“There is evidence that mindfulness practices have “broad-spectrum” effects against depression and anxiety and can also decrease general psychological distress.” – Journal of Psychiatric Practice
“Just 25 minutes of mindfulness practice over three days can relieve the symptoms of stress.” – Carnegie Mellon University
“Harvard unveils an MRI study proving that mindfulness meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s gray matter in 8 weeks.” – Harvard University
“New evidence shows that mindfulness meditation reduces depressive episodes.” University of Toronto
“Mindfulness helps children develop social and emotional intelligence, resulting in greater self-awareness, less stress, and higher levels of happiness and empathy. Kids just get it right away, and seem hungry for something that will help them manage the stresses in their lives.” – Goldie Hawn, The Hawn Foundation
“Researchers have found that mindfulness meditation improves learning, memory, and other cognitive functions.” Harvard University
“Researchers are producing mountains of evidence that mindfulness meditation can boost satisfaction, improve health and reduce burnout.” – University of Toronto
You can never attain solitude; you can never run from the noise, if it is within you. If you truly want to be in serenity then don’t borrow it from others. You have to learn to absorb the noise; you have to learn to be calm inside. And remember once you attain your inner silence, you cannot lose it, even if you want to, you cannot. “The silence that you feel in the Himalayas or in the Alps is not your silence; it belongs to the Himalayas. But if in the marketplace you can feel silence, you can be utterly at ease and relaxed, it is yours. Then you have a Himalaya in your heart, and that’s the true thing!” OSHO. To attain such a state of being calm, Meditation is the only KEY.
Meditate and purify your mind and then set your hands to the duties of the world. By meditating, the mind acquires knowledge, dispassion and devotion. The world is water and the mind milk. If you pour milk into water they become one; you cannot find the pure milk any more. But churn milk into butter. Then, when that butter is placed in water, it will float. So, meditate and obtain the butter of knowledge and love. Even if you keep that butter in the water of the world, the two will not mix. The butter will float. Only one commandment is sufficient, in following that one, all are contained and that one is MEDITATION.
It is meditation that makes one virtuous. Virtue without meditation is an imposition, a forced imposition. With meditation there arises a totally different kind of virtue – a natural virtue, a spontaneous virtue. It is meditation, it is watching, it is witnessing, it is awareness, it is consciousness – that keeps one alert and an alert individual cannot do anything that is wrong. Sin becomes impossible if you are alert. Not that you will have to prevent yourself from doing it; even if you want to do it you cannot. Then virtue is the only possibility. Then whatsoever you do is virtuous. Out of meditation flowers of virtue arise, bloom. Their fragrance is released to the wind, into the infinity of existence.
Awareness – you can call it meditation, you can call it watchfulness. But right awareness is awareness of one’s own Being in Its Totality. As you become aware of your Self, the bad starts disappearing – just as when you bring light into the room, the darkness disappears. When light is in the room, darkness cannot exist there. Immorality, selfishness, vice and sin is nothing but darkness, forgetfulness, unconsciousness, unawareness. So, first find your own centre. The human body is the best temple for meditation for it is here that you meet your own Self and the Supreme Self – a meeting place between Self and Supreme Self. The centre of the soul is in the body and the centre of God is everywhere and both are without circumference. So, the centre of both, the meeting place – is the human body. Just find your centre and you have found the centre of the whole existence.
Each self is just a part of the Supreme Self. Once the Self is realized, the whole of the Existence becomes available for witnessing and watching. You are the watcher, the subject, the self, the I, the witness, the observer – you can watch the object, you can watch the whole scene. You are not doing anything, you are simply present, simply available, just watching, just aware, just conscious, just alert, just witnessing. You need not torture yourself in any way. No special posture is needed, so special time is needed. It can be done just here and now. At any moment it is possible.
Meditation should not be a forced effort. A forced thing will never make you natural. Mind has a natural capacity to meditate if you give it objects which are appealing to it. Choose the meditation that you enjoy. Whatsoever you enjoy can go deep in you. Enjoying it simply means it fits with you. The rhythm of it falls in tune with you. Meditation is nothing but witnessing. It sharpens the consciousness and awareness. You are the subject, you are simply consciousness. Whatsoever you witness is the object. Just meditate. Do not do anything at all. Nothing needs to be done, just be a witness, an observer, a watcher, just looking on, just tasting, just touching, just feeling – is enough. Simply stand aloof, cool – watching, seeing with no judgement, with no comments, neither good nor bad. Witnessing simply means a detached observation, unprejudiced.
Sitting silently, simply watch. With closed eyes, you can watch your breathing, you can be a witness to whatever you hear, you can feel your body, you can taste something, and you can watch your thoughts – that is your mind – a changing and vacillating mind. With open eyes, you can watch, you can be a witness to anything – a tree, a bird, a flowing river, a cloud, the moon, the sun, the stars, the sky, the sea, the mountains…!
Relax totally. It creates an inner calmness. It gives serene joy. Enjoy total rest. Quiet your mind. You will be refreshed and gain a broader, clearer view of things, and deepen and strengthen the love in yourself. And you will be able to respond more helpfully to all around you. Sitting is meditation is nourishment for your spirit and nourishment for your body as well. You can feel healthier, happier and more relaxed. Life becomes stress-free. Meditation makes you more creative. It helps you cope better with your problems, it fights depression. It gives you better values, makes you kinder, more accepting. It helps in spiritual growth. It brings Self-Realization.
