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Meditating yourself to transformation

46 Comments

Special note: Today I open up my blog to Hiten Vyas! He is a refreshingly brilliant guy who you ought to know. Read on to know his thoughts. Details about Hiten below this article. Enjoy and show this brilliant guy some love here :) ~ Much Love, Zeenat~

Meditating literally changed my life.

Pretty bold statement to make you might say? You would be right. However, it’s true and I’ll explain how it can help you too.

How I got into meditation

I had my first taste of meditation in 2008. I mentioned to a friend that I loved yoga, but the classes I attended placed too much emphasis on the postures (or Asanas) rather than the meditative aspects such as Pranayama, from which I experienced real peace and calmness.

My friend told me about a Buddhist temple he went to, to practice ‘mindfulness’ meditation once a week, and how I might like to give it go. I was well up for it!

The actual meditation

Once I went to the class I was taught how to meditate by the monks there, and I’ve not looked back. Mindfulness meditation involves being ‘mindful’ of the contents of our minds and more specifically the thoughts we have.

Most of the time we have so much internal chatter going on, it’s all we’re hearing. Our thoughts are on auto-pilot and we react in our bodies to our thinking. We experience feelings inside us; sometimes good feelings, and other times bad feelings. And this continues like an endless cycle, over and over again.

Applying the technique

Practicing mindfulness meditation is fairly straightforward. You can sit down cross-legged with a straight back and head parallel to the floor. You close your eyes, and then start to observe your breathing, just watching it go in and out. If you find sitting on the floor too difficult, you can sit upright on a chair.

There is no regulation of the breathing. It’s all about just allowing your natural breath to go in and out.

As you begin to observe the flow of your natural breath, thoughts will begin to arise in your mind. When they do (which they will!) you just allow them to arise, observe them, and just bring your attention back to the main area of focus, namely your breathing. By bringing your attention back to your breathing you are stopping thoughts right in their tracks before they get you to react to them.

Teaches you to objectivity

Mindfulness meditation can teach you a number of things about yourself and the world. One key thing is it teaches you to be objective to what it going on inside you.

What does this mean you might ask?

Well our experiences are usually like this: We have a thought and this invokes corresponding feelings. In this process, we literally become the thought and become the feeling.

For instance, I might have a thought about speaking in front of a group of people and I suddenly become really fearful. When experiencing this, I become my fear. Or I might say “I’m afraid” and identify with my fear.

By practicing mindfulness meditation, you begin to develop another level of consciousness, where you create distance between what you are thinking and feeling. By observing your thoughts objectively, you begin to stop identifying with them, and by doing this over time you will create less pain.

Remember, we create our own suffering through identifying with the contents of our mind. Thoughts and emotions come and go. Mindfulness meditation allows you to observe this arising and passing of thoughts and feelings as it happens, without becoming attached to them. And from this, wisdom develops that we are more than our thoughts and emotions.

Present moment living

I never really knew what present moment living was until I started to meditate. I would read about how one should live in the now, as there is no fear, worry or other types of emotional pain in the present. Don’t live in the past I would read in books. There is regret there. Don’t live in the future other books would say, because there is only anxiety about what might happen.

But how does one really experience being in the present moment?

Well mindfulness meditation can help you to do this.

The thoughts we usually have are either about the past or some fantasy about the future. By continuing to bring our attention back to our breathing whenever we have a thought about something, what we are doing is living in the present moment! In the present moment there can be no regret, or fear or anxiety, because when you are just focusing on your breathing, you don’t give yourself a chance to think of anything else!

More relaxed and less agitated

The more you meditate, over time you will notice changes in yourself. Others will notice differences in you too. You will become more relaxed. In those daily situations where you used to get frustrated, fearful, angry etc, you will now begin to approach with a more balanced attitude, because you will be living much more in the present. You will be able to approach situations from the intuitive wisdom that comes from doing so in the now. Fewer things will get ‘under your skin’.

Mindfulness for beginners

The fruits of mindfulness meditation can take some time to manifest. Please don’t let this put you off. It’s important to not allow yourself to become frustrated at the beginning. It’s easy to do so, as an untrained mind at the start may seem hard to control. If you feel like this, just allow yourself to remember this is what the mind does, and overtime you are learning to train it.

