My first lesson in my meditation was from my grandfather, who was an 8th generation Veda/meditation practitioner. He didn’t teach anything, instead, he always said: ‘just sit and observe’.
Meditation is like a heartbeat or breath; it is always there with everyone. It’s just a matter of understanding. When you learn meditation, you are just re-discovering what you have known and forgotten.
Often, we observe that almost all religions point out to a child in the same wavelength as God. I guess what they are saying is a child has all god-like qualities. It is the godliness often they are referring to. Children are often at peace, laugh a lot, cry a lot, always live in the moment, and they forget and forgive quickly. It is these qualities that stand out as a reference to God. So, it is fair to say every child is born with godliness and god-like qualities.
Over a period of time, society, education, and life shape our minds, and we tend to forget those qualities. We experience stress, tension, worry, anger, and other mental blocks to navigate life. Some say it is essential for living. Our ability to laugh, to lead a peaceful life is often impacted by those personal issues.
Meditation gives you the ability to navigate life with all its challenges with peace and calmness. Remember that your challenges of life don’t go away, but your response to life challenges attain a different quality with meditation.
Meditation is nothing but unconditional non-judgemental awareness of your mind. Basically, if your mind is a film, then you should be able to step aside and watch thoughts running inside your head. This quality of watching thoughts without identifying with them is simply nothing but meditation. A lot of us experience meditation in our daily lives without being aware of it. For example, if you are a runner then after running for a mile or two suddenly you can feel, you’re just running without any thoughts. Lovers often look into each other eyes without talking for hours – just soaking in that moment. If you ever apply sudden brakes while driving because someone came in front of your car, then you know for the next few minutes all you can hear is heavy breathing.
Meditation is as simple as watching your breath without trying to do anything; not even taking deep breaths or controlling. Whatever your breath depth is, let it be. Just watch. What happens while you watch is suddenly your attention moves to the present moment. When I say the present moment, I mean you are not thinking about some past incident or worrying about the future. This present moment of awareness where you are simply watching the breath is meditation. It is as simple as that.
When are you are not thinking anything, for example, just watching the sunset on a beach, that can be a form of meditation. Watching waves hitting the shore and absorbed in their sounds and fury is meditation. Meditation is when you are not, and meditation is not what you think. Take some time every day to do something you love. It can be running, cooking, gardening, or just listening to some meditation music.
Anything you do with awareness of the mind is meditation. Once you learn the knack of watching the mind, you will often find yourself happy, peaceful, and calm in the middle of all the challenges. Meditation helps you to discover new ways to respond to life. This ability to respond to life is a wonderful response-ability you can have.
Suresh Gundappa is a hedge fund manager and a meditation teacher. He runs his meditation community through Instagram.
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