BANGALORE : The word meditation comes from the word medication or medicine, which means to cure. Meditation is a powerful ally in the healing of stress and recovery. It is the process of becoming a witness to the inner phenomena where thoughts gradually stop overpowering you. It develops immunity against stress, restoring the body to its normal operating conditions.
Meditation is being with our own self, loving our own self and spending time with our own self. As we spend time with our respective spouses, with our kids, with our friends, with our neighbours, ... we must also spend time with ourselves; that is meditation.
We must sit in a corner of our room every day. We should cross our feet and relax ourselves totally. We should close our eyes and clasp our hands and be with our breath.
We all want deep and refreshing rest so that we can be productive when we wake up. But when can you rest? Only when you have stopped all other activities. When you stop moving around, working, thinking, talking, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting - when all voluntary activities are arrested - then you get rest or sleep. In sleep, you are left with only involuntary activities such as breathing, heartbeat, digestion and blood circulation.
Yet this is not total rest. Total rest happens in meditation and meditation happens only when the mind settles down.
How to settle down this mind? By understanding the aim of life and having a clear focus. What is focus? Being fulfilled in the moment, looking to the highest and remaining in that space of peace, is focus. If there is no peace, there is no focus. Similarly, if you focus, you attain peace.
To meditate, we need to understand two factors: Be an unconditional witness and observe the intricate functioning of the mind. Once we observe how a thought is formulated, what are the conditions in which mind is prone to generate thoughts, only then can we take a leap beyond the cow-web of thoughts and experience the ever-flowing inner bliss.
To understand meditation, we need to have a sharp inner vision - as Lord Buddha said, "Sharpen your observation like a bowman sharpens his arrow."
Meditation empowers one to soar to heights of success while keeping the mind calm and silent. Success without silence is like a flower without fragrance. Feelings of insecurity result from our dissatisfaction with the past, disillusionment with the present and distrust of the future. One has to learn from the past, enjoy the present, and plan for the future. Only through this three-pronged approach to time can we eliminate our feeling of insecurity.
We become permanently connected to the divine bliss within. With this inner support, we can then face our problems with a clear mind and find solutions. We are able to make more rational decisions because we see life from a higher angle of vision. We feel less stressed as we remain calm. This in turn, relaxes the body. Thus, our chances of stress-related illnesses decrease.
Meditation bridges the conscious and unconscious, helping the individual to set himself free from his own bondage.
And only the one who has freed himself from the fetters of mind can come back to his natural state - which is love itself. It becomes the tool which takes the individual to merge with the very ocean of love which is in one. Ultimately the individual comes to face the truth that meditation is in love personified.
Meditation is letting go of all anger from the past and events of the past, and letting go of all planning for the future.
Planning can hold you back from diving deep into yourself. It is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Just understanding this, and a few days of continuous practice of meditation, can change the quality of your life.
The best analogy of the three states of consciousness - waking, sleeping and dreaming - is nature. Nature sleeps, wakes and dreams! It happens at a magnificent scale in existence and is happening at a different scale in this human body. Wakefulness and sleep are like sunrise and darkness. Dream is like the twilight in between. And thus, meditation is like the flight into the outer space, where there is no sunset, no sunrise, nothing!