The more you practice mindfulness meditation, the more skilled you will become and you will begin to notice changes in your life. If you’re just starting out, then ten minutes a day is fine. As you become experienced you can increase the time you meditate to longer periods such as half an hour in the morning and then increase to twice a day by meditating for half an hour in the evening as well.

I love meditating. I believe that had I not found it, I might have been lost. Here’s to you finding out more about yourself through your own mindfulness meditation practice!

About the author of this article:

Hiten Vyas is a personal development coach from the UK.

He is passionate about helping people increase their confidence and reduce their anxiety. You can find out more about him at his website: http://www.hitenvyas.com

What are your thoughts on this topic?
Do you meditate and which is your favorite meditative way? Do share your meditation thoughts, queries and comments in the comments section below. Hiten and I would be happy to help. 

This Coming Monday : We will be talking about “Positively Happy Cooking”!! YAy yay woohoo!! Stay tuned :) 

With Immense Love & Gratitude,
~Zeenat~
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
Motivational Speaker/Naturopath
Holistic Healer/Writer


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Author: Zeenat {PositiveProvocations.com}

Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor/Motivational Speaker/Naturopath/Holistic Healer/Writer

46 thoughts on “Meditating yourself to transformation

  1. Hi Hiten Vyas,
    This was a beautiful open and sincere post. It helped me understand the exercise of meditation better. I recognize that I have been doing this many times during the day and it has helped.
    Thanks for such an inspiring post.
    All the best,
    Eren

    • Hi Eren,

      I’m really glad you liked the post and that it helped you get a clearer overview of mindfulness meditation. It really is a natural remedy for calming the mind-body, and helping to maintain a balanced and peaceful outlook on life.

      Thank you so much for commenting Eren and it’s so nice to connect with you.

  2. I LIKED IT, IT WAS LIKE A REFRESHER READING, AS I HAVE BEEN TO SOME MEDITATION CAMPS.

    • Hi Vahida,

      Thank you so much for your comment! It’s lovely to meet you.

      I was really happy to hear you’ve been on some meditation camps! These are the next step I believe, for someone who is ready to take their meditation to the next level.

      I went on a 10 day Vipassana meditation course last year. It was one of the most amazing and best things I’ve ever done in my life. What I learnt about myself during those 10 days will probably last a life time! :-)

      Which meditation camps have you been on?

  3. Thanks for the article. Meditation is a wonderful tool to help you understand your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. The ‘objectifying’ is dissociation from your perceived and experienced sense of self. By doing this you begin to experience and learn – a rift brain and left brain activity. When you begin working both sides of the brain you have a an experience that draws upon cognition and feeling. A powerful mix that creates behavior.

    I’ve been meditating for 9 years. It’s the simplist way to gain control and simplicity in life. Mindfulness is the key. This is also the same as CBT. The masters housands of years ago never needed all the science to know how to train ourselves in simplicity.

    Makes you wonder why we require all these interventions when sitting and breathing is all you need….

    -Brian

    http://www.progressivetransformation.blogspot.com

    • Hi Brian,

      Yes I agree, meditation is such a wonderful tool that one can use to understand exactly how they ‘work’ in terms of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. What I love about it so much, is that it teaches a person to understand they are so much more than just their thoughts, behaviours and emotions. As we all know, it is attachment to these things, which can create problems for us, as we are attaching to a false sense of self.

      I appreciate the explanation you gave about changes in brain activity, when we learn to dissociate from our perceived self. I really liked this.

      It’s interesting you mention CBT. I believe mindfulness meditation has been incorporated as a therapy method in the CBT ‘toolbox’.

      Perhaps you could shed further light on this?

      I agree, the great teachers from thousands of years explained things simply. Indeed, to me it makes sense that the path to true liberation is simple. It just takes effort to free ourselves from our attachments, but this freedom is definitely available to all of us, should we wish to pursue it.

      Thank you for adding so much more to this post Brian. It’s a pleasure to connect with you.

  4. Hi Hiten!

    Well, next time you have to talk before a group…

    “For instance, I might have a thought about speaking in front of a group of people and I suddenly become really fearful. When experiencing this, I become my fear.”

