Have you ever wondered, what do we want most in life?
Peace of mind, you guessed it right. Even love after a point feels like being with someone we can find peace with. Meditation is often suggested as an entry point to this elusive peace and to the inner world. And rightly so. It has proven itself for thousands of years, in the Indian milieu.
Though popular belief is that Meditation is a tough discipline, or is it?
Many have tried and failed, “I keep getting thoughts!” Others have always dreamt starting it one day, alas the day never arrives. “I don’t get time!” Thus life passes by in a blink. When they get time, perhaps in old age, then it is too late to train the stubborn mind.
As we know – Bad habits are easy to form. Good habits take effort. Bad habits lead to bad choices and thus our downfall. Even historically, many lives with great potential were wasted thus. In short, it is easy to have a downfall, so tough to rise in life. Proof can come from anyone who has overcome a bad habit. They will tell you the effort required.
This brings us back to the topic of meditation. It might seem simple and boring to many. But to master it, take effort and work no doubt. Luckily, good habits also formed the same way, through repetition. And of course diligence and stamina.
In this day and age, where busyness has become a status symbol and multi-tasking a virtue. The mind can be seen as a machine; it runs on the kind of fuel we feed it with. Your current state of mind is based upon how you live your life, and most importantly how you have lived your life so far. Have you lived in a state of agitation, excitement, crazy schedules and odd hours? Have you grown up seeing violence, aggression or depression? Have you not bothered to train your mind? Usually, mental health is the last vestige to care about. Yet we all want peace of mind; we crave silence and expansiveness. We travel a thousand miles, to mountain tops and deep forest to find that elusive moment of grandeur that is life. Yet we forget, whatever we experience vacations occurs within, not out there. Meditation helps you cultivate that moment right there in your living room or quiet office corner. When I used to work in advertising, amidst frantic life, I used to sneak out during lunch hour to nearby a park with my book. Would come centered and rejuvenated.
As with Yoga, the first step in meditation are Dos and Don’ts, namely Yam and Niyam. The first steps in Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, which summarily means, “Right Living”. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Nonviolence. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood, Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing, Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): marital fidelity or sexual restraint, and Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-greediness, non-possessiveness.
This leads to second aspect of Niyam or adding disciplines to life via: Śauca (शौच): purity, clearness of mind, speech and body, Shantosh (सन्तोष): contentment, acceptance of others and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self, Tapas (तपस्): austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, perseverance, Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय): study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches and actions, and lastly Ishwarparinidhan (ईश्वरप्रणिधान): contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), attunement to the supreme consciousness. Right Living can also aspects of Buddhist Eightfold Path, Right Speech, Right Actions and Right Livelihood.
For example, if you are abusive at home or work place, if you are involved in any corrupt trade or practise, chances of your finding peace are dim. No matter how hard you try. Do not delude yourself. Right Livelihood and Actions through the day are as important to meditation path as is posture: Upright, yet relaxed.
Various scriptures have given various methods of meditation, Shiva Sutras and here in Bhagavad Gita:
स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवो: |
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ || 27||
विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो य: सदा मुक्त एव स: || 28||
“That person expelling from the mind all external sense objects (Shutting out all thoughts of external enjoyment), with the gaze fixed on the space between the eyebrows, equalizing the flow of the incoming and outgoing breath in the nostrils, such a person in control of his senses, mind, and intellect. Being so dedicated to liberation, this wise one becomes free from desire and fear and anger, always lives in freedom (is factually liberated).”
~ Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 5, Verse 27-28
Knowing the difficulty in the path, several tools have been suggested by various teachers. Pratyahara, withdrawal of senses. Literally meaning “control of ahara,” or “gaining mastery over external influences.” Avoid getting too involved with drama of the world. No getting carried away, so in time equanimity can come.
Now to bring Dharana, or focus and concentration, we some tools like Sewa, which is volunteering or selfless-service for those involved in an ambitious life,
Bhakti taking cue from last Niyama of Ishwarparinidhan, we can take on Bhajan, singing or listening to Lords praise. Vigrah puja, worshipping your beloved deity at the altar, it naturally brings peace to the mind to many, preparing it for the practice of meditation.
