Elements of Meditation

Science is something which works every time. In that way Meditation is Science because practicing it bring the desired positive effects unfailingly independent of chance, faith or choice. It is as simple as giving input and getting output. The quality and quantity of output will depend on input, but some output is a certainty because of presence of sure input. So if we know and understand the key elements of meditation, we can put them together as the formula to have the result or output called Meditation.

It is always good to have the answer of, "What meditation is made of"? The more familiar we become with the elements and ingredients of Meditation, the better our Meditation becomes. Let us look deeper into the various components of Meditation.

  1. Space: Space is the external surrounding environment. In simplest term it is the place or location we decide to do Meditation at. This element might influence Meditation but does not have a major role because in meditation we close our eyes, thus shunning the outside World. Closing the eyes prevent us getting effected by external stimuli. Mind does not need to process the new visuals. So this element becomes neutral unless external conditions are not somewhat really bad such as if the space is foul smelling where one will not like to sit and meditate.

    It will be best to do Meditation in natural setting under Sun-light with greenery around. Nothing can be more healthy and refreshing than breathing the fresh healthy air. If it is difficult to find such natural place then the second best option is to create conducive space with sweet smelling natural flowers, plants and soothing music which should be inspired by the sounds of nature.

  2. Body: From Meditation point of view, Body means the posture and the breath.
    1. Posture: Posture is the shape or form which we choose our body to be in. It could be one out of three: Standing, Sitting or Lying down.

      One of the most effective posture is to sit in a pyramid structure because in meditation the energy rises up. The effect is the feeling of some sort of elevation. It is nicer and relaxing to feel the energy moving up and thus the posture getting improved automatically. This is also a good test and a clear sign that Meditation is rightfully happening. Stable body posture causes more stable mind. Disturbed body causes mental disturbance. So it is better to keep a relaxed stable posture where you can sit longer till the time you want to give to meditation, without getting your legs sleep.

      Standing posture is good for walking meditation. Comparing this to sitting posture,  practitioner internalizes more in sitting meditation as the eyes are most likely open in standing or walking meditation.

      Doing meditation lying down puts you in the risk of falling sleep due to the relaxing calming effect created by meditation. Sometimes you might want to utilize the nice, positive and constructive energy created or more accurately converted by meditation into accomplishing some daunting tasks which you find otherwise  challenging to take up or struggle to finish, rather than retiring into sleep. So do meditation lying down only when you are already quite tired and actually want to fall into sleep. Your sleep will definitely be more deeper.

    2. Breath: Breath is also the part of the body and we utilize it to be in present during meditation. Breath is very physical and an easy anchor to come back to it when we get lost in our thoughts. Breath is an interface, a connection between us and the universe around us. Every breath in can bring fresh energy, positivity and light and every breath out can release stress, negativity and darkness.
  3. Mind: Mind means more or less thoughts. One of the main expectation from Meditation is the mind control or better worded as "mind management". Meditation does reduce the clutter of thoughts and bring clarity. Meditation has the potential to change both our brain and mind permanently. This has been proven through the research done on long time meditators.  Continuous practice of Meditation is a great mental training for mind. During Meditation we experience different mental states. Some of those states we otherwise never experience in our normal day-to-day busy living of existence. Meditation opens the door for new possibilities of being, thinking, behaving and acting. Changing mind is changing life.
  4. Time: We need to give reasonable decent optimal amount of time to have the lasting desired effect we want out of Meditation, until our next Meditation session. Just like we let body take sleep it needs, we should let Meditation take its own time naturally. There is a point which comes when the time given is sufficient. After some practice, we can feel that point mentally as well as physically.
  5. Technique: Technique is what we do with the time with our body and mind, in the space we choose. Techniques are based on knowing the human nature well, the tendencies of mind, the patterns of thinking and the life experiences. Technique has the instructions, dos and donts. Technique transcends the practitioner into the meditative state quickly and definitively. Technique teaches what to do when we loose attention and how to get back into the meditative state. Technique also includes the attitude and the intentions.

There are many techniques of Meditation. Time to time, we practice different techniques,  sometimes ageless ancient techniques thus not reinventing the wheel and sometimes new innovative modern techniques which fits well in the present context of our living.

Many a times it is better to see the big picture and think of reengineering to make things better. Looking the various elements of meditation with more experienced eyes can bring new meaning, insights and ideas to make things more effective, rewarding and fun.

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