ON MEDITATION – ITS HUGE BENEFITS
Meditation, in broader sense means, to be busy or be engaged in contemplation on one’s breath. Meditation could also be based on repetition of a particular prayer or a mantra for ensuring self-awareness and to ensure connectivity with the higher power. Meditation is done with a complete focused attention i.e. single-minded approach. While meditating, all our senses get activated and in that activation, we have to ensure these senses do not go awry. This could be termed as controlled activism in the real sense of terms.
Meditation is the action of an individual to direct our energies to train our mind and five senses (touch, sight, hear, smell and taste) and thereby achieve our intended purpose. Particularly for meditation for which it is essential to firstly rein in our mind and do everything that we direct our mind to anticipate, remember or perform an activity. We have not to be the slave to our conditioned attitudes or old habits. Meditation helps us to de-condition these.
It is also a fact that a habit formed is difficult to be eradicated or erased easily but could be formed easily. In other words, to induce our conscious self to perform any activity, we actually have to have sense control in order to derive any benefit we want. These benefits may be in the form of physiological and psychological realms i.e. de-stressing, control over blood pressure, depression, anxiety etc.
The meditation helps in building our innate energies or capacities besides we are able to direct our mind in the direction in which we want it to act. This way, we can exercise control over our negative tendencies and bring about positive changes like compassion, generosity, love, patience, tolerance, forgiveness and forgetting or as the situation demands.
All of us know about the religious scriptures of main religions, such as Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and others have provided us with different scriptures for following a certain way of life for a common cause i.e. to reach to our destination/source. But for acquiring maximum benefit, it is essential to, first of all, cleansing of body and mind besides having unflinching faith and belief on the point(s) of our contemplation. It could be any beej mantra or any other prayer on which we would like to focus on for self-awareness.
Some of the essential facets of meditation are:-
TIME AND PLACE ESSENTIAL FOR MEDITATION
Time and place factors play important role in meditation. A proper routine in the mornings and evenings make the meditation exercise a purposeful experience. Besides, at that stipulated time and place, it is indispensable that there should not be any pulls and pressures whatsoever which may defeat the very purpose of meditation because the best benefits in meditation could be accrued only when we are focused without any wavering in our thought processes.
Holy Quran rightfully stresses: Praise and glorify your Lord before sunrise, and before sunset. During the night you shall meditate on His name, and after prostrating.
IMPORTANCE OF POSTURES IN MEDITATIONS
Now coming to proper meditation; firstly, cleansing our body and mind of any muck, in complete relaxation. For meditation to be a purposeful exercise, it is important that we observe proper posture. For this sitting with physical balance is a must. For this, we should keep our head up (parallel to the ground), chin slightly in, pelvis and hips level, chest and back straight, the abdomen should be free of any tension and keeping our hands appropriately.
Having established a firm seat, let him firmly hold his body, head erect and still, gazing at the top of the nose above the lips, without looking around, thinking about pure love. – Bhagwad Gita.
ATTENTION ON BREATHING IMPORTANT FOR STRESS BUSTING
While meditating, it is essential that we focus on our breathing. The breathing should be smooth, deep and at even pace till we settle in for meditation. This helps in busting the stress which is prevalent in our system. Furthermore, positivity should be reflected in our face and eyes. The positive frame of mind triggers happiness and happiness is the panacea for curing our emotional and physical related ills.
KEEPING THE MIND FREE OF ANY THOUGHTS & REMAIN RELAXED
While keeping ourselves free from any thought-wavering, it is crucial that we remain naturally relaxed and calm. It is important also that we keep our mind in check thereby not letting our five senses to play truants. It is not an easy exercise, but reasserting through willpower always helps.
CALMNESS AND STILLNESS VITAL FOR MEDITATION
The purpose of creating calmness and stillness is to exert control over mental and physical activities so as to exert full control over our five senses and then concentrate on breath so as to develop awareness for intuitive insights to grow. In this exercise, the waywardness or wavering of mind has to be consciously stopped or controlled for obtaining the desired results. The main thing is to control the senses, whenever any of it wavers, take attention to the incoming and outgoing breath. Concentration could also be fixed on the lighted candle so that distractions are removed.
FAITH IS THE FIRST REQUISITE FOR MEDITATION
For meditation exercise to be more effective, it is essential that we have firm belief and indomitable or unwavering faith on God. Meditating would be a futile exercise without faith.
In Sri Granth Sahib, it has been justly mentioned: “Jinee naam djiaaiaa gai masakat ghaal Nanak te much ujale, ketee chootee naal.” Those who dwell on the Name, and depart after putting in their efforts. Shining are their faces and they save many others.
