Meditation- The art of quietening the mind!
It’s a heart warming feeling, a boost to continue writing when words touch someone’s heart, inspire and intrigue others. Enthused by the endorsements of a few friends I wonder if that is what happens if you follow your heart and allow universe to guide your hands and show you the path!
“Meditation…. How do you learn to do this. Is it too late in later life, is it ever too late to learn something new” mused Val!
No it’s never too late. There is nothing to learn in meditation, it’s just relaxing and letting it happen! ” You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is such a defeatist, negative axiom.
I took up meditation a couple of years ago after not finding the inner peace, ” Home” through prayer and organised religion. Initially floundered, struggled and got frustrated, gave up on several occasions and started again till it became a habit. The days I ignored the routine of meditation were the hardest. At first sitting down doing nothing was hard and appeared pointless. A lifelong habit of keeping busy, chasing after deadlines, goals and dreams is indeed hard to break. In our quest for happiness we chase after money, position and everything that satisfies our Ego! But the Ego is never happy, it seeks after yet more money, yet higher position and yet more plaudits. Only by realising this and putting things in perspective and not merely chasing phantoms can we gain contentment and inner peace. Meditation helps with this!
But breaking the habit was not going to be easy I knew, but I hadn’t imagined that sitting down even for five minutes without doing anything, quietening the mind would be so hard. My mind would wander into lanes and alleys, along dark labyrinths which I had closed years ago trying to escape from the harsh realities of life. Then I chanced upon the teachings of the much misunderstood, maligned Acharya Rajneesh, who has the innate capability to speak in a language that resonates with modern, busy people. Meditation according to him, is becoming aware, being conscious of the serene blue sky and not getting distracted by the clouds that drift across it out of nowhere. Our thoughts are like the clouds, drifting across the mind like clouds drifting across the sky. To enjoy the serene blue sky or the quite mind we neither have to follow each cloud nor chase after each thought. Let them drift across as is their nature.
Mindfulness is a fairly new concept in the West, but it’s said that by practicing mindful breathing the Buddha attained enlightenment more than 2500 years ago. Is it possible for mere mortals to attain enlightenment? Yes, according to Buddhist tradition, Buddha nature is present in each and everyone and we can aspire to that state.
What is the most precious thing in the world?
Would it come as a surprise if I said that it is our breath?
We cannot live for more than a few minutes without the life giving oxygen unless we are trained yogis who remain in suspended animation for prolonged periods of time! This act we perform unawares throughout our life. If we can become aware of it and just concentrate on our most precious gem even for a few minutes, we can feel the bliss that we seek. How to bring this act into consciousness, how to develop concentration on our breath without being drawn away by our monkey minds? How to become mindful of our breath? Seems like a insurmountable mountain but practice byte size daily should eventually reward with reaching the apex of the mountain and the beautiful views from the top. Technology if used wisely could be a faithful servant and there are apps out there to help. Two particular apps I have found useful and have recommended with good results are Breathe and Qi Gong Meditation Relaxation. The first attempts to teach how to become mindful of our breath and the second guides us through beautiful vistas through visualization. I have found them very useful, hope people reading this blog would find them helpful as well.
Happy Meditation and peace to everyone!