Meditation is more than just having more control over your mind so that you can focus more on the present instead of worrying about the future or past, make use of your time and do something productive.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice to train your mind by inducing a state of consciousness and realizing it through rhythmic breathing pattern. As a whole, it comprises the following sequence of events :
- Focusing on your breathing pattern
- Visualizing a Spiritual World and
- Chanting Mantras.
On a higher level, it is used to access inner wisdom and deep insights from the higher unconscious. It is also a powerful tool for accessing your creativity, your inner wisdom and developing your intuition.
What Happens During Meditation?
A beautiful system is built-in with every living being. That is when the body and mind relax. See, when you feel tired towards the end of the day, you feel like taking rest. Thereby, your body relaxes, so does your mind.
Now, coming to time, please do not bother about it. Start doing it. Time is not the factor, what matters is keeping continuity. Many people start with an interest, then after a week or so, they drop it, with the plea that time is not available.
If you are serious about it, then start practicing today itself. It is better to do after completing your all work, say in the evening, or going to bed. The advantage is that you are free from your day to day work. It enables you to focus on the practice without disturbance.
Lastly, I will say that when continuing steadily on your path, a time will come when you will reach a meditative state with open eyes. You will be mixing with the people, unattached. You will observe the things, with no reaction. You will be observing the disturbance in the mind, but not affected by them.
That is to say, you are at peace with yourself.
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
The reality is that you’re focusing on one thing so that everything else begins to drop away. This actually enables you to have better control over distractions and helps in better decision-making.
Within minutes of measuring physiological changes in the body during meditation, it has been found that the following decreases occur:
- Metabolic rate decreases
- Blood pressure drops
- Heart rate slows
- Muscle tension relaxes
- Stress hormones are lowered
During meditation, you’ll find as your physical body begins to relax, your mind is a bit slow to follow. What happens is the physical component of your body beginning to relax initiates a sort of mental seesaw (if you will) between stillness and recalling why you were feeling stress in the first place.
How do I Meditate?
Posture: Any posture is fine as long as you are comfortable with it. Make sure to keep your spine erect.
The whole procedure can be broken down into 4 stages :
- The Preparation Stage
- Physical Preparation: The best time to practice meditation is in the morning on an empty stomach, but any other time is also fine. Avoid wearing restrictive clothes. Do not meditate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Mental Preparation: It is helpful prior to meditation to prepare yourself mentally. A simple act of breathing slowly and attentively may help you achieve some mental calmness which is a good pre-requisite for you to start the practice.
- Environmental Preparation: Try practicing meditation in a quiet environment where you won’t be disturbed by the calls, doorbell or other interruptions. Some background meditation music may be really helpful for setting up the mood.
- The Repetition Stage: Repetition is simply the focusing of your mind on a single point. It is an essential part of meditation. It clears away the mental cobwebs and stills your active conscious mind.
- The Receptive Stage: After the second stage, a good amount of vibrations are created inside the body which is absorbed in this stage. Keep your body erect and relaxed. Do not exert any conscious effort to think about anything. Thoughts and mental images may cross your consciousness. Examine them placidly as they come and go. It takes a while to develop this level of calmness, but the rewards of peace, calm, and insight are well worth the effort.
- The Closure Stage: At the end of your meditation, close both hands into fists and imagine a luminous white light surrounding you, filling you and protecting you. As you become aware of your surroundings, gently open your eyes. Once you finish your practice, try to remain silent and calm as long as you can.
The usual time most people meditate is about 20 minutes. The breakdown of the whole process looks something like this :
- Preparation (3 minutes)
- Repetition (7 minutes)
- Receptivity (7 minutes)
- Closing Down (3 minutes)
And finally remember one thing: Meditation isn’t an act, it an altitude. It’s not something you do inside a room with your eyes closed, but it’s something you feel when you are conscious and awake.