World Meditation Day: Best ways to meditate as per Yoga experts
Meditation can have a powerful impact on your mind and quality of life. However, many people struggle to find the right way to do it.
Mind has a tendency to wander and it's quite natural for thoughts to come and go. The mind is conditioned from early on to handle this flow of thoughts. However, when thoughts take over the mental space completely and attack with a fierce intensity, mind finds it difficult to handle them. As this continues one may feel mentally exhausted. Meditation disciplines the mind and prepares it to withstand any storm. With a calm state of mind, one can tackle any challenge at hand and experience peace. World Meditation Day is celebrated every year on May 21 to create awareness about this ancient practice and the many benefits that come with it. (Also read: 5 effective meditation techniques for beginners to promote inner peace)
"Meditation is a practise that can have a powerful impact on your life. You won't be able to experience meditation's benefits if you try to force it or start doing it abruptly. Just like learning anything else, meditation should also be taught by an expert. Only when meditation is practised in a thorough step by step manner can the practise be declared as wholesome. By learning all the right techniques, you will be able to ease into the meditation process as easily as you can when you sit down to practise it. Your meditation practise will be more comprehensive the more easily you enter into it," says Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Institutions.
"Meditation is the key to spiritual enlightenment. If we seek enlightenment, we must meditate, every day. Meditation helps us focus, remove our mental clutter, give our thoughts the most needed rest and takes us in a deep restful state, where we can attain peace. Peace is the foundation of happiness and thus meditation, not only helps us progress in our spiritual journey to attain enlightenment and realisation of the truth of life but it also gives our body and mind, peace, happiness and contentment," says AiR Atman in Ravi, Spiritual Leader and Founder of AiR Institute of Realization and AiR Center of Enlightenment.
"The best way to meditate is to first, unlearn whatever you have learnt about meditation because that will disturb you from truly meditating. The world doesn’t know what true meditation is. We all have a pre-conceived notions that for meditation, one has to sit on the floor with their legs folded and their back straight, close their eyes and remove all the thoughts from the mind. One cannot force the thoughts out of the mind and hence, they struggle to meditate. We should understand that to practice meditation, the atmosphere must be relaxed and we can sit in a relaxed and comfortable position, even on a chair, to practice meditation. The goal is to still the mind and not force the thoughts out of it," says AiR.
SIMPLE TIPS TO MEDITATE
Yoga guru Akshar shares tips to meditate for beginners and advanced learners.
These are a few techniques for making meditation simple. As you advance in your practice, you can also start practising techniques like Prakat Jyothi Dhyan, Tratak Dhyan and many more.
1. Understand it completely
Understand the meditation process and all of the processes required. This includes the necessary posture, breathing, and other elements of meditation.
2. Prioritise it
Meditation should not be used as a diversion or time filler. In order for it to become a simple procedure, it must be given the importance it requires.
3. Practise with commitment and dedication
Regularly practising meditation requires entire dedication and honest devotion. Only with this consistency will you be able to make it seem effortless.
4. Discover the art of meditation
Just like everything else, being a master in meditation requires a certain strategy and skill. To learn meditation and put it into practise in your life, make sure you go to the correct training source.
Easy Meditation Techniques
Yoga expert Akshar also shares effective meditation techniques.
1. Swaas Dhyan - Breath Meditation
- Sit in a comfortable posture - Sukhasana, Ardha Padmasana or Padmasana.
- Place your palms on your knees in Prapthi Mudra.
- Straighten your back and close your eyes.
- Focus on your breath entering and then leaving your nostrils as you inhale and exhale.
2. Sthiti Dhyan – State Meditation
- Sit in any comfortable posture such as Sukhasana.
- Look ahead for 5 seconds, behind you for another five seconds and on right and left sides for five seconds each.
- Now close your eyes and recollect as many details that you observed as possible.
3. Aarambh Dhyan- Seed Meditation
• Choose any comfortable sitting posture.
• Visualise and imagine two holes in front of you, one black and one white.
• Take a breath in and draw power from the white hole. This energy will come in the shape of fresh perspectives, innovative concepts, and growth-promoting behaviours or habits.
• As you exhale, send all of your negative emotions—pain, doubt, guilt, humiliation, trauma, rage, grief, envy—into the black hole you've imagined.
4. Aakaash Ganga Dhyan - Galaxy Meditation
When using the meditation or visualisation technique known as Aakash Ganga Dhyan, you must envision oneself as an earthen pot. Imagine yourself as a container that is enabling the entire cosmos to pour into you as you meditate. As you sense these energies entering you, accept them.
5. Mantra Meditation
Mansi Gulati, Yoga expert, Manasvani says that mantra meditation is an effective way to reduce stress and is recommended for everyone.
"It is a great way to reduce stress. When you repeat a word, phrase, or sound in a melodic way, you are providing yourself a focus point. This helps to steady your mind and body so you can regulate your breathing and calm yourself down. This type of meditation is especially good for those who struggle with distractions. You can use mantra meditation at any point of the day. Many people choose to use this type of meditating when they find it difficult to concentrate. Chanting provides the extra activity to allow us to focus subconsciously. This white noise is similar to having music playing softly in the background as you work. It provides a soothing, repetitive action as you reach a meditative state. Your only focus now is on the mantra and regulating breathing. If you are someone who is dealing with extreme levels of stress, this would be a good form of meditation for you to try. Make sure that you have chosen your word, phrase, or sound beforehand so you know what you are going to chant during the process. Your chant can really be anything you want it to be as long as it speaks to you, it is brief, and you can remember it," says Gulati.
6. Watch the mind
AiR Atman in Ravi says that one way to meditate is to become an observer of your mind. He says that as one keeps watching the mind, the MTR or the mental thought rate will reduce.
"The mind is like a thought factory where thoughts pop out as they pop out of the popcorn vending machine. Our mind is said to have a Mental Thought Rate or MTR of 50 thoughts per minute, which amounts to an overwhelming 50,000 thoughts in a day. When we observe the mind, the mental thought rate starts slowing down and the popping of thoughts gradually quietens. Slowly, from a whopping fifty thoughts per minute, we would reach a state of thoughts coming in, one by one. This is the state of mindfulness or consciousness where our intellect is activated and we are able to discriminate between the thoughts, discriminate between the right and wrong. It all starts with a conscious effort to observe the mind and observe the bombarding thoughts," the spiritual leader says.
7. Stay still and silent
AiR Atman in Ravi says the fourth way of meditation is to be still and silent. "When you are still and silent, you will find peace. It is one of the best ways to meditate," he says.
8. Tame the five senses
"Finally, if you really want to meditate, you must first tame the five horses of your life chariot – the five senses. These five horses drive your life in various directions depending on their desires and cravings. If you are able to tame these five horses, if you are able to overcome the desires of the body, mind and ego, you would be able to still the mind and reach that state of Consciousness, where desires, thoughts and cravings don’t bombard and overwhelm you. In this state, thoughts are not completely eliminated, rather, they come one by one, just like lone fishes drifting in a vast ocean. That is the state of meditation," says AiR.
"Meditation may seem tough to practice at first. Hence, it is recommended to start with 10-12 minutes every day and slowly increase the duration. Regular practice of meditation greatly improves concentration and focus. It brings harmony in thoughts and also activates our intellect, memory power and power of discrimination, which are essential to lead to a peaceful, content, balanced and happy life," concludes the spiritual guru.