In my earlier blog, I had mentioned about how I got into meditation, how I struggled for years without settling into any routine practice. I did study various types of meditations but none could induce me into regular practice. I had a lot of doubts. I wanted fast results. Fortunately, I came across various scientific researches (thanks to my guru in this field Dr Yash Velankar). These researches talked about improvement in concentration, focus, reduction in stress, improvement in immunity, changes in structure of brain and various other things. I realized that if so many people are getting results and I am not getting them then I must be doing something wrong. I decided to give a fresh try. Most of the studies show improvement in 8 weeks of daily meditation practice so as a New Year resolution; I decided to practice meditation on daily basis for at least 20 minutes for 60 days.
I am actually quite happy and excited to say that today is 29th March and for these 88 days, I did not miss even a single day of meditation. During this period, all usual things happened that make us break the habit. I got ill for couple of days, I had an upset stomach, I had to go out of town for some office work as well as on holidays, and there were days when I was in a very good mood and some when I had a very bad mood. Somehow I could take out minimum 20 minutes for meditation. I don’t know if there are any changes in my brain structure but I am very happy that I could sustain a habit for 3 months without break. That itself is a big achievement for me. Unknowingly, I had developed a belief that I am a very inconsistent person, dabble in many things but do not sustain anything. I think; this is the first step towards removing this belief. Achievement of any goal certainly helps to improve self esteem, so my self esteem has certainly grown.
SO, what are the benefits that I got? Research shows possible improvements in 8 weeks, now I am practicing for almost 12 weeks so are there any big-bang improvements? Unfortunately no, you will not see an aura around my body, you will not find my face glowing with peace, I continue to get acidity, headaches and fever, I get agitated, irritated, worried but still I can say that I am very happy about this process. Attachment to result was, I think, biggest hurdle in my earlier years of practice. I realize now that by looking at the scoreboard you can’t win matches. Playing and enjoying the game is important. I think that is biggest achievement in these 3 months of practice. I can certainly feel subtle changes in myself and I am happy about it. Happy, even though there are no big bang improvements. We are human beings and normally, we evolve over a period of time.
The biggest realization is about the unending chatter that goes on in one’s mind. I was amazed to notice the unending stream of thoughts that goes on that too mostly negative, critical of one, repetitive and revolving around I, me, and myself, repenting about past, worrying about future. All this happens without us noticing it, without being aware of its existence. I noticed that all this negative/ repetitive chatter hampers my action, my behavior. This led to my understanding that most of the life I am living is in unawareness and not fully present in that moment. I noticed that while driving, I am listening to radio while taking bath, I am thinking about day to day activities while eating I am watching TV or reading something, while talking to son/ wife I am not fully attentive. Oh god, I am not present anywhere. Be present is a cliché sentence today but actually realizing/ experiencing that you are not present anywhere is a big break through. I have started to be attentive to whatever I am doing.
I used to wonder, how meditation of 20 minutes can help anyone for rest of the day, but now I realize that it is not just 20 minutes affair, it is just a formal practice but informal practice happens throughout day. There are n numbers of opportunities one get to practically implement or live meditation during whole day.
I am trying to improve my acceptance level and reduce resistance. Normally we expect certain results, behaviors based on our inputs but generally output/result is different than our expectation and that is very difficult to accept. This happens in almost all areas like health, relations, work we do. I am working on accepting things which are beyond my control, tough task, but, that is called learning to be wise, right?
All these changes are not any kind of magic but it is like learning a new skill and as we practice more we get better at this skill. Process of sitting for 20 minutes is not easy, it requires commitment, and it is sometimes boring but still continues to do it. In this age of continuous ‘doing’, taking out 20 minutes just for ‘being’ seem very weird. I can co-relate this practice to building bicep muscle by lifting dumbbell over period of time. During meditation, we are building our mind muscle and that requires continuous practice over long period of time. I have committed myself to continue this practice for considerably long period of time. Now I am turning this affair into serious relationship.
In India, we have a culture that if we like something or we are benefited by something, we like to share it with everybody. Similarly I am benefiting by this practice of meditation, so I want many people to know about it start practicing it and help anyone who faces initial hurdles in this practice. Please let me know if anybody is interested in learning this.
We are starting a small workshop spread over a period of 9 weeks to learn and practice more about these techniques and start getting benefits out of this. If anybody is interested, please get in touch with me.
About Author: Mr Atul Bhide is director of Dynamic Remedies, an entity engaged into manufacture, sale of ayurvedic medicines. He is passionate about meditation, lifestyle modification and investments. He is also Certified Wellness Coach and Master Spirit Life Coach. He is Chartered & Cost Accountant by education. He is one of the founders of Vaidya Sane Ayurved Laboratories that runs chain of Madhavbaug Ayurvedic Cardiac care clinics.
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