What is Meditation ?
Many people believe that in meditation you have to stop thinking thoughts. This is a reason many turn away from it, claiming meditation to be “just too difficult” for them.
The truth is meditation is very easy and can be done by anyone. Meditation simply means awareness (or being witness to) and typically involves going inward and being conscious of your body, mind, and spirit.
Another common misconception is that meditation is a way to escape or “check out”. The reality is meditation is a way to actually go inward or “check in” with one’s self and has a numerous health benefits.
Meditation has been proven to help with stress levels and also promote healing within the body-mind. Many Dr.’s are now prescribing meditation for a flurry of different diseases, illnesses, and ailments including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, insomnia, and obesity to name a few.
Additionally, there are also many other benefits that meditation brings. Many wisdom traditions believe that there is a space between thoughts. Often times when someone is new to meditation they realize they are having lots of thoughts. This is actually a great awareness and with practice you can actually experience peace and stillness of mind.
The purpose of meditation is not to stop thinking thoughts, but to let the thoughts drift past you like clouds in the sky (not clinging onto the thought or judging it- just simply letting it pass and coming back to the breath or mantra.)
With practice, that space between thoughts will expand. That space is said to be where all things are possible, where there is unlimited potential, and where creativity lives.
“The mind alone is one’s friend as well as one’s enemy. The mind is the friend of those who have control over it, and the mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it.” – Bhagavad Gita (6.05-06)
Meditation is a way of cleansing old destructive thought patterns and programming and replacing it with new ways of thinking positively. It is also the best technique to connect to the Super Consciousness/GOD. It connects us deeply in with the divine to receive many blessings:
- Receiving clear directions and messages from the divine
- Discover and attain your true life’s purpose
- Enhanced intuition and clairvoance
- Abundance and prosperity
- Healthy body & healthy mind
- Experiencing Love, Peace, and Anandam (eternal bliss)
- Healing and connection of body, mind, and spirit.
- Stress-free, happy and peaceful life–Anadam (eternal bliss)
There are many different types of meditation from walking and talking meditations to mantras and yoga (which is also a form of moving meditation). Anything that is done in the state of awareness is meditation. Therefore, almost anything can be done in a meditative state, it just takes practice and making the commitment to do it. Meditation is not an activity but a life-style and one has to live every moment of it.
Who Should Practice Meditation?
Everyone and Anyone can benefit from meditation. Whether you are trying to cope with stress or simply get in touch with your inner self. Meditation has been used for children (for centering and calming them) to seniors (for increased memory retention and decreased mental disorders and deterioration.)
Athletes have used meditation as a tool to be alert and aware for game time. Many pro-athletes including Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have confessed using meditation and visualization to help perform at their peak and win games.
When Should I Meditate?
When you first begin meditation it’s best to do it first thing in the morning or the last thing you do before bed or both (recommended by scriptures and sages). These are typically the most relaxing times and make for good meditation. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Meditation can be done anywhere and at anytime of the day or night. After some practice you will know which times work best for you and your schedule.
We say as long as you are doing it- that’s what’s important.
Where Should I Meditate?
Meditation can be practiced anywhere, but is best preformed in a quiet place (like an empty room or somewhere secluded in nature (i.e. an empty park or the beach early in the morning). Any place that feels safe to you and where you will most likely not be disturbed.
Why Should I Meditate?
-H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji
Meditation has unlimited benefits, but it’s common use in today’s modern society is to reduce stress. The Mayo clinic states that, “When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.”
Stress is one of the most common causes of disease in the body-mind. If meditation can help with stress–it can be vital in preventing and curing disease.
Benefits of Meditation:
• Stress reduction– JAMA Internal Medicine published a study in 2014 of 47 randomized trials that showed that mindfulness meditation can ease depression and anxiety. The researchers wrote:
“Anxiety, depression, and stress/distress are different components of negative affect. When we combined each component of negative affect, we saw a small and consistent signal that any domain of negative affect is improved in mindfulness programs when compared with a nonspecific active control.”
• Anxiety disorders– A review of studies from Johns Hopkins University researchers that was published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that mindfulness meditation may improve anxiety for certain people.
Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told Harvard Health Letter, “If you have unproductive worries, you might think ‘I’m late, I might lose my job if I don’t get there on time, and it will be a disaster!’ Mindfulness teaches you to recognize, ‘Oh, there’s that thought again. I’ve been here before. But it’s just that — a thought, and not a part of my core self.'”
