Ever experienced this? You are drinking your first cup of tea in the morning. There is a nip in the air. As you take a sip, your eyes close, the flavour of the beverage floods your mouth, wets your tongue and sort of glides down your throat. Pure bliss. You drink in silence; your entire being is still and totally immersed in savouring the tea. Without your knowledge, the simple process of drinking tea has become a meditative act.
I was once at an eminent orthopaedic doctor’s overcrowded clinic. It was late evening and going by the number of patients he would be examining that day, he would be lucky if he reached home early next morning. The receptionist informed the irate patients that the doctor had had to perform a couple of emergency surgeries earlier in the day, leading to this situation. When my turn came, I expected an overworked, harried, ill-tempered doctor who
would hurry through the examination. I was way off the mark. When I entered, I saw him check the live CCTV footage of the situation in the waiting area. He swerved to greet me with the most charming smile. Not only was he unfazed by the challenge before him, his unhurried manner, composure, mindfulness and focus on the job at hand – all pointed to a meditative state. Any corporate honcho worth his corner office facing a meltdown-inducing challenge would have envied the man his equanimity.
Meditation happens. The more you chase it, the more elusive it becomes. If you think shutting your eyes tight and trying to concentrate on attaining a thoughtless state of mind will get you there, you’ll find yourself on a wild goose chase.
I’m no authority on meditation. Far from it. In fact, I’m a bit of an explorer, an eager but erratic practitioner, who has come to realise that the true essence of meditation lies in discipline and practice. That for it to become as automatic as breathing, for it to be infused in every cell of your being, it has to be practised regularly. When I started out, I made the mistake of expecting something like a heightened blissful state at the end of a meditative
session. I tried too hard. Disappointment was evident, as meditation is not something you do. Meditation happens. The more you chase it, the more elusive it becomes. If you think shutting your eyes tight and trying to concentrate on attaining a thoughtless state of mind will get you there, you’ll find yourself on a wild goose chase. For, meditation is not concentration. In fact, it is de-concentration. It happens in a relaxed, effortless state, perhaps when you least
expect it – a precious moment that dawns when everything is still and tranquil and you are reposed in your own self, oblivious to everything else.
You may find yourself wanting to stay there endlessly and not open your eyes. When you do, you feel grounded in peace and silence, your breath is slow and rhythmic, your movements graceful like a dancer’s and your mind quiet and serene. It’s like a vacation. You return full of joy and raring to go. Nothing seems out of control. You feel all together.
How do you meditate?
You could enroll with an organisation or a practitioner who takes you through the process. You could try using a mantra or a phrase or a prayer to meditate. You could follow a guided meditation. Or you could opt for the heartfulness way, where yogic transmission intensifies your experience. The choice is yours. You are a unique individual and the path you choose should be the one that resonates with you. It doesn’t matter whether
you keep your eyes closed or half open or wide open, as long as it takes you to your centre and inspires you to dig deeper. It helps to meditate at the same place at the same time. Choose your sanctuary – a clean, quiet place, where you are left undisturbed, and let go of all the stress, anxiety and dross. Expect nothing. Drop all effort. Surrender. Go with the flow.
Soon you will retreat into an oasis where you are steeped in comfortable silence and relaxed into the quiet. Your destination? When you arrive, you will know. That’s how simple it is.
Picture Credit: businessnewsdaily.com
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Archana Pai Kulkarni is the Books Editor at SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.