Today everyone is talking about meditation. It is good exercise for the mind and helps you achieve and exceed your goals. Many see it as a process, but it is also a state of mind. A meditative person is focused, composed, clear, and caring. He / she knows what to do and what not to do. The person knows when to start and also when to stop.
Meditation is not just something you do in your seat. It is also a state of mind that we develop and keep throughout the day. You are making meditation a life experience. When there is a combination of contemplation (thought) and meditation (dhyana), then we develop a state of mind which is spiritual. Arthashastra begins by developing the knowledge of Aanvikshiki. It has various meanings – one of them is philosophical thought. It can also be understood as a meditation. So what are the benefits of regular, deep meditation?
Chanakya says: “Aanvikshiki keeps the mind steady in adversity and prosperity and brings mastery of thought, word and deed.” (1.2.11)
Here we are not talking about the meditation process, but the result. Of course, the biggest benefit of meditation is self-realization, moksha, nirvana, jeevan mukti, etc. All of this is on the spiritual level. Meditation is an act of faith that you take to yourself and become one with God. But, we are also talking about the benefits of the same globally. The first step to being successful in the world is to keep a calm mind.
When we have progressed in meditation, our mind becomes more calm and composed. See what Chanakya says in the above verse. It helps to keep the mind stable, which is a great asset to perform better. Our mind is like a car driver. The driver has to drive the car through various obstacles and on different types of roads. An experienced driver knows the importance of staying calm and alert while driving. An unstable mind can lead to accidents and cause damage.
Likewise, the mind must be stable in adversity as well as in prosperity. When things are going badly and you don’t know what to do, stay calm. When things are going well and everything seems to be happy and leading to success, always keep your mind calm. And that goes through meditation.
When you are relaxed in any situation, it results in mastery of thought, word, and action. Your thoughts are clear, you speak without confusion, and your actions lead to success.
As the Bhagavad Gita says: “Yoga Karmasu Kaushalam” – Yoga brings excellence in everything you do. This kind of mind is always in meditation. As a beginner in meditation, here are the steps to follow:
1) Sit quietly: The first step in meditation is to sit quietly in one place. Start with 15 minutes a day and build up slowly, over a period of time, up to a half hour or an hour. Set a time, preferably in the morning. Try to meditate in the same place. In this way, the mind will be trained to be in the same place and at the same time. Make sure to keep gadgets and items that entertain you away. Seek help from family members and ask them not to disturb you during this time if necessary.
2) Relax and watch your mind: Take a few deep breaths and relax your mind and body. You can give self-suggestions to calm yourself down. Positive statements like “I am relaxed”, “I am calm”, “I am calm” help. Now watch your mind. Start praying to God. Since we are new to meditation, a little prayer to ask the Almighty for help is good. Surrender to him.
3) No mind: Your thoughts will decrease. Now be vigilant. In this relaxed state, do not fall asleep. Naturally, a relaxed and calm mind would want to take a nap. But, it is not meditation. It is a state of full vigilance.
Finally, try to be in the “no mind” and “no thoughts” state for as long as you can. When you are finished with the meditation session, try to stay as calm as possible. Then apply this mindset to your work. You will find that the work you do is brilliant. There will even be revelations. Ramanuja, the great Indian mathematician, used to pray and meditate and he could unravel the secrets of the Universe.
He said, “An equation means nothing to me unless it expresses a thought of God. Finally, don’t give up. There may be failures at the beginning. But the secret to success is to continue your efforts in the seat of meditation… until you are successful.
(The writer is the Founding Director of Chanakya Aanvikshiki Pvt Ltd, a bestselling author and an expert on Chanakya teachings. Follow him on Twitter @rchanakyapillai)
Posted on: Sunday, December 12, 2021, 7:00 a.m. IST