A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. ~Oscar Wilde

Posts tagged ‘meditation circle’

Radiating the definitions

It is my belief that mediation works wonders for the individual, and by extension, to the community at large. I do believe that an ever increasing number of people taking time out their day to meditate, can only benefit the whole circle of existence. In the course of sharing my progress and responding to comments on my posts, I was reminded that meditation can mean different things to different people, as well as be a slightly confusing idea, in itself.

So I thought I needed to answer the question “what is meditation, really?” The first step was just to get on to Google. “The action or practice of meditating”. Right. That then took care of that, but left me in a circle not of my choosing.

Derived from the Latin verb “Meditari” which means to think, to contemplate, to ponder, the word is used these days to describe the act of quietening one’s mind and focussing on an idea or a thought. Or as is also commonly practised, emptying ones mind…

I believe that this sort of trance or contemplative state of mind can be more readily achieved by sitting down in a regular quiet place. If one sits down at the same time, at the same place, with the same candle lit, it is easier to slip into the mode. Hence most mediation classes advocate such a habit.

Most classes teach breathing techniques and relaxation techniques and lead the student down a well practised path of visualisation. My mother taught me to stare at the flame of a candle in a dark room, breathe slow and deep, and then close my eyes and hold the picture of the candle in my mind, and  visualise it come to the centre of my forehead, where the third eye is. She was very insistent that the mind had to be a blank and the image of the flame was all one was allowed to see. Needless to say that at the age of ten, such a feat was completely beyond me, and I did not even try. I just sat with my eyes closed until she said I could open them again. Even then, I knew that what she was trying to teach me had value, I did not realise that I was not attuned to her process. I ended feeling that meditating was for special, wise people.

Through my on again off again yoga journey through the years, each teacher has taught a different way to meditate. Sitting in those classes amidst the calm, vibrant energy of a number of yoga students, I have found each method to be of value.

I have also read and heard about a number of people’s experience with meditation. Some people find their mediative state through some activity or the other, and some people swear by bodily stillness. Also, in monasteries, monks bring the meditative experience to their daily chores and if they are doing it, it must work!

So, it seems to me, that meditation is a process through which one experiences oneself.  To the lay person like me, its value lies in the effect of calm and peace it brings. The increased ability to concentrate, and the slowing down of the heartbeat fills me with an awareness of myself beyond the flesh I can see. It makes me feel, that, I might not be very wise, but I might be getting there!

Some more thoughts on meditation:

Deepak Chopra explains meditation:

What happens during meditation?

 

 

 

How would you define meditation? I am curious. As soon as I tried to define it, it became too broad a question for me.

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Enhancing the Circle

I have gone on record multiple times saying that I am unable to sit down and meditate properly.  Meaning with quietness, deep breaths, lightness, and emptying of thoughts. I have now incorporated the Bodhi Circle into my life for a few weeks, and the only thing to report about my experience has been my ongoing learning to deal with sitting down. Quietening down. Breathing well.

I am loath to harp on my failures, but I have not had any kind of success in my attempts at meditation so far. On the days when I do get to quiet myself down for more than five minutes, I am happy to say, I have slept better or felt happier. But there have not been many such days.

I know this has been more my special personal journey than any belief that meditation is “not for me”. So in spite of my deleteriously repetitive experience, I am persisting. Now, who was it who had likened me to a bulldog? “She latches on and never lets go!” 

 So when Deepak Chopra announced his latest Meditation Challenge a few weeks back, scheduled to begin today, I jumped on the wagon immediately. I don’t know whether you can still register, but why not give it a try? For the novice, such courses are extremely helpful. And for the experienced, please join in as well, as your energy will help lift the energy around the globe. I am sure, this being the third time that I have registered on a meditation challenge from Deepak, I will experience the luck that is famed to come at the third try, and I encourage everyone to do the same. Perhaps, for others, beginner’s luck will triumph. The previous times I registered, I did not meditate once in the assigned twenty one days. For good measure, I scowled fiercely when anyone tried to remind me of my commitment. Now so now. Today is Day 1. I am proud to report, I have started a new journey. 

Therefore, I feel that I will be able to continue and at the end of the 21 days, I will have developed a habit that will last me a lifetime. Easy, no? Of course, easy!

So, tell me, do YOU meditate? Would you LIKE to meditate? Do you feel meditation is for everybody?

Love

Steps: Learning the Circle

 ImageHello all! One week and a bit into my daily practice of meditation. What have I done and how have I progressed?

In a world that views progress in measurable chunks of continuous improvement, I must say, I have taken a few steps backwards. Those first few days radiant with beginners’ success, were followed by days of indifferent meditative quality.

In the first place it has become more difficult for me to settle down and breathe well. For example, today I found at one point of time, I was holding my breath and my chest felt tight, and my back tense. I consciously had to let go, allow my self to breathe, and then allow myself to breathe long and deep.

I also find that I sit down in my designated spot, on my designated cushion, close my eyes and start planning what I will do next. In the mornings, I think, “I have to check that note, once I have done that, I will take such out of the freezer to cook later…. Drat, I release my thoughts.” After a few moments of emptying of thoughts, another one pokes in and off I go on a merry go round again. In that first flush of excitement with my meditation circle, I had no problems releasing my thoughts, and sinking into a comfortable silence. Any intrusive thought would be quietly recognised, accepted and let free.

The other thing is that every time I sit down to meditate, I find an urge to get up and get going. Yes, even when I go to bed and sit down to meditate, I have this feeling of “hurry up and go to sleep” !!?? And my stopwatch has been showing an ever decreasing span of time. Gone is the 10 minutes in the morning, and 5 minutes at night. I find I am lucky if I am putting in 3 minutes.

So last night, I decided to hunker down, and get to it. A 6 km walk in the cool of the evening, had calmed me down, and I felt quiet and fresh at the same time.  I sat down to my nightly pause, set my intention for 5 minutes Plus, as I had been doing less for a few days ( I know, I know, it is not a simple matter of plus and minus) and breathed in. I was still restless, and I was still flickering between anger with events that had happened 20 years ago, and plans for the morrow, but I was resolute. I breathed, and recognised the thought patterns and set them free. They came back, and I set them free again, and they came back again….. After what seemed like ages, I opened my eyes, and the stopwatch said 4mins 40 seconds…. ARGH! Even as I started to feel upset, I agreed that it was better than the 3 minutes or less I had been doing. So I had a good night’s rest.

This morning, it was even better, 7 minutes 49 seconds. There still seems to be difficulty getting rid of the restlessness, and allowing myself to breathe deep, but I am pleased that at least I sat still for 7 minutes 49 seconds. I feel great, and I think tonight will be even better.

I think I will go on to class three even though I had not mastered the visualisation of class two. … Yes, I think I will do that right now.

I will leave you with the thought that arrived in my inbox today. “The more significance you give the moment, the more the moment has the opportunity to be significant.”

Love

PS: Have you joined me yet? Please shout out if you have. I am eager to hear from you and about your experience

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