Is meditation the process of sitting long hours in complicated seated postures, keeping the eyes closed, shaping the palm into those gestures, and remaining in stillness, while our mind wanders? If the answer is no, then what is meditation? Well, it is a topic that is being talked, written, and discussed, well, throughout the world but still remains a perpetual quest – a query that everyone has failed to give a thorough, convincing answer.
So, what exactly is meditation then? Meditation is an art that helps to re-establish the beautiful and strong connection that our body shared with our mind, once upon a time. That bond still exists, but it has become so fragile that none of us really feel it now, except when we are facing some kind of anxiety, stress, or fear when the bond appears in the form of knots and hiccups or sweat. Oh, yes! Those butterflies in our stomach when we gear up for a situation is exactly the physical manifestation of what is going inside us. And, that is the bond – connection – relationship that we are talking about.
Those who meditate regularly understand this and hence, have the potential to remain unperturbed, irrespective of whatsoever happens within and around them. They are so attuned to the vibrations of this bond that they are ready to accept things and events as is without attaching any judgments, criticisms, and strings.
Our minds are always bustling with countless thoughts. According to the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California, an average human mind churns about 48.6 thoughts per second, which amounts to a massive 70,000 thoughts in 24 hours. So, what are we thinking? If we pay close attention to our thoughts, we will realize the thoughts that are overflowing at the moment are the same that had flooded us yesterday! Interesting, right?
But that’s the truth. We are habitual thinkers. Even worse, 80% of our thoughts are negative in nature. So, what are we doing? If we have to realize these facts, the only way is to pay attention to what’s going on within us and for that, we have to observe our mind without any disturbances.
This could, perhaps, be one of the reasons why we are asked to sit a comfortable posture in a place where we could remain undisturbed in the utmost comfortable attire. Staying away from disturbances will help us to bring our mind back to the focal point when it wanders away.
Is this the challenge about meditation?
However, that is not the challenge… The challenge is to stay non-judgmental… the challenge is to stick to being just an observer… Can we do it? Let’s not beat around the bush. Most of us, I would say more than 90% of the people living across this globe, have the habit of analyzing and criticizing a thought. We even end up picking up the thought from the grave and do a post-mortem… And, don’t worry; it’s just our habit. All we need is a conscious effort to change it in order to become non-judgmental and remain unattached.
We are so much lost in the never-ending flow of the river called as thoughts that there is never an attempt to swim against its current to find the shore. We prefer to sticking to them, only to find ourselves getting hurt….
What should we do?
Let’s now begin to change. I know what exactly you will be thinking now, but I accept it. It is easier said than done. I know it is a challenge. I know there will be countless obstacles in the path which will tempt us to go back to our good old life and style where we know everything. That is our comfort zone.
Nevertheless, if we want to change our life, if we want to live happier, if we want to sleep better, if we want to lose those unwanted pounds we are carrying in our bodies, minds, and souls, then we should show some courage. Of course, all of us are brave! Didn’t we cut our hair to give us a new look? Didn’t we try that new dress when it was launched? Just think of meditation on the same notes.
If we feel, it is tough, then it is bound to remain tough. But, if we feel, we can master it, then yes, we can. I am no spiritual teacher, but I am a person who has gone through all the ups and downs of meditation.
There was a time when I used to meditate regularly for 60 minutes daily, whatsoever happens… But, then there was an emergency that struck my family and there it went… my whole routine crashed… and my meditation process… there it lies in one corner, waiting for me to begin… Wait! It just took me a couple of weeks to get back to the routine… and lovely, as I started meditating, the familiar feelings of calm, peace, happiness, stability, and letting go came. I started loving myself again! I felt alive!
Meditation is the act of doing nothing. It is the act of just observing, consciously breathing, and living genuinely. It is a pretty cool process that will help to get you back on track, irrespective of who, where, what, and how you are at the present moment.
To put it simply, meditation is that state of mind filled with utter bliss, patience, and joy which happens when we allow our mind to do whatever it wants, but do not try to restrain it or judge its activities.
In the following series of articles, I will be talking to you more on the some or all of the below-mentioned topics:
- Benefits of mediation
- How to meditate?
- Mindfulness and meditation – the connection
- 4 Different types of meditation
- Meditation and healing
- Meditation and sleep
What to do till I come up with meditation articles?
Aim to spend 3 minutes in solitude and stillness in a space where you will be with just you! Make a date with yourself! Close your eyes and just observe…