Thoughts/Meditation

(Please click on the titles to expand.)

  • What is expansion of 'Consciousness & Thought management' Open or Close

    From understanding how actions arise, we understood, how our past imprints in the subtle mind always influences our actions there by preventing our Free will to do its job. Only thru Meditation ( path of Raja Yoga) we will be able to erase the past imprints in our mind thereby allow our consciousness which is confined only to our body to expand and allow us to manage our thoughts rather than thoughts managing ourselves.

    Any pursuit requires lot of concentration in what we do. Meditation twice a day for about 30 minutes also enables an individual to develop the focus of his energy in what he wants to do in life. If you have the ability to pursue meditation for longer hours, your mind will develop the ability to go inward and start watching how your thoughts and feelings behave helplessly from the sub-conscious mind carried from previous imprints. When practised continously, you will develop the ability to erase the previous imprints of thoughts/imaginations (also called samskaras) from your mind and thereby allow your free will to operate from the Conscious mind and work as desired by your ‘Self’also called as ‘Consciousness’. Total erasing of imprints in your subconscious mind leads you to the path of ‘Self’ realisation or in other words discovering your ‘Atma’ or ‘Truth’

    Hereafter you will see how 'Meditation' can help you in managing thoughts and your everyday life in addition to showing a certain Raja-Yoga path towards 'Self-realisation'.

    By training our mind to meditate we get rid of stressful actions such as having fear, anxiety, anger, depression etc.

    From the standpoint of Physical health these days, Meditation becomes a natural necessity for wholesome living like withdrawal & response ( or Sleep & action) or Meditation and action.

    It helps the moral health by having control on our thoughts there by controlling our behaviour in a desired way, depending on the situation.

    Of course from the Spiritual growth point of view, Meditation is said to be the highest form of worship in taking you faster towards the path of Self realisation as compared to other paths of Jnana, Bhakthi or Karma yogas. Even if you are following other paths, Raja Yoga path of meditation will certainly help you to make it faster. 

  • What is Meditation Open or Close

    There are different ways to meditate, and since it’s such a personal practice there are probably more than any of us know about. There are a couple that are usually focused on heavily in scientific research, though. These are focused-attention, or mindful meditation, which is where you focus on one specific thing—it could be your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object outside of you. The point of this type of meditation is to focus strongly on one point and continually bring your attention back to that focal point when it wanders.

    The other type of meditation that’s often used in research is open-monitoring meditation. This is where you pay attention to all of the things happening around you—you simply notice everything without reacting.

    Meditation is a process by which the meditator thru his or her attention on a chosen object becomes one with the object. The object can be external or it can be internal. By his continuous concentration or attention an individual becomes one with the object. What actually happens, when you become one with the object of your vision is that you actually see your own ‘Self’ in that ‘object’.

    In Patanjali’s steps ---Dhaarana- is a preliminary process of concentration.

    If we can hold our thought unwaveringly without any modification for 12 seconds, it will constitute a unit of Dhyana or meditation( is a continuous effortless process of concentration) 12 of these will give ‘Samadhi’ i.e. Vision of Self or Consciousness.

    The difference between Prayer and Meditation is like we talking to your ‘Self’, or we listening to our ‘Self’. Meditation is said to be the highest form of worship as it

    1) does not involve going to various places of worship.

    2) By using the force of continuous Concentration, When you see your own ‘Self’ in the object where you place your concentration’

    3) It is also said to lead to ‘Inner unfoldment’ due to ‘Seeing the Self by the Self and we are satisfied in the Self alone’

    Meditation is an advanced step of Raja Yoga as it uses “Self” itself as the object of meditation ( when you look concentrated at one place) whereas Bhakti Yoga has to be inborn.

    The path of Gnana Yoga i.e. thru analysis by using our discriminative and deciding faculties, Buddhi and Chit, it is said to be a very weak process.

    The path of Karma yoga i.e. mainly executed by our Ego is a slow process.

    Bhagavad gita also says mind is turbulent, restless, powerful and obstinate!!! And in about > 60 verses in 18 Chapters meditation is advised to achieve union with the Supreme Self called as ‘Krishna’. 

