My exploration of Meditation
If you are a beginner in meditation or have not started meditation as yet, this post will give you some insight into meditation, and you may get inspired to start meditation.
My journey of meditation began when I realized that I am not using my full potential at work. My personal life was good, but I wasn’t able to manage a lot of aspects that I wanted to, and I realized, I am becoming an outdated, husband, father, friend. This was turning in to frustration. I was fortunate enough to realize that there are other dimensions that must be explored to manifest my full potential. That’s when I enrolled in this course called Inner Engineering offered by Isha Foundation.
First of all, meditation is not about sitting in one posture and being able to have no thoughts. Meditation is also not about seeing some bright white or yellow light. That’s not what meditation means. I have heard a lot of people saying if you meditate, you will reach a point where you will not have any thoughts. Thoughts are proof that our brain is working. I wonder why would people want their brain to stop working when the rest of the organs of your body are still working.
So what is meditation? There are many definitions but the one which I have experienced is: Meditation is a state of being when your body, your mind, and your very life energies are aligned in one direction. Some people call this mindfulness as well. There are plenty of ways you can define meditation, but if you really see, once you are in a state where your body, mind and life energies are aligned in one direction, you start feeling life differently.
We all have this experience when our body, mind, and energies are entirely in sync. For some, this happens when they pray; when they sing, dance, write, run, or study etc. But once in a while, we do reach a state where we experience this kind of mindfulness. This means that meditation is not something that you do, meditation is a state of being. Meditation has a direct impact on the very chemistry of our bodies. For example, according to the book The science of meditation by Dan Goleman, the four neural pathways which meditation transforms are:
- Those for reacting to disturbing events- stress and our recovery from it
- The second brain system for compassion and empathy
- Circuitry for attention also improves in several ways
- Our very sense of self
In the past few months I have tried different types of meditations. Fundamentally they all were same. They all emphasized on the fact that you don’t have to stop your thoughts you just have to keep a little distance from them and not judge them. You don’t have to identify yourself with your thoughts. The second aspect of meditation is you need to pay a close attention to what’s happening within you and around you. Last but not the least, you need to be regular and keep practicing. Practice that you are able to hold your attention and will not judge or react to your thoughts.
Meditation is a workout for your mind, just like you workout to keep your body healthy.