Meditation is a form of relaxation and relieving our body of all the stress and tension. It is also a way to reconnect with our inner-self, to become aware of all those suppressed emotions that we keep bottled up, without any outlet. We can talk about the benefits of meditation and how it is helpful to destress us but, how does one meditate. When I researched what meditation was, they said, “it is a state of clear and open mind that is free of all thoughts.” Initially, I found it hard to actually sit and meditate. I was not able to clear my mind of all my thoughts. In fact, the more I tried to clear my thoughts, the more they kept overwhelming me. I decided that it was time to make a serious effort to learn some way to meditate.
As always, I tried the traditional approach of going to a teacher to learn. I told her about my trouble with clearing my mind and how I did not understand how to do it. She took me in and taught me a technique to start off with and slowly get into a meditative state. As per her procedure, she would guide me to relax my body in a progressive way starting from my feet, up to my head. Once my body is relaxed, I should concentrate on my breathing. She said once I achieved it, that was when I learnt meditation. I liked this technique and I practised it daily with her. It felt relatively easy to relax my body and stay breathing. The problem was, what do I do after that? I noticed that while I was following my teacher’s instructions to relax my body and only feel my breath going in and out of my lungs, I had something to anchor my concentration. Once she stops giving instructions, my mind didn’t know what to do next. I felt like a dog that follows its master enthusiastically on a walk. Once they reach the park, the master sits down to feed the birds or ducks and the poor dog is clueless, so he runs around disturbing the birds and ducks.
After reaching this far in my quest to learn meditation, I was more than determined to see the end of it. I now turned to read books to learn what to do next. This is where I heard about ‘Mindfulness Meditation’. It says that rather than dwelling on one thought of past or future, focus on the present. One should take in the sounds, smells, sights of their surrounding without judgement or analysis. Just see, feel and hear. I liked this style as it focused my thoughts that were scattered in different directions and anchored it to the present. I could practise this type of meditation during my commute to the office, sitting at my desk or during walks. I decided to stick to this style of meditation until I felt the need for more.
There is another form of meditation that I liked and learnt when I was researching. In this form, one can concentrate on one happy or peaceful thought and keep repeating it in your mind like a mantra. This particularly helps when one is agitated or disturbed about an event or a person. This way, I can send the person good wishes, good health, or positive results etc.
I started out looking for the best and easy way to meditate and ended up learning more about myself and the way my mind works. There are many more forms of meditation and relaxation. I have listed just a few here, but I hope it motivates everyone to try them and find peace.