  • How do we do Meditation? Open or Close

    There are various methods suggested by various saints and books. Either they will be suggesting you to focus or Defocus like watching all thoughts, feelings etc happening to you:

    Jangama Dhyana is the art of meditation by focusing on Ajna Chakra, which our GURU Shri Shiva rudra bala yogi practised and thru his continuous meditation ( also called TAPAS) for about 5 years attained ‘Self Realisation’ 

  • Duration for Meditation Open or Close

    My Guru suggests minimum of an hour a day. Patanjali has defined one unit of Dhyana as continuous concentration on an object for about 12 seconds. 12 of these ( about 144 seconds) will constitute a Samadhi. But it is not easy to attain Samadhi. Patanjali’s suggests that to wipe out our samskaras or past imprints in our mind, it takes a life’s time. In other words thru meditation if you want to wipe out your samskaras ( Raja yoga path is said to be faster than other paths for 'Self-realisation') we may have to spend atleast 1/6th our time that we spent in the outer world, in the inner world, i.e means if we are living for about 80+ years, we have to spend about at least 12 years ( of continuous meditation say for about 18 hours a day) in the inner world. For those who are aged above 60+ it is a matter of urgency that they need to spend a lot of time on meditation in our daily activities so that we can go faster towards Self-realisation. 

  • Beginner’s guide to meditation Open or Close

    Meditation is about way more than just relaxing.

    But all these flow from a simple activity which is completely free, involves no expensive equipment, chemicals, apps, books or other products.

    Since it is so beneficial, here is a quick primer on how to meditate.

    The names and techniques of meditation are many and varied, but the fundamentals are much the same:

    1. Relax the body and the mind

    This can be done through body posture, mental imagery, mantras, music, progressive muscle relaxation, any old trick that works. Take your pick.

    This step is relatively easy as most of us have some experience of relaxing, even if we don’t get much opportunity.

    2. Be mindful

    It’s a bit cryptic this one but it means something like this: don’t pass judgement on your thoughts, let them come and go as they will (and boy will they come and go!). When your mind wanders, try to nudge your attention back to its primary aim.

    It turns out this is quite difficult because we’re used to mentally travelling backwards and forwards while making judgements on everything (e.g. worrying, dreading, anticipating, regretting etc.).

    The key is to notice, in a detached way, what’s happening, but not to get involved with it. This way of thinking often doesn’t come that naturally.

    3. Concentrate on something

    Often meditators concentrate on their breath, the feel of it going in and out, but it could be anything: your feet, a potato, a stone.

    The breath is handy because we carry it around with us. Whatever it is, though, try to focus all your attention onto it.

    When your attention wavers, and it will almost immediately, gently bring it back. Don’t chide yourself, be compassionate to yourself.

    The act of concentrating on one thing is surprisingly difficult: you will feel the mental burn almost immediately. Experienced practitioners say this eases with practice.

    4. Concentrate on nothing

    Most say this can’t be achieved without a lot of practice.  Master the basics first.

    Explore

    This is just a quick introduction but does give you enough to get started. It’s important not to get too caught up in techniques but to remember the main goal: exercising attention by relaxing and focusing on something.

    Try these things out first, see what happens, then explore further. 

  • Benefits of Meditation Open or Close

    10 Remarkable Ways Meditation Helps Your Mind

    Studies find meditation provides lasting emotional control, cultivates compassion, reduces pain sensitivity, boosts multitasking and more…

    Meditation is about way more than just relaxing.

    But all these flow from a simple activity which is completely free, involves no expensive equipment, chemicals, apps, books or other products.

    But first, what are all these remarkable benefits?

    1. Lasting emotional control

    Meditation may make us feel calmer while we’re doing it, but do these benefits spill over into everyday life?

    Desborders et al. (2012) scanned the brains of people taking part in an 8-week meditation program, before and after the course.

    While they were scanned, participants looked at pictures designed to elicit positive, negative and neutral emotional responses.

    After the meditation course, activation in the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain, was reduced to all pictures.

