If you’re anything like me, then meditation for you is standing on one leg with hands in praying position, eyes closed and largely concentrating on not falling, since you literally can’t concentrate on anything else. And while Eastern civilization claims that meditation is a way of calming your mind and literally shutting it off to get the much needed inner peace, we Westerns seem to only think about how we can endure this otherwise very uncomfortable position.
The word meditate, is associated with Eastern religions and an inevitable assumption about it is that if you’re doing it, you’re probably thinking about converting to Buddhism or something. Which of course, is not true at all. Thanks to today’s developed methods of research, medicine and elevated level of education, meditation is no longer just the famous ‘om’ .
What exactly is meditation?
Today many medical professionals have embraced meditation as a method for preventing diseases. Researches have found that meditation boost immune system and reduces stress. Meditation as such, is a mean for calming a person’s mind and body, freeing yourself of biases and simply seeing what is, with a large dose of openness and clarity, which in today’s world is hard to achieve thanks to all the bombarding from the Internet, TV, newspapers and all other means of delivering information, often not so true and real. As a technique, meditation concentrates on disciplining the mind, as the mind is most of the time distracted by everything that surrounds us. When people who meditate reach that state of calmness and control of the mind (when the mind is shut down), they explore the inner dimensions of themselves and start to commit to their inner persons and bodies – which ultimately, is the real purpose of meditation.
I’ve been reading the famous mystic guru Osho for a while, and he says that right before children start talking and perceiving the outer world as it is, they use their entire mind capacity and are able to see and hear things adults aren’t, or in other words, they’re completely unfocused. Once the parents start telling them definitions of things, and what is and isn’t true, they lose this capacity. Their mind becomes limited and they become focused on reality. As strange as this sounds, I believe it explains the higher purpose of meditation – to be able to unleash the mind in full, and see things that you aren’t seeing on a daily basis; your inner world, what your body and your mind see and hear – things we barely pay attention to in this wild, frantic world. And as far as we know, this is not far from reality; the yogis who live in the distant mountains of Tibet are a living proof.
“My whole teaching consists of two words, meditation and love. Meditate so that you can feel immense silence, and love so that your life can become a song, a dance, a celebration. You will have to move between the two, and if you can move easily, if you can move without any effort, you have learned the greatest thing in life.” ― Osho, Come, Come, Yet Again Come
What do you need to start meditating?
You will need just two things to start meditating – a timer and meditation cushions. Start with 5 to 10 minutes and increase as you continue to practice (usually up to an hour). Use the timer to know precisely when the time is up; having to check your clock will distract you and affect your meditation. You also need something to sit on. Meditation cushions are most common and my personal favourite. I’ve tried a chair but found it a bit difficult to keep my upright position; it felt as if I will slump and it did not help with my focus. Meditation cushions, I find the easiest to sit upright, keep my posture and my focus and provide excellent support. They are the most comfortable meditation mean, at least for me.
So, in conclusion, it could only be in our biggest benefit to learn the art of meditation. Especially in the 21st century, in which we live for money, careers, fame and education; something our inner person doesn’t even know the meaning of. But, the mind has a mind of its own, and if we don’t control it, it will control us in the direction it’s focused on. With the growing number of people who start to finally understand the meaning of the word ‘meditate’, a large number of trained professionals start to offer their knowledge in showing others how to properly and successfully reach that blessed condition of inner peace.