The Mayo Clinic also reports that many people control stress by practicing mindfulness meditation (plus it’s been linked with lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol) — for the basics on how to get started, click here.
• Building Willpower– Meditation is a way to train your willpower– better attention, one pointed focus, stress management, impulse control and self-awareness is all enhanced. Meditators have been shown to have more gray matter in the prefrontal cortex only after eight brief weeks of practicing meditation.
• Inflammation– In 2013, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds in the Waisman Center conducted a study that identified a possible tie between mindfulness meditation and the relief of inflammatory symptoms among people who suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions.
• Heart disease– The journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes published a study in 2012 that Transcendental Mediation has a link to reduction in heart attack, stroke and early death from heart disease in a group of African Americans. “The main finding [of our research] is that, added on top of usual medical care, intervention with a mind-body technique — transcendental meditation — can have a major effect on cardiovascular events,” says Robert Schneider, a professor at the Maharishi University of Management.
The American Heart Association has also stated that meditations’ stress-busting benefits have a very positive effect on heart health.
• Weight problems– A study done at UC San Francisco took 47 overweight women and divided them into two groups. One group received training in “mindful eating” and meditated 30 minutes a day. During the 4 month period, the women who meditated loss up to more than a pound of belly fat and showed a big decrease in their cortisol levels (linked to stress)- while the control group continued gaining weight.
• Pain Management– JAMA Internal Medicine published a study this year on of a review of 47 studies that showed that meditation may be helpful in easing pain.
• Sleep Disorders– A study in 2009, by an Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies suggested that meditation could be helpful in the treatment of insomnia. “Results of the study show that teaching deep relaxation techniques during the daytime can help improve sleep at night,” says Ramadevi Gourineni, M.D., director of the insomnia program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Evanston, Ill.
Additionally, a study done last year at the University of Utah showed a connection between mindful personality traits and improved sleep quality.
• And much more…
What Does Meditation Do?
“Meditation—the surest way to liberation”-Bhagavad Gita
Meditation is the best way to discipline and purify the mind. Through practicing Self-awareness we can purify ourselves and Self-Transform. We subtract negative and destructive thought patterns and replace them with positive thoughts and feelings of love and Anandam. You can transform any aspect of your life through these ancient practices. Dedication to meditation can lead to the ultimate goal of Eternal Happiness and ultimate peace within–“Sat Chit Ananda”.
How Do I Practice Meditation?
The easiest and simplest way to begin meditation is to sit or lie in a comfortable position and draw your attention to your breath. Becoming conscious of your inhaling and exhaling is a way of bringing your awareness to the present moment (the here and now). A simple and powerful mantra is the AUM (or OM) mantra and consists of repeating the mantra silently in your mind- AUM, AUM, AUM.
Whenever you start to lose focus by any distractions – like noises, physical sensations, or thoughts- simply come back to the mantra- AUM, AUM, AUM.
Meditation is best done as daily practice. The more you meditate the more you will benefit from it’s effects. Many experts recommend 15-30 minutes of meditation twice a day (preferably in the morning and before bed.) But if you can only meditate starting with 5-10 minutes a day- that is okay (you will still receive benefits) and you can increase the length with time.
When you are done with the mantra- sit quietly and become aware of your breath and notice how your body-mind feels.
Helpful Pointers to Get Started
1. Meditation is Not a “Quick Fix”, it is a slow, but steady process that requires self-discipline, patience and dedication.
2. Start with 5-10 minutes a day and gradually increase the time you spend in meditation.
3. Make it fun, enjoy it, and practice consistently.
4. Make sure to keep a good posture during meditation.
5. Meditation should NEVER be forced and must be relaxing and comfortable.
6. Pay attention to your body–the body is wise and will always let you know what you need to work on. Breath is a great way of connecting in with the body.
7. The true purpose of meditation is to bring us back to ourselves, experience calm, relaxation, enjoyment and to be healthy and happy.
8. Witness and learn to let go…
by Satya Kalra
Meditation is the way to discipline the Mind.
