Meditation- A Powerful Life Skill
January 27, 2020
I practice meditation daily and it is possibly the only addiction I have, because I enjoy it.
What is there to enjoy when all one does is sit quietly ?
I’ll try and explain my perspective.
Meditation is an active process where I sit down, close my eyes, invoke a mantra(a small chant) to anchor my attention to the moment . I start by putting focus on my breathing- I observe my inhalation and exhalation. I then become a spectator, observing whatever is happening in my mind.
Meditation is a bit like watching a serial on Netflix. There is an entire movie and a narration going on in my mind and I can observe the story line, the characters and the narrative. I just pay attention and observe. The only difference though is that there is no involvement. There is only observation.
I have 3 simple house rules when I sit in meditation. I say it aloud in my mind
- Do not create thoughts
- In case thoughts do happen, Do not try and control your thoughts
- In case you are not able to control your thoughts , do not follow your thoughts, just let them pass and dissipate.
The thoughts keep coming through and dissipating.
“I was supposed to send an email out- I need to send out an email”—Silence—“Its itchy and sweaty today”—Silence—“I need to remind my son about watching lesser TV”—Silence—
Through the meditative process unconsciously, I get stuck with some thoughts and get sucked into a trail of follow up thoughts.
” I need to work on the proposal”-” What could be the possible key messages”-“Message 1 could be focusing on what value we bring to the table”- “How do I structure the message”……..
Somewhere, my conscious mind realizes that it got sucked into a thinking process when it was supposed to just observe. I then consciously interrupt and release that sequence of thoughts. There is a tug of war between thinking and observing.
Initially, the frequency and intensity of thoughts is very high but after a few minutes into this process, the density of the thoughts reduces and there is an emptiness that is created. I just keep observing, without judgement, without involvement.
This process of observation is what I enjoy in the meditation process.
Our mind is the lens through which we perceive the world around us. Thoughts are like the smudges on the lens. The more thoughts that are playing in the background of our mind, its as if there are more smudges on the lens and the more smudges there are , the less clear our vision is.
Meditation is a process that helps settle the intensity and frequency of thoughts. Through meditation we clear the smudges on the lens of our mind, so that our perception and awareness of the world around us is heightened. We become more engaged with the present moment. We become more mindful.
I have seen many other benefits- I am substantially less stressed, more creative, more focused, more calm.
Let me illustrate the benefit of meditation with another example- Imagine for a moment that you are in a bumper to bumper traffic the whole day. What would your mental and emotional state be ? And in that state, would you be productive, creative and effective in anything you do?
Our mind is cluttered, full of thoughts like the traffic. Meditation clears the traffic and allows us to move forward in a more pleasant and productive manner. Imagine the improvement in our creativity and productivity.
The practice of meditation is a life skill and can very easily be learnt, like any other skill. All it requires is commitment and practice.