29 Oct I am new to Meditation; how do I proceed?
Every aspirant who plans to delve deep into the ocean of meditation gets knocked by waves of queries: How to do it, what is the right way to do it, for how long should one do it, what are its benefits? Let us share our experience with it.
In most simple terms, meditation is the work out session for our mind. Like how our body needs regular exercise to be fit and fine, our mind needs meditation. It helps us observe our thoughts and eventually, drop them. For example, it seems usual to feel angry and irritated when someone doesn’t give way while driving. The reactions (giving looks, continuously honking, abusing) are so natural, that we don’t even realize how easily we slip into it. The emotion takes over our mind so conveniently, that we forget how it ruled the mind for a certain time. And later, it holds no sense. Not just in this case, but we let go of our awareness every now and then.
And here comes the art of meditation to the rescue. It’s a training exercise to increase our awareness. With the right and consistent practice of meditation, we start to observe our mind and thoughts. An average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. If we learn to drop a thought, be it anger, jealousy, lust, guilt, shame et al. and be mindful, life would be much sorted. A mere thought and its continuation is the reason one feels a wave of emotions.
To absorb this fact, let’s go back to the above example. If you could realize that heavy traffic and rash driving by others builds up your anger and irritation, you can choose to avoid it. You can distract yourself by listening to good music, podcasts, or maybe smile and just relax. Is it not better than getting agitated and losing the hell out of your mind? To have that realization, you need awareness. And the tool to build that awareness is Meditation.
There are a few key points that one needs to remember while practicing meditation, but the most important thing is consistency. Consistency is the key to reap in greater benefits. A break in your practice can break your efforts. Don’t think of an ideal place or situation to keep it going; just do it regularly. Once you fall for it, there is no going back. Calmness, peace, less agitation, and many others are the fruits of correct meditation.
There are various ways to meditate, but as a beginner, counting your breaths is the best way. Whenever you focus on the in-breath and out-breath, the mind may wander. It might shift its attention to other thoughts. Sometimes we might not catch it quickly as well, but don’t worry, the purpose is to gently bring the mind back to the object of focus (breath). This simple practice will sharpen the concentration level and increase the ability to bring back the mind to its point of focus, be it working, studying, listening or anything else. The true impact of meditation is not feeling on cloud nine just afterward but being able to focus on the routine activities.
Right guidance in the journey of meditation can work wonders. Small, yet important, aspects, if taken into consideration, will help in better results. Black Lotus, the ‘complete’ meditation app can be the guiding tool. The founder of the app, Om Swami, is an expert and has championed the art with more than 15,000 hours of practice. He has planned the app meticulously for serious aspirants of meditation. The app has been designed in a way that fifteen minutes of intense and quality meditation for a certain number of days would lead to great results. One doesn’t need to sit for hours to see a change. In meditation, quality matters more than quantity. In an earlier article, we shared Why it is good to learn meditation from an expert, so check that out as well.
The app has provided various goals (options) that can be taken up by users depending on the development aspect that you want to work on. There is a different route to accomplish each goal. For someone who wants to work on his/her self-esteem, as compared to someone who wants to build focus, practices vary.
As written by Om Swami, Meditation is the path- a systematic, methodical, scientific, and artful path to reach a blissful way.