Being in the meditative state can be one of the most beautiful experiences for a human being, but for many people, meditation means ‘a headache’. I came across many people who told me that they have tried meditation but failed. One thing which we need to understand here is that meditation is not something which we can do, meditation is something which we can become. Meditation is not an activity, Its a certain quality of being. When you cultivate your body, mind, emotions & energies in a certain way, meditation blossoms within you. You become meditative when you conduct your life energies with a certain level of preparedness. It’s like when you cultivate and work on the roots of a plant, flower’s blossoming is a natural phenomenon. If you simply try to somehow meditate and do not work on the other aspects of your life, its never gonna happen. The various aspects of your life include yoga & asana, physical agility of your body, proper food, fresh air & water, ample & timely sleep, mental stability, healthy relationships, financial stability etc. All these aspects need to be properly worked at. It’s like before you start writing sentences, the alphabets & words need to be properly understood. Meditation is a process of conscious nondoing, which means you are fully aware and is able to bring both your body & mind to a certain level of ease.
Below are the suggested ways for those people who find meditation difficult to manifest:
1) Work on your body before you start working on your mind: Before you start any meditative process its very important that you bring a certain level of flexibility & ease to your body because the body is the primary contributor to the process. In a case where you are not even able to sit in a normal cross-legged posture, how can you think of doing a meditative process which involves silent sitting for longer periods of time? If your body is not prepared and you sit for meditation, your body will start to pain after some time & your awareness will shift from the present moment to the pain. So using very basic yogic asanas & exercises you need to first work on your body, only then there is a possibility of bringing some flexibility to your mind.
2) Don’t try to stop your thoughts: While you sit for meditation, don’t at all try to get rid of thoughts, because inherently getting rid of thought is also a thought. The more you try to get rid of it, the more you will get entangled in it. So the next question is how to deal with it? The first way doesn’t judge a thought in terms of good or bad. If you judge a thought as bad, you will start to generate stress hormones within your body. If you judge it as a good thought, you will become hallucinatory & again high chances of going off the track. The best way to handle a thought is to simply allow it to happen without thinking anything about it. If you do this you will see that thoughts will come and go and finally settle down. Only when thoughts settle down, you start to get clarity on everything. It’s like when there are ripples in the water and you try to see yourself, you will get a hazy and distorted picture of your self. However, if the water is still and there is no movement, then you can see a crystal clear picture.
The calmer and composed you are, the better you can harness the capability of your body and your mind.The more you are heated up with your thought process, the more difficult you find to cop up with the situation in which you exist. If you stick to a thought there will be a lot of friction within and you will feel frustrated. This is what is happening to the whole lot of people. It’s like you have a car which is constantly being utilized all the time without proper lubrication & servicing; obviously, in such a situation the car will burn out. So you should learn to put your mind to rest not by trying to stop thoughts, but by consciously allowing it to happen without any judgment.
3) Be aware of the present moment: While you sit silently, first of all, you should be aware of the present moment, which means you are involved in the process 100 percent. Now I understand that there may be diversions, but that’s ok. As soon as you realize that you are going off track, just bring yourself back on the track. This will need perseverance & patience. To maintain the present moment awareness you may even use an activity. For e.g mantra chanting, listening to classical music, conscious breathing, focusing on a light or a point which is 6-8 feet away, consciously watching your thoughts etc. Slowly you can shift yourself from an activity-oriented process to a silence-oriented process.
4) Don’t put desperate efforts to meditate: Do not try to sit for a very longtime forcefully if you don’t find it comfortable. Initially, you may start with 2-3 minutes. As you progress along the way, slowly increase the time. Within 2 to 3 months time you will become quite comfortable with the process and will also be able to sit for a prolonged duration. Making any kind of desperate effort will totally skew the meditative process.
5) Just let it happen: When we talk about meditation, we are talking about making life happen in its sweetest & effortless way. Every one of us would agree that there is something within us which is always looking for pleasantness. Paths may differ but essentially the outcome expected is pleasantness. Then why it is so that this basic expression is not manifesting itself in our lives. The reason is the entanglement within in our mind. The life within us is always trying to expand and bring a holistic sense of oneness, but our mind is a big hindrance to it. If you simply learn to put your thought process at rest, then meditation will happen. Once you master this process of ‘Conscious Non-doing’, you will live life with much more joy & peacefulness.
In our next article, We would again dive deep into ‘Karma: The wheel of action’. Stay tuned.
Happy Reading 🙂