    …if the Audio Visual Tech operating your meeting room is like the *Meditative A V Tech* that I am, you may notice him/her breathing with relax posture and being very in the moment enough to do all the video switching, audio mixer, speaker timer, room lights, previewing next power point presentation…and…oh yes calming the anxious speaker :)

    I mentioned to a co-worker today “You know I practice Zen and yesterday I needed every bit of it with all the complaining I listened to.”

    I’ll thank Sibyl for helping me regards to complaining :)

    I want to thank you Hiten for your meditative guidance and for the positive presence you always contribute!

    • Hi Rand,

      Thank you for your compliment! :-)

      You said you’re a *Meditative A V Tech*

      I love that Rand!

      And I love the fact you can bring your meditative practice with you into your daily life. This is amazing. Indeed, when we sit for long periods in meditation, it is for the purpose of being able to transfer what we’ve learnt about ourselves during these sittings to our everyday lives.

      I find something similar at times. I will be at work, looking at my computer, and I will quickly become aware that I had been meditating, and was totally in the present moment, just focused on what I was doing without any thought about what was going to happen next.

      I’m really glad you like the post Rand, and thank you for your words of appreciation.

      It’s great to meet you Rand :-)

  5. Hiten (and it is so good to see you here!) Quite like meeting a friend at a friend’s place! Meditation is a wonderful practice that has several long term health benefits as well. Mainly, that of healing the mind, which in turn heals the body. And that is what we all strive for, don’t we? I read somewhere that prescription medications only tackle symptoms/infections that are temporary; it is our own mind that puts us on the path to recovery, and then continues to make sure we’re okay, most of the time.

    Mindfulness meditation is a wonderful phrase. In fact, even children benefit by sitting quietly for a few minutes as it helps them calm down and become more clear headed.

    Powerful post! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Hi Vidya,

      It’s so nice of you to comment! Yes indeed, it is just like meeting a friend at a friend’s place! I like that Vidya! :-)

      The story you read about prescription medications only tackling symptoms, makes so much sense! I have to say, I totally agree with this.

      There are certain experiences such as anxiety, anger, greed, jealousy etc which can be very deeply embedded in us. Practices like meditation, allow a person to look at such experiences ‘in the face’ and treat them objectively, and over time eradicate them.

      Vidya, you know it’s so interesting you mentioned children benefiting from sitting quietly.
      I don’t have any yet, but God willing I do, and I will also teach them mindfulness meditation, which will hopefully help them later on in their lives! :-)

      Thank you so much for your valuable, and most appreciated contributions to this post Vidya.

  6. Dear Hitan,
    The timing for your article couldn’t be better. I had been doing my spiritual practice pretty regularly for a few years. I started my day with 15 minutes of spiritual reading (Pema Chodron, etc). and then 10 minutes of mindful meditation.
    Well…I started my blog a few months ago…and guess what? Poof!! My entire spiritual time in the morning has disappeared. I have become obsessed with social media, writing, etc. By the time I take my dogs out for a walk, I am already feeling tight and anxious. Not good!!
    SO…thank you for such a delicious and thorough reminder. I believe that nothing happens by accident. You writing this article…and me reading it..happened for a reason. You have inspired me. With gratitude….Fran P.S. Have you ever considered spending time at Plum Village?

    • Hi Fran,

      I’m so happy this post reached you at the right time!

      I understand what you mean about spiritual practices getting neglected. I too have experienced similar things, with missed meditation sittings because I’ve got too busy with daily activities. It can be difficult, but it is well worth setting some time out every day for your meditation.

      Have you tried doing your 10 minutes mindfulness practice in the evening, after you have done your work for the day? If I have missed a morning sitting, then I will ensure I will sit in the evening for 40 minutes, no matter what.

      I’ve never heard of Plum Village. I practice Vipassana in the style of S.N. Goenka. This style starts off with mindfulness meditation to develop a focused mind, and then moves onto scanning the body for sensations and developing non-attachment to them.

      Have you ever been to Plum Village? What was it like?

      Thank you very much for commenting Fran. It’s lovely to connect with you. :-)

  7. Hi Zeenat,

    I just wanted to say a big thank you for giving me such a warm welcome at Positive Provocations! :-)

    It’s been great connecting with you in recent months, and I look forward to connecting further with you throughout the year.

