Meditation is the key to fulfillment, it allows us to take the time to clear the mind and put things in their proper perspective, and to allow us to seek and feel our inner self, the real person within each of us.
Meditation can take many forms, essentially a quiet time for reflection in any way that suits the individual.
My personal method is a quiet room that has no direct sunlight, at a time when I know there will be no interruptions or distractions.
I set the atmosphere by burning incense or fragrant oils, I have soft soothing music, wear nothing, or as little as possible and have it loose in order to have no pressure on any part of the body. I set aside at least one hour every day, but it has stretched out to several hours when needed.
I plan my time for meditation as I have found it to be one of the most important aspects of my life, as important as earning the almighty dollar in order to survive in the material world. It would be ideal, I think, if we could allow our spirituality to override our materialistic endeavours, however we are victims of our environment, therefore we must find a balance between the world we live in, and the world we should be living in.
For me the benefit of meditation is the increased spiritual awareness and development of the body-mind-spirit connection by activating the "Chakras" and opening the "Kundalini" channels, allowing what I call cosmic energy to flow through my whole being.
It takes a reasonable amount of practice and a lot of faith in yourself to achieve a result, for myself I have been able to acquire an absolute feeling of well being and peace, along with an increased sense of universal energy and awareness, which, for me, seems to grow stronger all the time.
Meditation is a powerful tool developed thousands of years ago by yogis to awaken the God (Higher Consciousness) within us. God already exists within each of us, so meditation is not to find God, but rather to become aware of God. Another way of talking about this is to say that through meditation, we are taken from duality to an infinite reality. In the words of Yogi Bhajan, "There is harmony, peace and tranquillity for those who go inside themselves into their shining purity. Going within does not mean that you have to leave the universe and become isolated, antisocial or rude. Power, energy, and life belong to those who complete themselves inside".
Perhaps some of us will balk at the use of the word "God." There are many words we can use which mean the same thing, such as infinity, higher consciousness, ecstasy – The choice of words does not matter as much as the strength of the desire to awaken within us that which Generates, Organizes and then Delivers or destroys all creation. This desire within us is also called the "urge to merg". Meditation is a way of fulfilling the urge to merge that exists in all of us.
The benefits of meditation are many, and range from very lofty to very practical, but meditation must be experienced to begin to understand its benefits. Through meditation we are able to connect with our inner sense of being spiritual human beings, and therefore we become more deeply contented and fulfilled. Through meditation we can purify our thoughts and strengthen their projection, and then use this clarity and projection for prayerful purposes, such as healing us and/or others, or unravelling difficult problems that perhaps had seemed unsolvable. Through meditation we can silence our "monkey mind" which is constantly jumping from one thought to another to another, since the mind generates one thousand thoughts per wink of an eye. Then we become silently receptive and intuitive. Meditation can clear the mind of fears, so that we can absorb, compute, and act wisely and neutrally in response to situations, rather than reacting and being ruled by conscious and subconscious emotions. Fears and anger begin to lose their hold over us. Meditation awakens the mind to the infinite capacity of the soul for sacrifice, service, and creativity. Meditation can also lower blood pressure and be very energizing, since the body is a chemical organism and meditation actually changes the chemistry of the brain.
In the open The mind has different layers of consciousness, and the first level is the conscious mind, which is made up of three parts.
These parts are the positive mind, the negative mind, and the neutral mind. Throughout our daily life we are bombarded with many stimuli, which become part of conscious mind, whether we like it or not. After the conscious mind comes the next layer, the subconscious mind, and stimuli from our daily existence is also stored here. Like any storage area, it can become dirty and dusty if not constantly cleaned. That is what meditation does – it cleans and dusts our conscious and subconscious mind, making us brighter and shinier! Furthermore, if our subconscious mind becomes filled, things will flow over into our unconscious mind. It is much better to avoid this, since it is extremely difficult to clean and repair the unconscious mind. Because of this cleaning process, contrary to ideas some people have about meditation, it is not constantly blissful and pleasant. Meditation cleans old fears, buried anger, and negative thoughts from the different layers of our mind. This process is painful, but it is necessary, and it is better to do this with meditation than in therapy. We would not go for days without washing our bodies with water, why should we go days without washing our minds with meditation?
Negative vibrations or stimuli in our day create blocks of negative energy, and these blocks pile up, forming walls of negativity all around us, walls that separate us from experiencing the God inside us, it is this sense of separation which makes us unhappy. By meditating, we are replacing negative vibrations with positive ones, and the "walls" come tumbling down and happiness returns. Until you control the mind, you can’t get beyond it to liberation, liberation is the experience of your own infinity, and lies beyond the mind.
Meditation works, and is one of the most powerful, safe, and effective means of becoming a complete and spiritual human. Happiness is not dependant upon any outside person or event or thing. We are responsible for our own happiness.
As Yogi Bhajan says " A mental condition can change instantly, the physical takes longer". Try it, you will see for yourself.
How to Meditate
The ability to meditate is within us all, it is a natural state of consciousness, we have no need to learn it, and it is as natural as our ability to breathe. When the mind becomes "one-pointed" and quiet, it will go beyond the normal day to day awareness into the state referred to as meditation.
Regularity is the key
To be effective, meditation requires a degree of regularity e.g. time, place, and practice are most important, it allows the mind to be more focused. The mind seems to be particularly active when you try to concentrate, but just like any habit, it can be picked up through constant practice, allowing the mind to focus more rapidly, once regularity has been established.
The pose shown in the photo above is known simply as the sitting position, try to be comfortable and keep your back straight, relax, with your hands resting lightly on the knees. Brain activity, breathing and heartbeat will all slow, allowing you to relax even more, as you relax you will be able to enter the meditative state.