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WHAT IS MEDITATION?
HOW DOES IT WORK AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS ?

“When we pray - we talk to God- when we meditate - God talks to us.”

There are many different types and techniques of meditation, and many ways to get there, and many different effects may be achieved through meditation, but the thing that all meditation has in common is that the main purpose or goal of meditation is to reach simran or shunya. This is the zero - the void or nothingness within. It is the point of stillness from which we experience the continuous flow of infinity and life in true bliss and connectedness. It is a state which is hard to put into words which we use in our everyday language and really has to be experienced to fully understand it.

Practicing a kundalini Yoga set is a wonderful way to prepare for meditation as the exercise kriya is a meditation is action, and provides the stamina and flexibility which will allow us to sit still for long periods of time. When the body is still, the mind begins to race and floods us with thousands of thoughts. The objective is not to stop these thoughts, which would be impossible anyway, as the mind never stops, but to find a quiet place inside from where we can observe these thoughts through the neutral mind, without any attachment or judgment and allow them to pass by and away so they do not get caught up in the subconscious mind where they can cause us many problems if they are negative, by resurfacing subconsciously into our daily actions and behaviour. The more we meditate regularly, the more we will notice less and less of these thoughts coming to the surface, until eventually, the meditation time will be a very quiet and peaceful one, and our everyday lives will be easier, as any resentments, things we need to forgive, angers, jealousies, and other negative feelings we may harbour would have been released during the earlier meditations. When we have released this negativity, we feel so much happier, healthier, lighter, and stress free. During meditation, we can connect to the soul, and the soul’s will can then intercept the thought and make it neutral before it is affected by the emotions and perceptions which our mind can create, so that we may see the thought as it really is, enabling us to deal with it with clarity, so that any desire or action we take will be conscious and neutral and aligned with the soul rather than blinded by the ego or mind, which can result in actions and words we later regret. We learn to respond consciously to a situation rather than react unconsciously to it. For example, our intellect may release a thought such as,
 “All flights into the UK are cancelled due to the volcanic ash cloud, but the flight company we are flying with have been one of the only flights to have been given a safe time slot to be flown back into the UK. But it means we are not going to land in Gatwick, but Glasgow, followed by a 10 hour coach trip back to Gatwick.”

Now this thought could be clouded in fear, or anger at the inconvenience, which then becomes a desire to get angry with the ground staff, resulting in aggressive actions.

OR

The thought can be seen clearly as a fact, and one could just accept that fact and flow with it.

This actually happened to me, and because I opted for the second option, the travel home was very smooth, easy and the children have never behaved so perfectly. However I did observe that those who were shouting at and threatening the ground staff had a horrible journey home, found it difficult, and their children were crying and upset.

So basically we have a choice, and working from the neutral or meditative mind always allows our life to flow easily and in truth.

Some people have this ability naturally even if they do not meditate, but for many of the rest of us, meditation is a wonderful tool.

Meditation allows us to be in control by mastering the mind instead of the other way round, so that the mind works as a servant or tool and in alignment with the soul and body. If we master our own minds, we can see everything clearly and intuitively and our thoughts, emotions, actions and manifestations will come from the heart and soul down and not from the mind or ego, therefore they will be pure and true. 
The effect of a meditation depends on how long we meditate for and for how many consecutive days we do the same meditation for, for the same amount of time. The longer the meditation and the longer period of days it is done for, the more profound the effects, but when meditation is new to a person, it is best to start slow and to build the time up, as meditation is rarely easy for beginners, but eventually and with regular practice, it becomes second nature and a person will be able to go into it quite easily and use the techniques to be mindful in their everyday lives.

There are many other benefits from meditation. It helps us to find the answers we need that are locked deep within us- when we find that still place within- when we quieten the mind- these answers are allowed to surface and “God talks to us”. It is calming and relaxing; helping all the body’s systems and helps us to cope with stress or trauma. Meditation can change negative behavioural patterns and addictions by re programming the mind and eliminating the baggage which is subconsciously coming out and causing the problems. It can stimulate hormone release which can create healing effects within the body. It can develop parts of us like the frontal lobe which controls our personality and the neutral mind which develops our intuition and allows us to see clearly. It can improve concentration. It can develop our ability and sensitivity as healers and working with energy and it can help to give us better mental focus and physical and emotional health on all levels. It can raise our vibrational frequency and elevate consciousness.

Meditation should be done preferably in a quiet space, undisturbed and with a straight spine. Different meditations will have different instructions on how they should be carried out.

Meditation is rarely easy in the beginning. A few tips are, start slow and for short periods of time each day- say a 3 minute meditation. Always come back to the breath awareness when you feel your mind wandering. A good one is to sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, hands in gian mudra on the knees- (index finger touching thumb), eyes closed, focus at the third eye, (middle of he eyebrows), and slow the breath down. Breathe long and deep. As you inhale think SAT and as you exhale think NAM, and see if you can keep this going for 3 minutes to start. When you feel your mind wander, bring it back to SAT - NAM. Allow any thoughts to just come an pass you by, always focusing on the breath and SAT NAM.

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