Life is a continuous flow of energy, and any form of stagnation is bound to cause decay. This law applies to our mental energies too, and if our thoughts get stuck in the past or the illusionary future, our mental energies start to denigrate. In fact, an untrained mind is relentlessly boomeranging between cravings and aversions. In scientific terms, this is called the Default Mode Network (DMN) of the brain, which mentally keeps us in a loop of repetitive thoughts and situations. This state of overthinking is extremely exhaustive and erodes not only our aptitude, IQ and abilities but also our emotional intelligence, said social activist and spiritual trainer Manu Singh, chief mentor, Varenyum. This, eventually, leads to stress, frustration, depression and negativity.
This is why it is essential to train our minds through practices of meditation and mindfulness. But, we live in an age of information overload. In these challenging times, the practitioners commit a grave error of reducing these practices to mundane acts or habits, like everything else they engage in.
This can be extremely counterproductive. Such practitioners are catapulted into a dual existence, where, during practice their minds can be peaceful, joyful and full of insight, but the moment they walk into the real world, face real situations, the DMN takes over. The cycle of thoughts pivoting around like and dislike, pleasure and pain, love and hate, starts to generate echoes of confusion and tumult. Slowly, negativism and hopelessness cloud judgments and they start questioning the practice itself, eventually losing interest and giving up.
How to do it right?
Meditation must be taken as a way of life and should never be a prisoner of the mat and the stopwatch. It should be like an ally that walks by your side, continuously bridging the gap between the conscious and the subconscious mind. The tranquillity of the meditative state should transcend the ‘Adhishthan’ (sitting session) and synchronise with all the activities and situations of our daily lives. This is known as meditative living and is imperative in transforming an individual’s reactive reptilian mind into a responsive, insightful and conscious ecosystem, says Singh.
To achieve this state, the seeker must religiously adopt the following principles
*Regularity of the practice shouldn’t be broken, especially in the initial stages. Consistency is the only key to success.
*The seeker should prefer insight or awareness-based techniques over concentration-based techniques of meditation. One of the simplest techniques is consciously bringing awareness to your natural breathing.
*Acknowledge all the sensations and thoughts through detached and non-judgmental observation. This greatly influences our minds by reducing value-judgements in life as per our concepts of good and bad, and right and wrong, which, in turn, reduces the tiring cycle of cravings and aversions.
*Be generous towards yourself.
*Realise the law of impermanence.
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These principles will help a seeker to ensure that his/her practice is not limited to time and space but transforms into an operating system of tranquillity, focus, and consciousness. The positive effects of such an existence will be immense and not be limited to enhancing cognitive ability, improving focus and attention, peaceful and uncluttered mind.
However, since conceptually there is no difference between mind and body (holistically known as body-mind) in the world of meditation, the positive effects are also palpable in the physical realm in the form of improved immunity, augmented agility, as stress and tension free spine and muscles, and a powerful sexual and reproductive life.
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