What is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient art practiced for thousands and thousands of years. In the Yoga Sutras, the sage Patanjali defines meditation as the progressive quieting of the fluctuations of the mind. I like to think of meditation as an “awareness” tool available within me at all times. This tool helps me to relax and connect to the present moment where my point of power resides. On a spiritual level, meditation has enabled me to connect to my spiritual heart - my soul - my True Self - Atman – the God within. In this space I have touched peace, love, compassion, and deep contentment. I have found joy, wisdom, forgiveness, creativity and intuition.
Meditation requires no previous experience. You can start exactly where you are. There is no need for any special equipment. There are numerous paths and many routes. Each experience varies from person to person and meditation to meditation. In devotional meditation (prayer) you may find yourself filled with love or great pain due to separation or loss. If you meditate sitting in silence using the breath as the object of your attention, you may at first experience restlessness and then quieting and then a connection to deep stillness. You may experience awareness of your thoughts, physical sensations in your body or sounds in your environment. You may even fall asleep. In meditation we surrender and let go of judgment. We take our body, our mind and our feelings just as they are. We practice self- compassion.
Each day we find ourselves in constant activity barraged with distractions. Did you know that we have 60 to 80 thousand thoughts a day? Very few moments are lived in the present moment. We are either in the past or worrying about the future. We seem to be uncomfortable in the stillness and the silence. Even when we are given a brief moment to ‘just be’ with ‘what is’ we reach for our devices.
Meditation is about putting down all the balls we are juggling - all the multitasking we are doing and embracing “monotasking”. It is a time “in.” A practice in surrendering – of letting go – of non-judging. Meditation helps us slow down the swirl and become more comfortable with what is happening right here right now in this precious scared moment.