There are a variety of opinions on meditation, but two stand out. One opinion is that meditation is for psychos, who are clearly bored with life. Another opinion is that meditation is the ‘cool’ thing to do, and since everyone else is doing it, they should do it too.
I wouldn’t blame the ones who are under the impression that ‘meditation’ or ‘spirituality’ is a path for crazy people. There are TV channels dedicated to spirituality, and honestly, people just look too happy. They throw flowers in the air, sing along loudly (and out of tune) to holy songs and look like they are having a nap instead of meditating.
On the other hand, those that are meditating just to prove a point are doing it for all the wrong reasons. At the end of the day, meditation isn’t about being part of a cult, or fitting in. Meditation is about one thing only: coming back to the present and to the self.
I mean, we have so many issues every day, right? From relationships to work pressure. It’s as though we are on auto-pilot most of the time, and before we know it, life goes by. Just like a dream. Our thoughts rule the way we work, feel and do things. Wouldn’t it be great to escape it all for a while? Think of meditation as a vacation from your thoughts. When we go on vacation, we return to our 9-to-6 jobs with an unnatural vigor. The concept is similar in this case.
Personally, meditation has helped me a lot and has become a vital part of my existence. My ability to control my emotions in stressful situations (being a girl, this is very hard, trust me) is attributed to my daily meditation habits more than anything else. It just makes you feel serene overall. I have wanted to start doing yoga regularly for a long time, but I’m far too lazy. I would recommend that as well though.
A lot of people tell me, they just can’t meditate. ‘How can I sit still for hours at a stretch?’ Or ‘How can I not think of anything for so long?’
Firstly, meditation isn’t just about sitting still; you can dance and meditate at the same time, as long as you are doing it with attentiveness. Secondly, meditation isn’t about disallowing thoughts to enter your head, it’s about letting these thoughts go. You can think about everything you want, but with awareness. Once you are aware of your thoughts, and you realize their futility, they will disappear on their own.
Hence, the term ‘thought vacation’.
Scientific evidence has proven that meditation reduces stress as well as provides leverage against disease. Nowadays, the research delves deeper than mere surveys, into monitoring how the brain functions while meditating. With technology such as neuro-imaging and genomics technology, the benefits have been proven not only for the brain, but for the body as well. It’s hard to ignore such solid evidence.
To conclude, I want to leave you with three simple ways through which you can include meditation in your daily routine.
- Dedicate a minimum of 10 minutes of your day for meditation. In fact, don’t even consider it as meditation; consider it a 10 minute break from the day. Close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. It’s a very powerful technique.
- There are several guided meditations on Youtube [some better than others]. If meditating on your own is not possible at first, you can simply search for one, plug in your earphones and enjoy.
Don’t take it, and yourself, too seriously. Meditation is supposed to be enjoyable and relaxing. Don’t think you aren’t ‘doing it right.’ Let it come naturally.
How often do you meditate? Tell us in the comments below.