Our Meditation Teacher asked us some questions like – how long does a dog live? What’s the life span of an elephant? How many years does a tortoise live? How long can human being live? Our answer was in average like dog lives 12 years, elephant lives one hundred years, tortoise lives two to three hundred years and a human 70 years in average. Teacher asked us reason, we tried to answer but he said “No”. He said – “Breath span is life span. Breath span means a cycle of inhale and exhale. One inhale and then exhale makes a breath cycle. If breath span is short, life is short, example dog, rats etc. If breath span is longer, life is longer, example tortoise, elephant etc. In ancient India some Rhisis (ancient monks) lived 1800 years. This was not a folk-tale. We know that only human being on the earth can expand their life span by controlling breathing. Other animals cannot extend their breath span but human can do. Live long and live healthy. That’s what Yoga teaches us. Pranayama means controlling breath (air). Kapal Vanti and Anulom-Bilom are very important breathing exercises in Pranayama. If you want to practice Pranayamas, learn it properly. If Pranayamas are not done in proper way, they result sickness and dwindle in life. So, first learn the processes of Pranayamas properly and do exactly. Human can expand their life span by controlling breathing means – a person’s normal breathing rate is 16 breath cycle per minute. By Pranayama exercises, we can bring this rate down to 8 per minute. 8 breath cycle per minute means living beyond 100 years, 16 times per minute means average 60 years (life span) and 4 times per minutes means more than 200 years and less than 300 years in average. You can examine with other animals- what is their breathing span and how long they can live.”
“So, if we are ready for practicing Meditation, we must not omit Yoga. With Pranayama, we learn basic of Meditation. Mindfulness and focus are fundamental steps for Yoga and Meditation Journey.”
As we got to know, some people think that Meditation is a narrowing way from wideness to narrowness of serenity. A way towards more and more strictness – they said. Teacher said that it was a natural tendency. Soul in us is like a river which wants to flow into pacific (peacefulness) ocean, can it be said flowing form wideness to narrowness? Or from boundless to limitations? Whether knowingly or unknowingly, flowing happens there and it is inevitable. If you can see this flow, you will enjoy a lot, you will be in the ocean of pleasure, lost in it but if you are not aware of that, you will not pry That Way and not see anything. Everything remains usual for you. That Way is Meditation. Meditation can make you able to see the colorful Rendition of Transformation. Teacher said, “You have a head with brain, it is brain only if you can utilize it or you have a Pandora Box. Crackle of sadness, sorrows, woes and worries can be heard from even outside the box. You have skull with brain, your life is really a human life. Or if you are living with a Pandora Box, you are living just a social animal life.”
Meditation means to begin different better things at a time. When we begin doing Meditation, we are open to different divine resources which makes us accept positive elements in our lives and know, notice, mark and omit (ignore) negative elements. There is happiness, peace, pleasure of life in receiving positive elements and opposites of these in negative elements. We never success in life with more negative elements and less positive elements. At least, in this case, positive elements in our lives should be heavier than the negative elements rather than balancing both sides. It is turning to the right, like right thinking, right view, right decision, right work or action, right livelihood, right …….. more things to mention. To know oneself is very important in life. It is to recognize one’s worth birth and worth action on the earth and it is to know one’s own destination. So, many things (right things) begin with Meditation. Meditation takes us there where we ought to be, hand by hand. So simple and loving. (Subject was “Why should we begin to Meditate?” in the Meditation Camp where we had been taking part and the explanation on the subject was that the Right Things Begin With The Meditation though it may cause a bit more chaos in our mind (also in our life) at the beginning since there will be a clash in between positive and negative elements in us as we start supporting positive elements. In such cases (chaotic situation)– giving up Meditating is not right idea which gives a joy to negative elements. And the negative elements result mess in our life. Whatever situation happens to come, continues doing Meditation as per your routine. You will simply come to realize later how the negative elements wash hand form your life one by one, and the moment will be a very joyful moment.)
Work-out, physical exercises or yoga is as important as meditation in life, as said by Yoga Teacher in a Meditation Camp. As well he warned us not to tamper one’s own body by intense work-out, instead he told us to love our body. Normal exercise is better and very important too, as he said. Teacher told the participants about some compulsory exercises – hands moving exercises, legs moving exercises, head moving exercises, body moving exercises, eyes moving exercises, breathing exercises like Kapal Vanti and Anulom-Bilom, roaring exercise (Lion Roar Exercise) and belly moving exercises. These exercises keep our body in balance and restore body-mind-self balance. We should not let diseases make our body their residence. Do you know we think eating, working, sleeping, drinking, clothing, family-friends-company etc. are part of life? we never take Meditation as part of life but it is. Yoga is physical exercise and Meditation is mental exercise. We need both and both are similarly compulsory. Wounds heal, sick recovers and if you learn this, you will succeed.
Everybody in the world thinks, so they exist. Thinking a thought is a thing and fight in the mind is different one. Fight in mind and different type of thoughts are similar in one sense. Fight means so many different thoughts. Unless there is fight in mind, there is no peace with you whatever the world you have around you. Why there is fight in mind? It’s because there is existence of negative and positive elements or aspects in us. Unless positive elements totally conquer over negativity from the core of us, the positive elements keep fighting against negative elements. And the fight continues. From the time when the positive elements totally defeat the negative elements, the person attain the state of peace, tranquility, calmness. The person gets peace. I shall be in peace. But during the times when there was fight in the core of mine, I had been suffering. I looked into myself. I knew that I should support positive elements. I started doing the same. Positive elements get charged as I support them and fight became easier for the positive elements, it made my life easier. Thousands of petty thoughts expired. I learned to make few dominant thoughts instead thousand unnecessary thoughts. I began to flow with main stream. “To look into oneself” is similar process as of Lord Buddha’s “Ihi Passiko” (Come and see). Transformation of life is possible only when we look into ourselves, know or realize the elements and support positives. Meditation can support us to make things easier and better.
