Standing high on a mountain peak ... experiencing the amazing feeling of the cool breeze touching your face ... the soothing sound of chirping birds ... as you stretch your arms to contain the infinite blue expanse, you are completely immersed and one with the beauty of nature ... your phone rings and the next thing you hear is that your daughter is unwell ... How do you feel? All the beauty you were enjoying just moments ago seems to disappear ... at that moment, all you can think about is your daughter. Isn’t it?
Now Imagine another scenario: you are walking on a lonely road on a bright summer morning ... you can feel the scorching heat of the sun exhausting every cell of your body ... your boss calls and tells you that you have been promoted ... What next? Suddenly the tiredness seems to vanish and you can see yourself happily marching off ... even the sun does not bother you for the time being.
Think about it: What part of you experiences joy or tiredness? Hands, legs, face? No, it’s the mind. In short, the happiness quotient of our life depends on the state of our mind.
Bring the pendulum of your mind to the center
Did you know?
Meditation can put you on a cycle of joy. It brings your mind to the present and makes you calm, so you are able to carry out the activities of the day efficiently. Because of this efficiency, you are satisfied in the end and have a pleasant state of mind.
The mind has a tendency to oscillate between the past and the future. It is either regretting or glorifying the past or planning for the future. However, we need to understand that the present moment is the field of all possibilities.
Can we act in the past or future? No. We can only act now. And in this ‘now’, we keep swinging our mind back and forth, losing focus on the current activity. As such, we take more time to do things. Isn’t ‘No Time’ a very common statement and a source of stress for most of us?
What if we could somehow bring our mind to the present moment? Meditation can help. It gives us the ability to be in the now and act effectively.
It is also important to note that it is sometimes important to let our mind switch back to the past (to learn from past experiences) and the future (to plan better ahead). But, the awareness to exactly know when to go to the past or the future and when to bring our mind to the present comes from daily practice of meditation.
"Twenty minutes of deep diving into myself gives me relief from the thoughts at that moment. With regular meditation, I now find it easy to bring my mind to the present when it’s swinging between the past and the future", shares Karishma Yadav, a meditator for seven years.
Get off the hook
Have you seen how your mind clings on to the negative? Let’s take an interesting example. Suppose you go for a party and you are wearing your favorite dress. Almost everyone in the party compliments you but only one person comes and tells you that he did not like your dress and your mind gets stuck to that!
How can we not be a football of other people's opinions? How can we focus our mind more on the compliments, with the ability to accept criticism and move ahead with dynamism?
Here is again where meditation can help. A daily meditator finds it easy to not go off-balance. It is natural to feel bad when someone criticizes us and to feel elated upon receiving praise, but with meditation, you are easily able to let go of these emotions and not remain hooked on to them for long.
“Earlier, if someone would criticize me, I would keep thinking about it all day. With daily practice of meditation, criticism does bother me for a while but I am easily able to detach myself from it and become centered again,” shares Meher Ahuja, daily meditator for two years.
Quick tips to meditate
- It is a good idea to meditate at least once everyday. Especially on days you are feeling low or you see yourself brooding over the past and getting worried about the future, make sure to take 20 minutes out to meditate. This will help bring your mind to the present and will settle you down.
- There would be days when your work demands extra focus. Make sure you meditate for 20 minutes before you start work. Also, after a few hours, you could consider taking another meditation break. It will help you keep up your focus.
- You could experience meditation wherever you are with an online guided meditation.
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
By Divya Sachdev
Based on inputs by Bharathy Harish, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation teacher