10 Mar 2018 18:01 IST

Reap the benefits of meditation

Make time to meditate daily and learn to free your mind of all thought

If you have followed the steps detailed in the earlier article about meditating, you will be seeing some positive changes. Apart from being less stressed, you might be able to concentrate and focus easily. If you would like to move to the next level in meditation, you should first practice the initial stage till you no longer feel fidgety or keep having a flood of thoughts in your mind. Once you have practised the initial stage enough, moving to the next step should not be very difficult.

The basics for the next stage are very similar to what was explained earlier: sit comfortably and avoid external disturbances. Once you have been able to calm your mind and focus on an object , close your eyes slowly.

Concentrate on your breathing till it becomes even and slows down. Once this happens focus on the spot between your eyebrows and repeat what you did when focusing on an external object. Keep still and slowly try to empty your mind of any thought.

Fair warning, this will not be easy. It will be tougher than the stage when you were focusing on something with your eyes open. The main difference is that in the earlier stage the eye provides some stimulus to the mind and gives it something to do.

However, when you close your eyes, the mind is seeking a sensory link. This means that you will become more aware of the smallest of things, like sound and the like. This is the main reason why this stage is more difficult than the previous one. It is tougher to control and make your mind still. The feeling of being drowsy or sleepy might recur and it is perfectly normal to doze off. However, don’t give up and keep practising this till your mind is able to reach a state of stillness; wherethoughts are not flooding your mind and you are feeling very calm and also aware at the same time.

There is an interesting argument with regard to this phase where people question the concept of not having any thoughts. The logic is that being aware and conscious of not having any thoughts itself might be a thought. Although this argument is logically correct, the focus on that one aspect instead of having many thoughts flooding the mind itself is good enough.

Consciously practice meditation daily. Put aside a few minutes of your time for this and you will start to experience all the positive benefits associated with meditation.

Lastly, let me assure you that the benefits of meditation, although known to India for many centuries, has now been validated by medical studies and research. It is most definitely something worth pursuing.

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