There are a lot of people all over the world who are able to manage and control chronic illnesses with Meditation. Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Stress, Anxiety , Depression and Cancer too can be ‘managed’ well by including meditation as a part of your daily routine.
My curiosity about meditation and yoga began about 15 yrs ago.
I wanted to learn to meditate but didn’t know what it was all about.
I bought books on Meditation. All the books mentioned a wonderful experience and wrote about a lot of steps and discipline that are required to reach that blissful state. I got discouraged reading all this. I even feared it , thinking I would die during meditation , especially after reading about yogis who pass on during meditation . This is called ‘Samadhi’
I continued reading up on the Internet .
I came across various methods to meditate. Some of them are ..
- Staring at an object a little away from you. A flower or a candle should do.
- Sitting with closed eyes and trying to concentrate on the gap between two consecutive thoughts.
- Focusing on various parts of the body starting from top to the bottom while relaxing those parts of the body.
- Gently focusing on the point between the eyebrows with closed eyes.
- Chanting a mantra etc
I later came across various spiritual organizations that taught meditation. But, I was not ready to accept any Guru.
I continued reading and one day came across ‘Chakra meditation’.
This particular method appealed to me. I read about it several times and one day decided to try it out.I had read enough of theory and was confident and ready for some practicals :))
The experience I had was indescribable. I couldn’t discuss my experience with anyone.
During the process of meditation all the chatter in my mind had stopped. Breathing was very slow and steady. I was not able to feel my body, only a part of the face, the throat, and the breath. It was as if the body had disappeared and expanded into a balloon , this balloon had a diameter of a few meters. There was a lot of energy in this balloon.It was a peaceful state and all was still , as though time was frozen.
This was my first experience. There was no way of knowing if all those who meditate have the same/similar/better experience.The experience was good and I was happy that I was able to ”meditate” without a Guru :))
Soon all was forgotten.
One day , a few years later , I learned that a course was being held by a spiritual organization , close to where I lived. I joined the course hoping to know more about meditation. They didn’t teach any meditation but I learned Pranayama and other rhythmic breathing techniques which are supposed to improve our health and clarity in the mind.
Later on, I also did the Meditation course conducted by the same organisation. The experience was just ok . I was unable to sit for long periods with my spine erect during all those different kinds of meditation sessions. It was painful 🙂
Once in a while, I would practice Pranayama followed by Meditation. Each time my experience was different.
I have now begun to meditate regularly. So glad that I had learnt to meditate .
Advantages of Meditation :Thoughts too create havoc in the body. Meditation helps in calming the mind which in turn helps the body to relax and heal.
- Clarity in the mind.
- A reduction in unnecessary thoughts which drain your energy.
- One feels calm and peaceful within.
- Better management of chronic illnesses.
- Feel more energetic.
- Deep Rest. It is said that 15 mins of deep meditation is equivalent to 4 hrs of deep sleep.
- Improves the immune system.
- Stress relief.
- Reduction in Anxiety.
- …and many more
I too had a lot of doubts about meditation dulling the mind. But NO , it helps you to be more efficient as all the clutter is out of your system and you feel more energetic.
Here is an easy method to make a beginning :
- Sit in sukhasana (cross legged) on a mat on the floor.The spine should be erect.You can also sit on a chair or lean on a wall. You can use pillows/cushions to ensure your spine and head are upright.Place your open palms facing upward on your lap/knees .
- Gently close your eyes.
- Gently try to focus your eyes at the center of your eyebrows. Do not apply any pressure while doing this.
- Start observing your breath going deep inside your lungs and also observe the air going out through your nose.
- Continue to observe your breath.
- If your mind wanders , try to gently push the thought away and bring back your focus to your breath. You can even arrive at a solution to whatever that is bothering you and gently push the thought away.
- Continue to bring back your focus to your breath.
- Sit in this position for as long as you can.You can also set a timer for 15 mins. It is okay if you are unable to sit for 15 minutes initially. Do this for as long as you can.
- Slowly open your eyes while cupping them with your hands.
Initially the process seems irritating as you are unable to focus on your breath and the mind continues to wander. Regular practice will definitely help in focusing and thereby to reach a state of thoughtlessness and the benefits should follow.
The practice can be done anytime during the day. Ensure your stomach is not full , should be almost empty. The best time to meditate is before having breakfast , lunch or dinner.
Where can one learn to Meditate ?
There are several organizations that conduct regular meditation courses all over the world. You can earn from more than one and choose the one that you are more comfortable with.Take your time to accept the process. There’s no hurry.
A lot of CDs and YouTube videos are available which can help you make a beginning. Once you learn the technique you no longer need any external aid and you will be able to meditate anywhere.
Your experiences are unique to you. We need not compare with others experiences. Just go ahead and enjoy the feeling.
Practicing any art form makes the mind stay calm. These are wonderful methods to calm your mind. Any hobby is good too.
I am enjoying writing these posts and it is definitely helping my mind to stay calm.
Benefits of Meditation have been proven scientifically.
~~Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi ~~