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Meditation. Stop.

To live in difficult times is hard. Not to be overwhelmed neither by own emotions, nor by the emotions in the society, is difficult. To stand behind yourself, keep the inner strength, health and common sense, is tough.

There are people who survived war, even concentration camps, people who suffered from severe illnesses, and yet they survived and were able to live new fulfilled life.

There are people who changed life from one day to another and they were literally new born.

What inner strength helps people to come over difficult situation in life?

The day after terror attack in Vienna, I was walking on the street next to my home, it was just 12 o’clock and there was a minute of silence for people who passed away in the attack. This silence was hanging in the air. Weather was unusually warm for this time of the year. It felt like time stopped. Break point.

To stop – it is so important in the times full of stress and anxiety. We are facing our fears, deep struggles. How to step out from the situations and feelings that overwhelm us and take us away from the inner balance?

This year we all live in strange times, nobody of us experienced anything similar before. Corona virus. Lockdown in spring, lockdown in autumn.

We are so unused to be stopped, to be locked. On the other hand, when again will we have such a great opportunity to stop ourselves from endless running?

In the first corona wave in spring this year, I stayed locked down in my flat in Vienna. I was alone, family was far away in Slovakia, I faced the loneliness and big uncertainty from this completely new situation in my life. How to keep good health, vital brain and optimism in such situation?

I was working in home office, and my yoga studio started to run the online yoga classes. That was great. I was able to practice yoga regularly and soon I started to see a positive impact on my body and soul. I also started my yoga education, which brought me a lot of enjoyment.

A friend of mine, yoga teacher recommended me to meditate twice a day, for 30 minutes. When she told me that, I said: “Impossible.” 1 hour a day meditating? I don’t even know what meditation means.

To trick my brain and inner protests, I installed the app which was measuring the mediation time and I started. Day by day. The app was following how many minutes I was meditating and I started to reach first milestones.

First days were very interesting, even funny. I was just sitting there, millions of thoughts were running through my head in absolute chaos and I was only thinking, when this was going to end.

It was spring and I spent lots of time in the nature. I was walking and then sitting there on meadows or in the forest. I realized that meditation in the nature is somehow easier and relaxation comes faster.

With the regular practice, something started to change. Soon I was able to concentrate my mind at least for few seconds, and then later on I was able to switch to a deep concentration for some minutes. I realized that it is really necessary to meditate for 30 minutes, because sometimes it takes 20 minutes for mind to rest and only after that comes deep relaxation.

Day after day, I started to observe, that I was calmer, I was able to take decisions faster, I started to see who I really am and it was clearer for me, what do I want in my life.

Of course, life brings constant challenges and sometimes difficult situations. And exactly in such moments, meditation can help to stop and take distance from overwhelming situations. When you just sit there and take time for yourself, that helps to bring your mind to present moment.

Meditation means concentration of mind and helps to calm down. We have thousands of thoughts constantly running through our brain. The sense of meditation is to calm down restless thoughts and go to inner Self, the true Self.

Hundreds of books have been written about Meditation. For met the source of inspiration is Bhagavad Gita. The ancient scripts, which provide answers to many questions, human beings were asking since ages.

In Bhagavad Gita the meditation is described in a very simple way.

“For aspirants who want to climb the mountain of spiritual awareness, the path is selfless work; for those who have ascended to yoga the path is stillness and peace.”

In Bhagavad Gita we can even find the answer for question: “Who is the yogi?” Yogi is not a person who is able to stand on the head or able to reach complicated asanas. Yoga is also not considered here only as a physical exercise, but rather as a detachment from the result of action or practicing meditation.

Yogi is then a person “accomplished in yoga” and yoga means unity or integration with a higher Self. Meditation is a good tool to get accomplished in yoga and to reach this unity.

“Those who aspire to the state of yoga should seek the Self in inner solitude through meditation.”

The true yogi is integrated with all levels of consciousness and has the empathy with all beings, with all the joy and all the sorrow. The true yogi sees the Self in all beings.

“They live in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise or blame”.

“They are completely fulfilled by spiritual wisdom and Self-Realization”.

For meditation it is recommended to find an appropriate place for meditation – clean and comfortable. Then the position of the body is important. Body, neck and head should be in a straight line. This allows the free flow of energy (or kundalini) and prevents falling asleep.

Important is to concentrate the mind.

The untrained mind is restless, it is like a monkey jumping from one tree to another. In the contemplation or meditation, the mind should be brought to the “one-point”, to rest in peace in the higher Self. Through the meditation, the mind should be steady.

“Make your mind one-pointed in meditation and your heart will be purified”.

In the deep meditation, the human being can find the true fulfillment.

“…. controlling the mind and fixing it on me, sit in meditation with me as your only goal. With senses and mind constantly controlled through meditation, united with the Self within, an aspirant attains nirvana, the state of abiding joy and peace in me”.

Moderation in meditation is important. Neither an extreme ascetism neither extensive indulgence should be practiced. Through constant effort the unity can be achieved.

“In the still mind, in the depths of meditation, the Self reveals itself.”

“The practice of meditation frees one from all affliction. This is the path of yoga. Follow it with determination and sustained enthusiasm.”

The mind is so powerful and to try to control it is like trying to catch the wind. Yes, it is difficult, but it can be trained via regular practice and through detachment.

“Little by little, through patience and repeated effort, the mind will become stilled in the Self”.

What will happen with a person who is trying, but does not succeed to the end? The answer is that every trial is worth and appreciated.

“Such a person will not be destroyed. No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come”.

“Through constant effort over many lifetimes, a person becomes purified of all selfish desires and attains the supreme goal of life”.

Source: The Bhagavad Gita, Eknath Easwaran


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