The way to reprogram & calm the mind
The pathway to get rid off the old habits
The pathway to eliminate anger, greed, desires…
The way for Self-Purification
The pathway to lower blood pressure
Meditation is the pathway to go within
The pathway to attain Equanimity
It is the pathway to experience love, peace, Anandam
The pathway to merge /UNION with God
The pathway to connect and communicate with God”
It is the pathway to God/Self-Realization
The pathway to attain Nirvana
Meditation is the pathway to Oneness with Self/God…
Meditation is the surest way to liberation.
We Specialize in Every Form of Meditation Including:
1. Pranic Healing Meditation – Life-force energy control.
2. Chakra Activation and Meditation- Energetic Clearing and activation of the 7 major chakras in the body.
3. Kundalini Meditation- Activation of the shushumna (serpent energy) up the spine–activating and passing through the chakras.
4. Anandam Yoga and Meditation (Happiness/Bliss) – For finding and attaining your peace, joy, and bliss in life.
5. Anandamayi/Divine Shakti Yoga – Awakening of the shakti (Divine Cosmic Energy)
6. Anti-aging Meditation (focus on face–3rd eye–6th chakra) – Look and feel years younger.
7. Awareness Meditation – Present moment awareness.
8. Body, Mind, & Spirit Connection – Linking the physical, energetic, and astral bodies.
9. Breath (Concentration on breath) – Ancient and powerful pranayama techniques.
10. Calm/Anger-free Meditation – Release anger and embrace calm.
11. Develop Divine qualities Meditation:
• Love and Compassion Meditation
• Fearless Meditation
• Forgiveness Meditation
• Calmness Meditation
• Goodness Meditation
12. Eating and Drinking Meditation (Health and diet) – Has incredible effects on proper digestion, weight loss, and feeling satisfied.
13. Conscious/Subconscious/Superconscious Meditation – Energy flowing from the body to Superconscious – Connection of body to the mind.
14. Fearless Meditation – Let go of the fear that is holding you back from living life to the fullest.
15. Forgiveness Meditation – Forgiveness is liberating–release anger/frustration towards other.
16. Jyoti Meditation – Divine Flame Meditation (spiritual discipline practice)
17. Love, Peace, and Anandam meditation – Experience the highest form of elevation.
18. Love and Compassion Meditation – Compassion is a virtue.
19. Mantra Meditation – Mantra is an intrument of the mind. We use it to raise the vibration and go deep within.
20. Occasional Meditations:
• Valentine’s Day Meditation – Meditation on loving relationships.
• New Year’s Meditation – Setting new goals and intentions for the new year.
• Diwali Meditation – Indian festival of lights.
• Thanks-Giving Meditation – Gratitude brings more of what you want into your life.
• Navratri Meditation – Meaning “9 lights” celebrates consciousness and spiritual development.
• Freedom Day Meditation – Free yourself from all the chains that bind you.
• Independence Day Meditation – Celebrate freedom.
21. Oneness meditation – Connection with everyone, everything, and the Universe.
22. Oneness Chakra Meditation – The chakras are the energetic body that connects us with everything in the cosmos.
23. Panch Kosha Meditation-Reaching to Anandamaya Kosha
24. Perfect Health – Experience Optimal Wellness
25. Self-Awareness Meditation – Awareness of the Self if the first stage in enlightenment.
26. Self-Healing Meditation: Chakras Meditation (Kundalini yoga) – Heal your body-mind.
27. Sound Meditation (Hearing improvement Meditation) – Focusing attention on the sound in the environment has a healing effect on the ears and can increase hearing capabilities and listening skills.
28. Stress-free Meditation – Stress is a major cause of disease–learn to live a stress-free life.
29. Transcending the Gunas – Non-dualistic divinity.
30. Tratakam Meditation – Gazing to the 3rd eye.
31. Walking Meditation – Meditation can be performed doing anything–including walking
32. Disease Specific – Healing Meditation – through dedication focus and visualization you can heal your illness.
33. Worry-free Meditation – Worry has never produced a positive side effect–learn to be worry-free.
34. Yoga Nidra – Sleep in Awareness–Self- salvation/Union with God through serene sleep
35. 7 Chakras Meditation (Kundalini yoga)
• 1st chakra Meditation (Grounding)
• 2nd chakra Meditation (Emotions)
• 3rd chakra Meditation (Psychic)
• 4th chakra Meditation (Love, Compassion)
• 5th chakra Meditation (Communication)
• 6th chakra Meditation (Vision)
• 7th chakra Meditation (Yoga–Union with Super Conscious )
For more information on meditation and our programs click here