In this write-up, we’ll uncover the miraculous power of meditation and learn why it’s indispensable to practice it and to add to your everyday life. We will also explore its religious roots and explain the goal of meditation, including a fool proof guide on how to get started. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how to use meditation to be more at one with yourself.
Meditation: What is it?
Meditation is an archaic skill that’s been proficient for thousands of years, yet, there is still a misconception that meditation is only practiced by saints and mahatmas sitting with crossed legs on the hilltop. In reality, meditation is something that anyone can do, and it can enormously improve one’s life. Meditation is an act of self-calming. You let go of what you cannot control and strive to boost clarity. This action is one of voluntary commitment and not a directive. In the practice of meditation, you make a promise to yourself and your goal and gain insight into your identity. Meditation is a technique for relaxing the mind in which one tries to clear all the thoughts, worries, and stress.
What are the benefits of engaging in regular meditation practice?
Meditation is a substantial practice that holds many benefits in one life.
- Increase your self-awareness: Meditation is a tool for calming your mind and concentrating on your thoughts, ultimately allowing you to come face-to-face with the real you, thus enabling you to gain a better understanding of yourself.
- Reduce your stress: Meditation helps to relax the body and mind and reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Improve your concentration: Meditation works wonders in developing concentration. It increases the capacity of the brain to process information, enabling us to think more clearly and efficiently.
- Healthy sleep patterns: Meditation helps to slow down the racing thoughts that interfere with sleep, making it easier to relax and drift off into a deep sleep at night.
- Enhanced Immunity: Meditation can boost the body’s immune system, helping to ward off infections and illnesses.
Meditation and Religious Practice
Though the nature of meditation is not religious but, the meditation practice has been associated with religious traditions. During meditation, one will sit still in a comfortable body position, most often in the dhyana mudra, which involves keeping your hands open and laying on your lap, with your thumbs lightly touching. This allows your focus to be single-pointed, turning inward towards the divine. However, one has not had to be compulsorily religious to engage in meditation practices.
Goal of Meditation
From a young age, we have been solely educated only to observe and verify things in the external world. No one has ever taught us to look inside, find ourselves, and recognize our genuine being. Hence, this lack of self-awareness results in our difficulty to connect with others, leaving us feeling disoriented and let down in life. The goal of meditation is to uncover the true self. Meditating go beyond the mind and connect with our true state of peace, love, and bliss. The mind, which is usually unruly and disobedient, can prove to be an obstacle when trying to do so. It is normal to experience daydreams, fantasies, and even hallucinations when first attempting to still the mind and achieve meditation. Nevertheless, the effort is worth it to experience the genuine tranquillity of meditation.
Preparatory step for Meditation
- Fix a time schedule: Fix a particular time to meditate. Early morning between 3:30 and 5:30 is Brahma muhurta and also, the mind is more refreshed, calm, and peaceful. This time of the day is dominated by sattva guna which signifies purity in the mind and in the atmosphere too.
- Choose a location: Pick a place that is comfortable, quiet, and free of distractions.
- Get Comfortable Position: Find a position in which you are comfortable, whether it’s sitting in a chair, cross-legged on the floor, or laying down.
- Set a Timer: Set a timer for the length of time that you’re going to meditate to ensure you don’t become lost in the practice.
- Focus on Your Breath: Concentrate on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Notice the sensation of air entering and exiting your nostrils.
- Observe Your Thoughts: When thoughts arise, acknowledge them without judgment, and then let them pass away.
- Practice Non-Attachment: Let go of any attachment to the outcome of your practice and allow yourself to observe the present moment.
- Make a Commitment: Commit to practicing meditation on a regular basis, no matter how long or short the sessions are.
- Close Your Practice: When the timer goes off, take a few moments to reflect on your experience before bringing your awareness back into the present moment.
Meditation can be an effective tool to help us connect more deeply with our inner selves. By practicing meditation regularly, we can gain a greater understanding of ourselves, leading to better physical and mental health, improved focus, and a greater sense of peace and well-being. With its diverse benefits, meditation can be an invaluable part of our journey toward greater self-awareness and self-compassion.