Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meditation - what to expect

Meditation is the ability to be in a state of awareness which is beyond place, whats going on around you, thoughts in your mind and beyond time. With practice, you have the ability to meditate anytime and any place. This meditative state is inherent to everyone of us. But gets lost somewhere amidst the train of thoughts approaching and leaving our mind.

The whole idea is to focus on one thing such that you stop the flow of thoughts and completely relax and get connected to the inner stillness. It could be looking at an object while concentrating on the breath. Somebody told me how cooking was meditative to her as it relaxed and calmed her mind. In the Art of Living Silent course, there was a meditation session that used physical pain to focus. For some people it is praying and chanting while for others it is cooking or exercising or going out for a walk. Everything is a theory, so if something works for you, go with it.

How do I meditate?
I usually start with Art of living short Kriya or the last breathing rounds. That way I am able to relax and become aware of the thoughts. I imagine 'me' as a being who is beyond the thoughts and just acknowledge any thought that comes to my mind. I can listen to the silence around me. Then I use one of this below techniques.
Become aware that you are in a room, which is part of the house, your parking lot, your city, all trees you saw during your walks in the parks, the mountains. You then slowly move your awareness of your being in the country, the other side of the earth, the relativity to sun, the moon, planets, solar system, galaxies and so on. As I do that, my mind becomes so quite that I feel I am part of the space in the universe.

All this sounds fiction. Isn't it? I am finding it funny as I type this but this is what I do and works for me. I picked this process (or like process) from Love yourself like your life depends on it, by Ravikant. There is a some special power you experience when you imagine yourself being part of the bigger part of this universe.
I keep my mind focused on my breath all the time.
Sometimes I try the other way round, where I imagine my whole body, the organs, blood, the cells, the particles in the cell and so on till I get to the electrons. That energy, the space between those particles. I feel part of that.

Do I get cut out from everything in this state?
Not at all. I don't know about others, but I don't. I can still hear if my phone rings. I can still hear if the water tap next to my room is opened. But I am relaxed to a point where I just want to continue breathing. I just want to continue observing the stillness, the quietness. The breath is so slow, like a baby.

How can I make use of meditation other than the time I actually sit to meditate?
Well, its the honey you have tasted. You have been in touch with the innermost core of yourself; which I have believed to be love.
As I breath in, I tell myself how much I love myself and think of the meditative state I know of. As I breath out, if there were any other thoughts I say 'OK'. I know I don't have to deal with them at that time. But I don't want to stop them either.

What is the Success Rate of this whole process?
There are times I sit for 1/2 hour and I feel I was in there for 5 minutes. Other times I sit for 5 minutes and I feel it is 1/2 hour.
The success depends on how much you work hard. No, no. You don't need to work hard to meditate; in fact it should be just the opposite; effortless. The effort is in getting yourself to spare some time of your day to meditate; those 10 minutes you want to invest on yourself. To leave the bed of laziness and sit on the floor of meditation.

It was challenging for me to make meditation as a everyday process. I still don't get time everyday. I had promised myself that I would make it regular and used to get very disappointed if I missed a schedule. But with practice, I am learning that we don't have to be over critical to ourselves. Just listen to the moment. Make sure you have a comfortable and quite place to meditate and the will to. If not, no point wasting time, you rather do something else.

The power of being in the moment of 'now' is magical. If I struggle and keep getting distracted, I simply observe the frustration and my reaction to that situation. And slowly I am learning that this process can be applied to everything in life. Every situation, emotion, interactions, likes, dislikes, communication and so on.

Key is to keep the light of life alive through love and being in the now. Through meditation or other ways. It could be thanking small things in life, awareness meditation where you focus on everything you do like while eating, taste the food, bite every piece of food. Be aware of every moment like walking, hugging someone, talking and so on. Observing the trees and birds when you go out for a walk. Watch a baby laugh or cry.
Nature gives us all the opportunities; we just need to be present. 

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