In today’s fast paced world where everyone is connected via the omnipresent world wide web at all times, sometimes we forget to live in the present. We forget the power of NOW. Do yourself a favor- Pause, breathe! Meditation is to the mind what yoga is to the body. It relaxes your mind, gives it a break from the assaulting universal chaos, strengthens your mind and rejuvenates your body.
Meditation makes you gain control over your mind. And what can a controlled mind not achieve!
Meditation reduces stress, anxiety and depression. It increases immunity and the overall well-being of the body. It enhances self-acceptance, decision making and memory retention. If you want to experience the true magic of it, all you need to do is practice and be consistent. It’s never too late to nourish your soul.
What you need: A quiet place with no distraction, comfortable seating and an open mind.
Seating: You may sit cross-legged on the floor or normally on a chair. You may use a backrest. You may place your hands in one of these positions. Why? Palms are receptors of energy. Both the hand positions shown below have palms facing upwards, which makes one receptive towards the positive energy of the Universe.
It is important to remember: Your mind is trained to think. Ever since you were born, that’s what it has been doing. Mindful meditation is not about trying to get rid of your thoughts and getting irritated because the mind seems like an unruly monkey swaying from one thought to the other. Mindful meditation is about being aware and yet tranquil.
What do you do: Close your eyes and breathe. Observe your breath. This does NOT mean you control the rhythm of your breath on purpose. All you need to do is observe your breath. The pattern of the clean, fresh, positive air entering through your nostrils when inhaling and the toxins exiting out of your body when exhaling. Be aware of the way you breathe, the sensations you feel on your nostrils- warm, hot, cold, pulsating, moist, all of the above- whatever it is, just observe. Do not react. No craving, no aversion! This is a way of training the mind; breaking its age-old habit of reacting to positive and negative situations. Thoughts will arise. Your mind will wander. As soon as you realize your mind has wandered, bring your awareness back to the breath without getting angry, upset or irritated. You may need to do this A LOT more than you want to or expect to. That is perfectly normal. The key here is to remember that every moment you spend ‘observing and not reacting’, your mind is becoming stronger and more controlled. As Buddha put,
The mind is everything. What you think, you become. Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.
Gradually, your practice will seep into how you react in your daily life. Your anger may last for 2 hours, instead of its habitual 8 hours. Steadily, that will disappear too. Your mind will be unperturbed irrespective of the situation around you.
Practice mindfulness for at least 20 minutes daily. Remember, if you want to achieve results, consistency is important. To make mindful meditation a part of your life, be in the present. Let your mind always be aware and yet maintain its equanimity. Situations arise and pass away. The things that happen around you are not in your control, but keeping your mind peaceful is. After all, a quiet mind hears the inner voice.