Yearning for a recharge? If you think shopping sprees and spa treatments will get you there, read on for the real deal.
Numerous gizmos keep us connected with our world and beyond. But it’s time we went beyond the superficial and got in touch with our core selves. Turn to meditation for an enriching experience of true happiness and stress relief that doesn’t leave you wanting for more.
Our expert: Ansuya Sunku, director, Bahrain Meditation Centre for Self Development
Meditation is the deep relaxation of the mind. It is creating and feeling positive thoughts for yourself and others. It is not just a technique, but also a way of life. It prepares your mind to think in a certain way, which with practice comes naturally in one’s daily life.
“The original way in which the spiritual being thinks is positive. Meditation takes you back to your normal state of positivism,” says Ansuya.
The mind is the tool for experiencing peace, but until the mind is calm, peace is fleeting. With meditation the mind becomes so calm and serene that you are thinking only positive thoughts; there is no margin for negativity.
The whole idea is that with consistent effort, the benefits of meditation are experienced throughout the day. Ansuya points out that consistency, practice and depth are essential in meditation to benefit from it.
Meditation is not about thinking, but experiencing. It does not require any specific posture. Comfortable seating and stillness of the body allows the mind to just be, to settle. And then you can take your mind to any kind of positive experience you want [DASH] peace, joy or love.
Having nothing to do with religion, meditation allows one to gain spiritual development and understand one’s religion more closely. It enables the good in each and every one of us to manifest. Well, isn’t the world in dire need of this?
The how and why of meditation
Our expert: Weam Zabar, founder, Namaste Bahrain
Yoga master, Weam says that the mind is generally active, agitated and overused. A lot of mental energy is wasted on unnecessary thoughts. Meditation does not control, but diverts the mind from the past, anxiety or tension. It stills the mind to live in the present moment.
“Meditation involves focusing on the breath, a candle or a chant to redirect the mind from assorted thoughts to just focusing it on a spot. That alone is beneficial as you begin to understand the tendencies of your own mind, like fear, anxiety or perpetually planning for the future. It allows you to watch how your mind works and isolates your thoughts from yourself,” says Weam.
So even while not meditating, you are able to recognise your thoughts clearly and then decide whether and how you want to react to them, instead of reacting on autopilot all the time. Meditation is a state of consciousness, which has a lot of healing benefits on the mental, physical and emotional self.
“It helps you recognise your identity as a soul rather than as a body. It gets you closer to divinity, to your untainted soul,” she says.
Everybody can meditate, although it may be difficult at first to still a jumping mind. Let thoughts come to you and pass as you return to your point of concentration. As a result, one can filter one’s thoughts, which are conditioned with perception and background. “Once you recognise the rubbish you are carrying within, you can decide what to keep and what to drop,” says Weam.
Meditation is best done at sunrise or sunset, but with time, you ultimately live your meditation. Your state is always that of focused relaxation, and contentment, like there’s nothing missing. You actually ‘live in the moment’.
There are many methods to meditate, such as focusing on chants, a candle, a sound or the breath. Some even do walking meditation. The method is different for everyone, but the ultimate goal is the same.
Meditation for all walks of life
Our expert: Jayashree Sharma, faculty, Art of Living
“The whole world should meditate,” advises Jayashree, extolling the powers of this simple yet powerful practice. Meditation is food for the soul and a nourished soul can maintain harmonious relationships with the spouse, children, friends and superiors.
She believes that the mind can be controlled through our breath. Breathing can still a wandering mind to go into the ‘wow’ state of meditation. If only we would pay more attention to our breathing, taking long, deep breaths instead of short, shallow ones.
“Deep down, we are all brilliant diamonds. But we allow dust to settle on our inner diamond with years of accumulated stress, grudges and negativity,” she says.
Meditation allows you to cleanse the soul and release these mental and emotional toxins through correct breathing. In a calm state of mind, one can see the situation as is, assess it and then take the right decision in any relationship.
Parents can greatly benefit from meditation while tackling inevitable problems that arise with nurturing children and the strain of daily routine. Sincere meditation ensures boundless energy to deal with people, situations and never-ending tasks with a smile, making parenting a more joyful journey.
Children can easily get into a meditative state due to their innocence and purity. It helps concentration and memory, and focuses their misdirected energies, teaching them to listen to their inner voice in this confusing world of right and wrong. They absorb wisdom and knowledge better.
“The best thing a parent can do is to sow the seeds of meditation in a child’s mind,” Jayashree notes. Prison inmates, terrorists and drug addicts have taken up the path of love after experiencing the miracle of meditation. Prostitutes, labourers and the underprivileged have been made happier souls through meditation.
With meditation the mind is more accepting and free to think higher thoughts, like our responsibilities, role in society and how we can make the world a better place. Happy vibes radiated from a peaceful mind, attracts and affects people around you in a positive way. Once the mind is in total control, nothing is impossible.