Touch the invisible dimension. – Meditation - Part I12, Feb, 2016, by Seema Bhatnagar
Meditation is a buzz word these days. The very word meditation invokes an image of a mystic in ochre robes, sitting eyes closed in a forest. For many, who are unaware about its fundamentals, it is about seclusion and renunciation. In fact this image has kept many away from giving it a serious attempt. But those who like exploring, it can open a whole new dimension of delving deeper inside to experience life in full throttle.
On taking a snapshot of everyday life, an individual interacts with the world almost during all waking hours, which means reacting/responding to variety of situations. In order to support this interaction, mind keeps processing tons of information on second to second basis. There reaches a point when this information load exceeds a certain level and this is a moment when individual feels tired and fatigued, eventually landing in a state of stress and anxiety. For emotional and extra-sensitive people handling these intense emotions adds extra burden leading to more stress and anxiety.
Majority of people are oblivious of the fact that it is more of a mental fatigue than physical which makes them feel tired and uninterested in matters of life. Being unaware of how to get rid of this fatigue, individuals spend their lifetime suffering with personal inertness. The physical fatigue can easily vanish from body with a good night sleep but when it comes to mental stress, it is hard to deal with because even in sleep also our mind keeps processing information collected over the day.
With daily exposure of dealing with stressful conditions makes one feel bitter, irritable and rash. If you are working and interacting with the world, this state is not something alien to you and you can very well understand how energy draining it could be. At the end of the day, it leaves you cranky and completely drained out. Staying with stress built up inside body for a prolonged period can easily trigger ailments like blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid imbalance, irrespective of age bracket you are in.
To get more insight about Stress, read full post here.
Aren’t you fed up of this state of mind? Isn’t there something which can help you in getting rid of this persisting and annoying mental stress? Don’t you feel, you should be a master of your mind and should be able to control it the way you want?
With the acceptance of stress in our life, anti-depressants and bipolar disorders are also becoming common phenomenon around us. How pathetic it is to think that every fourth or fifth person is suffering with some kind of mental illness. Isn’t this world becoming a worldwide asylum?
The nature of mind.
If you observe closely, the nature of our mind is like waves of thoughts and emotions continuously rising and falling like waves in ocean. Reacting to each and every external stimulus adds more turbulence to it. But if you know the true nature of an ocean there is an absolute silence in its depths.
On the nature of mind, Swami Vivekananda, an Indian Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had given a beautiful description of mind.
Excerpt from a book, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda,
How hard it is to control the mind! Well has it been compared to the maddened monkey. There was a monkey, restless by his own nature, as all monkeys are. As if that were not enough someone made him drink freely of wine, so that he became more restless. Then a scorpion stung him. When a man is stung by a scorpion, he jumps about for a whole day; so the poor monkey found his condition worse than ever. To complete his misery a demon entered into him. What language can describe the uncontrollable restlessness of that monkey? The human mind is like that monkey, incessantly active by its own nature; then it becomes drunk with the wine of desire, thus increasing its turbulence. After desire takes possession comes the sting of the scorpion of jealousy at the success of others, and last of all the demon of pride enters the mind, making it think itself of all importance. How hard to control such a mind!
Going by this description of mind, to which, we can easily connect, isn’t it a herculean task to think of controlling or channelizing this maddened monkey.
For realizing this truth in our life, at any particular moment, our mind is always busy thinking about - how to respond to a particular person, what to write as a response to an email, decision of how to communicate to somebody, what to buy, what to gift, how to hurt somebody, how to take revenge and blah blah. It is a non-stop information processing machine. In one way, it is indeed wonderful that a healthy mind is thinking and responding, but the problem arises when it is thinking too much that too undesirably and unproductively. Out of the total number of thoughts per day which is approximately 50,000, only 1 or 2 percent are really productive enough rest are simply reactions to external stimuli.
Way back thousands of years (approximately 10,000), ancient Indian sages and seers knew the truth that there exists a deep silence beneath this surface layer of turmoil and with some extra efforts it can be experienced. In their quest to experience that deep silence, they devised certain methods and techniques which basically constitute Yoga.
Yoga, is a complete science in itself. It prescribes proven and tested ways through which body and restless mind can be controlled and mastered and one can experience that deep silence which is hiding in each one of us.
Meditation, which is one of the many limbs of Yoga, is a specialized method prescribed to have control over this incessantly active mind.
Read Part II to get more insight about Meditation.
Touch the invisible dimension. – Meditation - Part II
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