In meditation, we come in contact with self, our true identity. By regular practice of meditation, slowly we start knowing this self in its various facets. We start recognizing ourselves distinctively from our body and mind.
Now many of you may ask :
“OK, I now realized that I am separate from my body and mind. In reality I am consciousness which is part of some supreme consciousness. So what ? What’s the big deal in it? Is this going to help me in someway in coping with my already stressed life? .”
Here is the answer :
The very process of realizing this self through meditation brings significant outcomes. To be centered in our self makes us calm, provides us an everlasting peace and gives us a never ending bliss. Moreover there comes a dramatic change in the way we perceive this world. A positive change in our perspective, a feeling of blissful calm and a unique joy comes through it. Moreover these positive outcomes do not depend upon any external circumstances since the bliss of the Self does not depend on any external factor. It is completely independent and arises, unconditionally, from within.
In the course of any single day we are subjected to numerous sensory inputs and our mind is constantly engaged in a never ending process of thinking. We read the newspaper, study books, write reports, engage in conversation & meetings, solve problems, etc and all these activities result in a constant mental commentary inside us. Seldom or never our mind gets any chance to be still and calm.
However , sometimes as if by accident most of us attain a state of thought-free mind. If you have relaxed looking at a beautiful sunset, allowing your thoughts to quiet down, this is close to meditation. If you have been reading a book for awhile, then put it down to take a break and just sat there quietly and peacefully for a few minutes without thinking, this is also close to meditation. In these momentary incident when our mind is not reflexively engaged in any thought, when we are just present in the moment, we come close to this self or (to say in another words ) we get centered in our self. And this contact with self brings peace, bliss and joy. Though only for a moment, our mind becomes peaceful, calm and focused.
Meditation is the systematic way to achieve the above mentioned accidental/occasional encounters with self in order to get its benefits on a permanent basis.
I hope by now, it should be clear to you what is meditation. Let me summarize all this by giving this simple definition of meditation.
“Meditation is a systematic way of making our mind quiet so that we can contact our true identity -self, which is the source of everlasting joy, bliss and peace.”
There are few other definitions of Meditation which I find very true. (relate these definitions with the concept of self)
“Meditation is a state of choiceless awareness.”
“Meditation is a state of no mind.”
“Meditation is a state of once being when once true self is revealed to him/her”
“The state of awareness when mind cease to exist is meditation.”
“Whenever you are relaxed, when your mind is quite and observant, when you are not reflexively engaged in any thought – you are meditating”
“Meditation is not thinking about anything. It is not contemplation. It is not concentration. In fact, it is actually a process of thought removal.”
I believe that now you know what is meditation.
Now let us see how meditation started
click How meditation started