What is Meditation?
Meditation is a process of clearing the mind and getting in touch with your inner self. Meditation is cultivating the awareness of watching oneself. Learning about one’s tendencies, thoughts, emotions, feelings, habits, and conditioning. You can practice meditation in many ways, but the essence of formal meditation is breathing. By focusing on your breathing, it allows your mind to slow down from excessive thoughts and mental chatter. Meditating is a great way to clear your head of all the garbage we have accumulated in our minds. It gives you a chance to study how your mind works, to be still, listen and observe.
Meditation is to find out whether the brain, with all the activities, all its experiences, can be absolutely quiet. Not forced, because the moment you force, there is duality. The entity that says, ‘I would like to have marvelous experiences, therefore I must force my brain to be quiet,’ will never do it. But if you begin to inquire, observe, listen to all the movements of thought, its conditioning, its pursuits, its fears, its pleasures, watch how the brain operates, then you will see that the brain becomes extraordinarily quiet; that quietness is not sleep but is tremendously active and therefore quiet. A big dynamo that is working perfectly hardly makes a sound; it is only when there is friction that there is noise.
J.Krishnamurti, The Impossible Question,72
Thoughts and Emotions
Through meditation, you realize that you are the observer of your thoughts and emotions. You are consciousness, awareness or the knower. You begin to realize that your thoughts are just thoughts. Thoughts are based in time. Thoughts are memories and images that are of the past or projections into the future. Most of our anxiety and fear are based on too much thought and not enough present moment awareness. Thoughts and emotions will come and go. They are transient yet, we often are totally consumed by them.
Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought.
Present Moment Awareness
Meditation also allows you to be in the present moment. There is great peace and calmness when you are living in the present. It gives you clarity and mental strength. By being present of your actions inwardly and outwardly you become more balanced. Being present is seeing life as it is, at this moment and not through some dialogue, label or thoughts running through your mind. Seeing the present moment without the filter of thought or knowledge.
Where Did Meditation Start?
Meditation has been around for thousands of years. It started mainly in India with the Hindus and Buddhists. It was used as a tool to find your way to enlightenment or awakening. The state of enlightenment is the recognition or realization of your true nature. An enlightened person realizes that true suffering is mind-made. They do not identify with the mind or ego. An enlightened person looks at life not through the screen of thought and knowledge, but pure awareness or consciousness. You are that awareness that is observing every thought, emotion, and aspect of life. Through meditation, that has been passed down for thousands of years, one can gain insight and peace of mind.
Enlightenment is the recognition of our essential nature of ever-present, unlimited Awareness. It is not a new experience but rather something we have simply overlooked due to our fascination with the drama of thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation has become a way of life for many people. There is a growing number of people realizing what meditating has to offer. Less stress, more happiness, and clarity in life are just some of the positive outcomes from a meditation practice. A meditation practice can be as simple as 10 minutes a day.
Meditation will help rewire the way your thought process works in the brain. By meditating daily, you cause a shift in consciousness. It allows for:
- Less obsessive thinking
- Reduced anxiety
- More creativity
- Being more present in life
- Improves the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increased energy
- More focused
Silence and Stillness
Meditation is also the process of connecting with silence and stillness. Eckhart Tolle states, “Stillness is your essential nature”. Everything comes from and returns to stillness. Through silence and stillness, there is an inner calmness, clarity, and tranquility. Meditation offers a way to reconnect with your true essential nature to move beyond the thinking mind and emotions and find that inner stillness and peace.
Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.
Nature can be a great help in meditation. Often just listening to the sounds of nature can help one relax and clear the mind. We all come from nature and soon will return to it. Nature sustains this whole planet. By observing nature, you soon see time has no relevance. Things happen instinctively. Nature and the animals in it, just exist. There is no past or future, just the present moment. Meditation can also be just listening and observing nature in a mindful way.
It is odd that we have so little relationship with nature, with the insects and the leaping frog, and the owl that hoots among the hills calling for its mate. We never seem to have a feeling for all living things on the earth. If we could establish a deep, abiding relationship with nature, we would never kill an animal for our appetite, we would never harm, vivisect, a monkey, a dog, a guinea pig for our benefit. We would find other ways to heal our wounds, heal our bodies. But the healing of the mind is something totally different. That healing gradually takes place if you are with nature, with that orange on the tree, and the blade of grass that pushes through the cement, and the hills covered, hidden, by the clouds.
Krishnamurti to Himself, p 10
Peace of Mind
We are all just seeking peace of mind as Gautam Sachdeva explains in this video. Through meditating over time, you will become a calmer, relaxed and more peaceful person. You will find that life’s problems can be handled much easier. The little things don’t bother you as much anymore. You become a more centered individual. Start meditating slowly at first and then increase it as you feel more comfortable. Ultimately, you will see that life is just one big meditation practice.
Being aware of being aware is the highest form of meditation.
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