In the meditation hall, in amidst the peak silence someone roared as if he saw something frightening. There was a break in concentration of everyone. Some of his mates hold his hand and splashed water on his face, head and neck. This had happened with him because of hallucination he encountered. The teacher said, “You have to face the most fearful hallucination to be accustomed with so that you will never panic with other less fearful hallucination.”
Hallucination is basic thing in meditation. Be informed prior to practicing meditation that you also may face some fearful hallucination. Take it easy, don’t get panic. Try to enjoy all type of hallucination that you will have. Please do not scream or roar. Especially when mirror watching concentration practice is done, you may face very frightening hallucination. You may see a different face on the mirror instead of your own. For example – you may see a bleeding face on the mirror instead yours. What will you do then? What I suggest is that you practice meditation slowly and gradually. Concentration practice must not be done more than 15-15 minutes in the morning and evening at the beginning. Please don’t go 1 hours/2 hours concentration practice at once. You can add a minute more in a week or so. Big start, all of a sudden, in meditation system may not prove to be fruitful. As I realized that in some cases some meditation practicing persons looked as if they slightly lost mental balance. Do you know the reason? Hallucination. Fearful hallucination. So, what I want to suggest you is that you be well prepared and well informed before you start meditation. At the first stage, you work on mindfulness. Be a mindful person. Wipe away unnecessary thoughts from your mind and come down into present state “The Now”. This is a about beginning.
What gives you pleasure? What gives you ecstasy and rapture? What is the thing that can make you the happiest person in the world? What is the deed you like to do which makes you happier person in your whole life? What is like a bliss for you?
Is your answer any one, two or more from the following? – (1) winning a lottery, (2) visiting different places of the world, (3) to enjoy delicious food from different countries, (4) to have a beautiful lady/handsome boy as a life partner, (5) to take booze and enjoy / party (6) sex, (7) hemp, (8) alcohol, (9) heroin/drugs or more critical than this one, (10) victory or success, or anything else listed here?
Whatever pleasure you get from above listed deed or activities (or from anywhere) is periodic/ lasts for short period of time.
The pleasure we can get from meditation is not even near to match to all type of pleasure whatever there in this world is, it is on the top and it’s eternal too. What type of pleasure do you get from booze (or from winning a lottery)? More mystic pleasure you can get from Mindful Meditation. When you start doing meditation and reach to a saturated point of Mindfulness, you will be overwhelmed by bliss and rapture and this pleasure doesn’t have any match in the world. It takes you to the journey from natural to supernatural world.
At the Meditation Camp – A metallic ball was tied on a pole with a long line and the ball was moved from one end to another like a pendulum. The participants had to observe the moving pendulum of ball. As the ball moves, they move their head (or eyes) too, to look at the ball as if their eyes are connected to the ball. The motion of the pendulum slows down and stops moving after some longer minutes. Then staring at the point (at the ball) begins. Why this trick is used for meditation was my question.
“When I am driving, my car is in motion. In the mean time I, all of a sudden kick the brake. What result do you see?” This was the question of Yoga and Meditation teacher. Some topsy-turvy type of result we may see in such case.
“So, our eyes are on motion, our minds are on full motion. To kick the brake plate all of a sudden is to expect some chaotic result. That’s why we try to bring eyes and mind from motion state to stillness in a slower process by using this trick so that no chaotic aftermath of it we get as result. This trick is used in practicing Meditation. For Yoga, there are some warm up type of exercises before getting into it. We find such activities are necessary for beginners to smooth start.
Yoga means linking, connection, add, Meeting point. It means union, unity of body and mind, it means confluence of two (or more) streams. Yoga means fixing broken things, broken mind, broken system of our body.
People practice different types of Yoga in different ways. Good Yoga is the yoga which is done in a better way, results better. Main point to mention here is- yoga is not done after meal. So, in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before meal (it is long hours after lunch) are the right time for practicing yoga. In another sense of yoga, meeting point of two different pole night and day are morning and evening. Yoga also means meeting point. So, morning and evening are better time for practicing yoga and Meditation. A trained Meditation teacher explained these points to participants at the locally organized Meditation Camp where some of our friends and me had visited the Yoga teachers to collect some ideas about the Yoga and Meditation.
We (few of my friends and me) were curious how Meditation is taught at the local Meditation Camp by some trained Gurus what made us visit the camp. We were there for last few days observing the teachers’ and participants’ activities. Meditation means a type of training to mind but this training can be done by different ways. There the teachers gave an exercise to the participants to tame their eyes instead of their mind, which is new to me. A metallic ball was tied on a pole with a long line and the ball was moved from one end to another like a pendulum. The participants had to observe the moving pendulum of ball, as the ball moves their head moves too, to look at the ball.
It was interesting. Participants were sitting on their cushion on the ground, if possible on lotus pose or what pose might be comfortable to him/her.
Staring means looking at a fixed point or at the candle flame. This practice is done to improve concentration power. But I did not find such type of staring there at the Meditation Camp. Metallic ball was moving to and fro like a pray and a participant’s eyes were chasing the ball as a hunter does. The pray was neither caught nor was left free (not being chased). It was a type of staring but I couldn’t term the practice as Staring. Besides, discovered some more interesting dimensions of Meditation at the Camp and I shall be adding here in my convenient times.