Meditation is constant observation of the self. It is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the reflexive, “thinking” mind into a deeper state of relaxation. It helps one to become calm from external distractions and influences.
Meditation techniques can help one develop mindfulness, concentration, tranquility and insight. It gives the ability to halt the incessant chatter and focus the mind. When the waves of the lake are stilled you can see the bottom clearly.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad refers to meditation and states that “having becoming calm and concentrated, one perceives the self within oneself”.
Patanjali is his Yoga Sutra recommended “meditation” as a part of the spiritual practices (sadhana) that leads to samadhi, or blissful inner peace. (Yoga Sutra -seventh of the eight paths of Raja Yoga – 2nd century BCE).
All religious traditions of the world have encouraged meditation in some form to attain inner peace and tranquility.
Meditation helps us to maintain composure/equanimity in all situations. Whether it is the joy one gets from achieving great success or the grief one might feel at the loss of a loved one. The mind is constantly being stimulated and bombarded by external influences via the senses. We are so busy with living, that we rarely stop and observe what is going on inside. Very often, it’s not until something very distressful happens do we stop and try to figure out what’s going on in our lives.
So once the incessant chatter or thought energy of the mind is restrained, one is no longer affected by the ups or downs of life. One is unaffected and blissful no matter what happens in life.
As Swami Sivananda states “Without the help of meditation, you cannot attain Knowledge of the Self”. It allows us to go within and learn our true nature.
Benefits of meditation are concentration, equanimity and patience. Helping us remain focused, calm and stable for our everyday tasks. So when the proverbial “xxxx hits the fan” we can remain calm, make the appropriate decision and take the right action without much effort. It helps us live our lives effortlessly.
It is a practical way to look within to understand and experience our thoughts and emotions. Understanding and controlling your mind is the first and most important step to attaining happiness and peace.
Tools to help you meditate:
1. Electronic brain sensing headband called Muse. This device helps measure your brain signals while giving you visual and auditory feedback to help manage stress.
3. Mindfulness. An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.