    • Oh Hiten,
      Youre brilliantly awesome!! How could I not enjoy connecting with the likes of you :)
      As for looking forward to connecting throughout the year…ahhh I prefer a lifetime of connecting :) why reduce it to a year then ;)
      I’m so glad your transformation was so beautifully accepted by the readers here. This is an honest from the heart account of your transformation..I loved it!
      Thank you fro taking the time to write for my blog. I love sharing energy with lovely souls….like you.
      Lots of love to you always~

      • Hi Zeenat,

        You are so right, my friend! :-) Why limit to just one year. Indeed, let us connect over a lifetime! :-)

        I’ve really enjoyed responding to the readers who have left such lovely comments so far, and have enjoyed making new connections with likeminded people.

        Yes, about transformations. We can all change and become better people. Let us continue supporting each other in doing so!

        Thanks again Zeenat.

        Take care.

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  9. Hiten,

    So good to see you here! Thank you for such a beautiful explanation of mindfulness meditation! It can definitely transform one’s life.

    A visual that someone once suggested to me to disassociate from our thoughts and feelings is that of the sky. We (our True Self) are the clear, blue sky – beautiful and peaceful. Our thoughts, feelings and emotions are the clouds – passing and always changing. As we sit in meditation, we observe our thoughts and feelings passing by and noticing them, without judgment. As a stressful thought arises, put it on a cloud and label it as “stressful thought” and watch it float away.

    We get so attached to our thoughts and feelings as you’ve said. When you think about it, it’s a little crazy to do this because they’re always changing. The more we can notice them, be with them instead of trying to get rid of the negative ones and watch them pass, the happier we become.

    As I continue to practice this, I find myself noticing how I’ll do something counter to what my intentions are. The mindful me will say, “Hey, there you go, doing that unproductive thing.” And the stressful me will respond, “Oh yeah. You’re right. I’ll change that right now.” This method takes the guilt and stress out of the process and gently guides me in my desired direction.

    Thank you for spreading the word about this powerful practice!

  10. Hi Paige,

    Thank you so much for commenting! :-)

    I loved the visual you mentioned. As I was reading your words, I was practicing it and I can see how this could really work effectively. I like the idea of labelling our thoughts and feelings as well.

    One of my yoga instructors used to tell us at the beginning of the class, when we used to meditate before beginning Asanas, to just imagine the mind to be like still lake, and when thoughts would arise just observe the ripples (our thoughts) arising and passing.

    I really appreciate your words on just noticing our thoughts and feelings rather than making a ‘stressful’ attempt at getting rid of them. Our minds create both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ thoughts and feelings. We all have them, and depending on what stage each of us are, in terms of our spiritual development, we will still have them. It’s just the way the mind works. No big deal.

    I agree it’s better to observe both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ thoughts and feelings without attachment. By doing this observation, over time the negative thoughts and feelings will more and more subside, as the mind spends longer periods in the present moment.

    Thanks once again for raising this issue Paige, as I also strongly believe the purpose of meditation is not to get rid or remove negative thoughts, in a forceful way. I usually find it’s the ego that wants to do such things anyway, which causes most of our problems in the first place!

    Thank you so much, for contributing so much more to this post Paige.

  11. Hiten,
    Thanks for this timely post. It is a message I needed to hear as I’ve gotten too busy and need to get back to my calm state of mind. I had a very mindful day after reading your post yesterday. I took a walk to be in nature, created some artwork and then really ate my meal slowly and savored each bite. Now today… on to meditation. Thank you!
    Great post, Zeenat!!

    • Hi Betsy,

      I’m so glad this post reached you at the right time, and it’s brilliant how it helped you have a mindful day yesterday. In this case, it seems like my objective has been achieved in writing this post!

      You’ve added some very important points to this post.

      Firstly, to also practice mindfulness when we are walking. Indeed, when walking, we can also meditate and just observe every step we walk, and be totally aware and present for any thoughts we have and feelings we experience inside our bodies as we walk. All the while we are experiencing life inside us and around us as it is, without adding any attachments.

      And secondly, as you also did yesterday, being mindful when we are eating. By slowly observing the way we get hold of our food with knives, forks, hands, spoons etc, and then continuing to be watchful as we put the food into our mouths, and then slowly chewing and swallowing each bit, again helps us to train ourselves to be totally in the present moment.

