HOW TO MEDITATE WELL

 HOW TO MEDITATE WELL

‘The key to meditating well is to know the natural balance of one’s mind and then nourish it. This article explains why the mind likes to fluctuate so much, and how to still it.’
Meditation is the act of being alone with oneself, and to listen to one’s mind ticking away in the background. It’s a wonderful way to de-stress at the end of a long day, and is a great method to get in touch with your inner self. There’s nothing like sitting down in a quiet pose and reflecting deeply, especially when the mind is full of thoughts about the future and the past, forcing it to dwell upon the present moment, and then feeling it, experiencing it, appreciating the passage of time, being one with the surroundings.
But often the body is willing though the mind is not. Many of us who wish to meditate cannot do so because our minds don’t like to dwell on one thing for too long. According to yoga lore, the throbbing of the ‘prana’ the life-giving force makes the mind move. The creation of the universe is due to the force of vikshepa, or the movement of the mind. Another word for this movement of the mind, which happens both in the state of dreaming and in the state of waking, is consciousness.
The one quality of the mind is that it is ever-fluctuating. The reason for this is that it is always under the sway of three ‘gunas’ or qualities of nature, namely: sattva (which stands for purity and light), rajas (which stands for passion and activity) and tamas (which represents darkness and inertia).
If ‘sattva’ dominates, the mind, it becomes one-pointed and the seeker enters into a meditative mood spontaneously. If ‘tamas’ dominates, the mind is enveloped by darkness and loses its power of discrimination, and if ‘rajas’ holds sway, the mind hankers after power, position and prestige and becomes over-ambitious.
It is important to note that the mind does not contain any of the three qualities in isolation. They’re always present in combination. None of the three qualities are inherently better or worse than the other, but each quality has its own strengths and weaknesses. Sattva is great for emotions such as love and kindness, whereas rajas is necessary for competition, sporting activity and achievement. Tamas, on the other hand, is important for us to be able to look inward and strive for self-mastery and personal development.
During meditation, therefore, it is best to focus on the natural combination of these three qualities that your mind leans towards, and then to nurture that natural balance. The purpose of meditation is not to drive away all thoughts by force, but to observe your mind from a neutral standpoint, the way it is. Only when we know ourselves can we still our minds to meditate.

Divya Mangal

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