Tag benefits of meditation

Meditate As You Work


Photo Credit Soni Metz

Photo Credit Soni Metz

I am not an early morning person, hence most days, I don’t have time to meditate before I leave for work. Daily lunch meetings make it difficult to carve out time for meditation. These are the days I meditate as I work and it has helped me greatly. You too can try it.

Take a slow deep breath as you silently say AUM. Notice the air going through the nostril. Pleasantly notice your entire body relaxing as you breathe out. Think of the Divine within as you repeat this several times every hour. If your work environment permits, you can close your eyes too.

Once you start doing this, you will notice that you do not get tired, exhausted, and cranky as the day goes on. Your interpersonal skills improve because of the empathy emanating from the Divine within. You connect easily. Doubts disappear. Problems turn into opportunities. Your confidence soars. You go home with energy instead of exhaustion.

As I practice this, I feel buoyant. My neck tightness is gone. I am solving the tough patient management problems efficiently and effortlessly. Perennial headaches from the insurance companies don’t bother me. I am able to deal with them effectively. I am laughing with my patients. I am cracking jokes with my colleagues. Life is great!

So, go ahead, Meditate as you work. Take a slow deep breath as you silently say AUM. You can say Jesus or Allah or any other name based on your preference. You may not say any word if you so choose. Just focus on your soft breath. I use AUM as it is the primordial sound that is the name and also the form of the ultimate reality. It wakes up the Divine stationed within all of us and in the Universe. It connects me to that inexhaustible wealth of energy, love, and bliss.

Peace. Love. Bliss.

From Finite to Infinite – Why I Meditate


Buddha Statue at Bodhgaya

Meditation reduces the activation of our fear center, Amygdala (Desborders et al., 2012), while increasing the grey matter density in Hippocampus, the area associated with memory (Holzel et al., 2012). In addition, it improves multitasking (Levy et al., 2012), increases pain tolerance (Grant et al., 2010), reduces anxiety (Zeidan et al., 2013), and helps treat depression (Hoffman et al., 2013).

What fascinates me though is the fact that meditation leads to synchronized firing of our 80 billion neurons leading to Gamma wave cohesion on EEG, electroencephalogram (recordings of brain’s electrical waves). This Gamma wave cohesion is the equivalent of orchestra instruments coming together to play a symphony. Interestingly, the studies have shown it to be responsible for insight (the aha moment) in the problem-solving research.

But, these are not the reasons why I meditate.

Vedanta (ancient Indian literature) states that when we meditate, we turn our consciousness inwards towards our Atmaa (our true Self); the divine, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, all-pervading, blissful, luminous, and infinite. When we get even a glimpse of this divine self, all miseries, doubts, restlessness, fears, sorrows disappear. This blissful state is called Samadhi or trance, which has the brightness and energy of a million suns.

When you firmly establish yourself in this transcendent consciousness for good, Vedanta states, you become one with the Brahman (Universal Soul). You become a deity walking on the earth, you become a place of pilgrimage.

It is a long journey, but one worth undertaking. I urge you to embark on it. Sit comfortably, close your eyes. Focus on your gentle breathing for 5 minutes or so. Recognize your thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Then gently turn your attention inwards towards the Divine. If your mind wanders off, gently bring it back to the Divine. Ultimately, your consciousness will rest in the Divine, like a tired child resting in mom’s lap and then you will catch the glimpse your eternal Self.

Blessings. Peace.

Why You Must Meditate in a Noisy Place


IMG_4318

Trying to meditate in a busy airport terminal or in a noisy public place can be a challenge, but it can also be a uniquely rewarding experience as it can provide a much needed respite from the suffocating chaos around. It can also enhance your meditation practice you do in the quiet corner of your home.

I have learned to enjoy this challenge especially when traveling when I can’t find a quiet corner to meditate. Here, I share the following tips that I have learned over the last several years.

1. Develop an unshakeable faith. It is a must even when meditating in a quiet place, but it is especially important trying to achieve tranquility amid turbulence. Have faith in the Almighty and in your ability to stay focused and relaxed, and then just meditate. I know you can do it.

2. Visualize a vast ocean staying quiet despite rivers continuously dumping humongous amount of water in the ocean. Visualize your mind staying calm despite all the noise entering through your tympanic membrane.

3. Focus pleasantly on your breathing; on air slowly and uniformly entering and then exhaling through your nostrils. Try to maintain an uninterrupted attention on your breathing. If your mind wanders off because of the cacophony around you, gently bring it back to the breathing. Pranayama (control of life through the control of breathing) is an essential part of any meditation practice, but more so when you are trying to meditate in a noisy place with tons of distraction.

4. Practice your ability to stay detached. Non-attachment (Vairagya) is indispensable to the practice of meditation, and there is not a better stress test of non-attachment than meditating amid intense activity. Accept honestly and openly the chaos around you and then focus your attention completely onto your breathing. 

Bring your attention gently back to breathing again and again, and soon you will notice the uninterrupted focus on breathing taking you to a relaxed, peaceful, invigorating, and blissful state.

Try it. You will love it.

Peace. Love.

Mud Bathing After Meditation; Can You Stop It?


Photo credit: Sanjay Kanojia / AFP / Getty Images

Photo credit: Sanjay Kanojia / AFP / Getty Images

After you finish your meditation session, how long does it take for you to go from a divine state full of faith and love back to a worldly state full of fear and hatred? For me sometimes, it is instant. As soon as I open my eyes and leave my little corner, my mind is back in its usual state of easy irritability, occult fears, and multiple wants!

This reminds me of water buffaloes back home in rural India. These buffaloes, after getting meticulously washed by their owners in the pond on the outskirts of our little town, would intentionally fall on the way out of the pond and roll around in the mud reversing all the work of their owners!

If we learn to prevent this, then the benefits of meditation will last all-day long.

Here are a few tips I have found helpful.

1. Be mindful of mud bathing all through the day. If you can’t diagnose it, you can’t treat it.

2. Keep a picture of your meditation corner as wallpaper on your smartphone. Every time you look at your smartphone, your conditioned reflex would take your mind back into that divine state of unshakable faith, unconditional love, and boundless enthusiasm.

3. Wear a necklace with an Om or a Jesus Cross and get into the habit of touching it whenever you are under stress.

4. Meditate in the morning for 15 minutes or more per your preference. Then, add two ultra-short sessions, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, 5 minutes each. This will eliminate mud-bathing from your day completely.

If you follow these tips regularly, then the health and spiritual benefits of meditation would last longer and longer such that one day you will experience divine bliss, heavenly joy, and boundless happiness every living moment.

What has been your experience with mud-bathing after meditation? How have you dealt with it?

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