      Thanks for commenting Betsy and for sharing your valuable experiences! :-)

  12. Hi Hiten,

    You covered mindfulness meditation beautifully here.

    I have meditated for over ten years most of which as been mindfulness meditation although for the last three I have also practised Vipassana in the style of S.N. Goenka which I do for an hour in the morning and evening.

    The benefits of meditation have to be experienced to be fully appreciated and I agree with you that it doe stake time for these to become evident. In our “microwave results” oriented society this can be a challenge for many beginners as they start out with meditating.

    Mediation is indeed a practice, a discipline and this means doing it again and again and again.

    The Dalai Lama was once asked if he ever does not feel like mediating and if so what he does to overcome this.

    I loved his answer which was,

    “Of course I have days where I don’t feel like meditating and on such days I know that I have to meditate for twice as long as usual. ”

    Says it all really not so?

    ~Marcus

    • Hi Marcus,

      I’m really glad you liked the post! I remember you mentioned you were a Vipassana meditator over at Justin Mazza’s blog. :-)

      I totally agree, in order for a person to truly benefit from this type of meditation, continuity of practice is essential. As the benefits do take time to become apparent, it’s even more important that a beginner is willing to stick with the discipline, have faith in the technique, and over time changes will happen.

      What I love about mindfulness in particular, is the capacity that one can develop to live in the present moment for longer and longer periods of time, and from this develop wisdom about the sufferings that occur in thoughts about the past and future, and hence develop the ability to not ‘go there’.

      Why get attached to something that by its very nature is so impermanent?

      And Vipassana as a practice, has helped me develop further to allow both subtle and gross sensations within the body to arise and then pass away, again without attachment.

      I loved the answer the Dalai Lama gave, in response to the question about whether there are times he doesn’t feel like meditating and how he gets over it! This is brilliant, and I’m going to use this myself also, at times when I get ‘too busy’.

      Thanks for sharing this Marcus, and thank you for adding your excellent contributions to this post.

      Your support is much appreciated! :-)

  13. Nice post Hiten and it’s nice visiting your blog Zeenat!

    Mindful meditation is quite like Transcendental Meditation (TM) that I practice- I would if you have heard about it. Similar to what you wrote, instead of concentrating on your breathing, you do so on a ‘mool-mantra’ or a word given to you by the teachers or preachers, or for that matter if you want you could use any one word to focus on and proceed just as you mentioned.

    However, lately I haven’t been too regular with it, but when I did practice it, it was surely the best thing that could happen to anyone. You are more rejuvenated, refreshed, alert, and ready to take on the day with just 15-20 minutes of such mediation.

    According to scientific research, TM also has many health benefits like it reduces your blood pressure, and controls many other ailments. I guess that is a common benefit with most kinds of meditation.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • Hi Harleena,

      You know something? I knew you just had to be some type of meditator from your writing! :-)

      Isn’t it amazing how such energy can be transmitted through a person’s writing and their blog? I also tell Zeenat the same thing! :-)

      I have definitely heard of Transcendental Meditation (TM) Harleena, but haven’t practiced it. Two of my good friends are TM practitioners. By the sounds of it, it is similar to mindfulness only the focus is on the mantra, as you say. Repeating mantras is another effective way of making the mind highly focused.

      Indeed, I have also heard of the health benefits that TM can bring to a person. I can remember reading some papers about it on the web.

      And you’ve added another very important dimension to this post, which is the real health benefits that practices like TM and mindfulness can bring to our bodies. Only recently I recommended mindfulness meditation to a family member, as a natural way to lower her blood pressure.

      Thanks for following me over to Zeenat’s blog and leaving your comment Harleena. :-)

      I really appreciate you adding the important points about the health benefits of meditative practices.

      • Lol….Oh- I haven’t reached that saintly-meditative stage as yet Hiten! And I wonder how can you make that out through my writings :) (lol)

        Yes indeed, in TM there is just one mantra given to each individual based on their body and other things, which the TM teachers best decipher (ie. if we go through their proper way of doing TM), though for the sake of doing it we could use any one word so that the focus really remains.

        My dad has been practicing TM and has reached the stage of ‘siddhi’, which is one step more than the normal TM- it takes you to the next higher level as they say. And I have seen him stop his blood pressure medications because of simply doing TM for the past few years.

