“Tatra pratyayaikatanata dhyanam” [Yoga Sutras 3.2]
“Uninterrupted stream of content of consciousness is dhyana (meditation)”
Just as any vehicle requires an intelligent driver the body also needs a balanced mind that can be in control. Regular meditation will help you to achieve this. Your mind will become clearer and more focused and your ability to concentrate will also improve.
Meditation is the practice by which there is constant observation of the mind. It involves setting aside a regular time and place for the specific purpose of discovering that infinite well of wisdom which lies within.
Meditation does not come easily. A beautiful tree grows slowly. Proper relaxation is also needed to maintain mental, spiritual and physical health. Yogic asanas and pranayama include special techniques for relaxation.
Meditation is not a technique, but a way of life. Meditation means a cessation of the thought process. It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns. The observer realizes that all the activity of the mind is reduced to one point.
These days Meditation is commonly understood to mean some form of spiritual practice where one sits down with eyes closed and empties the mind to attain inner peace, relaxation, or even an experience of God. Some people use the term “my gardening meditation” for jogging or art or music, hence creating confusion or misunderstanding.
The word Meditation is derived from two Latin words: meditari (to think, to dwell upon, and to exercise the mind) mederi means (to head). Its Sanskrit derivation “medha” means wisdom. While a meditative state is the natural outcome of yoga, the spiritual benefit of meditation is supreme bliss or enlightenment; however, these words are unlikely to be understood by many.
Health Benefits of Meditation:
Though meditation is usually recognized as a largely spiritual practice, it also has many health benefits. Meditation is also being implemented in management of life threatening diseases.
- It lowers oxygen consumption.
- It decreases respiratory rate.
- It increases blood flow & slows the heart rate.
- Increases exercise tolerance in heart patients.
- Leads to a deeper level of relaxation.
- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
- Builds self confidence.
- Reduces pre-menstrual problems.
- Enhances the immune system.
Research has revealed that meditation increases activity of natural killer-cells which kill bacteria and cancer cells.
Here is what some experts have to say:-
Swami Satyananda said: “ Yoga is meditation and meditation is yoga – never forget it. Yoga and meditation can both be seen as process and goals”
According to Swami Chinmayananda: “Meditation has been glorified as the most sacred vocation human alone capable of the highest effort, by which they can harden their own evolution. In preparing ourselves for meditation, we should first acquire the ability to look within. You must learn to go about your daily routine and uninterruptedly watch the mind…. Let it be a silent observer of the workings of your inner life and estimate the motives, intentions and purpose that lie behind your thoughts, words and deeds.
Meditation puts mothers in tune with their babies. Japa is epically appropriate for pregnant women. After birth, daily meditation becomes a precious time to refocus and make sense of the many new thoughts and feelings which can be running through your mind brought about by the events of child birth and new motherhood.
Meditation is often quite misunderstood.
What is meditation?
- Meditation is not contemplation.
- Meditation is not hypnosis or auto-suggestion
- Meditation does not belong to any culture or religion.
- Meditation is a process which equips us with tools to experience their bliss. It shows us the path to live everyday life using these tools.