Question : What is meditation? What is the purpose of meditation? People tell me I need to meditate, but I don’t think I could ever sit silently for long hours with my eyes closed.
Answer : The answer to this question can have many different perspectives. Simply because ‘meditation’ itself is an extremely profound concept. Our ancients have given us a wide variety of interpretations and answers to this question. But this is how you could go about meditation in day-to-day life.
Let’s begin with the words of a great teacher –
“An average man’s mind is filled with countless thoughts, and therefore each individual one is extremely weak. When, in place of these many useless thoughts, there appears only one, it is a power in itself and has a wide influence.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
It’s simple math actually. All of our lives run on energy – a finite amount of energy at any given point in time, that fuels us. Every thought that you have is an avenue to express this energy. Therefore, the greater the number of thoughts you have, the lesser is the share of energy for each thought. And the lesser the number of thoughts, the greater is the share of energy for each thought.
Any thought that is given a lot of energy in terms of time, effort, emotion, belief & action, is more likely to manifest into our physical reality. People who are more sensitive to ‘energies’ and ‘vibes’ often talk about ‘manifesting our reality’. They talk about how they experience their thoughts, when focused on a certain wish/desire, translate into reality and start to influence the physical reality in a mysterious and magical way. This is why many people who work with the subconscious mind also say, ANYTHING that we constantly think about and put all our focus onto is sure to Manifest.
What if we were to constantly imagine a beautiful world filled with love everywhere?? Your thoughts and your imagination is a power unto itself and can influence ‘Your Universe’ tremendously.
Meditation is the process of just becoming a bit more aware of how you think; knowing how much energy you are giving each and every thought. Anything that helps you focus your thoughts can be meditative in nature and can be a great place to begin your journey with meditation. Some people experience a reduction of their mental chatter while painting or listening to classical music, some others experience it while working out. Still others feel meditative while driving on the highway. Some people experience a silence and a calmness when they sit by themselves silently. Any of these activities can be your starting point with meditation. Do it with the intention of training your mind to have lesser thoughts and greater focus. In the beginning, focus on doing your meditation and reducing the energies given to the negative and unhelpful thoughts, increasing the energies to the positive and more helpful ones. As you progress, your mind would start getting used to having lesser thoughts and being less anxious. This will allow you to take your meditation to the next level of doing it more consciously and systematically.
Meditation is not a punishment that you have to endure by sitting with your eyes shut in a dark room with a candle lit before you. It really is a training to master your mind. It eventually is about the way you think, the way you express your inner divine selves in your world. It is a tool to connect you to the voice of your soul.
Meditation is actually a way of life.
NOTE : The questions and answers in this series are compilations of discussions during therapeutic sessions with my clients. These are not generic pieces of advice. I am deeply aware that these answers can seem way too simplistic for people actually going through similar situations. Please comment or connect with me if you find yourself grappling with something I have expressed.