    This suggests that meditation can help provide lasting emotional control, even when you are not meditating.

    2. Cultivate compassion

    Meditation has long been thought to help people be more virtuous and compassionate. Now this has been put to scientific test.

    Research on meditation has shown that empathy and compassion are higher in those who practice meditation regularly. One experiment showed participants images of other people that were either good, bad or neutral in what they called “compassion meditation.” The participants were able to focus their attention and reduce their emotional reactions to these images, even when they weren’t in a meditative state. They also experienced more compassion for others when shown disturbing images.

    Part of this comes from activity in the amygdala—the part of the brain that processes emotional stimuli. During meditation, this part of the brain normally shows decreased activity, but in this experiment it was exceptionally responsive when participants were shown images of people.

    Another study in 2008 found that people who meditated regularly had stronger activation levels in their temporal parietal junctures (a part of the brain tied to empathy) when they heard the sounds of people suffering, than those who didn’t meditate.

    In one study participants who had been meditating were given an undercover test of their compassion.

    They were sat in a staged waiting area with two actors when another actor entered on crutches, pretending to be in great pain. The two actors sat next to the participants both ignored the person who was in pain, sending the unconscious signal not to intervene.

    Those who had been meditating, though, were 50% more likely to help the person in pain.

    One of the study’s authors, David DeSteno, said:

    “The truly surprising aspect of this finding is that meditation made people willing to act virtuous–to help another who was suffering–even in the face of a norm not to do so.”

    3. Change brain structures

    Meditation is such a powerful technique that, after only 8 weeks, the brain’s structure changes.

    To show these effects, images of 16 people’s brains were taken before and after they took a meditation course.

    Compared with a control group, grey-matter density in the hippocampus–an area associated with learning and memory–was increased.

    The study’s lead author, Britta Hölzel, said:

    “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.”

    4. Reduce pain

    One of the benefits of changes to the brain’s structure is that regular meditators experience less pain.

    Testing applied a heated plate to the calves of meditators and non-meditators. The meditators had lower pain sensitivity.

    Joshua Grant explained:

    “Through training, Zen meditators appear to thicken certain areas of their cortex and this appears to be underlie their lower sensitivity to pain.”

    5. Accelerate cognition

    How would you like your brain to work faster?

    This is where things get really interesting. Using modern technology like fMRI scans, scientists have developed a more thorough understanding of what’s taking place in our brains when we meditate. The overall difference is that our brains stop processing information as actively as they normally would. We start to show a decrease in beta waves, which indicate that our brains are processing information, even after a single 20-minute meditation session if we’ve never tried it before.

    In the image below you can see how the beta waves (shown in bright colors on the left) are dramatically reduced during meditation (on the right).

    Below is the best explanation of what happens in each part of the brain during meditation:

    Frontal lobe

    This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-conscious awareness. During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.

    Parietal lobe

    This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. During meditation, activity in the parietal lobe slows down.

    Thalamus

    The gatekeeper for the senses, this organ focuses your attention by funneling some sensory data deeper into the brain and stopping other signals in their tracks. Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information to a trickle.

    Reticular formation

    As the brain’s sentry, this structure receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert, ready to respond. Meditating dials back the arousal signal.

    6. Meditate to create

    The right type of meditation can help solve some creative problems.

    Those using an ‘open monitoring’ method of meditation came up with the most ideas.

    This method uses focusing on the breath to set the mind free.

    Researchers at LeidenUniversity in the Netherlands studied both focused-attention and open-monitoring mediation to see if there was any improvement in creativity afterwards. They found that people who practiced focused-attention meditation did not show any obvious signs of improvement in the creativity task following their meditation. For those who did open-monitoring meditation, however, they performed better on a task that asked them to come up with new ideas.

    7. Sharpen concentration

    At its heart, meditation is all about learning to concentrate, to have greater control over the spotlight of attention.

    An increasing body of studies now underline the benefits of meditation for attention.

    For example, 17 people who had not practised meditation before, sent for an 8-week training course in mindfulness-based stress reduction, a type of meditation.