Meditation is simply the most meaningful activity of our life. It brings sensitivity, a great sense of belonging to the world. It is our world – the stars are ours, and we are not foreigners here. We belong intrinsically to Existence. We are part of It, we are the heart of it. We become so sensitive that even the smallest blade of grass takes on an immense importance for us. And this sensitivity creates new friendships – friendships with trees, with birds, with animals, with mountains, with rivers, with ocean, with stars…! Life become richer as love grows, as friendliness grows. Love comes out of meditation – it is the fragrance of meditation. Meditation evolves clear thinking. It promotes human excellence. It expands a person’s viewpoint from the finite to the infinite, from the individual to the cosmic.
By following the breath, you become very different because this constant awareness of the breath will detach you from your mind. The energy that normally moves into thinking will move into observation. Whenever you remember, observe your breathing. If you forget, it is okay to forget; but the moment you remember, start observing again. It will come to you. By and by you will begin observing. Through your very observation, the quality will change. Observing the breath will not give you space for thinking. Sit silently; listen to all that is happening all around; accept, relax – and suddenly you will feel immense energy arising in you. Effort is no needed. You simply accept life, relax and suddenly you will see that your breath is going deeper than ever. It becomes slow, rhythmic; it gives a certain delight.
Just watch don’t do anything. Do not try to watch, otherwise you will become tense and start concentrating on the breath. Do not confuse concentration with meditation. Meditation is not concentration. Do not force. Meditation is simply being present being available to what is going on. Watch your breath, you can hear the bird chirping or noisy horn and again come back to observe your breath it is okay. Simply relax, remain relaxed, loose and look. You are there, nothing to be done, everything accepted, nothing to be denied, rejected, no struggle, no fight, no conflict, breathing going deep – what can you do? You simply watch. Being alert to the life energy that moves in breath, do not try to take deep breaths, do not try to inhale or exhale, don not do anything. You simply relax and let the breathing be natural – going on its own, coming on its own – and many things will become available to you.
Only during moments of awareness, creativity happens. When you are not aware, you cannot create – you are just driftwood. Meditation is never in conflict with your life. Meditation is not something separate from life; it is life itself. Meditation is a dewdrop disappearing in the ocean. As a dewdrop – one disappears but one exits as the ocean. One does not lose anything; and gains All. When you are not doing anything at all – physically, mentally, on no level – when all activity has ceased and you simply are, just being, that is what meditation is. You cannot do it, you cannot practice it, you have only to understand it.
Whenever you can find time for just being, drop all doing, just be at your centre, utterly relaxed – that is meditation. Slowly and steadily it may become your second nature to be in that state – just accept and allow it to happen to you. Once you have become aware of the way your being can remain undisturbed, then slowly you can start doing things, keeping alert that your being is not stirred. That is the second part of meditation. First, learn how just to be, and then learning little action but keeping yourself centred, alert, awake, conscious. Then you can do complicated things. And, finally you can remain in that state for twenty four hours a day.
So meditation is not against action. It is not that you have to escape from life. It simply teaches you a new way of life. You become the centre of the cyclone. Your life goes on; it will go on more intensely – with more joy, with more clarity, more vision, more creativity – yet you are aloof, just a watcher, just a witness, just an observer, fully aware, fully conscious. You are not the doer, you are the watcher. That is the whole secret of meditation that you become the watcher, merely a witness. Doing continues on its own level, there is no problem, no stress; only one thing is not allowed and that is; your centring, your consciousness, your alertness, your awareness – should not be lost. That awareness, that watchfulness, should remain absolutely unclouded, undisturbed.
The first step in the process of becoming aware is to be very watchful of your body. Secondly, start becoming aware of your thoughts, your mind. The third step is becoming aware of your feelings, emotions, moods, your heart. Then the fourth happens of its own accord. It is a Gift from the Whole. And the fourth is ultimate awareness that makes one Enlightened. One becomes aware of one’s awareness. That makes one a Buddha, the Awakened. And only in that awakening one comes to know what bliss is. The body knows pleasure, the mind knows happiness, the heart knows joy, the fourth that is the Self, the soul, knows bliss. Bliss is the goal and awareness is the path towards it.
Meditate non-seriously because whenever you meditate seriously you become tense, meditation needs relaxation. Meditation needs a joyful heart. Meditation simply means a silent state of mind. You can do anything with the silent state of mind. And whatever you do will become more graceful, will become more creative, will bring better flowers, better fruit. Your life will become in every dimension richer. Money alone is not richness. Be rich in all dimensions of life. Be multidimensionally rich. Life consists of small things, and you have to transform each small thing through your awareness, watchfulness and alertness, into a beautiful act. Then ordinary things can become extraordinary. The prose becomes poetry, the stones become sermons. Then there is only GOD and nothing else.
Life becomes liberation. Wisdom is the by-product of meditation. Do not sit with closed door. Open the door. Just allow HIM. It is His entry that will transform your whole life. Meditation is nothing but that: opening the door. Meditation is a state of silence; meditation is a state of no desire; meditation is a state of no past, no future; meditation is a state when you are not doing anything, just cherishing your being. You are just happy that you are, happy that you are breathing, simply happy for no reason at all, in those moments there is meditation.
On the contrary, misery is a by-product of being unconscious; if you are conscious, misery disappears. Darkness has no existence of its own; it is only absence of light. Misery is absence of consciousness. So it is impossible to be conscious and miserable. No coexistence is possible in this case. If you are miserable that simply shows you have not understood what religion is. Ego creates misery. True religion is instant: here you become conscious and immediately misery disappears. Being conscious is the source of all goodness, all virtue.