You can read the previous part here: Chapter 5
* * * * *
In previous chapters of the Gita, we had learned about several methods to the final goal: enlightenment. These techniques include the path of wisdom, the path of action, and the path of devotion. However, now we will be discussing the most important and fundamental of all of these paths: meditation.
According to Lord Krishna, meditation is the fundamental of every one of these methods to enlightenment. He also makes sure to tell Arjuna that meditation doesn’t mean running away from problems. Meditation is contemplating life, problems, and successes.
So, how do you meditate? Do you sit down in the lotus position, close your eyes, and try to think about just one thought for several hours?
Not necessarily. Wall-gazing is a good way of meditating, in which you look at a single point for as long as you can, contemplating. Tratak is another way of meditating, as it requires intense concentration. In tratak, you must stare at a point without blinking for as long as you can. Try it – you’ll probably start crying.
Another choice is simply sitting and thinking. Alone time is important – it can give you ideas and put your mind into order. One way to do this is to keep a journal, a daily log of things that you can do differently. Really put some thought into it, don’t just say “Tomorrow I want to be healthy” and then not do anything about it. Take time to find ways to solve these problems.
Use guided meditation apps like Black Lotus to help you. In fact, even Google Search has a free breathing exercise. It is wonderful to calm down. Once you start to be calmer, you can focus on developing concentration. Here’s how you’d do that:
- Focus on one thought or image (or point) and think of it for as long as you can. When you fail to do so, note down your time and stop for the day. Repeat this, and you will see improvement in your times! Meditation is working out your mind, and this will develop your metaphorical muscles. There is no substitute for practice.
- Meditation has positive effects on your concentration and memory as well. The Buddha once observed in the Samaññaphala Sutta that meditation would make one’s memory so clear that they could remember several of their previous lives. He himself remembered several of his past lives, which are compiled in the Jataka tales.
- One-pointed concentration can help you in many ways. It will help you focus when you have to listen to someone, and it can help you appear more agreeable and patient. It can also help you in tests, presentations, and meetings, as each one of these requires us to be focused to some extent.
- Meditation is not a religious activity. It is practiced by several theists and atheists alike. People of every religion perform it. Nobody’s trying to convert you by telling you to meditate! Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and people of many more faiths meditate.
That sums it up for this post. To recap, meditation helps the mind grow stronger and more focused and also is the fundamental element of several philosophies. Meditation doesn’t have to be conventional, it just needs you to contemplate. Finally, meditation is not religious in any way.
Thank you for reading!