Yoga for All the persons of Your family
Many wonder why it is necessary to meditate after practising Yoga asanas/ postures. One of the many benefits of practising yoga asanas/ postures is the fact that it allows us to slip into meditation effortlessly. Meditation being one of the main aspects of Yoga, it’s essential that we sit for meditation after practising Yoga asanas and pranayama; else it is like preparing our dinner but not eating it! In meditation one delves deep into the self. There are many kinds of meditations though they might seem different most of them are, in essence, the same. The Panchakosha and Hari Om meditations can be experienced in the Art of Living Courses.
According to ancient Indian scriptures, we consist of five sheaths or koshas – body, breath, mind, intellect and finally bliss. In this meditation we are guided from the gross to the subtler aspects of our being, finally experiencing the joy and peace that’s inherent in everyone.
Hari Om Meditation
It is said that there are seven chakras/ centres of prana-flow (the flow of subtle life energy). In this meditation, we guide the prana to flow from one chakra to the other. Though very simple, the Hari Om meditation leads to a profound experience.
Our whole being functions because of the subtle life force called prana. Prana flows in our system through subtle energy channels (nadis) and energy centres (chakras). There are thousands of nadis and many chakras in us. Tremendous amount of energy lies in each human being. This latent energy stored at the base of the spine is known as Kundalini. The amount of energy that flows upward from this energy centre depends on the condition of other chakras and nadis. Hari Om meditation helps us in activating these chakras.
‘Hari’ means ‘the remover’. When one remembers His name and then repeats it, sins, karmas and bad astrological effects are steadily erased. Pain and suffering are removed. ‘Om’ is the primordial cosmic vibration from which sprang the entire cosmos and all creation. The most famous mantra is ‘Hari Om’. It’s essential meaning is that Hari is Om. ‘Hari Om’ is a universal mantra that removes suffering. This mantra contains within itself the cosmic vibration. Through Hari Om meditation, prana moves from one energy centre to the other.
There are seven main energy centres or ‘chakras’ along the spine. The prana travels through the body upwards through the chakras. Each chakra has positive as well as negative energy. For example, Mooladhara chakra, the energy centre at base of our spine manifests as inertia and enthusiasm. To know more about these chakras and learn Hari Om meditation, do the Advanced Meditation Course (Part-II course) and Sri Sri Yoga Course. Hari Om meditation guided by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is available in Cds and cassettes.
“Meditate? Who, me?” A common reaction by many who feel that meditation is the most difficult thing to do. When we are so used to doing some activity all the time then sitting with our eyes closed for even 10 minutes and doing nothing sounds absurd. Let us look at some of the most common reasons why people find meditation difficult, while we offer some simple solutions to these apparently difficult situations.
#1: You say – I work for 10 hours in a high-pressure job, barring the time lost in traffic. It is difficult to find the time to meditate!
We say – If you don’t have time, this is exactly why you should meditate. Confused? Meditation adds hours to our day. Meditating for 15-20 minutes daily can help improve concentration and productivity, the work gets done faster and you are left with more time which you can use to relax the mind and recharge yourself after a long day at work. Remember: If you find 15 minutes to meditate in the day, you will be able to find time for everything else. You definitely need to try for yourself to really see how difficult it is when you don’t meditate!
#2: You say – Sit still at one place with eyes closed for 20 minutes? Are you kidding me?
We say –It’s really not that difficult when it comes to actually sitting and meditating. At the end of those 20 minutes, you may not even realize that you had been sitting for that long! Moreover,there’s nothing more refreshing than a short meditation session. In fact, it might make you feel as though you have just woken up from an eight-hour-long deep restful sleep.
#3: You say – I’m considered cool in college. If I sit and meditate, I’ll be looked at as somebody from another planet! My friends would ask, “What’s wrong with you?”
We say –This is a general misconception among some young people. Meditation is no longer an alien concept. Lots of people want to learn this technique and derive its benefits.Moreover, it works for everyone – kids, youth and the old – at different levels. As a student, you may witness increased concentration and improved exam results.You are also better able to handle your relationship with your parents and peers.
#4: You say –My family thinks that if I meditate I would become a sanyasi (recluse). I don’t want to upset them.
We say – You only need to be skilful in dealing with this, and again, meditation can help you acquire the skill to become more sensitive, intuitive and well equipped to connect with your family better. It might be initially challenging to make them understand your viewpoint but as you keep meditating, they will start observing positive changes in you – your personality and speech become pleasant, and communication skills get better. Slowly, they start getting comfortable with the idea. It would definitely be ideal if all of you meditate together as it is always more effective in creating a positive environment.
