Meditation is a technique that is being followed since ancient days.  The sages (rishis) of ancient India used to meditate and practice yoga with the primary purpose of achieving their final goal – self-realization. Nowadays, meditation is being used for secondary benefits like getting rid of stress related problems, disorders related to the mind, improve concentration and focus.

Most people face a lot of issues when asked to meditate; the main obstacle being the innumerable thoughts that flash through one’s mind when meditating.  When one starts meditating, the frequency of thoughts increases and the mind seems to jump from one though to another until one’s mind shows reluctance to those thoughts and one gets distracted giving up meditation totally.

One’s mind always thinks in terms of the past or the future and one has no control over either.  One can neither change the past nor control the future and that is where meditation steps in.  It is way to get the mind to focus on and live in the present. Also, putting up reluctance to everything is an inherent nature of our mind; but the opposite of reluctance is acceptance and accepting everything is a state of meditation.  When one starts accepting things, situations and circumstances in one’s daily life, one is meditating.  It’s as simple as that.

How does on meditate?

Whenever a thought comes up in one’s mind, it is followed by a number of related thoughts.  These thoughts could be negative or positive.  It is negative thoughts that breed further negative thoughts leading to a web of toxic thoughts.  But when one thinks – ACCEPTED at the first thought, the entire chain of thought is broken and the mind learns to not process that thought further.  When the mind reaches a state devoid of any thought – that is meditation. Trying to reach the state of nothingness doesn’t happen overnight though.  It starts with breaking of one string of thought at a time and over a period, the mind learns to transcend from complex thoughts to emptiness.

It has taken years to build thoughts and keep the mind busy with complex thoughts and breaking those links will take time.  Like any other habit,  be it doing yoga, cooking, reading, playing an instrument, or any other activity, one has to start small.  If one is able to break one line of thought with total acceptance, that is an achievement.

Meditation during tough times

We are all currently facing a never-seen-before situation where we are all forced to be behind locked doors, stay away from socializing (which is man’s natural instinct) and restrict ourselves.  Technology (TV, mobiles, internet) all seem to have come to our rescue and have been keeping us updated with news, entertained but at the same time it has compounded our worries, concerns, fears and a whole lot of fake news.

Dedicating a few minutes a day to meditate can really be helpful in the current situation.  It can help the mind to stay focused on the present.  Feel happy that our family and loved ones are safe. Fend off any negative thoughts of fear and help deal with the situation in a positive manner.  Just 10 minutes of meditation in the morning can help reduce our stress level, anxiety level and try and bring us to be in the PRESENT.

The author of this blog article is Yogiraj Deshmukh, Assistant Professor,Department of Engineering Sciences, International Institute of Information Technology, (I²IT), Pune (www.isquareit.edu.in) (yogirajd@isquareit.edu.in)