Joy of Meditation


Courtesy: Narendra Goidani via Ashraf, my school classmate

To understand meditation through an experiment, take a camera and take two pictures.

Hold your camera still and take the picture.
Now, while shaking your camera take the second picture.
The difference in clarity between the two pictures is the difference in clarity of a life with and without meditation.

If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming superman as a child, practicing meditation is probably the closest thing possible to experiencing it as an adult. Developing a regular practice leads to the creation of a virtual bulletproof vest for our physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual health.

Meditation means different things to different people. There are dozens of types, styles, and schools of thoughts on meditation. There are many methods prescribed like Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana, Zazen etc., to reach the state of meditation. Our intention in this post is not to compare different practices. What we’d like to do is to give you a glimpse into what benefits can arise as a result of meditation.

One of the most important functions for human survival is the ability to adapt and adjust to our surroundings. The brain and body are dealing with an unbelievable amount of stimuli every single moment of life. Focusing on all of them at once would be impossible. So, the mind tends to shift as many stimulii as possible to the sub-conscious back burner. For example, you probably aren’t paying attention to the feel of your shirt on your body until you read this sentence. Now that I’ve mentioned it, I’ve brought it back into your conscious thoughts, and you do notice it. Somewhere in the next few paragraphs, your mind will place it on the back burner again to be able to focus on understanding this article. Fascinating, isn’t it? Our minds does this constantly.

Meditation helps you to increase your awareness and helps you to stay focussed on the right things of life. It ensures you do not get distracted and helps you to stay alert. It helps you to understand the past, live the present and create the future.

For the uninitiated, let me share a basic yet one of the most powerful methods that can lead you to meditation:

1. Wash your face and sit in a comfortable position.
2. Close your eyes. As you breathe in normally, watch the gentle rise
of your belly around your cute belly button.
3. Hold your breathe in for a few moments. Exhale slowly. Watch your
belly contract just that little bit.
4. Enjoy a brief pause before inhaling again.
5. Repeat this process about 21 times. Don’t worry about keeping count,
the number of breaths is unimportant. Focus only on the breath, as
if it were the only thing that existed in the universe.
Go ahead and do it now.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
Stop reading and do it! No cheating! 🙂
– – – – – – – – – – – –
How do you feel now? Fresh, isn’t it?

Research has shown that meditation and proper breathing practices have tremendous benefits for stress reduction, healthy self esteem, and overall physical health. It increases concentration and memory. It helps in digestion. It allows you to manage your emotions much better. It helps you to become sharper, intellectually. It serves as a huge booster. It’s almost an unfair advantage over others. Forgiveness becomes easy. Purging of guilt and hurt is effortless. Purity in thoughts and feelings becomes our nature.

This is just the beginning.

When meditating for longer periods of time (60 + minutes), truly amazing things begin to happen. In the state of inner silence, time slows to a halt. We introspect. We reflect on the decisions and actions we’ve made. We get important insights on life. Wisdom arises so much more easily; solutions to recurring problems become so clear that we wonder how we had never seen them before. It helps everyone to go through the ups and downs of life and relationships with composure.

We connect with our very own deepest truths. We remember what it should feel like deep down to live, we remember to treat others the way they are meant to be treated. We look ourselves directly in the mirror, see where we are lying to ourselves, and rediscover what we know is right. We regain access to the inner compass that we have been too busy to look at, causing us to veer way off course.

We unlock the capacity for healing deep scars, and move forward with life. We experience compassion for others like we’ve never been able to before.

A group of loud kids transform from “a headache” into a group of young human beings playing and celebrating newfound joy together. A barking dog changes from being a nuisance to a great friend who wants to protect its friends. In turn she needs someone to pet her, feed her, or take her for a walk. A homeless person on the street is no longer a worthless beggar, but a person who has faced extreme hardship, and needs care and guidance to find their way back to where they belong. A person ceases to work with the intent of extracting money from people, but instead to gain the satisfaction of knowing that the results of their creative process are truly bringing joy to others’ lives and reconnecting us with our lost humanity.

Meditation creates a greater capacity for empathy. It allows one to become a better friend, a better professional, and a better person overall. It gives a person a silent radiance that draws others in; because we can all sense when someone is connected to something greater than themselves, and know that we could be doing the same.

Meditation allows you to discover yourself more than all the books of the world. So often, it helps you to find the purpose of your life.

Are you in for it?

Courtesy: Narendra Goidani via Ashraf, my school classmate

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
20th October 2013

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