    These 17 participants were then compared with a further 17 from a control group on a series of attentional measures. The results showed that those who had received training were better at focusing their attention than the control group.

    8. Improve multitasking at work

    Since meditation benefits different aspects of cognition, it should also improve work performance.

    It’s proven by giving groups of human resource managers’ tests of their multitasking abilities.

    Those who practised meditation performed better on standard office tasks–like answering phones, writing email and so on–than those who had not been meditating.

    Meditating managers were better able to stay on task and also experienced less stress as a result.

    9. Reduce anxiety

    Meditation is an exercise often recommended for those experiencing anxiety. 20-minute meditation classes were enough to reduce anxiety by up to 39%.

    10 Fight depression

    A central symptom of depression is rumination: when depressing thoughts roll around and around in the mind.

    Unfortunately you can’t just tell a depressed person to stop thinking depressing thoughts; it’s pointless. That’s because treating the symptoms of depression is partly about taking control of the person’s attention.

    One method that can help with this is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is all about living in the moment, rather than focusing on past regrets or future worries.

    A recent review of 39 studies on mindfulness has found that it can be beneficial in treating depression.

  • Who are we and what is our purpose? Open or Close

    Every object around us is perceived by us through our senses. If we engage in contemplating who we are, we will realise from all the experiences and events, we have undergone in life, that we are not the objects around us, we are not the senses which perceive the objects and record their existence in our Manas ( recording faculty of mind) conveying their thought reflections to our Buddhi (discriminating faculty of our mind) neither are we the Chit ( the deciding faculty in our mind) nor are the ego which develops attachments to objects and relationships around it and defends our entity.

    Every object we see in front of us first is generated as a thought and then the mind/ body complex executes/ designs to give shape to such thought reflections to become an object. If we trace back the thought reflections we can perceive that either arising out of a Conscious mind exercising its free will or it could be an automatic thought ( not controlled consciously) displaying itself from the imprints or reflections already carried in the Subconscious mind.

    If we trace the source of all activities, we can find that the all pervading ‘Self’ is energising all the billions of thought reflections constantly generated by our brain either consciously ( our of Free will) or sub-consciously or thru the Subtle mind.

    Only when something beyond all this i.e. ‘Self or Spirit’ is discovered, can a human being live truly. Life then becomes meaningful and enjoyable.

    Human beings have different roles to play in life and they get so much caught up in the roles they play. They forget their true identity while playing the roles. Until this knowledge is attained by expansion of our Consciousness, a seeker has to persist in his quest of self-discovery and thought management. That is the end of our life journey and that is the final goal.

    Many saints in India have discovered the ‘Self’ present at the individual level and have also discovered that it is the same ‘Self’ which pervades entire universe like a droplet arising out of the ocean. They have also discovered that human beings are blessed with the knowledge of discrimination ( as compared to other living beings), and have the rare opportunity to realise their true nature thru this human birth.

    As human beings our discriminating ability, enables us to use Self-effort or the power of concentration / Will power to choose the life we want to lead. We can not only enjoy the result of our actions (Karma) but also accumulate more by our actions, which become the cause of our future life/ births if any. Hence the fundamental objective of life is to put an end to this vicious cycle of birth and death by utilising this opportunity of having been born as a human for attaining liberation, while also achieving what we want to do till we remain in the body. WE can achieve our goals/ dreams by using the fine instrument called 'mind' by applying proper 'thought mangement' techniques such as Meditation and developing the right attitude while managing other thoughts during the day or when we engage in activity.

    Every Saint has emphasised the need for universal love, charity and service which appears to be the eternal order or nature of the all pervading Self. In other words, doing charity, service and displaying universal love can be a direct means of being in touch with the eternal order ( also called as Sanatana Dharma in India) constantly. It helps to purify the mind and make the Ego humble, thereby enabling us to reach or discover the all pervading ‘Self’ inside us.

    The conscious integration of virtues and values, material fulfilment / possessions, having the necessities and going thru the joys of life with an ultimate goal of liberation from the body / mind complex to realize our spirit with a positive attitude is considered true spirituality.

