- Celebrating Makar Sankranti
- Vasant Panchami – Saraswati Puja
- Maha Shivratri – Celebrating Lord Shiva
- Holi – The Festival of Colors
- Why Celebrate Ramanavami?
- Guru Poornima – Celebrating the Guru
- Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi – The Bond of Love and Protection
- Janmashtami – Celebrating Lord Krishna
- Sharad Poornima – The beginning of Autumn
- Durga Ashtami – Eighth Day of Navaratri
- Navaratri – Celebrating the Goddesses
- On VijayDashami and Spirituality
- Diwali – Lakshmi and Ganesha Puja
- Thinkers and Essays
Meditation is growing to be one of the most popular ways of relaxation and experiencing inner peace in today’s hectic world. However, one of the most frequently asked question is – what is the best way to meditate?The answer is – there are probably as many ways to meditate as there are individuals. However, one can adopt and adapt a particular technique which may be most useful for them. I have tried various ways to do meditation – unfortunately, none of them have in the past really stuck with me. In other words, I had a lot of difficulty with the particular technique(s) that I was attempting to make a part of my daily routine. Or maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. Or maybe the timing wasn’t right. Regardless, I want to share with you my recent experience and re-introduction to the wonderful practice of meditation.
In June 2010, I was fortunate to attend a half-day meditation ‘seminar’ with Amma Karunamayi. This was the first time that I experienced a technique which I have been able to incorporate fairly regularly in my daily routine. I think the key to my new-found ‘success’ (after a string of past ‘failures’) is the simplicity of the process. I use the term ‘success’ very loosely as I have only been able to meditate regularly for a few months – so, please keep that in mind as you read further 🙂
If you already have a preferred way of meditating and it is working for you, you probably need not read any further. However, you may want to read on if you are curious or you want to pick up some tips that will help you refine your current practice.
If you are looking for a meditation technique to adapt into your routine, maybe, my description below could help you. Yes, it’s hard to learn ‘how to meditate’ by reading books, or even this article for that matter – my intent is to perhaps motivate you to seek out a practitioner who can teach you in a ‘hands on’ way and put you on the right path.
My Meditation Technique
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit. The idea is to try and quieten the mind if you can. The key for me is to start with a basic breathing exercise called Pranayama.
Close the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand – breathe in via the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the index finger, breathe out via the right nostril. Now, breathe in via the right nostril. Close the right nostril with the thumb and breathe out via the left. This is one cycle of basic Pranayama.
Please be advised that this is a very basic concept of Pranayama, as related to breathing. There are many more facets to Pranayama (there are entire books written on this particular topic!) which are beyond the scope of this article. See this Wikipedia article if you want some more technical details on Pranayama.
- Do the above-mentioned Pranayama for six cycles or till you feel somewhat relaxed.
- Chant the beej-mantra ‘Om’ for three times. Make sure to ‘stretch out’ the ‘O’ sound in ‘Om’ for as long as you can.
- Now you can begin the meditation part. A simple technique is to close the eyes and focus on the area between the eyes (above the nose). Try for 5-10 minutes and then gradually increase the duration in future sessions. If you have trouble focusing, go back and do the Pranayama again for a few (2-3) times.
- At the end of the meditation, chant the beej-mantra ‘Om’ again for three times. Now, your meditation session may be considered complete.
What is the best time for meditation?
The best time to do meditation is perhaps at dawn and then again at dusk. This twice a day routine is optimal but you can figure out a schedule that works for you. I often end up doing a quick meditation at lunch time while at work. What could be better than some tranquil moments in the middle of a hectic workday?
What are the benefits of meditation
One of the most powerful benefits of meditation is perhaps the clarity of mind that develops after a period of regular practice. A combination of meditation and fasting is perhaps one of the most potent ways to cleanse both the body and the mind!
Are you a practitioner of meditation? Do you have a technique to share with our readers? Please use the comments below to ask and share. Namaste!