#5: You say – Once I close my eyes, what am I supposed to do next? What will happen in meditation?
We say – Such a feeling is natural because we are always so caught up in action that letting go completely seems impossible. But take it easy! All you need to do in meditation is simply relax. To start with, you can take guidance from an experienced teacher at the Sahaj Samadhi Course, who can lead you into meditation. Or you can practice it at home by listening to a online guided meditation and you will see how easy it is to slip into a state of doing nothing!
#6: You say – It’s always too noisy at home. I have children and it is difficult to find some quiet moments when I can sit and meditate.
We say – Have you noticed when you are tired or sleepy, how you can doze off simply anywhere -on a moving bus or train, or in the middle of a movie at the cinema? This happens because we don’t have a choice and the mind automatically switches offeven amidst so much noise. In meditation, we have a choice to switch off our mind for some time. We have a say over our mind!
#7: You say – When society is facing numerous challenges– poverty, conflict, unemployment, corruption – at this time you expect me to sit and meditate when so much needs to be done?
We say – This is exactly the time when meditation can help. It gives you the strength within to be able to serve, to help bring about a resolution to conflicts. When you meditate, your aura starts affecting the people around you. When you are calm, rather than being affected, you start positively influencing the environment. Over time, regular meditation will help change a lot of things – you might notice good things happening around you because you meditate!
Everyone has experienced a meditative state in moments of deep joy, or when completely engrossed in an activity, when just for a moment the mind becomes so light and at ease. While we have such moments, we are unable to repeat them at will. The Sahaj Samadhi course teaches you how. This meditation technique almost instantly alleviates the practitioner from stress-related problems, deeply relaxes the mind and rejuvenates the system.
Sahaj is a Sanskrit word that means natural or effortless. Samadhi is a deep, blissful, meditative state. Sahaj Samadhi meditation is a natural, effortless system of meditation.
Regular practise of the Sahaj Samadhi can totally transform the quality of one’s life, by culturing the system to maintain the peace, energy and expanded awareness throughout the day. These meditation techniques combined with yogic practises can ensure good health and a calm mind.
Meditation allows the conscious mind to settle deeply in the Self, giving it rest
When the mind settles down, it lets go of all tension, making one healthy and focused
How does Sahaj Samadhi meditation work?
The participant is taught to use a simple sound mentally which allows the mind to settle down and go within. When the mind and nervous system are allowed to repose a few moments in the profound silence, the blocks that clog the system and our progress gradually dissolve.
How does reposing in the Self help in day-to-day life
When a river is calm, its reflection is clearer. When the mind is calm, there is greater clarity in the field of expression. Our powers of observation, perception and expression improve. As a result we are able to communicate effectively and clearly.
The moon has always been an integral part of our lives. Whether it is celebrating a festival or starting an auspicious task, or meditating, we consider the movements of the moon.
For example, festivals such as Ramzan, Guru Purnima and Holi are celebrated according to the movements of the moon.
It is very good to meditate on a full moon day.
The moon has an effect on water and our body contains a lot of water. Hence on the day of Purnima or Fulll Moon it is beneficial to do meditation.
Let us see how the moon effects our body: Indian ancient scriptures such as Vishnu Purana talk about the origin of the moon. According to this purana, the moon has emerged from the Milky ocean with his soft and snowy beams.
The moon enters this gland to take control of all our activities from night till the time we wake up. The rays of the moon affect human beings, animals, plants, water and so on. Our body consists of 60% water. So, the full moon meditation helps the seekers in going inward, transcend the mind, and feel the divinity within.
Meditation is that journey from sound to silence, from movement to stillness. It complements activity, though it appears to be completely the opposite factor. For a layman, we can categorize the whole thing in seven layers of existence: body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, ego and the reference point of change which we call the ‘Self’. You know in life, we notice everything is changing. And how do we know the change, if there is no reference in the mind? There is something in us that is not changing. That something that has been with us, we call it the Self or the non-changing aspect of our consciousness. So, meditation is a journey to the non-changing reference of our Self, the consciousness.
With the breath you are able to silence the mind much quicker and you can do it anytime, anywhere. People from many religious backgrounds have no objection, because the breath has no religion, no nationality.
Meditation is like a wish fulfilling tree. It gives you whatever you want, be it worldly success or the bliss of being yourself and all that is of value in life – love, peace, joy, health, enthusiasm and contentment. It is a way of redirecting ourselves away from the mundane to the essential dimensions of life through humility and reverence. Every human life is precious, a pearl of creation. And meditation has the power to make millions of such pearls shine with a beautiful radiance.