When we think of meditation what usually comes to mind is stillness and calmness. Busy as students are, it’s barely possible to find time to reload our minds. But, being busy is just an excuse. We are afraid to stop our minds because the modern world teaches us that such breaks lead to nothing but void; it’s unproductive. Let’s admit it: we follow a very popular trend – we work, study and live like computers – we operate.
3 years ago, when I first sat still in a lotus position, following the instructions: “Don’t do it on purpose. Relax and enjoy the moment”, – I ended up thinking of everything but of the moment.
A thought came to me later: we think we control our thoughts, but actually they are the ones controlling us. My first attempts in meditation revealed my active mind which was throwing thoughts like a drunk juggler. It’s not that easy to clean up that chaos.
We think of meditation as a state we take on purpose. But in our daily lives, we often encounter a meditative state unconsciously. That state could appear when you were contemplating the beauty of nature, or looking in the eyes of your beloved – those times when you were happy and you live in the moment and when your mind has settled down and released all the anxiety. Very few people are able to access that experience at any point of time, but to make that miracle of mind happen, you need to start with consistent practice.
Advantages of consistent and regular meditations have already been proven by numerous studies. Not only does it destroy anxiety and depression, alleviate blood pressure but also stimulates creative thinking, increases productivity and, finally, it helps you find that elusive precious internal balance.
If you’re still not motivated enough, think: you got used to finding the equilibrium values of demand and supply, but you never think of finding your own equilibrium in terms of reality and your perception of it. And this equilibrium is the most important in our lives! You cannot control everything happening in life, but you can control your attitude towards different situations. You are the creator of your own happiness and harmony, not some “lucky day” or “a good year”.
‘YOU GOT USED TO FINDING THE EQUILIBRIUM VALUES OF DEMAND AND SUPPLY, BUT YOU NEVER THINK OF FINDING YOUR OWN EQUILIBRIUM IN TERMS OF REALITY AND YOUR PERCEPTION OF IT.’
Meditation helps to set that attitude. Moreover, thanks to meditation practices, you soon begin to understand your thoughts better, and what’s more you notice your reaction to those thoughts. This is a key to change your life.
There are several techniques that can help you set your meditation correctly. But be prepared that your mind won’t say goodbye to all the I-have-to-finish-a-project-thoughts. Just remember that every time you come up with some distracting image or thought, gently turn your attention back to your breath. Don’t be under the assumption that you’ll develop a taste for meditation quickly. Only determination and consistency will let your mind reach a new level of concentration.
I See Fire
Attention always falls at a point where you cast your glance. Put a candle in front of your eyes at a 1,5-meter distance. Focus on the light for a minute and try not to blink. When your mind starts to wander, focus on the light again. Then, close your eyes and try to visualize that light keeping that image as long as possible. When the image starts to fade, open your eyes. Repeat 3-4 times. To finish the practice, rub your hands and put them on your eyes to transmit the heat.
Contemplate the sky
Nature is meditation’s strong ally. Chose a quiet place in the closest park, beach or forest, sit down and relax your eye-sight, “turning on” peripheral vision. Imagine you can see 360-degrees around. Watch the sky and be present, enjoy the moment of beauty around you. Don’t block popping-up thoughts. Let them come and go. When you start feeling “soft”, close your eyes and follow your breath, connecting to your body. Open your eyes, keep feeling the connection through the air you inhale and exhale. Continue to stay aware of the space around you.
Inhale – Exhale
Take any comfortable sitting position and start following your breath. Notice its peculiarities: length, rhythm, temperature of the air you breathe. Whenever thoughts start rushing into your mind, nicely return to listening to your breath. If concentration is difficult to achieve, try to count your breaths. For example, 1 inhale, 1 exhale, 2 inhale, 2 exhale… With time and practice, you will soon be able to meditate without any counting tricks.
Lay down on your back and close your eyes. Slowly scan through your body, noticing every little feeling: unease, pain, tension. Start with your feet, going up the body, reaching the head crown. Going from one part of the body to the other, imagine an energy ball appearing in that place. You will feel it every time you switch to the next part.
Observe the thoughts passing by while you travel though your body. What images and feelings appear, are they constant or they disappear quickly. Just feel what happens inside of you. The aim of this practice is to train your mind to follow the direction you want.