“Meditate? Who, me?” A common reaction by many who feel that meditation is the most difficult thing to do. When we are so used to doing some activity all the time then sitting with our eyes closed for even 10 minutes and doing nothing sounds absurd. Let us look at some of the most common reasons why people find meditation difficult, while we offer some simple solutions to these apparently difficult situations.
#1: You say – I work for 10 hours in a high-pressure job, barring the time lost in traffic. It is difficult to find the time to meditate!
We say – If you don’t have time, this is exactly why you should meditate. Confused? Meditation adds hours to our day. Meditating for 15-20 minutes daily can help improve concentration and productivity, the work gets done faster and you are left with more time which you can use to relax the mind and recharge yourself after a long day at work. Remember: If you find 15 minutes to meditate in the day, you will be able to find time for everything else. You definitely need to try for yourself to really see how difficult it is when you don’t meditate!
#2: You say – Sit still at one place with eyes closed for 20 minutes? Are you kidding me?
We say –It’s really not that difficult when it comes to actually sitting and meditating. At the end of those 20 minutes, you may not even realize that you had been sitting for that long! Moreover,there’s nothing more refreshing than a short meditation session. In fact, it might make you feel as though you have just woken up from an eight-hour-long deep restful sleep.
#3: You say – I’m considered cool in college. If I sit and meditate, I’ll be looked at as somebody from another planet! My friends would ask, “What’s wrong with you?”
We say –This is a general misconception among some young people. Meditation is no longer an alien concept. Lots of people want to learn this technique and derive its benefits.Moreover, it works for everyone – kids, youth and the old – at different levels. As a student, you may witness increased concentration and improved exam results.You are also better able to handle your relationship with your parents and peers.
#4: You say –My family thinks that if I meditate I would become a sanyasi (recluse). I don’t want to upset them.
We say – You only need to be skilful in dealing with this, and again, meditation can help you acquire the skill to become more sensitive, intuitive and well equipped to connect with your family better. It might be initially challenging to make them understand your viewpoint but as you keep meditating, they will start observing positive changes in you – your personality and speech become pleasant, and communication skills get better. Slowly, they start getting comfortable with the idea. It would definitely be ideal if all of you meditate together as it is always more effective in creating a positive environment.
#5: You say – Once I close my eyes, what am I supposed to do next? What will happen in meditation?
We say – Such a feeling is natural because we are always so caught up in action that letting go completely seems impossible. But take it easy! All you need to do in meditation is simply relax. To start with, you can take guidance from an experienced teacher at the Sahaj Samadhi Course, who can lead you into meditation. Or you can practice it at home by listening to a online guided meditation and you will see how easy it is to slip into a state of doing nothing!
#6: You say – It’s always too noisy at home. I have children and it is difficult to find some quiet moments when I can sit and meditate.
We say – Have you noticed when you are tired or sleepy, how you can doze off simply anywhere -on a moving bus or train, or in the middle of a movie at the cinema? This happens because we don’t have a choice and the mind automatically switches off even amidst so much noise. In meditation, we have a choice to switch off our mind for some time. We have a say over our mind!
#7: You say – When society is facing numerous challenges– poverty, conflict, unemployment, corruption - at this time you expect me to sit and meditate when so much needs to be done?
We say – This is exactly the time when meditation can help. It gives you the strength within to be able to serve, to help bring about a resolution to conflicts. When you meditate, your aura starts affecting the people around you. When you are calm, rather than being affected, you start positively influencing the environment. Over time, regular meditation will help change a lot of things – you might notice good things happening around you because you meditate!
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
Graphics by Niladry Dutta
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