MEDITATION: A JOURNEY TO SELF
WHAT IS MEDITATION:
Meditation simply means an Art of keeping the mind still.
Human mind has a tendency to be Restless, distracted, wondering and thinking all the time. For an average human being it is not possible for them to maintain even a moment of stillness in their mind. Not only awake, but even when asleep.
There is an incessant flow of thoughts, creating a continuous inner chatter, a series of nonsensical and useless thoughts.
Because of this tendency of mind, an individual is unable to remain present in this moment, to the experience happening in the here and now. Mind has a tendency to remain either in the past or the future, but never in the present. This is so because, present requires you to have a still mind, feeling and experiencing the moment as it is which is very difficult for the mind.
But only being present in the moment will allow you to actually respond to the situation healthily. In rest all the moments what you are doing is simply reacting to the present situation either from the wounds of the past or the expectations of the future. And this is what is creating disorder and chaos in the life of the majority of people.
In Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna says, only a mind which remains in the present moment in the state of ‘Steethpragna’ i.e. nonchalance is said to being ideal sate of being.
Our mind takes us on highs and lows, through ebbs and tides, making us react, suffer and angry or depressed over smallest of matters. This mind needs to be trained to remain in the state where it can understand the gravity of situation well and respond accordingly rather than just reaction blindly.
This can be done only through meditation.
Meditation is simply:
- Higher stillness
- No thought state
- No mind state
- A state of mind where there are no ripples like an empty bowl or a bamboo flute.
- It is state of conscious witnessing, conscious awareness.
- It is letting go, Detachment.
- Meditation is non-doing
- Being present in the here and now
- Being absolutely silent and still state of mind
- It is state where one comes in contact with one’s own inner essence.
HOW TO DO IT:
Meditation per se does not need any technique; it just needs a knack, a knack or knowing from within, to get connected to one’s own essence or being. And every human being is born with this knack. It is just that we have forgotten this knowing from within; there have been layers of forgetfulness lying on it that needs to be released.
Hence all the techniques and methods we use to reawaken that knowing right within us, to re-member for ourselves that which is rightfully ours- inner peace, tranquility and calmness.
Meditation can be done in sitting, lying or any yogic posture that keeps our spine erect or straight.
Most deities and spiritual masters have been seen practicing meditation in various different postures at different points and different times of their Sadhana (regular meditation Practice).
DOS OF MEDITATION:
- Sit with straight spine, erect in posture, keeping your spine and head straight in one line, but relaxed. Make sure the spine or body is not under tension to maintain a pose.
- Sitting in Padmasan or Sukhasan i.e. with folded legs creating a close circuit (explained below) is very important for raising your energies and consciousness.
- Creating a fixed time of the day and also amount of time you will sit in meditation will help in maintaining regularity in Meditation, which is very essential for long term and definite benefits.
- Create a sacred space for yourself, a fixed space where you practice meditation every day.
- Keep that space clean and de-cluttered, well-organized.
- Use a comfortable cushion or a mat on which you can sit, if need be, for long time with ease.
- If possible, use some aromatic incense or oil or natural flowers for fragrance of your choice, it will help you relax and go deeper easily.
- Also a diya, lamp or candle will help you focus well and also bring in fire element.
- Initially, a calming instrumental music (non-film based and no lyrics) can be used to help you relax and allow you to go deeper.
- You can also use crystals, if you feel vibrating with it, as an aide for deeper relaxation and deeper meditational experiences.
- If you feel you cannot sit with yourself despite using all the props, you can join a group which practice regular meditation, or use meditation CD of your choice.
- You can try different techniques of meditation, but make sure each technique is practiced at least for a week before moving on.
- Creating a calm, soothing and comfortable environment always works, but make sure you do not go off to sleep.
- Switch off mobiles, computers and all forms of distractions that may disturb you during your practice.
- If you are living with a family, ask them not to knock on the door till you do not chose to come out on your own. Or you can give them a fixed time when to knock.
- If possible, keep your bowel and bladder clear.
DON’TS OF MEDITATION:
- In the initial practice, avoid using lying down postures of meditation, as it may make you sleep off.
- Watch your spine and neck, they should not be bent or have tensed while sitting in a posture.
- Do not sit in a crowded room, where there is lots of noise or TV is on. It will definitely not allow calming down.
- Do not meditate while self driving.