        It sure does have many other health benefits and you could read more about it here in my magazine post- http://bit.ly/edHcy6

        • Hi Harleena,

          The stage your dad has reached with TM sounds amazing! And it really is incredible, how he has stopped taking his medications due to his practice. This is very inspirational too.

          I loved your article and thanks for sharing. As you wrote TM allows you to develop self-awareness which goes beyond thoughts and to the origin of thoughts. Similar levels of consciousness can be achieved with mindfulness as well.

          What I’ve found by meditating is that my levels of concentration have increased massively. I can work for longer periods of time and stay focused.

          Thanks for your comment Harleena.

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  15. Hi Zeenat and Hiten,
    I know Dr Wayne Dyer practices mindful meditation before going on stage and doing a seminar. He says he does not plan what he is going to say anymore before speaking. Because Dr Dyer is is a state of meditative bliss the words just flow out of him without the need to think about it.

    • Hi Justin,

      I really like the way Dr Wayne Dyer meditates before speaking on stage. I can really see how this could work. By meditating right before doing a seminar, he is getting himself into a really calm and as you stated a ‘blissful’ state. And then he takes this on stage with him. Also, he then accesses his words from this state. It makes sense to me that if we are learning to live more in the present moment, then our words would come out spontaneously too.

      This is great!

      I do something similar before important meetings. I ensure I’ve had a good meditation session in the morning before the meeting, to get myself in a calm state of mind, be in the moment and free from tension.

      Thanks for commenting Justin. It’s great to see you here, mate! :-)

  16. Hi Zeenat and Hiten,
    Thanks for sharing your own experience with meditation. Hearing personal stories is a great way to demystify meditation and show just how accessible it is to everyone of us. Indeed, nothing could be simpler and more profound than mindfulness. I have learned that if I do not stay alert, my mind is a step ahead of me telling me what to think, say and do. A mind that is conditioned to tell you what to do cannot create anything new, it can only imitate. I remind myself of this daily.

    • Hi Rob,

      As you say, mindfulness is both simple and profound in its ability to create changes, in the life of the meditator. Indeed, this is where its true beauty lies.

      I really appreciated the point you made, about how mindfulness can help to create the ability to notice when the mind is getting ahead, and telling us what to do. And by having the ability to then stay in the present moment, we begin to break down the habitual thought patterns that seduce us into reacting to them.

      And as you stated beautifully, ‘a mind conditioned to tell you what do cannot create anything new, it can only imitate’. :-)

      This was brilliant Rob!

      Thank you so much for following me over to Zeenat’s blog, and leaving your excellent comment. :-)

  17. Hi Hiten and Zeenat,

    Love the way you explain mindful meditation. I have read a lot about it, but never in such a simple way. Everybody should be doing it. Now i know how and i thank you very much for understanding it. i have done mediation, but i really like how simple you make it.

    thank you very much and have a wonderful day, you made mine.
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie,

      Thank you so much for your comment! And I’m really glad you liked the post. :-)

      I’m going to second what you said, and also say I think everybody should be doing it! I think it would make people so much happier and stress-free, which of course creates positive energy, which we emit, and this benefits all of us!

      Thanks for following me over to Zeenat’s blog Debbie.

      Have a wonderful day too!

      Take care,

      Hiten

  18. Thank you Hiten, you have inspired me to keep on with meditating (something I have just recently restarted with intent) but your explanation and guidance is so much easier to understand! Val

    • Hi Val,

      Thank you very much for leaving your comment. :-)

      I’m so glad this post has encouraged you to keep on meditating! Where we have strong intention, anything is possible, and that includes our meditation!

      I’m so happy you found it easy to understand as well.

      It’s really nice to meet you Val.

  19. Dear HIten,

    Much thanks for this excellent insight into the transformative power we hold to improve our life experience through meditation.

    I have also been meditating for some several years and have found the practice to bring much solace. It has been a way for me to learn new ways of being and more effective ways for me to interact with life.

    I used to suffer from social anxiety (so bad that I used to stutter) and I know that one of the things which helped me quell those anxieties was because of meditation.

    It is interesting what comes up in the psyche when one begins meditation. For me, I became aware of this “busy” and erratic mind that was constantly postulating and questioning and playing “what-if” games. I think that many people would be surprised at how much of their stress can diminish if they were able to quiet this part of their minds even just for a little while each day.

