Ideals and Values/Constant Practice of Meditation
What is Meditation
How do we keep our intellect pure when it is so difficult to control the mind? Practicing meditation regularly is a great tool to discipline our mind, and purify our intellect. Meditation aka Dhyāna Yoga is a practice in which one masters the art of concentrating attention at will on our true nature.
- The first step is to still the body.
- Second to withdrawal from 5 senses
- Third is inverting the attention on the third eye region
- Forth is to keep the attention there through repetition of a mantra mentally
Mind is like constantly flowing river. When you try to stop it, it finds it way around it. The very process of stopping the mind creates more waves in the mind and hence stopping it completely through the mind itself is impossible. For example, If one is asked not to think about an elephant. The mind will first think about an elephant. Through meditation and constant mental repetition of a name with love will have a tremendous calming effect on mind. A meditative mind will be calmer and more conducive for further meditation. Meditation is the process of stilling the body mind and attention. In the process of stilling the attention one gets inner experiences. These experiences open our hearts to wisdom and truth of life.
Non-Spiritual Benefits of Meditation
In addition, it also has several non-spiritual effects.
- Educational Benefits: Ability to focus increases. Therefore, students can study more effectively.
- Mental Health Benefits: A great cure against certain mental ailments like depression. Relaxes our mind and so we become more fit, cheerful and energetic.
- Physical Health Benefits: Calms our nerves, in turn lowers blood pressure and inflammation in our body. So there are several health benefits.
- Social Relationships Improve: The spiritual dimensions that we discover through yoga helps us put things in their proper perspective. This enables us to harmonize our social relationships.
- Professional Benefits: Practitioners of Yoga have a higher self-confidence as a result of which they have the courage to take greater risks. This translates into higher levels of professional success.
Story: The Power of Meditation One day a disciple found Swami Vivekananda turning over the pages of a volume so fast that he thought that the Swami must be looking merely at the pictures. He asked the Swami whether he was looking at the pictures in the book.
Swami Vivekananda replied, "No, I am reading The disciple said, "That requires attention, but you have been turning over the pages at the rate of a page per minute." The Swami then said, "No, I have been reading each page and have finished 11 volumes on the shelf. If you don't believe me you can ask me questions concerning any subject matter dealt with in the 11 volumes". The disciple then started putting questions and Swami Vivekananda answered all the questions correctly.
The disciple asked how it was possible for the Swami to read big volumes so quickly. Swami Vivekananda replied, "It is possible for a Yogi who has practiced meditation scrupulously. When a boy is reading, his attention is first fixed on the letters composing a word and he learns how to pronounce a word. With more practice, a man does not look at each separate letter or the word itself and by such practice a reader can read a few words together at the same time. Similarly, it is possible to take in a whole sentence at a time. But if a man who has absolute self-control concentrates his mind on the page, he can read a whole paragraph at one time and later he will be capable of reading a whole page in this manner when the power of concentration increases as a result of regular practice of meditation."