Meditation is that which gives you deep rest

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the way to take deep rest and be alert and conscious at the same time! It is the skill to calm the mind and get in touch with your inner joy. Meditation is the delicate art of doing nothing and letting go of all efforts to relax in your true nature, which is love, joy, and peace. The practice of meditation gives you deep rest. It is essential to reduce stress levels and maintain mental hygiene.

Meditation is a journey from sound to silence, from movement to stillness. Meditation is food for the soul. Music is food for emotions; knowledge is food for the intellect, entertainment is food for the mind and meditation is the food for our soul or spirit.

The benefits of meditation are manifold - a calm mind, focussed attention, good concentration power, clarity of thoughts and feelings, balanced emotions in stressful situations, improved communication skills, the birth of new skills and talents, unshakeable inner strength, healing powers, ability to connect to an inner source of energy, relaxation, rejuvenation, and even the ability to attract good luck! These are all the natural effects of regular meditation practice.

  • The first benefit of mediation is it improves the bio-energy in our body; in our system. Have you noticed, sometimes you meet someone and for no reason you don’t want to talk to them. Whereas with some other people whom you have not met so often, still you feel some sort of closeness with them and you feel comfortable. This is because of the positive energy. Guided Meditation creates positive and harmonious energy around us.
  • The second benefit is it improves health. There is a lot of research now on how meditation helps in hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, skin problems, nervous system problems and a number of other problems.
  • Third, meditation can help one to keep a pleasant mood. It is a big help in preventing many of the mental illness and physical illness.

Apart from the health benefits, meditation improves concentration. It helps one to be in the present moment. The mind vacillates between the past and the future. We are either angry about the past or anxious about the future, all the time. So meditation helps keep the mind from swinging between the past and the future to be more in the present.

Meditation for beginners

Practicing meditation is as easy as inhaling and exhaling. It does not require you to go to the mountains and shut yourself up. It is a dynamic practice that can be easily incorporated into your daily life. You can choose any form of meditation from many different types of meditation - all of them help you get to the present moment effortlessly.

In fact, in the very first sitting, many people's experience has been so wonderful that they find it hard to express it in words. As you learn and practice meditation exercise on a regular basis, perhaps once, or ideally twice a day, you feel a transformation - inside out - so much so that people around you also start recognizing the beautiful energy you carry along with you. So, everyone should meditate for a few minutes every - day to make life stress-free and happy.

Guided Meditation

It can be hard to get started with a meditation on your own if you haven't learned any type of meditation technique or having someone to guide you. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living, is an expert at leading people into meditation in an effortless manner and has done so for millions of people worldwide.

Experience Meditation

I want to meditate but...

My mind wanders everywhere. How to meditate?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Take a stick and start chasing your mind. See where it goes. Chase, keep chasing and you see your mind is so tired that it will come and fall at your feet. Maharshi Patanjali says to meditate on everything, meditate on elements, on Rishis, who are out of craving. When you meditate on Rishis who are out of craving, you get into meditation. You get into meditation also when you sit for Satsang. But, if you do not sit for Satsang with 100%, you look at the ceiling, you look here and there. You have to bring interest yourself; you have to bring the juice (ras/ nectar) yourself. It is already there, you have to see the one behind. The one who puts the juice. I tell you need not do anything it’s all burning for you, and you don't have to light it at all. When you are taking a dip in the Ganges, why do you need to have a tap and a shower? Become effortless. Just know that I am nothing and I don't want anything. But don't start thinking about it continuously, this is also a Maya. That's why Adi Shankaracharya says it is foolish to even think that I am Zero.

Why do thoughts come and where do they originate from? Why do the thoughts rule us?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Where do the thoughts come from the mind or body? Close your eyes and think about it. That itself becomes a meditation. Then you will reach the point or space within you from where all the thoughts come. And that is fantastic.

How does one improve one's experience in meditation?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you are not having good experiences in meditation, then serve more, you will gain merit and your meditation will be deeper. When you bring some relief or freedom to someone through your service, good vibrations and blessings come to you. Seva brings merit; merit allows you to go deep in meditation; meditation brings back your smile & you can experience the best effects of meditation.

I always go to sleep while meditating. Does it happen with everybody? What experience do they have? How to solve this?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don't worry about the experiences of others. Be with your own experience and the experience varies from time to time. So don't worry. The process of meditation helps in the best physical relaxation.

What is the distinction between sleep and meditation?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: One is vertical another is horizontal. For now, just think that much. But tomorrow when you sit for meditation don’t think about it. You’ll neither be able to meditate nor be able to sleep. Now is the time.

Why do old memories bother me when I sit for meditation?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It does not matter! Don’t lose heart! Let them come! Say, “Come, sit with me, five-year-old, or ten-year-old, or twenty-year-old memories. Come! Sit with me.” The more you want to run away from them, the more they will bother you.

I have no time for yoga and meditation. What can I do?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yoga and meditation give you time! No time for these means - you have to go to a hospital or doctor! Some physical exercises, yoga, breathing exercises, & and then meditation is good.

How long should one meditate daily? Is there maybe too much meditation sometimes?

Our body operates like a system where, after a certain point, we naturally come out of meditation, much like how we wake up after sufficient sleep. You can't sleep for fifteen hours a day. You sleep six hours, and at the end, when you have had enough rest you wake up. Similarly, there is a biological clock in us that brings us out, so you shouldn't force yourself to go into mediation. So I would recommend twenty minutes, twenty-five minutes a day should be good enough. You can do it two, three times, but no more than twice, short bits. You are doing twenty minutes, twice, thrice – it will do you good.

Can meditation remove bad Karma?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes!

In meditation, what is the significance of ‘waiting’?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What happens in your mind when you have to wait? What is happening in your mind right now? Do you see time passing by? This very waiting can take you into meditation. When you have to wait, you can either be frustrated or meditative. Meditation is ‘feeling the time’.

What is the best way to attain bliss?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: One, is by meditating, and the other, is by serving people around you - by getting into some service activity. Seeing God within you is meditation. Seeing God in the people around you is love or service. They both go hand-in-hand.