    For me, I recognized how much of my energy I would lose by allowing my mind to run away like that, causing irrational fears which had previously been trapping me.

    Many a wise sage have warned us that we may be living a reaction to life rather than living life itself. I feel that meditation is one way to recognize where we do this. Once we become aware, we are able to induce change into our lives.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful advice on mindfulness. I have enjoyed it very much and feel that this may be a wonderful starting point for so many. :)

    Cat

    • Dear Cat,

      What a lovely comment you wrote! I loved it.

      My experiences with meditation have been very similar to yours as well. Meditating as you say helps us to develop tools to interact with the life better. We learn to do this with more wisdom about what is going on inside us, and what is happening around us.

      Meditation has increased my own self-awareness so much.

      Just like you I used to suffer from serious anxiety (mainly caused by stuttering) and again meditation has helped me with reducing anxiety. It has allowed me to be fully observant of the emotions associated with anxiety at the feeling and thought levels, and just let them pass.

      Some emotions take longer to get through. Some are shorter. But they will pass, and this much is guaranteed.

      Yes, indeed, I agree it’s quite fascinating to observe what arises in the mind-body when we meditate. I think if more people began to meditate, they would realise just how much we are conditioned to constantly react to this thing, or that thing, without any true understanding of what we are doing, which is basically conditioned responding.

      Just this morning I was in a meditation sitting, observing my breath, and I noticed how my mind was wondering off to some anxious thought, and I noticed the energy of the associated feeling and its merging with the thought, and I just observed what was happening as it was, without reacting. Previously I would never have even been aware of what was happening at this level, and would just have reacted and become all anxious.

      The point you made about the warning from the sages is so true. Real life is not reacting to life. Unfortunately though, so many people live life by reacting to it and believe this to be life. I was also the same until I discovered meditation.

      Let’s continue spreading meditation, and its benefits to more and more people, so others can also start to liberate themselves!

      Thank you for your brilliant comment Cat. I much appreciate you adding your experiences and thoughts about this area, to this post. :-)

      • Dear Hiten,

        So nice to hear from you here. I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment til now. This is one of my secondary blogs that I use for backlinking myself at my primary blog http://www.catherine-alexandra.com

        I’m so happy that you enjoyed my comment about meditation. I am happy to have reaped some lifelong benefits from that practice and am happy to share with others!

        Cheers,
        Cat Alexandra

        • Hi Cat,

          No problem, thank you for dropping by this post again! :-)

  20. Nice article, Hiten.

    Meditation is fast becoming one of my favorite hobbies at the moment. I’m far too inflexible to sit cross-legged though, so prefer to lie on the floor.

    It was truly special the first time I felt myself in the “zone” of whatever it’s called. Been addicted ever since. I love meditation just before bed.

    • Hi Fin,

      I’m really glad you liked the post.

      Yes, I can relate to your point about meditation becoming one of your main hobbies. It’s one of my favourite hobbies too! :-)

      And you touch on an excellent point about meditating before going to bed. I love my evening sitting because I get such a good night sleep!

      It’s really nice to meet you Fin. Thanks a lot for your comment.

  21. Hi Hiten. A great intro post to meditation. I think it’s also important to talk about the approach and to be non judgmental and kind to yourself in the process as you mind will wander (that is what it does). A nice analogy that I like is by Jack Kornfield. “Think of your mind like a puppy. If you had to train a puppy, you wouldn’t beat it would you? Of course not, you would simply start over when the puppy strays away. Treat your mind like that as well”
    Thanks for the post

    • Hi Craig,

      Yes, you are absolutely right. Being kind to oneself and not judging oneself is very important. As you pointed out, the mind will wander as that is its nature. When this happens one can easily become frustrated and disheartened at lack of progress. Being kind and patient with ourselves is a way to counter this.

      One thing to also remember is that if we become frustrated and disheartened, these emotions themselves are a sign the mind has become agitated, which is what we are trying to quieten in the first place!

      I loved the analogy by Jack Kornfield! This is so true. We would not beat a puppy and in the same way it makes no sense to beat ourselves. Thanks for sharing this Craig and for adding your valuable additions to this post.

      Much appreciated! :-)

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