Mindful breathing brings you to a state of equanimity where nothing outside can bother you much and you learn to take every step in your stride without much stress and without tensing your nerve cells. Another form of Buddhist meditation, called ‘loving-kindness meditation’, which can be practiced by dwelling on the ‘positive thoughts’ of love, warmth, serenity, calmness, and kindness.
Buddhist meditation functions on the basic premise that the mind is the most powerful tool – if you are sad, morose and dejected, it is your mind alone that can uplift you and bring you back into the fold of life. This form of meditation can be your answer to finding peace and enthusiasm. This form of meditation takes the name from the teachings of Lord Buddha. Mind training is at the core of the teachings of this great saint and philosopher.
The key components of Buddhist meditation are concentration and awareness. You have to start meditation by sitting in Padmasana (Lotus position). You should wear clean and comfortable clothes. You should choose a clean and airy place to sit in a comfortable place. The first step is ‘mindful breathing’. Here the breath is the object of concentration. Focus on your breath and be aware of the tendency of the mind to hop from one thing to another. Enjoy the experience of staying in the moment. This technique is good for the holistic development of the psyche. The following steps may be followed:
- Start by counting your breaths you inhale and exhale. Count from one to ten by counting one entire round of an inhalation and exhalation as one. Count till ten and repeat the breaths. First count after you exhale.
- In the next round, count again but before you inhale, count the number ten and repeat the cycles of breathing.
- Now, in this step, simply watch your breath and observe the pattern skipping the counting as you breathe.
This mindful breathing brings you to a state of equanimity where nothing outside can bother you much and you learn to take every step in your stride without much stress and without tensing your nerve cells.
There is yet another form of Buddhist meditation, called ‘loving-kindness meditation’, which can be practiced by dwelling on the ‘positive thoughts’ of love, warmth, serenity, calmness, and kindness. Here’s what you have to do:
- Become aware of your being and inner peace and serenity and think about it. Feel the love for yourself inside you. If required, mutter to yourself, “May I feel the goodness inside me” or imagine a positive light full of energy and enthusiasm passing through your body.
- Now think of a good and ‘best friend’ and light up the good moments you might have shared with him or her. Imagine the good times in the past you have shared with the person and say to yourself, “May my friend be well and good.” Think of the reasons you bond well with those good friends and imagine a light connecting you both in a positive way.
- Think of the people you meet every day and those with whom you share most of your day at work, colleagues or relatives, and try to get such persons into the love-aura you have created with your good memories. Reflect on their human nature, style, mannerisms, gait, and appearance. Have a neutral outlook but include them in your ‘circle of love’.
- Now think of a person you don’t get along with. Remember the person who you feel maybe giving you a difficult time, whose presence just makes you loathe him or her. Try to develop a positivity towards this person, too, and try to get these people into your ‘love-fold’ in your mind. Repeat the thought pattern that such a person also exists within your ‘circle of love’ and try to get rid of the negativity with that person, at least in thought.
- Lastly, think of all the people together – you, your good friend, your neutral friend, the enemy. Now feel the ‘feeling of love’ to your extended communities and groups – your family, your neighbours, your relatives, your colleagues, your customers, your clients, everybody around you. Try and send ripples of love to everybody around yourself. You will feel elated simply by the goodness of this act in your mind. Your mind becomes more flexible and accepting of diverse people from different backgrounds.
Slowly come out of this meditative process and relax. Practice the above-mentioned meditative practice with a couple of minutes in the beginning and can go up to a few hours as you progress in meditating well. Gradually, you will be able to hold your attention span for a long time with greater awareness and concentration.
There are many benefits of such a meditative technique – it helps you to look at and assess your life objectively. It enables self-discovery and self-inquiry. It helps you to slow down and enjoy each moment because you are not rushing into an emotion or a thought. Clarity and inner ability increases which increase efficiency and makes you a better and more productive worker. It opens your heart and garners better trust, support, warmth, and friendliness with others around you that help gets inclusiveness into your fold. It assists you in making every decision with thoughtfulness and lot of time.
Try this, while we get more practices to you for better and more holistic living.
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Navodita Pande has been practicing yoga since she was 9 years old in Iyengar Yoga. In April 1995, she performed at the International Yoga Seminar. In January 2003, Navodita taught at Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mandir in New York. Navodita had a Yoga show on NDTV 24×7 and was also the official yoga trainer for Miss Delhi contestants in 2007. She currently teaches Yoga and Reiki to
people in Kanpur.