What is Meditation anyway?
A term in sanskrit ‘yoga chitta vritti nirodha’ (found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras) distills it for me.
Yoga = to yoke, to join, to unite
Chitta = consciousness
Vritti = fluctuations
Nirodha = quietening of
Thanks Pat! Ta daaah – meditation is quieting the fluctuations of the mind and unifying with ones-self.
Imagine it as brain training, a practical exercise firstly. An App for the brain in this busy world. Training our ‘monkey-mind’ to sit quietly without thought or judgement, which is a lot trickier than expected. Relatable to training muscles in bodies, which overtime strengthens and tones giving tangible results. By training the mind in this way (regularly sitting in silence) we become more focused, less distracted, more content and stable, less anxious & worried, more accepting, less judgmental – overall… happier.
Secondly, but most importantly, meditation has a spiritual purpose, without religion or dogma, which can be felt from experiencing the practice. It connects us with our true selves, aka the inner divinity, spirit, soul, true essence, Brahman, universal consciousness, the Atman. The ultimate goal of mediation is to turn the attention inwards instead of outward, to become one-pointed in focus, allowing us to become united with our inner peace and infinite wisdom (however it is termed).
If new to this concept, it may be a lot to take in without touching on philosophical debates about the existence of life… a never ending debate for humankind. In short, we have a soul which is infinite, permanent and un-changing and the final goal is to reconnect with it, turning away from the outside world of sense desires, impermanence and change.
How can we fit Meditation into our lives?
We can become rushed and busy in the world, that most of the time we neglect to need to give space and time to ourselves, purely. To give ourselves a good start we need to get rid of the words that lead to excuses, “I’m too busy… I can’t find the time”. It is not a case of finding the time, but more a case of creating & making time. Here’s the start of the internal dialogue to lead us to success.
To meditate for as little as 30 minutes a day (or less) is the minimum of what we need to find a frequent practice. This will enable us to be happier, calmer and more content, allowing the inner peace and wisdom to radiate outward, once stepping out of mediation.
How to meditate?
This will be the next topic. There are many techniques to choose from whether you aline closer with Buddhist, Yoga, Chi Gong or other Eastern Philosophies. I would suggest trying a few to find the one that resonates the most.
My next entry will be for the benefit of people wanting to firstly get acquainted with the practice.
If you’d like to practice with me in real time, I offer free 1/2 an hour guided mediations with all donations going to charity every Monday evening from 6.10pm at For The Core, new yoga studio in Hoxton, London. Book your seat here.