“I am surprised to witness the brightness in myself after every sitting of meditation. Meditation makes me get the relaxation of 2 hours of sleep in just 20 min.!!” chirped Chary, a friend I knew from my meditation classes. She continued expressing her experiences without noticing that I was munching my own cud. I wondered that how come I did not have so many great experiences in last 5 months of meditation sojourn. I also meditate daily but that conversation made me doubt myself and of course the technique. I started to think if I was even meditating correctly?
I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way. Do you also share that chord with me? Well, my meditation teacher has some answers for us.
#1 Follow the instructions conscientiously
Have you noticed it’s much easier to dive deeper into meditation when guided with a few instructions? So while attending meditation sessions make sure to pick up the exact instructions carefully and, back home, follow them correctly. These instructions are like the rails which might take you within yourself.
So next time you think of closing eyes to meditate, do recollect the sequence of instructions and follow them ardently.
#2 Do not identify meditation through ‘specific experiences’
Have your observed some times while driving from one city to the other you experience good scenery and at other times traffic jams? And yet both are a part of the drive, isn’t it? Likewise whether struck with random thoughts or calmness, light heartedness or a heavy head, whatever state of mind you are into during your meditation falls in the category of “an experience”.
You might have noticed that sometime we stick to specific experiences and become judgmental about our meditation. It might be nice to understand that meditation is a journey and not a destination that can be identified with specific landmarks.
#3 Observe the positive changes in you
Did you know the depth and effect of meditation can easily be measured in your daily lifestyle? Have your experienced more calmness, relaxed and clear mind, more sensitivity towards the needs of people around? Do your sometimes see yourself plain happy and smiling for no reason? If yes, know that you are meditating correctly. You may even pat your back.
Even if you are not feeling any changes, know you still might be meditating correctly, your just need to be more aware of the changes in you. Also sometimes the changes are very subtle and we miss observing them. If you wish you may also speak to your meditation teacher about it.
#4 Be aware of the attitude you carry
Do you sometimes find yourself getting caught in your desires and worries? Have you seen when they over power us, we end up losing ourselves to them? We start carrying them on our head and in our head with no apparent solution. Says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” There is no problem if you have your desires, but don’t let the desires have you. Meditation happens with the attitude ‘I want nothing, I do nothing, I am nothing’”.
#5 Sit in a comfortable posture
It is always advisable to sit and meditate. It could be on a sofa, a chair or a carpeted floor. Make sure you do not lie down or incline your body while meditating. Horizontal or inclined back (reclined / lying down) might not allow the mind to expand and meditate. In-fact your may end up feeling sleepy.
Sitting with a back straight is important. However it is equally important to be comfortable to ensure a good and deep meditation. You may also practice some yoga asanas that will ensures development of strength and flexibility that can help us relax in a particular posture for the duration of the meditation.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “Meditation is an art of doing nothing and letting go”. It cultures the mind and allows it to let go of worries and impressions. Above all, realizing that meditation is a personal journey that is necessary for a peaceful and fulfilling life brings the commitment to stay put.
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
Written by Nikhil Gupta
Based on inputs by Bharathy Harish, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Teacher.