“Peace is your natural state.It is your mind that destroys it.” -Ramana Maharishi
In todays day and age, there seems to be a lot of misconceptions regarding this ancient practice of Meditation.
“What is meditation?”
“Why should I meditate? “
“ How do I meditate? “
These are not new questions typed into the Google search engine by a burnt out and anxiety driven modern person.But rather, timeless and deep contemplative questions which have been asked by human beings since time immemorial. Questions which have been on the minds of all the great prophets and sages that have walked this planet.
Questions which will lead to the ultimate union with the very fabric of this reality, questions which are asked by the mind, but can never be answered by the mind.
Today, meditation has so many interesting images associated with it. Pictures of people sitting by the Ganges in full lotus posture with proper mudras and a completely straight spine flash through the minds of most people as soon as I say “meditation”.
But what if I told you something a bit absurd? What if I told you meditation is not something which you have to do,but something what you are fundamentally.
Under all the 50,000 thoughts we have per day, there seems to be a Quiet. A silence and a stillness which is just Aware. A condition less contentment. A happiness which is unborn and undying.
Meditation at its core, is a practice which helps one to discover their true identity, this Silent Awareness,their True Self.
Most people are convinced they are this body, most people are dead sure that they are the voices in their head, this dubious mind. But if you really look at it, the body you have now is not the body you had when you were 4 years old. It is constantly changing and morphing into something else.
The mind,the ego personality which you hold so close to and identify with now is not the same personality and belief structures you had when you were 14 years old. Everything in this reality is changing, nothing is constant,not even “You”.
In the beginning, meditation does require a certain degree of concentration. A simple practice for building concentration is just focusing on the inhales and the exhales through the nose.
Feeling the raw sensations of the breath entering the nostrils and the breath leaving the nostrils and causing interesting sensations on the upper lip.
A sustained level of concentration is needed because, we are so used to following the mind into stories and fantasies. Anticipations regarding the future and regrets regarding the past all start coming from the mind making one restless and distracted.
The practice of Meditation is about firstly, being aware of the movements of the mind, and gently,without judgement, bringing your attention back to The Witness.
Bringing ones focus back to being aware of the perennial flow of the mind is the practice of meditation.
Most people believe the goal of meditation is to stop thoughts from arising altogether. This is quite impossible. It is like trying to stop the waves from crashing or the birds from chirping.
Your thinking is also just another force of nature. As the practice of meditation matures in an individual, a quiet mind and a calm state of being is just a byproduct. Bliss is just the result of being still.
Being aware of your self talk without getting sucked into the vortex of your psychology.. being a detached witness just watching your mind flow by slowly makes you shift your identity from the mind to the one who is watching the mind,The Witness consciousness.
Meditation is now needed more than ever since there is so much information floating around us. There is more information available to an individual today than any other time in history. To add fuel to our already hyper minds,now we are also constantly bombarded by the news and addicted to endless scrolling through our social media pages.
There seems to be no end to the content and the information being produced and fed into our mind. Now more than ever, we need to learn to take a step back and watch the world go by without having to defend or contribute our opinion into the infinite pool of opinions
Through regular practice of meditation, a person is able to detach from the never ending mental chatter.
A simple way by which one can start the practice of meditation is by first allotting a quiet space and some quiet time for themselves each day.( around 10-15 minutes is sufficient in the beginning)
Sitting comfortably, first become aware of your breathing. Becoming aware of the sensations of the air entering your nostrils and the air exiting your nostrils. Then, slowly become aware of your body sensations.Becoming aware of the sensations present on your body, your buttocks against the chair, the clothes against your skin and the sensations on your hands.
Then, become aware of any sounds in your environment. It might be the sound of distant vehicles, engines and horns from the traffic outside or the sound of birds chirping or water flowing, just be aware.
Then slowly,become aware of the mental activity. Notice how thoughts and the mental stuff are coming up. Notice how your mind is stirring up memories from the past and fantasies about the future. Just be aware.
Be aware of the mind just like you are of the other inputs from the environment like sounds and body sensations. Do not hold onto and go along with the thoughts that appear. As soon as a thought appears, instead of logging into the thought and following it down the story line, detach yourself and just be aware. Looking at your mind, without being an active participant is the practice.
People who have inculcated the practice of meditation into their life report that there is a greater sense of peace,clarity and contentment pervading their day to day activities . Strong and negative emotions like anger and hate don’t have a hold on them like they used to before. Negative emotions still come, but they don’t stay for too long and one is able to LET GO of them .
The ability to be in the moment starts to develop, enjoying the experience of life to the fullest without the constant molestation from the mind.
Relationships with friends and family also deepen as the practitioner is able to give his/her full undivided attention to the other person without their own mind being projected upon the other person.
Anxiety and self image issues start to drop away as the practitioner begins to realize that these things are mental programs and viruses which only exist because we have made them into a habit and hold onto them within our minds. Once you begin to become aware of these negative patterns of self-talk and how they are negatively impacting your life, you slowly let them go and allow new patters of joy and love to form in your mind.
The people who seem to get the most out of their meditation practice are the ones who simply enjoy the act of meditating.
When you approach your practice with interest,that simple time of sitting becomes enjoyable in itself.
You start to enjoy the rising stillness,the whisper of the breath, you enjoy the vibrant images shuffling through the inner space and a gradual shift into a quieter mind.
Here at 1000 Petals, we believe meditation is one of the most important practices a human being can do for themselves and the world around them. Transcending your own mind and seeing through the matrix of social and cultural conditioning is true liberation.
As we are spearheading into the future of constantly advancing technology and sciences, we are also moving away from ourselves.
Modern society has convinced us that lasting happiness can be found in the outside world. In that new car, in that new dress and in that new house. But all the wisdom traditions from across the world tell us otherwise. They tell us that true happiness can only be found within us. It is said that everything in this material world, everything that appears- will also disappear.
This is the nature of reality.
To find out that which never disappears and residing in that,as that, is the source of infinite bliss.
Our mission at 1000 Petals is to bring to you the spiritual wisdom of the ancients. Allowing you to access deep states of absorption in meditation and discovering this innate wisdom by using these scientific platforms and methods we offer like the sensory deprivation tank and the Lucia meditation lamp.
If meditation is a habit you have been wanting to inculcate into your life, do give us a visit. Other than providing these technologies which facilitate deep meditations, we also host group meditations,workshops and totally transcendental retreats.