Mantra Sadhana, chanting of mantra is another good practise to bring focus in the mind. And thus with God’s blessing you are ready, to taste the immense richness of peace the abides in the divine. You close your eyes, and there you are on your mountaintop. Easy-peasy? Naah…It is work nevertheless. As they say, initially it takes effort to reach a state of effortlessness. Start today. Sit quietly for a while, watch your breath. That would be a good start..
In our group meditations of Gurgaon Meditation Circle and Bhopal Meditation Circle, we have introduced various aids in meditation. One of the important aids we recently tired was bhajan. Post listening a bhajan, devotional song. Our meditation became easier and soothing. Less of a struggle as love soothes the mind, like nothing else. Also Mantra Sadhna.
Our Group meditations are free of cost, and open to all.
Meditation has proven to be having positive impact on mind, by de-stressing it. MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction), a derivative of Mindfulness practice is popular in the West since 1970s. Now it is also used in Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
Gradually, as we train our mind, it become quieter and quieter. The lake waters are no longer restless and turbid. Till it is crystal clear. Then we get to penetrate through the hitherto dense layers of our being through our insight – our inner sight. Cutting through layers of facade and one day we get know who we really are. That has been the lure, of meditation for thousands of years.
Peace, Insight and Enlightenment. Learn to still and know thy Self.
- Abhishek – Gurgaon Meditation Circle – To join click here or msg your name to 9810206293, we will add you to our whatsapp group
- Priyanka – Bhopal Meditation Circle – To join click here, or msg your name to 9594280000, we will add you to our whatsapp group
Learn meditation in one-on-one sessions:
Besides attention group meditations, if you wish to take individual sessions for learning meditation, do contact our facilitators. Duration of sessions would 1-1 1/2 hours depending on requirement. Monday to Saturday by prior appointment only.
Charges: Rs 1500/- per session.
You can choose from different kinds of meditations:
Meditation for Beginners Series
1. Mindfulness Meditation (breath and body awareness Meditation) – increase awareness, focus and mental agility
2. Healing Light Meditation – for physical healing
3. Body Relaxation and De-stress Meditation
4. Chakra Healing Meditation – to enhance physical and emotional well being
Advance Meditation Series
5. Meditation for Emotional Release – for emotional healing
6. Meditation to connect with Spirit Guides/Angels – Receive daily guidance from your guides
Thank You🙏🏻…It was an overwhelming experience. Looking forward to join in more sessions 😊
Thank you for the wonderful experience .
As usual, this too was really a great and unique experience.. Thanks for the opportunity and enlightening group discussions.
Thank you so much… Looking forward to many more such Divine and relaxing Sunday mornings😊.
” Thanks for the warm welcome Abhishek! It was a wonderful session today. It feels blessed to a part of this peaceful journey😇”
” Thank you Abhishek for the deep inner positive drive. Would look forward seeing you all in the upcoming beautiful times.’
“Thank you very much Abhishek Ji, for wonderful meditation session. Day by day, these sessions are emptying negativities from mind and leading to beautiful world..”
“It was so relaxing and refreshing meditation today.”
Q. I have difficulty in sustaining concentration. Mind is preoccupied with many thoughts of work.
A.It’s natural, when your mind is preoccupied with many things.
You can do light exercise, stretching, slow deep breathing or even paranayam for a few minutes before sitting for formal meditation.
Regular Meditation trains the mind to focus. Whereas usually we have a habit of multi tasking or scattered focus.
Mind training takes time and effort that’s why it’s called Sadhna.
Q. How do I introduce Meditation to my teenager son, who is having difficulty focussing on studies?
A.Ask him if he wants TRY a breathing exercise to increase focus.. for 2 minutes?
As it has helped you. Avoid using word Meditation.
If he says yes…thenguide him to watch his breath at belly or navel for 10 counts.
Play soothing music on insight Timer.
Once he does that for 10 days.
then suggest if he wants to TRY any mantra to chant slowly. Om a few times..
Love and Light
Abhishek Joshi & Priyanka Bhargava
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