    The effort made by an individual not only decides the quality of life he/ she wants to lead but also determines his/ her journey towards Spiritual knowledge i.e. to know one’s essential nature thru the thought reflections constantly handled by him thru his efforts and action/ reactions. 

  • How to attain liberation Open or Close

    How we think determines what kind of effort we make. What effort we apply also determines what kind of thought reflections arise in the brain cells which are in turn based on the reactions left behind in our mind as imprints. Hence handling thought reflections generated by our brain cells can be vicious activity to be managed as the power of Self is applied on the brain cells thru the mind.

    The stress that a person constantly faces in worldly life is the symptom of the urge in mind to get back his natural state of blissfulness.

    Human personality has three aspects-body, mind and intellect - anyone or a combination of this can be instrumental in discovering ones essential nature, the Self (Atman) within. Corresponding to them are the three means to realization-paths of action, devotion and knowledge.

    The first step would be to use our intellect and mind to achieve union of our thought, word and deed (action). We can achieve this union only by increasing the degree of our concentration power. By using our concentration or will power, we achieve synchronisation of our body and mind with the help of our actions. One can choose the path to liberation from anyone or a combination of the following, according to his means in life:

    Karma yoga: If one uses the path of action (without attaching yourself to the results of action), it is called Karma Yoga.

    Bhakti Yoga: If one uses the path of devotion, it is called Bhakti Yoga.

    Gnana Yoga: If one uses the path of Knowledge, it is called Gnana Yoga.

    Raja Yoga: If one uses the eight steps suggested by the Sage Patanjali, then it is called Raja Yoga.

    There are several websites and books available on the subject of spirituality in various religions.

    What one should understand is that expansion of Consciousness ( in other words spiritual knowledge) can be gradually gained along with our day-to-day work/ life to discover/ feel the oneness with Cosmic consciousness. Cosmic consciousness being one & non-dual in nature, it does not matter which faith you follow as long as you are working towards realisation of Cosmic or GOD Consciousness. Cosmic or divine consciousness being omnipresent is not only present inside us but also present in every living being and every object we see in front of us thru our physical eyes.

    We believe in Sanatana Dharma culture i.e. one can develop his personality by doing in his daily routine activities:

    1) Doing every activity as a worship of Divine Self,

    2) Setting aside about 10 mts every day to recite OM.....( while looking at Ajna Chakra i.e. Centre point between the eye-brows)

    Om Chanting

    ‘Aum or Om’ is said to be the first sound that emanated from the Divniity when it initiated the power of creation, sustenance & destruction. Chanting of AUM even if done for a few minutes before start of Meditation can purify the subtle mind and can strongly influence body, breath and state of mind.

    3) Setting aside about 15 mts to practise Yoga ( physical postures which helps also train the mind),

    4) Setting aside about 10 mts to practise Pranayama (breathing exercises to activate the lungs and enabling control of the mind) and

    5) Dhyana( Meditation for about 20 mts to one hour depending on an individual ability ) to have control our thoughts & purify the previously stored thought imprints.

    People following any faith such as Christianity or Islam or any other religion in India such as Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism and Persian or anywhere else in this world can also practise above activities and be a part of Sanatana Dharma, though such practises are said to be part of Hinduism. Hinduism name itself was invented after other major religions came into this human civilisation. Earlier these practises in India were considered to be natural for any Indian to follow such dharma or duties or life routine. Hence these practises called as ‘Sanatana Dharma’ and can also be called as ‘Bharatiya Dharma’ is way of life for every Indian living in India. i.e Practise of Chanting particularly OM.., Yoga, Pranayama and Dhyana. It is also called as 'Eternal Order'. Of course it is unsaid that any individual residing outside India is also welcome to practise ‘Sanatana Dharma’.

    When one works towards spiritual knowledge and expansion of consciousness, many questions will arise to an individual as to whether at all the concept of GOD exists, what is GOD, Divinity, Cosmic consciousness, Absolute field etc. Hence we feel one must have a GURU or teacher to guide an individual on this path by clarifying all his queries. This can only be done a GURU who has treaded this path and has for himself discovered the Cosmic consciousness.