Stability of Mind and Body through Indian Meditation

Meditation is the modern term for a psychological, spiritual and physiological practice that has its roots in prehistoric times. The rhythmic chanting of tribal peoples was used as a method of communing with or appeasing their deities. It has deep roots and a strong foundation in both Hinduism and Buddhism.


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Meditating allows you to have a deep clarity in your mind, and allows you to deal with difficult situations in a calm and collected manner. It allows you to free your mind of everything, and feel a deep happiness and peacefulness that you’ve never felt before. This means that meditating can help rid you of endless, unimportant thoughts, and allow you to experience a real sense of clarity. Your thoughts can easily disturb you, anger you, or allow you to make bad decisions, so learning to train your thoughts and train your mind is essential.

A great Indian meditation master, Swami Sivananda, once said, “Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in the Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” Meditating can help you feel very peaceful, and help you detach yourself from your worries and unhappiness; it can relieve a lot of your stress and frustration. Practicing mediation can train you to remain a bit detached, see problems from different perspectives, and can help your mind stay at ease in all kinds of situations.

The yoga ideologies and use of spiritual contemplation were spread across the European and Asia continents through the movement of armies and travelers who passed on their knowledge between the different regions. As far back as the 15th Century BCE there were references in the Hindu Vedas describing the use of meditation. [1] As time went on, subtle changes were made, which evolved meditation to its present forms.

The specific name of a school of thought or a teacher or the title of a specific text is often quite important for identifying a particular type of meditation.[2] Several types of mediation exist now, not entirely different of their purposes, but based on the different religions and the end point of the meditation goals. You don’t need to participate in a specific religion or believe in a specific theology in order to learn how to focus your mind or reap some of the meditative health benefits. It does help though, to learn as much as you can before you start so that you can chose what school of meditation study is right for you.

Once you have decided on the school that you are interested then you should learn the basics of meditation from an experienced yogi or guru. However, according to Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher, “Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life – perhaps the greatest and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody; that is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority. When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy – if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.[3]

Transcendental Meditation (TM) had become a very popular form of meditation across the world in the 1960’s. It became a Spiritual Movement led by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi based on the teachings of Krishna, Buddha, Shankara and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. One reason for its popularity was its program that was meant to help people learn Yogic Flying. The art of transcendental meditation was believed to be lost several times over the past 5000 years, and was found again in the 1960’s by Maharishi’s teacher, Guru Dev.

A yogi or yogini teaches yoga to students who need guidance and training in the art of yoga. He (or she) can help you learn how to perform meditation, use yoga as a physical fitness regime, and direct you towards achieving greater self-awareness. A guru is even more knowledgeable; he (or she) is a master that has a gained higher wisdom through yoga and therefore through meditative practice. Both yogis and gurus are teachers who can teach you to focus on the three aspects of yoga meditation which are based on psychological, physical, and spiritual wisdom.

There are certain body postures associated with meditation. The asana is a sitting position, usually used in yoga, where the body is relaxed, yet firm, and the position is meant to be stayed in for long periods of time. In Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism the more popular positions are the lotus position, (both half- and full-), kneeling and Burmese. Meditation can also be performed while walking or doing a mindless and repetitive task. Sitting, laying down face upwards and standing positions are also used. The different positions allow for the flow of energy to certain parts of the body and increase vitality.

It’s interesting to note that although the practice of using hallucinogenic substances like peyote and cannabis is used in meditations performed by Native Americans and Rastafarians, the use of drugs or alcohol is not allowed by the Hindu and Buddhists during meditation. However, in India an energizing drink from a plant called soma is mentioned in the Vedas, and was used in rituals and prayers. It was described as being the “God for Gods” and drinking it would produce immortality.

Also, the Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian religions all use mantras or prayers of a sort as ways to train the mind to become empty of thoughts. A tool that is similar throughout those three religions is prayer beads. A common Catholic rosary contains 59 beads, and was used to help monks memorize the psalms. Buddhists and Hindus both use 108 prayer beads to recite their mantras with; 100 for the mantras and 8 extra in case of ones missed. [4]

Now, depending on your abilities to master meditation, you can learn quite quickly or take some time to achieve the level of meditation you desire. Once you do learn how to meditate, and use it for your daily self-development, you will be able to relax more and understand the intricacies of life much better. Meditation is a valuable instrument that can help you move beyond the mundane world, and help you discover the possibilities of your mind.

References:
[1] clinical guide to the treatment of human stress response by George S. Everly, Jeffrey M. Lating 2002 ISBN 0306466201 page 199

[2] Meditation and Mantras by Vishnu Devananda 1999 ISBN 8120816153 pages 82-83

[3] Jiddu, Krishnamurti (2002) [Originally published 1979. New York:Harper & Row]. “Preface”. Meditations. Blau, Evelyne ed. Boston:Shambhala Publications. Paperback. ISBN 978-1570629419.

[4] Eugene Taylor (1999). Michael Murphy, Steven Donovan & Eugene Taylor. ed. “Introduction”. The physical and psychological effects of meditation: A review of contemporary research with a comprehensive bibliography 1931-1996(Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences): 1–32.

Author: Dr Maulik Vyas

I am a holistic Doctor with 10 yr of experience in medical/health and wellness industry. Also, I am a professional content writer with 1000s of articles published across the web. I'm available for content writing, natural treatment consultancy, business ideas about healthcare/wellness industry. I am the proprietor of company named Mouls Incorporation.

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