Meditation or Dhyaan is a part of the eightfold Ashtanga Yoga, and generally accompanies any contemporary practice of Yoga. Regular practice of meditation along with Yoga has tremendous health benefits not only for the mind and body but also the soul. It enables the mind to become still and establish true spiritual connection with oneself and in turn with others.
Fundamentally meditation involves dropping the mind, it’s likes and dislikes, hankerings and aversions. It is the practice of being still, both physically and mentally, in order to clear the muddy waters of distractions and see the pure inner consciousness, which is eternal and full of bliss. Meditation is giving up all control and effort, becoming a witness to one’s thoughts and emotions.
“Your goal is not to battle with the mind, but to witness the mind.”
– Swami Muktananda
Since meditation is a deep inner experience, one must be in a serene and peaceful environment, in comfortable clothes and have a pleasant disposition. It is helpful to keep a gentle smile while one closes the eyes, and looks within. Notice all the pulls of your mind and body, and make subtle adjustments to relieve any stress you feel. Try to become still and centred, and focus on your breath. Is it calm or unsteady? Make it deeper gradually with each inhalation and exhalation. It is helpful to have a light stomach and do some light physical exercise to relieve that extra energy, before one sits to meditate. One can practice meditation with the help of a guided audio, or mantra, or simply in silence. Here is a guided meditation by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living.
“We must experience the Truth in a direct, practical and real way. This is only possible in the stillness and silence of the mind; and this is achieved by means of meditation.” – Samael Aun Weor
The benefits of meditation on one’s health are many. It reduces the stress levels, improves focus and helps us be more mindful, creative and joyful. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body, and meditation helps the mind settle down and drop the feverishness. As J. Krishnamurti says – “To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”