What is or is not Meditation?

Seems like meditation is the buzz word these days. Meditation is not limited to Gurus. From Obama to Oprah – even celebs claim to meditate daily. Being a Yoga teacher, I would strongly recommend that you meditate daily, and not because celebs or others are doing it. Meditation has little to do with the outside world. It is about going inside of yourself.

What Meditation is NOT

Please do not expect any miracles to happen the first time you sit down in lotus to meditate. A lot of my students confess that they stopped meditating because they couldn’t get their mind to shut up. “I always had thoughts when I was meditating so I felt maybe I am not doing it correctly and I stopped doing it”, said one of my students after his mere 10th attempt!

In the world of instant messaging, instant noodles, instant coffee where a fresh pizza delivery takes no more than 30 minutes, it is hard to understand the need of patience, but with meditation, there are no shortcuts. It can take decades of daily meditation practice to reach what is called as the ‘thoughtlessness’ state or sometimes you may never get there. But that should not discourage you from meditating.

Here are 4 Truths About Mediation that I wish Every Beginner Must Know:

Truth #1 You can’t dictate your mind to stop thinking. Just like our body releases enzymes, the mind releases thoughts.

Truth #2 You can choose to not pay attention to thoughts. If you do so, you will notice that the thought will simply go without making you think too much. It is a like a plant. It will die if you stop watering it. So, you can stop watering your thoughts.

Truth #3 If you honestly meditate daily, you will get microseconds of pure silence or ‘bliss’ like feeling in your mind. In my case, it is the time between two thoughts. When the previous thought has died and the new thought hasn’t arrived.

Truth #4 NEVER judge yourself while meditating. It defeats the whole purpose of meditation when in the middle of meditation you think that you suck at it. If your mind wanders away (and it always does) simply bring it back without beating yourself up.
So Keep Calm and Just Meditate!