It is so easy to say – “You should meditate” but it is so hard to actually do it, in fact, even want to do it. Meditation has that boring, serious or ‘difficult’ connotation to it which gets us to push it to – “Maybe someday I will do it, but not today!” If you have been in this in-between of knowing how great meditation can be and yet not sure if you want to do it, this is the article for you. In this article I will briefly describe meditation, how to and touch on my recent experience with Vipassana meditation. I have a video at the end of the article which explains my views on all these in greater detail.
Why Meditate / What is Meditation?
Just like we exercise our body to strengthen our muscles and body immunity, we meditate to strengthen our mind muscles and be stronger. We need to build our mind muscle by stillness of the mind. Quiet and stillness gives our mind a break from non-stop working. Imagine a car engine that never stopped, what would happen to it? Can you guess the average number of thoughts we think in a day? Know the answer in my video.
In short, meditation is silence of the mind, not silence of the tongue or stillness of the body. We may not speak but yet our mind may continue to work. Especially at night when the body rests, the mind decides to remove all of its collected waste. That we call either anxiety, worry, dreams or insomnia. These conditions come about when our waste basket hasnot been emptied on a regular basis and results in over spilling.
How to Meditate?
Hence, for daily mind clearing, a few minutes of meditation is a must. Why ignore our mind when it is so simple? Let’s say we have no more than 5 minutes a day. For that, all we need to do is, find 2 minutes of silence twice a day. In that silence, we must close our eyes and focus our mind on our breath and feel free of any things planned for the day. This can be done while travelling to work / home or just before lunch, before bed time, etc. This is the simplest way to meditate and yet very effective if done twice a day, daily.
With more time, say more than 5 minutes, one can even play meditation music on YouTube and sit in a comfortable place of privacy. Just close one’s eyes, with a straight back (take back support if needed) and hear that music for as long as one wishes.
The 3rd easy way to meditate is ‘Aum’ chanting. Sit in a comfortable position with straight back and chant A-u-m by pulling the sound from one’s navel / stomach. It gets better with practice and some youtube videos may be available for the same. Chant with an emphasis on A sound first and less of U and M. Repeat that. Then move to short A sound but longer U sound and short M sound (repeat it). Last go to M sound for the longest time and repeat that. Do as many Aum repetitions as needed. It is ok to do a short Aum chant to start with. Our breath may not permit a longer chant and that is ok. It gets better with daily repetitions. We must not do more than what our body permits.
The next level of meditation is sitting in complete silence and allowing our thoughts to come and go without any focus on them. This is the best way to remove ‘mind waste’ and create a space for deeper introspection. Through that one builds mental strength and self-awareness of deeper emotional layers.
There are many other ways to meditate but the above 4 are the simplest. If one likes chanting mantras, one can do mantra meditation to increase mental power.
For increasing focus, concentration and memory:
1. YouTube – Look at the changing designs of mandalas for as long as you can, you can YouTube Magic Mandalas or Mandala meditation.
2. Fix one’s gaze on a candle’s wick.
3. Color Mandalas with intent and focus.
4. Labyrinth – Walk a labyrinth.
There are several other types of meditation. Just like different types of medicines or fitness regimes suit different people, same is with meditation.
This week I visited Belapur center for Vipassana Meditation for the 10 day course. The accommodation and food facilities at the center are awesome and overall the atmosphere feels conducive for meditation. However, like I had imagined, Vipassana is not a course of complete silence. While students remain silent, the group meditation (about 3 hours a day in total) involves teacher’s constant instruction played through a recorded tape, first in Hindi, followed by English repetition. Besides that, there is a discourse daily and recorded audios focusing on karma theory, moral values, how Vipassana helps, etc. In my video I have mentioned in great detail, the truth that I felt about Vipassana and in comparison to other meditation techniques.
Personally, I am in love with Brahma Kumaris. To avail of their meditation services, we must first do a 7 day course (which is just 1 hour a day of meditation for 7 days) and then attend any center for meditation whenever we feel like. Their audio which states – “Om Shanti Om, I am a peaceful soul” is my most favorite audio for meditation.
Do watch my video link which will be added here soon. You can even YouTube Rima Desai or Google – Rima Desai YouTube to find all my videos. Remember to meditate at least 2 minutes a day. Your lovely self deserves at least that much pampering. How much do we all do for others throughout the day? Let’s do some for ourselves too!
Never meditate right after a meal
Never force yourself to meditate no matter what others say
Meditation is joyful experience, not a serious, sad matter!