Why do we need to meditate? Living in our modern world, we all go through some stressful situations one way or another. The difference is how you go through them. As we know, stress triggers many dis-eases. The pressure is so strong that our nervous systems get fried. And meditation is a great tool that can help you build a strong nervous system. It works directly with your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for relaxation and is vital in handling stress. The more you meditate the more stable you become – able to withstand any storm if it happens to knock on your door. Many things stop bothering you if you meditate often. It is through meditation that you can find that peaceful balance within and build a healthy relationship with yourself and the world.
“Meditation is the art of breaking habits, to purify the mind and to take care of day-to-day things” — Yogi Bhajan
There are numerous types of meditation in many traditions: Buddhism, Sufi, Taoist, Vipassana, Tai Chi, Qigong, and Yogic meditation just to name a few. In Kundalini Yoga alone, there are hundreds of meditations that have different purposes. They may include mantra chanting or not, have some body movement or be still, with or without visualization. When exploring the world of meditation you will find that they all have a common thread — quieting the mind and going beyond. And as you go beyond you may experience different states of awareness and gain a better understanding of your own nature. It is not any kind of an abstract idea. When you meditate, you learn to be aware of your subtle and not so subtle sensation and embrace your present moment, gaining clarity and understanding of what stands behind sensations, events in your life, your perception of them, your responses, etc. It can have very powerful and long-lasting benefit in your life. Just remember not to have any expectations when you begin to meditate and learn to be grateful, to accept, and to be humble, honest, and still.
One of the side effects of meditation is a sharp intuition which is your ability to receive messages and sensations that help you navigate through your life — a very important skill to have. When you make a decision based on logic alone, you can take all of the factors into consideration… that your conscious mind is aware of. Your vision, for example, only helps you see as far as there is no obstruction on the way. But what is behind the river bend? Intuition, on the other hand, can reveal you what you have to look for or avoid regardless of your conscious knowledge. Through meditation, you can calm the mind and develop your intuition to recognize what is real and important to you and to open up to the flow of divine guidance in your life.
“Prayer is when the mind is one pointed and man talks to infinity. Meditation is when the mind becomes totally clean and receptive, and Infinity talks to the man.” — Yogi Bhajan