Finding Clarity and Inner Stillness through Meditation
Chapter One of “Meditation is for You” by Swamiji Nithyananda says “…without exception, every single goal points to the same thing – a yearning for the state of bliss.”No one can say “I don’t care being happy? Or I don’t want to be in a state of blissfulness.”
However intellectual and sophisticated the term is, and when we express it, what we are all seeking is nothing but achieving peace within ourselves and the feelings of blissfullness. Only the ways we search for it is different. It could be through money, power, or relationships. It could also be through all the comic and tragic dramas of our daily lives. It is the single motivating force of our lives.
“Meditation is nothing but a preparation to rediscover the state of Bliss that is already inside you,” - Swamiji Nithyananda
If the above two quotes are tricky for you to personally relate, then try to remember the moments when you’ve experienced extreme beauty. As such moments, we suddenly “become still, wordless and totally aware. And that moment is meditation.”, Nithyananda
Much of what I experienced with feelings of peace, calmness and bliss this past year is attributed to my exploration with meditation techniques. I’ve explored techniques expressed by Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Falun Dafa and Swamiji Nithyananda. I’ve also tried techniques with sound, visualization and have tried both Tibetian and Zen meditation.
The benefits of meditation is well documented, here are some that I’ve experienced personally to achieve focus and concentration:
- Clarity and Decisiveness. With reduced ‘mind clutter’ and confusion, I was able to make quick and firm decisions.
- Slept Less Hours – To achieve a restful sleep, before I use to need more than eight hours of sleep.While I practiced meditation regularly. I would sleep for six hours and it was plenty. Often, I sleep less than that.
- More Energized – With meditation, I felt more energized even though I was sleeping less.
- Saves Time – even though time was used to actually do meditation – but because I was sleeping less, I had more time to do other things. And I was doing them with more focus.
- Blissful and Relaxed- I felt genuinely happier with everything else going on. Sometimes I could feel my face flowing from contentment.
- Centered - I felt more connected with my core and inner being.
- Health – which is the only proven “side effect” of mediation.
- Awareness and Creativity – People tend to be more alert to their environment and become more conscious and aware. Not to mention, you become more pleasant around other people.
The toughest thing for me when I started to meditate was finding time. It is so easy to create excuses to avoid doing things which are good for us (our minds are ‘experts’ at excuses to distract us). We would waste hours browsing on-line or flip on the tv, but we would not spare 5-10 minutes of quality times with ourselves? To let our mind rest? Starting to meditate is tough but I understood that the benefits are paramount to my wellbeing and state of mind.
I started by meditating 10 minutes a day, twice a week, and gradually ended up at a comfortable routine of 30 minutes twice a day. The benefits were enormous and noticeable. And then it happened, after several out of town family visits, I had allowed excuses to kick in and missed one meditation routine. One day then turned into a second day, which eventually turned into a week, and then into several weeks. My carefully formed habit after 3 months of discipline and dedication went down the drain.
What I learned from this is that if we allowed ourselves to make even one excuse (no matter how minute), it’ll be a lot easier to buy into excuses the next time, and it’ll snowball from there. The trick is to form daily routines and do whatever it takes to “protect yourself” by not allowing your habit to be knocked off.Let’s say, you really don’t have 30 minutes to meditate, even if you just sat for 5 minutes, that’ll still train your mind to think that you’re performing your routine.“Doing a little of something is better than a lot of nothing.”
After weeks of being off my meditation routine, I realized how disorganized my thoughts have become.After wasting several hours browsing aimlessly today, I snapped out of my unconsciousness and said, “What was my purpose again?”The lack of awareness, focus and clarity became disturbing to me. I am now ready for change and made it my most important task for the day. Today is day one of my twenty one day challenge – spending a minimum of 10 minutes a day in quiet stillness. Why 21 days? Anything done repeatedly after 21 days will likely be habituated. Are you up for the challenge? Giving yourself the gift of space for 5-10 minutes a day? I’ll be reporting back with my progress.