HOW I MEDITATE
We can meditate adopting any method we find suitable. The purpose is to still and calm the mind and thereby the five senses which take our attention away from the point we want to concentrate. It took quite sometimes to control the mind but to the extent possible, it has helped me by the grace of God. One thing to be taken care while meditating is that temptation (mrigtrishna) or any sort should not arise at the time of meditation otherwise the whole of the meditation exercise will be a wastage of time and energy.
Meditation too differs from person to person and place to place. I just stand on my feet, chant, close my eyes, chant ‘AUM’; ensure that its sound originates from my inner being rather than from my tongue. After having chanted AUM, I concentrate on a point between eyebrows, now without chanting any mantra. Then the true meditation starts. Every atom of my being just vibrates, my complete left arm more pronounced. This way, some power just takes over me which makes me stand for hours together.
CONDITIONED ATTITUDE COULD BE ELIMINATED THROUGH MEDITATION
When we draw our thoughts and ideas from our consciousness and then reflect in our day to day activities, the attitude reflected may be unique and may take the concerned person to the state of unity. This sort of an attitude, when imbibed after meditation, may not be conditioned one but a refined one because this has been acquired after spiritual activities. Living spiritually thus provides us vistas of pure living and living with love.
HUGE NEED OF MEDITATION NOW THAN EVER
It has been felt that the need of meditation or contemplation is felt now than ever before because of non-adherence of our priorities; what should be done and what not to, has lost. We give more credence to the issues which are impermanent in nature and are attracted towards them because of their outer shine or attraction but are losing sight of issues which are of permanent in nature. For example, Param-Gyan and Brahm-Gyan (Divine Knowledge) could be acquired through immense penance and single-minded attention. In fact, meditation is not just to control the consciousness but the purpose is to remove the ignorance by infusion of adequate knowledge thereby raising the bar of awareness in a person. The function of awareness is to instill knowledge so that we perform the functions of our life with a singleness of purpose – to seek connectivity with our Creator and perform all the functions which necessarily need suitable know-how. When we attain the requisite knowledge, we feel hugely elated.
For this connectivity to be the reality, it is essential that we know our inner potentials. It is just like enjoying the Indian oriental music and dance till such time we know the intricacies involved. It is similar to tasting an Amla (Indian gooseberry) whose sweet taste is felt only after sometimes after it has been taken and enjoyed.
There is a sweetness inherent in all of us, so, we cannot know it so easily since it is hidden from us all. It could be explored by persistent effort. There is Moh-Maya which provides ignorance and for removing that ignorance, we have to ignite; sataya sadhna for removing the ignorance. Those who remove his ignorance by self-awareness will gain and the inherent system will gain Gyan. Sadhna is a must for acquiring knowledge for removal of ignorance.
SAFLTA OR SARALTA KA MARG (SUCCESS OR EASIER PATH) DEPENDS UPON US ONLY
There are outer appearances which keep us away from realities. We can have the realization of God through self-effort by delving deep into our heart and extract the inner beauty which is latent in our system.
Japa means to intensively focus on the prayer or meditation. This is practiced by the hermits or sadhus..it is a Samadhi
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
- For meditation to be more effective, it is important that we perform it with utmost concentration/focus. This enhances our retention power and memory which helps us in our day to day activities.
- Meditation cannot give dividends until such time we shun the negativity such as greed, lust, rancor, jealousy etc.
- Meditation provides us fulfillment in our day-to-day activities.
- It provides a cleansing effect on our body and mind.
- It bestows us stress-free and we can face all the emergencies of our life with strong determination.
- Meditation deepens our understanding for skillfully performing our actions.
- Meditation enhances our vision due to intuitive power which helps us in making wise choices in our life.
- Meditation makes us take the wiser decision in the happier environment because we acquire equanimity or balance in our life. This balance in life helps us to fight the challenges of our life with fortitude.
- Meditation helps us to imbibe the positive traits in life thus we are more tolerant, more compassionate and above all more forgiven, This has amply been clear in Bible: Whenever you stand to pray, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive your transgressions. Jesus makes it very clear that we can’t carry anger, hatred, or bitterness in our hearts toward anyone if we expect God to forgive us and/or hear our prayers.
- Meditation provides living purely with love towards others because when we follow a spiritual life, it is bereft of any conditioned attitude which we may have inherited from our environment in which we are living.
- Meditation strengthens our psychological and metaphysical aspects. It also enhances our intellect and wisdom which help us control our senses and use these the way we want. Ultimately all these spiritual aspects lead to fulfillment and satisfaction as an end result.