- Avoid meditating after heavy meals, while in rush, after a big fight, or some upsetting event.
- Avoid company of people in meditation, who are unable to sit quietly.
- Do not use fragrance or music with which you have some past association, as it will lead to thoughts again, which will not allow you to focus in present.
We have to understand certain basic things as taught by our gurus and masters, which forms the basis of certain rituals.
- First, energy is always released through fingers and toes and never through round objects. So head never releases energy, it contains it. So when you sit with folded legs and hands in your lap, one over the other, you create an energy loop where whatever energy is released by the fingers of one hand are received by other hand, making your own energy circulate within you, which is absolute bliss and calming and helps raise your energy consistently and quickly.
- Second is posture. Sitting in Padmasan or Vajrasan with spine erect is the most effective posture for meditation, because when you sit erect, you allow the energies from the base of your spine to move up towards other chakras. It is best position as it is neutral gravity posture.
When you lie down, all your energies are pulled down into the earth by Gravity. Hence it is always difficult to think clearly while lying down. Also for the same reason, students are advised to study in sitting posture rather than lying.
The forebrain of human beings grew only after they took up erect posture.
It is one of the most relaxing and beneficial posture for inner peace, raising your consciousness and clear thinking.
- Thirdly, use of different mudras and postures, mantras, etc is meant to help you drop the chattering of mind and drop into a no-mind state and have been proved very effective.
In fact the mudras science has shown that holding your body and fingers in particular posture, generates a particular state of mind and body helping in activating certain particular areas of your system to create certain effects in your body which can be beneficial or harmful according to the mudras.
Our ancients were exactly aware of which posture or mudras will help where and how and we are accordingly guided to take up those mudras to create beneficial effects on our self and go deeper within our own self.
There are mudras for different chakras, for different outcomes and even for different body organs.
- Meditation can be done anytime and all the time. As such there are no fixed timings to do meditation.
- But for beginners it is beneficial to fix up a daily time and remain regular with it.
- It is beneficial generally to fix up a time when nobody disturbs you and you feel fresh.
- Our Vedas recommend early morning hours as very beneficial for daily meditation practice called “Brahmamuhurat” a period of utter peace and when the forces of nature outside and inside you are just arising. That is the time to balance them in a best possible way.
- Ti is best done in darkness, esp. for new meditates.
- For seasoned practitioners, usually follow their body pattern to decide the appropriate timing for themselves.
- Seasoned practitioners can even use the travelling time and free time anywhere to go within.
- Some people like to meditate in afternoon time when body needs some rest.
- While many others like to meditate immediately before or after a meal, to imbibe the cosmic energy for inner nurturing.
- One can also use short tea-coffee breaks for a quick meditation and silencing the mind.
- Again night time before bed time is a good time, to empty the mind and get connected to higher forces for a restful sleep and wonderful next day.
- Everybody emits powerful positive energies during meditation and hence group meditation is one of the most powerful techniques.
WHO CAN DO MEDITATION?
Meditation can be practiced by one and all. There are no particular or special sect of people who can practice meditation. From young to old all can practice meditation.
It has specific benefits for people of different ages, barring the common benefits for all.
Benefits for children:
- Improves on their focus and concentration.
- Helps them balance their energies in a positive manner.
- Their sense of direction in their life improves many fold, and they can focus their energies in deciding and knowing what they desire in life from the early age.
- From early age, they know how to remain stress free.
- They know How to connect to higher forces and be a creator of their own life.
- Save themselves from unwanted distractions and fears.
- Add up to their confidence and self esteem.
- They learn to respect themselves and others equally well.
- Value of their time is well understood.
Benefits for adults:
- Reduces levels of stress.
- Improves existing health disorders and prevent further disease formation.
- Helps in improving focus in work and all the important areas of life.
- Lead a stress free life.
- Can set the goals and priorities well.
- Increases self confidence, self esteem and self worth.
- Able to form better and healthy relationships personally and socially.
Benefits for aged:
- Helps them get well connected to self.
- Give them a good quality of life.
- Gives mental peace and calmness.
- Makes them emotionally stable and better able to care for self.
- Improves on personal and social relationship.
- Improves health conditions and reduces dependence on unwanted medicines.
- Keep them happy and cheerful in life.
- Keeps them active and mobile.
Meditate daily….and reap rich benefits……..
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