abdominal and intestinal muscles are strengthened. High levels of cortisol are balanced by the release of endorphins. Nervous system responses shift from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic range of the spectrum. Put another way, when we meditate we immediately make direct conscious changes in ourselves. With a bit of practice, we can quickly and permanently replace old inappropriate habits with new habits of our choice and move on to positive accomplishments in life. This latter process is what Patanjali calls "bhavana".
       Furthermore, understand that the people around us are constantly responding to our actions and behavior. Our actions and behavior begin in our minds. When we change the way our minds work, we change our behavior. When we change our behavior, we change the behavior of those around us. This means that in meditation we have the power to indirectly change the world in which we live.
       Perhaps most importantly, meditation can be a useful approach to the problem of consciousness. For example, the various methods of samadhi are often employed through meditation-like practices.