Achieving the state of meditation is the most fruitful practice of yoga science. It strengthens your mind, stabilizes your emotions, connects you with the energy of the universe and, makes you realize your true self. Meditation is a conscious state in which a person is able to calm down the seas of his mind and go beyond the good and bad in a worldly sense.
Meditation is that blissful state for which all yogis continually try to be in because it is the only link with the energy of the universe. For beginners, meditation brings peace of mind, calm nature and ends the negative emotions like anger, sadness, loss, and sorrow. Often beginners starting on their own are not able to know how to start meditating. Though this article cannot take place of a bona fide master, it tries to solve this dilemma by discussing the various methods used by yogis to achieve the state of meditation.
Before dealing with the ways in detail, it is important to have a clean heart. The characteristics of a clean heart are:
- We must have a friendship with good people.
- We must be merciful towards those who are in misery.
- When people are happy we must be happy with them too.
- When people are evil, we must be indifferent to them.
When we have a clean heart our mind remains calm and it is easy to concentrate. But, most of the time we are not able to have a clean heart. When someone does evil to us, we also try to be evil to them instead of being indifferent. It is important to suppress these powerful negative emotions. Each time we suppress the feeling of hatred and anger, it becomes our habit to practice restraint and keep our mind calm in difficult situations.
Repetition of Om
‘Om’ is pronounced as ‘a-u-m’. In yogic philosophy, Om is the symbol of the supreme being – the God itself. It is the basis of all sounds. Repetition of Om during meditation have a lasting impression on your mind. In this way, you ensure that you provide a good company to your mind in the form of positive vibrations. These positive vibrations strengthen the mind and bring fresh energy.
One great benefit of repetition of Om is the introspective power you develop which removes all physical and mental obstacles from your path.
Prana means the energy flowing in the universe. It is present in everything which moves, works or lives. Our mind absorbs prana from the surroundings. This prana is then converted into vital forces. These forces help preserve our body, generate thoughts and willpower and carry out all the activities necessary for living.
Pranayama is a meditation technique in which the practitioner tries to control the flow of prana in his body. In pranayama, the practitioner breathes out, breathes in and then hold the air for some-time before breathing out again. By practicing pranayama, we can control and guide the flow of nerve currents in our body. This calms down the mind and thus meditation is achieved.
Meditating on the Effulgent One
In this way of meditation, think of a lotus flower in your heart. Breath in and imagine the petals of the lotus drawn outwards. Breath out and imagine the petals of the lotus are drawn inwards. Inside that lotus flower, there is an effulgent light. Concentrate upon the light to achieve meditation.
Heart of a Great Person
In this method of meditation, imagine the heart of a great person, a holy person or a saint who is perfectly un-attached with the worldly things, one whom you admire the most. Concentrate on the heart of the person for calming down your mind and achieving the state of meditation.
Meditating on a Blissful Dream
If you had a blissful dream in the night, of a beautiful place, event or person and you were feeling ecstatic in the dream, this kind of dream will leave a lasting impression on your mind. Memories of the dream can be concentrated upon to achieve the state of meditation.
Meditating on any Good thing
You liked a beautiful location, a scenery, an idea, a piece of music or any other good thing. Remember it and meditate upon it by concentrating your mind on that thing.
All the above methods of meditation have been practiced and proven by the yogis. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras mentions these practices in detail. They have the power to calm down the mind and remove the worldly attachments. Any kind of situation whether good or bad does not affect their peace of mind. Similar results can be expected by a sincere and committed practitioner.