The real meaning of meditation is not what you think
Sitting in an asana, making efforts to clear your mind may not always help you reach meditative state. Tina Heals tells you how you can truly connect with yourself.
What if I tell you, that every single activity you perform can indeed be transformed into meditation and this transformation is infinitely simpler than you could possibly imagine. If you are wondering how that can be done and how nearly everything we do can be metamorphosed into the state of dhyana, you need to scroll ahead and read more. (Also read: Meditation guide: 7 simple steps to meditate for beginners)
There are millions of articles online about meditation. A quick Google search can help you access thousands of such articles elaborating how meditation is about training the subconscious. So, what is so special about this piece? This article seeks to deconstruct the myths that one must be seated on an asana and only after pranayama one would be able to clear their mind and reach a meditative state.
These days meditation is promoted as an activity that can solve all your troubles - lowering your stress, improving your love life, boosting creativity - all in a matter of 30 minutes of practice a day and voila, you have the recipe for a stress-free life and chances of an enhanced libido.
Think about the musician toiling away for hours trying to perfect that particular raga, or a cellist or violinist with their instrument. As a matter of fact, think of how some fine actors in the entertainment industry slip out of their conscious identities and assume the identity of another so effortlessly. Think deep and think hard. The truth is at that precise moment, when one is so engrossed with what they do, they immediately enter a meditative state. This is the secret of meditation. If you are reluctantly sitting in forced padmasana and trying to forcibly block your thoughts, then my friend you are far from a meditative state of wonder and bliss.
Meditation is lucid, meditation is participation. Thoughts will always pervade the dark nooks and crannies of our mind, even when we are supposedly in meditation. What do you do then? The idea is to not force anything. Let the thoughts come. Watch them as the observer and allow them to leave, say a goodbye.
When you stare into the bottomless eyes of your lover - that is indeed a meditation and which can be way more effective than uncomfortably sitting on the mat for thirty minutes to pacify your ego with the belief that you have meditated.
With the constant bombardment of adverts on social media about mindfulness, meditation as a tool to build your subconscious mind; you are bound to feel that it is necessary to add meditation to your to-do list. Meditation is indeed achieved effortlessly like looking into the eyes of one you love, which is why it is important to try to remain in that state for as long as possible.
How to do this? Can we remain in dhyana when our boss is yelling at us? The answer may shock you, but yes! The connection of meditative states of the mind is with the breath. Once you engage in conscious breathing and with awareness participate in the drama of life, everything becomes a meditation.
The point is to transcend this duality. There is no difference between the meditator and the meditation for they are inextricably interwoven in the quantum fabric of reality. Once this is realised, life becomes a meditation.
HOW TO MEDITATE
The most important step to meditation is breathing correctly which opens up a whole new vista of awareness and tranquillity. When you inhale, make sure your stomach swells with the life-giving oxygen, and during exhalation make sure your chest and stomach contract with gratitude. Why gratitude? Because you are here as the observer, observing this dynamic reality unfold in front of you. Keep breathing consciously till such time that you feel peaceful and blissful.
If you find the breath work much too challenging as a start, then I suggest just chant, “it’s okay”. Chant this as many times as you can to rewire your brain into feeling safe and secure. These words are actually a powerful mantra which, when repeatedly chanted, brings you closer to a safe place from which you may embark on the meditative adventure. Obstacles and stresses of life fade away and you’re once again a kid in a candy store.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
Meditation not only aids in psycho-cognitive development, keeps us stress free, happy and healthy, it is known to be so powerful that it could be a substitute for anti-depression medication. As these anti-depressants help some patients, in the case of many, this kind of therapy proves highly dangerous and addictive.
Studies have shown amazing benefits of meditation to counter a plethora of conditions. It heals depression and other mental ailments, and is known to be effective for people with bipolar disorders. On the other hand, it also benefits against an array of physical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis, fibromyalgia and intense migraines. In fact, it is the most powerful tool in our arsenal to defend ourselves against the attacks of this so-called modern, stress-inducing, unhealthy lifestyle to which we inevitably fall prey. When dealing with intense pain or grief or post-traumatic stress disorder, meditation is the silver lining that not only helps us cope with difficult situations, it shapes us to become pillars of support for people who depend on us, like family and community.
Scientists have used FMRI imaging to demonstrate the changes in subjects who are regular meditators who can remain calm and collected even when they’re not consciously meditating. The constant practice of meditation changes the part of the brain we call amygdala, which is associated with emotional processes. Need we say more? For once we control our emotions, we can control our mind and thereby our own behaviours.
Tina Heals is an author, TV personality, YouTuber, viral blogger and speaker. Tina has been learning, practicing, and teaching on numerous topics related to astrology and magick in traditions from the West, as well as the East.