JUST TO BE
In this blog, we will reflect on the practice of meditation, an integral part of Yoga. Meditation is a very ancient practice that has been used to open doors of wisdom by connecting to the real self. Its importance and effect in one’s daily life cannot be denied. With the constantly increasing stress levels of the so called modern man, meditation is re gaining its importance and is also undoubtedly much needed. However, de stressing is just a byproduct of meditation, its main purpose is dissolution of mind altogether. Let us understand this technique a little better.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the practice that teaches the practitioner to disassociate with the mind. It is the art of witnessing one’s own mind, body or breath. What happens when one sits down to just be a witness to his own body or mind? When you witness something, you are no longer a part of it so when you witness for instance the thought waves arising in your mind and instead of getting caught in them, you just observe them and drop them, you are no longer your “mind” and you break the chain of getting carried away by your mind.
So meditation, to put in simple words, is the technique that breaks our identification with our body and mind and helps us realize our true self.
The benefits of Meditation
With regular practice of Meditation as one learns to observe his mind, body and breath, he begins to realize his “true nature” and this is reflected in his real life as well where he now stops playing a puppet to his mind. Let us delve into this idea a bit more. We all get thoughts, we want them or don’t want them, we have no choice, we keep getting thoughts. As we go about living our lives, our tendency is to become a victim of our thoughts. When a thought arises, we immediately get lost in it and once we are out of that thought, what happens next is we get another thought and we then get lost in that one. This cycle of thoughts continues all day and all night; the mind just keeps jumping from one thought to another. No wonders our brain is always so worked up because it is actually working 24 hours, every day, on an automated mode. With the practice of meditation one starts to be aware of his thoughts and instead of getting carried away by them, starts to witness them as a separate entity and realizing their occurrence, drops them. This saves a lot of energy since the mind is now no more on an automated mode of thinking.
Since a lot of energy is saved (from not thinking), the meditator feels more energetic in daily life and also experiences less stress. Other byproducts of meditation are experienced in the form of less worrying, calmer mind, better ability to deal with situations and people, increased tendency of living in presence and many more. But the main benefit is experienced in the form of “happiness”. The meditator, by connecting to his real self now begins to remain happy for no reason. This happiness stems from realizing and experiencing his real self and not as an outcome of some temporary reason. As this connection keeps on getting stronger, this happiness keeps on expanding.
Meditation cannot be done, it happens
A lot of people still think of meditation as something that is done. They associate it with an action that is done in the mind. But the practice of meditation cannot be done, meditation is a pure happening. Till the time we are struggling with thoughts, till the time we have thoughts, we are just making an attempt towards meditation, which can be called as “doing” but once mediation happens there is no more doing. A meditator is in “pure beingness”, he is not doing anything.
Role of Postures and Pranayama in Meditation
Yoga is a holistic approach; it consists of all together 8 limbs (as described in Patanjali Yoga Sutra) and Meditation is one of the limbs of Yoga. Practice of postures and pranayama are conducive to the practice of Meditation and help a meditator progress faster in the path of Meditation. When one practices postures the idea is to make the body feel as comfortable and stable as possible in every position that it takes. This helps the meditator to be able to sit in one posture for meditation for a long period of time. And with the practice of Pranayama, the breath of the meditator becomes deep and subtle (due to direct contact with the life energy or prana) which is an indication of a calm mind.
So this beautiful practice of Meditation is not aimed at de-stressing but at establishing a connection with your “self”, by dropping the limitations of body, breath and mind. Meditation is the art of expressing your real self; meditation is the art of living in pure presence; meditation is just “to be”.View All Post