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There are three area of preparation:
- Mental readiness is important in 4 different ways
- Before Meditation: Meditation in some way implies death of mind as we know it. Mind knows that it will lose its control on our whole being. This is one reason mind is bound to put up a fight. However, mind is smart and it will not let you or I know that it is putting up a fight. Mind will do what it knows best. It will raise questions. It will bring good questions. Why should I do meditation? I do not need meditation. Meditation is done by wacky people. Here is a good one: I and my wife Lekha signed up for a 3 day Zen meditation. Some of our relatives joined us at the end of our meditation session for further tour of the area. We described to them that we had just finished this wonderful yet tough 3 days of meditation. My friend and relative who is a physician as well said, “You just wasted 3 days of your life.” I have compiled some articles for reading about this issue which might give some answers to some of these questions. A mental readiness and co-operation is essential to any meditation. Your mind has to be convinced that you should meditate. Otherwise, you will not continue it. You will not experience anything during meditation if your mind does not co-operate.
- Now you are ready: This is where many teachers start. Patanjali Yoga Sutra starts with a verse:
Now the discipline of Yoga//YS1:1//
Patanjali does not get into the logic of whether you should do yoga or not. He is only talking to the group that has decided to proceed. The admitting process is over. No enrollment is going on. No, it is time for the class to begin. This is important. You have to be totally into the class. You are not here to check it out. There is no one forcing you to be here. You have to make that decision. But, your total participation is necessary. You can always exit but that should not be in your mind at this stage.
- During meditation: Mind is the biggest issue during meditation. Thoughts keep on coming. All these may be good thoughts. They may all be novel ideas. How do you deal with them? I have described exercises to help this very aspect in an article, “Thought Management.” It will be a good idea to do those exercises prior to getting into the practices of meditation.
- After meditation: I took part in a teleconference about “Anger Management.” There were several participants who raised one issue. Anger does not arise while they are meditating, but it comes back when they are not meditating. And, we all spend more time when we are not meditating. This raises an important question about the effects of meditation. Is meditation good for the time you are meditating or does it have effect on your non-meditating life as well. As far as I am concerned, if the effect lasted only during the time of meditation, I would not recommend that kind of meditation for anyone. Meditation effects should be lasting throughout the course of our life. This is what we are meditating for. A positive energy, a friendly vibration and a depth of unexplained force around you, should accompany you all the time. An hour of meditation should last for several hours if not the whole week or two. So, I would suggest looking for an expression of the meditation in your non-meditation times, in your social and private relationships and in your decision making world.
Meditation is for success because of the following 5 products in your meditating process. :
- i. Streamlining of thoughts (A good working mind at your command and wishes)
- ii. Increase in upset threshold
- iii. Decrease in centering time; decrease in duration you stay upset
- iv. Mindfulness is a component and end product of meditation. More mindful means less mis-haps and less strain on trying to remember what happened
- v. A better alignment with your surroundings, better interpersonal relations, a reduced time to make the right choices and right decisions.
(More to follow)