I resisted the practice of meditation for years. But in the midst of some heavy existential pain and turmoil, my core began to scream for meditation. So one day I found myself meditating for 20 odd minutes. And since the past month and half, meditation has become a habit & I find myself meditating daily for 30 minutes to an hour.
The way I meditate is that I simply sit on the floor, focus my eyes on the wall in front of me and observe my breathing. Sometimes I will breathe more deeply, sometimes I will chant mantras and most of the times I am simply following the maze of thoughts, deeper and deeper. Sometimes I wonder if I am even meditating because the thoughts are endless and at times I find myself engaging in those thoughts and making plans and getting restless. But, in my experience, sitting through the process for an hour, will produce results in just few days. But the key here is being open and surrendering to the process.
The idea of meditation is not to control the mind but to observe the nature of mind. The practice of meditation is about becoming more mindful of your thoughts and to not mind all your thoughts all the time as we all do. And the way meditation achieves this is by asking us to sit still, observe the whirlpool of thoughts and not react.
Based on my personal experiences, here's my take on how meditation helps:
1. Nature of reality and Nature of mind: Most of us suffer when our mind and reality are out of sync. Meditation bridges the gap between reality and the mind by opening our consciousness to the nature of mind and nature of reality, making us wiser and in the process, reducing our suffering.
2. Detachment: Meditation helps you identify the monkey mind and creates some distance between your thoughts and emotions. You learn to feel a sense of detachment from your thoughts because you understand that your thoughts are fleeting and most of your thoughts do not represent reality. You realize most of your thoughts are like static or like the big bang afterglow. You understand that your brain, at any given time, unless your survival is threatened, is simply responding to all of your life experiences and to your genetic disposition.
3. Amplifies your true nature: Meditation gives you the strength to be your true self and to follow the path that calls out to you.
4. Resistance and Acceptance: It helps you understand when you are in a state of resistance to life and opportunities and it gives you the strength to accept that which cannot be changed.
5. Shifting Perspectives: Meditation will shift your perspective about life, situations, people and yourself. It will break old patterns & make you question your beliefs. It will also help you experience reality from someone else's perspective by giving you a momentary glimpse of what it would be like to experience reality being the other person.
6. Altered state of consciousness: Meditation can help you connect with the infinite nature of reality, letting you experience fleeting moments of enlightenment, transcendence and joy. It can also create this "feeling" or this "state" of being pure consciousness without a human form.
7. Bridging the gap between the conscious and the subconscious: Meditation opens up a powerful communication channel between the subconscious and the conscious mind, which means our dreams will carry powerful images, metaphors and messages from our subconscious about our deepest desires, repressed memories and primal fears, giving us clarity and closure.
8. Energy Conscious: You see things in terms of energy and consciousness and you become profoundly aware of your energy and other's energy. You become more aware of energy draining and energy boosting experiences and you seek out people and experiences that amp up your energy.
9. Respecting your body: You feel the need to eat healthy food that will nourish your body. Junk food falls off the grid and your body will develop an acute intolerance to unhealthy foods as you move deeper into your meditation practice.
10. Increased Awareness and Present in the Present: Meditation will free up some of the energy tied up with our chronic thought patterns as we break free of them. It will make us more aware of the possibilities and the broader meaning of life. And it will help us stay present in the present.