Meditation is a powerful process that touches one on many levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Our mind has infinite potential including the capacity for empathy, compassion, content, equanimity and creativity. The same mind, on the other hand, falls prey to worrying, jealousy, being critical and judgemental. Depending on how our mind is used it can contribute towards us being happy, content, stress-free or even totally miserable.
This is where the great potential of meditation lies – to harness the positive energies and channelize them towards a more happy and fulfilling existence! The essence of meditation practice is to be aware, present and focused in the present moment. It is the process of teaching the mind to come back to the present.
Research has confirmed what the yogis have known since centuries – that meditation has a potent effect on our physiological and psychological well being changing the way our bodies and brain function; contributing to better health outcomes. Studies have shown how meditation lowers the levels of adrenaline and cortisone and helps alleviate conditions such as depression, hypertension, migraine and pain whilst boosting immunity and fostering a sense of happiness and peace. Hence it is not surprising that meditation has been rightly called as ‘ MEDICATION’ for the mind-body complex.
Even 10 minutes of meditation on a regular basis can make a big difference to our well being. It enables one to experience peace of mind which is an essential component of optimal well being. There are numerous types of meditation techniques like focussing on the breath or specific body parts, chanting of mantras, sound healing, compassion and kriya yoga meditation which provide us with a point of focus or concentration and confer specific benefits directed towards a salubrious existence.
Having said that, meditation can be also incorporated in our day to day life. It is like moving from closed eyes to open eyes meditation. These are called as “Meditative Moments”.
Let us see how we become meditative in some of the tasks:
- Meditation at traffic lights: Most of us commute via public or private transport. Lot of time we experience jams in which we cannot do anything. Instead of getting frustrated and tensed, just take a deep breath and relax the muscles in your face, shoulders and hands.
- While travelling: Be alert which travelling. Don’t be absent-minded. Notice all the information coming through your senses – what you see, hear and feel. This can help to remain concentrated without judgement.
- First thing on the desk: After reaching the workplace, don’t start the work immediately. Most of the time when we start work, we are scattered. It is very important that we become concentrated and relaxed before starting work. Became aware of your breath. Let it move gently and slowly, trying to find a rhythm in the breath. Continue with rhythmic breathing for a few breaths and then start your work. You will find that your efficiency and productivity improves.
- Difficult meetings: Before meeting a difficult person, or facing a difficult situation, take a few deep breaths. Every time you exhale, feel that you are releasing all the negative emotions.
- Remain focused: Do whatever you do as an exercise of concentration and remain fully focused. With any distractions that arise, gently bring your focus back to the task at hand.
- Stressed or calm: Notice the state of your mind while you are using your phone or answering an email. Are you stressed and anxious? Or calm and confident? Whatever it is, try approaching that emotion meditatively.
- Lunch time: Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you eat. Take time to really experience your food: notice it’s texture and colours. What does it smell like? As you take each mouthful, notice as many flavours as you can. Observe how your mind and body reacts to each taste.
- Specific about use: We are a good multitasker. We try to do many things at a time. Lot of our stuff happens on the phone. Lot of time we use our phone for a purpose and get distracted doing something else. When you unlock your phone with a specific purpose in mind, complete that purpose before you open any other app or notification.
- Be present: When having a conversation with someone, be 100 per cent present: hold their gaze and notice their body language. Really listen to what they are saying, and consider your response. Don’t judge before hand. Be mindful and remain open.
These are few Meditative Moments which can be incorporated in our day to day life and we can make Meditation as a part of our living world.
K J Somaiya Bhartiya Sanskriti Peetham