We gravitate to and practise meditation because of the desire to live a life of purity and in gratitude.
What is meditation or should we say, what do we achieve when we meditate?
We get inner peace that can be translated to Happiness, Tranquility, Joy, Spiritual Upliftment, Contentment, Tolerance, Positive energy, Patience, Connection to the Almighty. What more does a human being want?
By investing 10 minutes, 20 minutes or half an hour per day meditating, we get the above, in addition to specific health benefits, e.g. improved sleep patterns, relaxation of tension in the body and mind, increased concentration and increased vitality. We personally enjoy the benefits and it is also felt by those close to us and the people that we associate with.
I view meditation as a blessing and therefore recommend it to others. As mentioned before, meditation does a lot more than stress relief. When I came across the Sri Chinmoy type of meditation, I learnt:
– that prayer and meditation gives us inner strength
– practise means progress and by regularly practising, we are on the right track
– we have options to aid us in our meditation, like using peaceful music, a candle, a vase of flowers or incense. These aids help us to still the mind, open the spiritual heart and become conscious of our deeper spirituality
– once we feel the benefits, even after meditating for the first time, we aspire to, commit and are determined to practise meditation regularly.
– meditation affects the heart, the mind, the soul and the whole of the physical body and our spirituality is enhanced
I believe that I live the life that I was destined for. Meditation was the missing part of my life, and now I feel fulfilled. I am happy, and I feel joy, love, peace, contentment and gratitude.
Amina lives in Cape Town and is actively involved in helping women in her community.
It’s been 3 months since I started meditation. I joined the meditation workshop and discovered the true meaning and value of silence and quieting the mind; I felt inspired and meditated every morning thereafter. After some days of meditating I realized that my desire was to change things in my life; suddenly one day while meditating I realized that I can change and that most of all I needed to be the change I wanted to see; since then I knew that my journey to change had started.
I felt more inspired and created a little shrine where I meditate; this is my sacred space where I connect with inner self; meditation became a part of my day-to-day living, like having to wash my face every morning.
At times it was hard and sometimes frustrating knowing that I had to instill a discipline; I continued to aspire, as somehow I knew that this was the inner strength I needed.
Many days of complete inner peace and joy followed after I meditated (it’s the kind of joy one can hardly explain). I felt that by meditating I had somehow discovered my true self again. Ongoing, my meditations taught me so much about myself, things I never knew about myself; meditation has taught me to take the time to really look deep within myself. I discovered that most of the issues I had been faced with were related to fear, which in turn had left me with feelings of anger and despair.
Day by day I continued to meditate, sometimes I even felt sad after meditating but I realized that it was not sadness but an inner joy that was slowly emerging because of my aspiration and feeling of gratitude towards what I had discovered. My fears started showing up every now and then through various situations and confrontations but unbelievably this time instead of turning away I faced them head on. I realized that through meditation I had developed an inner strength.
I realize now that we are all connected in this world, so whatever attitude I adopt to approach things in this world, it is exactly what I will get back.
I realize that to know oneself is to know God; meditation has become like a dear friend to me, like someone who never leaves you feeling empty or lonely. Meditation has taught me what the true value of life is; I have less desire for the material world since I realized the true value of inner peace; this is something no money can buy.
Discovering inner peace has led me to be a happier person:
❀ I have learned to complain less
❀ I have learned to appreciate and value good people in my life
❀ I have learned not to allow myself to be tortured by situations
❀ I have learned how special God is when one allows him to touch one’s life
❀ I have learned to see beauty in everything
❀ I have learned to adopt a calm approach to things and focus on my inner peace
❀ I have learned to give without expectation
❀ I have learned to lose bad habits by simply dropping them
❀ I have learned to treasure my new friends in my life (peace, joy, love, gratitude and light)
Special people have come into my life simply because of who I have become.
Meditation has transformed my life:
❀ I can be happy
❀ I can forgive
❀ I can love
❀ I can lend a hand
Meditation for me has no end; it is a divine way of living, learning and inspiring with gratitude and grace in this modern day and age.
Ian Forbes recently started meditating and lives in Cape Town.
It was a hot Johannesburg Sunday afternoon and we were in the tennis club giving a 3 hour meditation workshop. Outside, our friend Usher, an ex-policeman from a remote village in Zimbabwe called Tsholotsho was guarding the cars that belonged to all the meditation class participants. Inside we were talking about peace and oneness and the like but outside something altogether different was developing.
As and ex-policeman Usher knew that when you are guarding it is good to establish your perimeter and introduce yourself to anybody nearby. About 60 m from our tennis club was a scout hall where a wedding was taking place. Usher spotted the car guard for the wedding and approached him to say hello. The wedding guard however thought that Usher was coming with an altogether different intention so he took off to get some backup. Usher was a little perplexed but being very experienced did not worry. His wife, who was keeping him company, said “Shouldn’t we get the brothers” meaning Balarka and I to which Usher confidently replied “Don’t worry I was in support unit” (an elite police division in Zimbabwe).
A few minutes later a private armed response vehicle screeched around the corner and two rather menacing individuals got out, one armed to the teeth and kitted out in a bullet proof jacket, the other the wedding car guard. The armed guard approached Usher gun in hand saying “Why were you trying to threaten this man?”
Usher smiled and said “I wasn’t trying to threaten anyone”. Then the mood completely changed because they recognised each other’s accents and very quickly discovered something. The armed guard and the wedding guard were also from the same remote village of Tsholotsho – before they knew it they were all best of friends talking with great gusto.
So often in our outer life we approach situations with an unfounded fear. It completely changes the way we respond and act. When we learn to meditate we start to experience a real oneness with the world around us. This oneness not only takes away our fear but it completely changes the way that people react to us. We can all feel it when somebody has a genuine oneness with us and we in return are not threatened and our hearts come to the fore. For me this is like a little miracle that happens every day!
Be universal in your love.
You will see the universe
To be a picture
Of your own being.
One of the key things I began to realise when I started to meditate was that rather than looking for happiness and fulfilment outside of myself I was now searching for it within. I had always felt that something was missing but I had never been aware that there is a whole field of endeavour which we could loosely call the “spiritual life” where we search for real happiness within.
Normally my outer life had involved some kind of endeavour or challenge – trying to get a promotion or trying to win the affections of a new partner or saving for a new car or trip away. Now I was starting to realise that instead of going head to head with my outer challenges I was now challenging all the darkness in me. Each of us has challenges, for one person it my be jealousy and insecurity for another it may be fear or anger or doubt. Through meditation I learnt that I didn’t actually need to “fight” these things. All that I needed to do was still the mind and allow the light of my soul to permeate into each and every corner of my being. That light is like a miracle cure and slowly and steadily my life started to change and improve. The experience of this inner light is like nothing else in the world – it sooths and uplifts and brings an overwhelming experience of peace and stillness.
I still have challenges but now I have an eternal ally that, when I rely on it, saves me from depending on my own capacity or lack thereof to do everything.
Sri Chinmoy wrote a beautiful book of cute rhyming poems called “I Go Out, I Come In”. Here are a few of my favourite poems from it:
When I go out,
I need what I find.
When I come in,
I find what I need.
When I go out
I spend money.
When I come in,
I drink honey.
When I go out,
I see the flow.
When I come in,
I become the glow.