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Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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My experience with Meditation

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There are a lot of people all over the world who are able to manage and control chronic illnesses with Meditation. Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Stress, Anxiety , Depression and Cancer too can be ‘managed’ well by including meditation as a part of your daily routine.

My curiosity about meditation and yoga began about 15 yrs ago.
I wanted to learn to meditate but didn’t know what it was all about.

I bought books on Meditation. All the books mentioned a wonderful experience and wrote about a lot of steps and discipline that are required to reach that blissful state. I got discouraged reading all this. I even feared it , thinking I would die during meditation , especially after reading about yogis who pass on during meditation . This is called ‘Samadhi’

I continued reading up on the Internet .

I came across various methods to meditate. Some of them are ..

  • Staring at an object a little away from you. A flower or a candle should do.
  • Sitting with closed eyes and trying to concentrate on the gap between two consecutive thoughts.
  • Focusing on various parts of the body starting from top to the bottom while relaxing those parts of the body.
  • Gently focusing  on the point between the eyebrows with closed eyes.
  • Chanting a mantra etc

I later came across various spiritual organizations that taught meditation. But, I was not ready to accept any Guru.

I continued reading and one day came across ‘Chakra meditation’.
This particular method appealed to me. I read about it several times and one day decided to try it out.I had read enough of theory and was confident and ready for some practicals :))
The experience I had was indescribable. I couldn’t discuss my experience with anyone.

During the process of  meditation all the chatter in my mind had stopped. Breathing was very slow and steady.  I was not able to feel my body, only  a part of the face, the throat, and the breath. It was as if the body had disappeared and expanded into a balloon , this balloon had a diameter of a few meters. There was a lot of energy in this balloon.It was a peaceful state and all was still , as though time was frozen.

This was my first experience. There was no way of knowing if all those who meditate have the same/similar/better experience.The experience was good and I was happy that I was able to ”meditate” without a Guru :))

Soon all was forgotten.

One day , a few years later , I learned that a course was being held by a spiritual organization , close to where I lived. I joined the course hoping to know more about meditation. They didn’t teach any meditation but I learned Pranayama and other rhythmic breathing techniques which are supposed to improve our health and clarity in the mind.

Later on, I also did the Meditation course conducted by the same organisation. The experience was just ok . I  was unable to sit for long periods with my spine erect during all those different kinds of meditation sessions. It was painful 🙂

Once in a while, I would practice Pranayama followed by Meditation. Each time my experience was different.

I have now begun to meditate regularly. So glad that I had learnt to meditate .

Advantages of Meditation :Thoughts too create havoc in the body. Meditation helps in calming the mind which in turn helps the body to relax and heal.

  • Clarity in the mind.
  • A reduction in unnecessary thoughts which drain your energy.
  • One feels calm and peaceful within.
  • Better management of chronic illnesses.
  • Feel more energetic.
  • Deep Rest. It is said that 15 mins of deep meditation is equivalent to 4 hrs of deep sleep.
  • Improves the immune system.
  • Stress relief.
  • Reduction in Anxiety.
  • …and many more

I too had a lot of doubts about meditation dulling the mind. But NO , it helps you to be more efficient as all the clutter is out of your system and you feel more energetic.

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Here is an easy method to make a beginning  :

  1. Sit in sukhasana (cross legged) on a mat on the floor.The spine should be erect.You can also sit on a chair or lean on a wall. You can use pillows/cushions to ensure your spine and head are upright.Place your open palms facing upward on your lap/knees .
  2. Gently close your eyes.
  3. Gently try to focus your eyes at the center of your eyebrows. Do not  apply any pressure while doing this.
  4. Start observing your breath going deep inside your lungs and also observe the air going out through your nose.
  5. Continue to observe your breath.
  6. If your mind wanders , try to gently push the thought away  and bring back your focus to your breath. You can even arrive at a solution to whatever that is bothering you and gently push the thought away.
  7. Continue to bring back your focus to your breath.
  8. Sit in this position for as long as you can.You can also set a timer for 15 mins. It is okay if you are unable to sit for 15 minutes initially. Do this for as long as you can.
  9. Slowly open your eyes while cupping them with your hands.

Initially the process seems irritating as you are unable to focus on your breath and the mind continues to wander. Regular practice will definitely help in focusing and thereby to reach a state of thoughtlessness and the benefits should follow.

The practice can be done anytime during the day. Ensure your stomach is not full , should be almost empty. The best time to meditate is before having breakfast , lunch or dinner.

Where can one learn to Meditate ? 

There are several organizations that conduct regular meditation courses all over the world. You can earn from more than one and choose the one that you are more comfortable with.Take your time to accept the process. There’s no hurry.

A lot of CDs and YouTube videos are available which can help you make a beginning. Once you learn the technique you no longer need any external aid and you will be able to meditate anywhere.

Your experiences are unique to you. We need not compare with others experiences. Just go ahead and enjoy the feeling.

