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Meditation - I

Meditation is not just for monks and sadhus. Sadly, the people who need to meditate the most are those who practice it the least while sadhus, who apparently seem engulfed in peace, meditate through the day.

35-year-old Ritu was fast approaching burnout. She was married with one son, had a full-time job and was also handling most of the housework. So every morning she would wake up before sunrise, cook breakfast and lunch for herself and the family, catch the train for a one-hour commute to office, reach home in the evening after dark, buy vegetables, cook dinner, eat and go to sleep early, so she can wake up in time the next day. Sapna was ready to snap under the pressures imposed by a dominating mother-in-law, while Raj, who had just suffered a huge business setback, was put on medication since his blood pressure had skyrocketed.

Whatever the reason, stress seems to be a daily part of the lives of most people, and one of the most effective ways to combat stress is by meditation.

You don't have to be extraordinarily religious or spiritual to be able to mediate. And now that meditation is part of the ritual of prisoners at Tihar Jail, we know that you can meditate even if you are downright evil! All you need to know is how to do it.

Shut yourself in a room and let everyone know that you are not to be disturbed. Although aromatherapy oils are often prescribed to help calm you down, they are not needed, but if a certain scent relaxes you, by all means, use it.

Before starting meditation, set a timer, because you don't want to be constantly checking your watch to see how much time you have left. You will find it hard to meditate for twenty minutes at a stretch, so set your timer to seven minutes. Gradually work your way up to half an hour or forty minutes of meditation a day.

When Ritu first heard this, she was aghast. "My God! Forty minutes! But I don't have the time! If I do this, I will lose out on my sleep and will fall ill for sure!"

Ritu now meditates for one hour everyday, and swears that doing so has changed her life. She is a much healthier, positive and happier person. Her mind has become sharper, she performs better at work, and she has recently received a promotion. Things are definitely looking up for her.

Realize though that meditation is not a super-act which will change your life around completely. But if you feel stress and other factors are hampering your career growth and your health, meditation can be the key.

Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed and your back, straight. (It doesn't have to be ramrod straight - at least, not initially - and you can lean against a wall for support.) You can sit on the floor or on a mattress, using cushions under any areas that feel uncomfortable. Remember that it is important you are comfortable in order to be able to relax.

Meditation Part II - Techniques of Meditation

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