Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meditation And I

1. the act of meditating.
2. continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation.

1. to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.
2. to engage in transcendental meditation, devout religious contemplation, or quiescent spiritual introspection.

At the outset, I must say that i am one of the least qualified people to give gyaan on meditation. I am a very infrequent practitioner, with no formal training whatsoever (as you can see above, any state of inebriation doe not qualify :). Nonetheless, I am fascinated by it and believe a lot of good can be done to oneself if you make it a part of your routine.

My exposure to meditation has been as much as any other Indian kid, either on TV or coming across Yoga classes. Add to that a healthy interest in kung fu movies - yes lots of exposure. I am sure all of you can conjure up images of Bruce Lee, Van Damne, Chow Yun-fat. The first time I did any in depth reading of mediation was when I was reading up on Zen Buddhism. I cant find the article now but that was the only reading that I have ever done on meditation techniques. I think it had the basics pretty much pat and I shall try and reproduce them
- Sit on a mat (not too cushioned). It should be placed close to a wall
- Sit in a cross-legged position, with your right leg over the left leg. Keep your back straight and face and shoulders aligned
- Close your eyes, not fully but barely opened
- Breathe in and out deeply
- In order to empty your mind of thought, start by counting your breath
- After you master the art of the emptying your mind, give up on the counting up part and only focus on breathing in and out
- After you master this also, just focus on emptying your mind of thought

The Zen Masters also had certain riddles or parables called koans, which they used to tell their disciples and asked them to meditate on. This was to help them on their path to Enlightenment. Here is a list that I, as your master, want to pass on Do I hear you questioning me? Then here is a dialogue from The Karate Kid to help you along. Me - Miyagi, you - Daniel, capish?

Miyagi: First, wash all car. Then wax. Wax on...
Daniel: Hey, why do I have to...?
Miyagi: Ah ah! Remember deal! No questions!
Daniel: Yeah, but...
Miyagi: Hai!
[makes circular gestures with each hand]
Miyagi: Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important.
[walks away, still making circular motions with hands]
Miyagi: Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off.

On a serious note, I have started meditation again. Work has been really hectic and more than often, I was coming home late, having dinner and crashing out without much time for unwinding. When my sleep would break in the morning, I would start thinking about work and the tasks I have to complete which was at best a little unnerving. I started meditating before sleeping. At first, I couldn't even reach a count of 65 but I have now slowly 200. I couple it with the Lords Prayer in between and after that get into bed. I am out like a light and thankfully, get up peacefully in the morning. I forgot to mention one more technique - whenever a thought comes to you, recognise it and say goodbye to it. If it persists, then ask it to park itself next to you for a while (hope I got that right, Lisa). I hope I am able to continue this and discover something better, maybe enlighten myself. Till then All Izz Well.

8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life.