Practicing any art form makes the mind stay calm. These are wonderful methods to calm your mind. Any hobby is good too.

I am enjoying writing these posts and it is definitely helping my mind to stay calm.

Benefits of Meditation have been proven scientifically.

~~Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi ~~

 

 

 


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Witness Consciousness (Saakshi bhaav) and Healing

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I had first come across the terms ‘Witness consciousness’ and ‘Saakshi Bhaav’, almost 15 yrs ago. All these years I never quite understood what exactly they meant in spite of reading several spiritual books and articles.

All of a sudden I am now able to get a glimpse of what ‘Witness consciousness’ means and able to appreciate and experience what these terms mean.It took sooo loong 🙂

In this post, i will try and attempt to answer whether we are the body or the mind or both or something else, as per my understanding and how we can try to heal ourselves.

I am not my body : Our bodily functions are taking place without our  intervention.They are involuntary actions.  We don’t have to tell the lungs to breathe, heart to beat , the 5 senses to do their job and stomach to digest. They have the intelligence to perform these actions on their own. These functions are carried out even while a person is in a coma. Each cell in the body is extremely intelligent . It performs its activities , multiplies and dies. They come with their own instruction set. Every type of cell is replaced periodically. Some are replaced every few days , some every few weeks.It is said that every cell in the body is replaced every 7 years.Do these cells even know that they are pa

Then who am I ??

I am able to create and perform a lot of actions with my body using my thoughts.Without thoughts, there is no action.  We are continuously bombarded by thoughts.Am I my thoughts ??

I am not my thoughts : When we were born and as a kid, our thoughts and actions were pure and based on instinct, there was pure unconditional love , there was togetherness, we enjoyed sharing , we were simple and innocent and trusted others. As we grew we started identifying ourselves with various tags . I am this , I am that ,I studied this,I work here, I live there, I own this etc. Along with the identification, there are negative feelings of  envy , greed , possessiveness, hatred , vengeance etc .What has happened to that pure innocence that we were born with? It is shoved into the background and all the other thoughts and feelings started to dominate our innate divine nature. All these thoughts disappear when we are in deep sleep. Not many are even aware that we were once very pure and full of love and trust and that is our true nature. All these thoughts are actually not us. They are a result of the environment and circumstances that we are growing in. All the competition and stress that one is exposed to all the time starting from school to college to work and marriage and society. All this creates a lot of unnecessary thoughts which affect the body too.

Yes ,we cannot function without these thoughts but we can do quite well without a lot of them too!!

So, I am not the body and I am not the thoughts, then who am I ??

I am the witness consciousness : There is a part of me that is able to witness these thoughts and body functions . I can see a thought coming and going. Another thought comes and goes and this happens nonstop.It is easier to observe your thoughts by simply sitting calm with closed eyes.  There is a part of me that is hidden and forgotten and lost. That part of me can watch and witness my body and my thoughts. The moment we start observing these thoughts, the thoughts slow down and we reach a no thought zone . The body parts start relaxing too. It is a peaceful state when we witness our thoughts and get in touch with our divine self. It feels as if all the shackles that are binding us with the external world are breaking.There is a sense of freedom .This can be practiced even  while we are performing our day to day chores.

consciousness

We are conscious beings, meaning we are aware of our surroundings and our thoughts.

I had read that thoughts are like waves in the ocean. Deep under, the ocean is still and calm. Only the surface is turbulent. Our consciousness is like the ocean and the thoughts are the waves which continuously rise and fall…non-stop .There is a strong mind-body link and  negative thoughts make the body restless and also make it sick.

This understanding is a strange feeling but a great feeling. Something that i had come across numerous times in various spiritual texts and articles and never could understand or appreciate . Finally , i seem to have understood and able to experience it now.

Once this is experienced it is easier to get detached from the body and thoughts thereby helping our body to relax/heal  and mind to stay sane.

Being in the present moment , positive thinking ,  not judging people and the happenings around us are frequently mentioned by all the wise people in order to help ourselves. The advantage of learning to be a witness is that all these are possible.

Another advantage of being in this state is that healing happens. Thoughts are very powerful and a lot of unnecessary thoughts mess up the body functions. The mind-body connection is very strong. The moment we let go of  thoughts by tapping the ‘witness consciousness’, the body can heal itself..

Sounds good isn’t it ?!! 🙂

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There seems to be a strong link between consciousness ,quantum mechanics and reality which is being studied scientifically.

I am just beginning to try to understand how the two are related and hopefully one day it will all make perfect sense not just to the spiritual masters , philosophers, and scientists but to all of the humanity, so that we understand how everyone and everything in the universe are connected and evolves from the same Consciousness , that Heaven is not some place far away, but on Earth , right here right now  :)) and we don’t need any religion to help us reach Heaven.

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*****Lokaan Samasthaan Sukhino Bhavanthu******