Meditation is not just a way to calm the mind, but a way of life. It has gained immense popularity in the modern world and rightly so! But it’s not an easy task and requires a lot of practice in order to feel it’s benefits.
When we try too hard to control the mind and force ourselves to get rid of thoughts, we’re defeating the purpose of our practice. When we try to control the mind consciously, we realize that’s it’s pretty much impossible to do so.
How many of us have fallen asleep during meditation? It’s the most common mistake we make and some even perfect the act of sleeping while they sit. When we are too lax with our practice, the body and mind lose their agility and as the body slumps, the mind shuts off to go to sleep.
How then, can one achieve perfection in meditation? How can we avoid going to sleep or hurting our minds by putting too much pressure on it?
The body must be kept in a perfect balance of relaxation and activity. The point is to sit straight enough that we’re awake and relaxed enough to not feel pain in the spine or lower back. Initially the back does hurt and we must stop immediately in that case. The strength and ability to sit for longer hours with an erect spine builds with time and practice.
A calm mind might seem more essential than the body during meditation but it is actually the by product of a peaceful body. The mind must not force itself to empty its thoughts and clear it’s every corner and nor should it be left to roam the entire universe and then come back to meditation. It’s tough to control the mind but with practice, it gets quite easy after a point.
The Golden Rule
The golden rule for any kind of meditation is surrender. This is not the case with concentration as it requires holding onto a single point that is the subject of our focus. Meditation on the other hand is step a further from concentration where the focus of the mind is lost and only awareness remains. This is only possible when one completely relaxes and surrenders to their practice.
The rule for effective meditation is not to control the mind, but simply observe it. As the thoughts come and go, watch how they arise and self-destruct. The more we become spectators to our minds, the more we understand it and the more we begin to see a loss in frequency of thoughts. What is meditation but not complete surrender to our spiritual being? What is life if not a fearless journey of absolute abandon? Just like with life, when we meditate, we must do it without fear and with total surrender!