When we hear the meditation, we think it as some sort of practice or routine. For a novice, it is a matter of regular practice which has scientifically proven so many benefits. Over time, as we go deeper into its understanding, meditation becomes something we live, we realize that meditation is our nature, and not just something we “practice.” I take this opportunity to share 8 meditation insights which completely changed my understanding of meditation.
- We are all born Yogis!
Have you observed small children? They are super flexible and do all the yoga postures easily. They are always smiling, bubbling with enthusiasm, joy and happiness. They are always in the present moment; before their tears dry, they start laughing! Their mind is non-cluttered and they live every moment 100%! This is how you and I were when we were a child. We all are borne with yogi’s body, mind and spirit! In the process of growing up, as stresses and turmoil start affecting us, our true nature gets covered. Purpose of our practice is to go back to our natural disposition.
- Shifting gears from ‘I want’ to ‘I have’!
We meditate because we want peace of mind. But what if we already have it? Just as our body is made up of different bones, muscles, organs, blood vessels, nerves, etc. our spirit is made up of love, joy, peace, bliss, happiness. Satchiddananda – Sat (true), Chit (consciousness), Ananda (pure bliss) meaning bliss is the true nature of our consciousness. When we meditate, it is not that from somewhere outside, we are going to bring peace and bliss and put them inside us. When we realize that we are that, we already have them inside us, we stop seeking it, wanting it, searching it. The starting point of our practice changes from wanting to already having or being. Seeking stops and experiencing begins!
- It is very easy and natural to meditate!
Many think meditation is very difficult and challenging! In fact it is very easy and natural for us to meditate. Just as our fingers fold and unfold easily and naturally, that easily mind meditates. Simply sitting with eyes closed and taking our attention inward for a few minutes will lead us back to our nature.
- Our Mind is like sky and thoughts are like clouds!
We have so many thoughts in a day, but how many of them we really remember? In most cases, we don’t even remember what we were thinking 5-10 minutes ago! Thoughts are transient in nature, temporary, and like clouds in the sky they just move on. When we sit to meditate, some thoughts may keep moving in our mind, let them. Meditation is not about controlling the mind or focusing or concentrating on something or resisting your thoughts or emotions or sensations. It is the opposite – de-focusing or de-concentrating, accepting the present moment as it is and relaxing into our being!
- You don’t have to do meditation, meditation happens!
Meditation is the delicate art of doing nothing. When I sit to meditate, I sit with this background in my mind – I am nothing! I do nothing! I want nothing! For the time being, I just sit with my eyes closed dropping all my limited identities and roles that I play, become nothing. I stop all my deliberate physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual activities and do nothing and just relax into my being wanting or expecting nothing, not even peace of mind!!! Letting go the desire to resist or control anything being open to any kind of experience with the faith that whatever experience is being offered is right for me for that moment. When we get into this mode of nothingness and openness, meditation starts happening.
- Breath is our best friend in good as well as bad times.
Our breath has important lessons for us. For every emotion in the mind, there is corresponding rhythm in the breath, and vice versa the way we breathe can change or influence how we feel. It is so difficult to handle our mind directly, but with breath we can handle it easily. Many a times we must have told our angry or nervous or agitated friend to take a couple of deep breaths to relax and calm down. Taking a few slow gentle breaths, or Alternate Nostril Breathing helps calm the mind. The rhythm in the breath can help get in touch with depth of our self, our soul, and our consciousness.
- Brushing the teeth is dental hygiene, meditation is mental hygiene!
Brushing the teeth everyday morning though mundane but is an important activity, we don’t even like to skip it for a single day. It is the way all of us clear of all the dirt from the teeth, to keep them clean and shiny to maintain our oral hygiene. Likewise meditation clears of all the dirt / impressions from the mind and maintains mental hygiene. Do you analyze the dirt that comes out after brushing? No, isn’t it? We just open the tap and flush it off. Same way, we don’t analyze any experience of meditation. The release of dirt/impressions can happen in so many ways, we may fail to analyze it with our limited logic.
- Connect your practice to a higher purpose.
When you meditate, not only you but people in your surroundings also have the benefit. You start sending positive and peaceful vibes in your environment. By you being peaceful, you make the world more peaceful. Inner peace and outer peace are strongly connected. I even regularly meditate in larger groups. When you practice with big groups with some common intent, you help in manifesting the intent! I am going to meditate during the World Cultural Festival, 11-13 March in New Delhi-India, with about 3.5 million people from 155 countries for World Peace. If you wish to join, click here.
Let’s enjoy this beautiful practice of NOTHINGNESS to ONENESS WITH THE WORLD!