If you are living a life in which there is peace and joy all the time or most of the time, and if the joy is growing, then you might not need to do meditation. If you have no fears or very few fears and these fears are decreasing with time then also you don't need to do meditation. But if that is not the case, then you can try doing meditation for some time. When you do meditation, you would be able to experience if it is bringing any positive changes in your life. By the way, if you do face any fears, you can check out How to stop living in fear?.
What is the meaning of meditation?
Let's start from absolute basics here. From a very basic perspective, Meditation means putting attention on something. When we meditate or contemplate on something, we end up gaining knowledge about that object. For example, if you meditate on an animal, a flower, ocean waves, stars, etc. , you end up thinking about that in detail. You might even start going deeper in your thoughts to understand its existence. It is some sort of study on something in which we try and understand the what and how of that thing.
For Example, Someone must have seen a piece of wood floating in water first and then his/her meditation on that floating piece would have brought him/her to the idea of creating something which can float on water, such as a boat. In the process of meditation, we gain knowledge about the laws and facts of objects in the world around us. You may wanna check out How meditation can help you?
Are you already doing meditation?
From where I see, most of the people are doing meditation in some way or the other. Some are meditating on money, some on music instruments, some on cars, some on plants, some on how to get more revenue for a company etc.
The object of meditation can differ for ever individual. Also, the same person may have many objects of meditation. Like someone can contemplate on how she can make more money and also loves working on photography, that is she can also meditate on photography
When someone mediates on something, two things happen:
- You either mediate
- You try to meditate
An Example from real life:
Like if you are working in your office on a project. Your attention may be automatically on the project, or your focus is shifting on something else while working on the project. Whenever you realize that your attention has shifted somewhere else, you try to bring it back to your project. Like focus is going somewhere else in the form of thoughts such as my house bills, my wife they all keep on popping automatically, and you try and bring attention on the project and its execution again. When the focus remains naturally on the project, we are at ease, and we also enjoy that time frame. That is why I say most of the people meditate on something or the other.
Do you love what you do?
When we love an object which is there in the outside world on which we meditate the meditation becomes very easy and joyful. Whenever you have an emotion of love inside, joy follows. That's one of the reasons a person who loves her/his job enjoys life a lot. For that person, meditation on that object happens naturally, and attention doesn't get diverted much. For example, A lot of entrepreneurs who start their business initially know that they may or may not make that much money which they were making in their jobs. But they love doing that work, so they really enjoy the process. It is like they meditate on their business or on the success of the company or maybe just on the process of seeing their idea blossom into something beautiful.
Are you unhappy with your job?
On the other hand, if someone is not happy with what they are doing, he would not be able to give it his best. That person would not be able to feel happy while doing that task. And thus, the person's attention would keep on wandering. We all would know someone who is not satisfied in their jobs, the main reason would be he would not like what he does. Such people lead a life in which most of the time, they feel incomplete.
That is why it is said that it is essential to follow your passion and do what your heart asks you to. It's just taking the first step towards your dreams seems hard. But once you do that, things start falling into place.
Understanding Self : A beautiful journey
The whole point is everybody meditates, but the object of meditation is of the outside world. If we become the object of meditation, then we are meditating on our own self. When we meditate on an object of the outside world, we gain knowledge about that object, so when we meditate on our own self the result will be the same, we will have more knowledge about our own self.
Do we strive to do the right thing?
Have you ever thought that we all know – What is the right thing to do, but we might not be able to do it every single time in our lives. For example, We get angry, and we continue that state even after knowing that getting angry is not healthy for our bodies. What is the point of knowing something if we are not able to implement it??
We know that we should do good to others but how many times do it with all our hearts? What happens when someone you know makes more money than you do? or when someone is more successful than you? or when someone buys a luxury car?
You do feel inspired, yes. But sometimes, you also feel jealous, right? Come on, let's accept it. It is a human emotion and we all have felt it at some time or the other. But we know we should be happy in other people's happiness. How many times we pretend to be good and do something just for the sake of doing it.
I believe the reason it happens so is that we might not have knowledge about our own self. We don't know how our body and mind functions. But how do we get to know more about these? For that, we need to start meditating so that we can start a beautiful journey of understanding ourselves better – from within.
How do we increase our knowledge about our own self through meditation?
If we try to analyze – when we meditate on something in the outside world, there is always an object. For example, if a person is meditating on the earth surface, the surface is always there. The types of thoughts regarding the surface might change during meditation but the surface is still there. So we need to find something which is always there within us.
Information of other objects of the outside world comes to us through sense organs, so if we close all our sense organs to the outside world, we would be able to realize the inner world. If we are at a calm place, have less light, moderate temperature, no smell. Now if we just close our eyes, we are in the inside world. We can observe ourselves. We have thoughts as well as emotions. They both keep on changing with time, and our mind also goes in thoughts and feelings on its own. It's like the pilot is missing and things are on autopilot.
One important thing to note is that we are not just thoughts and emotions as we can see observe our thoughts and emotions.
How to decide what should we meditate on?
Meditating on an object which is changing very rapidly is difficult. Also, I personally feel we all somewhere want to feel good and enjoy more. The pursuit of knowledge is only in us because it gives us power and it helps us enjoy more. The object of meditation should be something that also helps us at the same time to enjoy the process of meditating itself.
When we try to do meditation, we know that if we try to think of anything, we find that the thoughts keep on changing. There is something which is always there. We can observe that our breath is always there. Therefore, I would suggest you can try doing breathing meditation.
How to do breathing meditation?
Focus on your breath
Sit at a silence place. You can sit in a cross legged position since in this position, you tend to move less and it helps you focus. While keeping your eyes closed, start focusing your attention on your breath. Just observe yourself breathe in and out. Whenever you feel your attention is wandering away from breath, just bring it back on your breath. You might be interested in checking this out – Basics of meditation.
You do not have to think of anything. The pattern of breathing in and breathing out also changes with change in our emotions. You would also observe that breath and body and mind have a direct impact on each other. A change in breathing puts an effect on the body as well as on the mind. So a person can meditate on the breath, and whenever he finds that his attention has wandered away on anything, just remember to focus back on the breath. Simply Keep on observing the breath. I would suggest to just totally get involved with the breath and see where this phenomenon of observing your own breath takes you in your experience of life.
Keep your spine straight
Try and sit straight as it helps a lot for a better flow of energy inside which helps in fast removal of nerve blockage inside us. Spine is the most critical organ in the human body. All the nerves are connected to the spine, and the spine is connected to the brain. All the nerves center are there in the spine. So our spine posture is very much related to our health.
If we usually do not sit with a straight spine wherever the spine is bent, the ‘energy flow' to those nerves or the blood flow in that portion is not proper which is a standard requirement of the body. Which in turn affects both the body as well as the brain. You can observe any athlete or any person whom you consider is fit, you would find that that person has a straight natural posture. It is beneficial to have a straight posture.
The process has to be done consistently. In fact, consistency is something that is required whenever you have to get success in anything in life. It is one of the critical secrets of success that can change your life.
Just be patient in the beginning and remain regular for a few weeks and then decide.
Also within us, emotions flow in the form of a current, and a parallel sensation creates within, and that sensation is always there. But we need to take out some days time and preferably do meditation to know more about our body.
What if we don't have to try and be good with others it becomes natural to us? What if the anger and fear start losing its strength on its own? Do this simple watching of breath and see with your personal experience if your experience of life improves.
Lots of love
This article has been written by Moji with inputs from BetterAuds Team. He has many years of experience and expertise in the field of meditation and spirituality. He has travelled across the length and breadth of India and has visited and meditated in many spiritual places. Connect with him on his email here.