Why Do People Meditate?

Tue, Nov 01, 2022
Team Astroyogi   By Mina Yogii
Tue, Nov 01, 2022
Team Astroyogi   By Mina Yogii
Why Do People Meditate?

Many people think that meditation is about closing your eyes and listening to ocean waves or sitting silently in one place on a yoga mat. Well yes and no. While this does relax you, it's not really the objective of meditation. Some people are able to sit in silence and shoo away their thoughts, or if they have been at it for a while, they are able to observe their thoughts as though they are clouds. They feel calmer and more centered. While managing and observing your thoughts certainly helps, none of these actions or outcomes are ultimately the purpose of meditation.  

Meditation for many of us is a daily activity and it's done for a short time, often at times using an app. You sit in a corner and meditate and then 15 minutes later you open your eyes and off you go about your business. Thoughts may float through your mind and maybe not. Many people think that controlling our thoughts is meditation. While it helps people deal with their anxiety, the objective is neither to control or change our thoughts. 

The purpose of meditation is to become meditative. It is to unplug from your mind and your body and to literally plug you into the source.

Our objective is to become meditative and not just for a 15 minute meditation - but always.

Meditation and being meditative. How are the two different?

Meditation as we know it today, is the act of focussing on your breath. To practice yogic practices that bring you closer to being meditative. But meditation is not an end in itself. Yoga including pranayama and meditation are excellent doorways to bring our body to a point where it is ready to be plugged. To activate all the cells of our body so they are like mini battery chargers generating energy. This high level of energy coming directly from our body allows us to not focus on the pain or discomfort of the body and focus on a higher plane. Mastering the mind is not as easy, but with pranayama and meditation it is easy to control the mind, much as we control our body. The mind unlike our other intelligent organs, the heart and the liver is NOT required to be used if you want to be meditative. It is a tool to feel, think, to imagine, learn and explore. However to be meditative is to be simply. Once you are plugged in, nothing will disturb you. You simply are. 

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When I first began to meditate in 2007, much in the same way as others, for 20 minutes daily. The first thing I would notice were the sounds and noises around me, especially the cleaning lady who would clang pots and pans. So everytime I sat quietly with my eyes closed I would feel annoyed the moment I heard the first sound. "If only it were silent i could meditate properly." I would focus on my mind and observe my thoughts and would focus on shooing them away.  But with time, I was able to go beyond my thoughts, the inner chatter as well as the outside chatter.

Once you are meditative you will no longer hear outside sounds or feel offended by negative emotions that might earlier annoy you. Now anger simply becomes a tool to be used if required. Your emotions are not dulled, in fact they are heightened. Joy, bliss, happiness, acceptance and deep love that is as much for self as it is for the universe is the objective of the meditative you. 

Ultimately you will no longer require meditation to be meditative, that's who you will become at all times. You will be naturally more silent and introspective than most because then words too will become a tool of communication and not used if not required. You will radiate joy and happiness wherever you go and will lose sense of time as we know it and be present to the moment.  

It is not a destination, it's an ongoing journey but once you know meditativeness you can't unknow it. You may slip back to simply using the mind more than is necessary, and experience frustration and anger and regret and all that other good stuff that takes up so much of our life. However if done with awareness, you can go back to your meditative state. Of course the mind is capable of positive thoughts too and these are helpful in going beyond them but ultimately they are not the real deal. Pain can be meditative but suffering is of the mind.

Painters, writers, poets are deeply meditative people because what they create is not of the mind. They are completely immersed in the sheer joy or pain as the case may be of what they do. They are connected to the source as they are tuned into the frequency of the universe. 

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When I first began meditating I would sit quietly for 21 minutes and my mind would have a full conversation with itself, then it settled down after a few weeks and I just watched my thoughts go by. However with time I realised that i don't need to close my eyes, I simply need to be aware of myself versus my mind and body. I can watch me, watching me. So even when I get mad, I am not disturbed in the least, by my own anger.

While the subject undoubtedly deserves much more attention than just a single blog, it came up in an interesting conversation in which I was asked to explain the purpose of meditation. For now it will suffice to say that meditation is a tool to help you become meditative.

✍️ By- Mina Yogii

Mina Yogii is an inspirational speaker and writes a weekly blog, 'Yogii…A Little Bit of Magic,' showing people how to find their abundance and tread their life’s journey more gently. She enjoys helping people unfold their unlimited potential in a manner that is very simple to understand. You can share your feedback with her at mina@yogii.in. You can also follow Yogii on instagram.

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