There is a lovely song by the German band Enigma called “Return to Innocence.” The music video shows an older adult growing younger and younger until he has transformed back into a foetus again. As he becomes young, the older adult undoes and unlearns everything from his life and returns to a state of innocence. This song is a figurative interpretation of the fact that one way of connecting with our fundamental essence of awareness(called ‘Brahman’ in the Vedas) is to return to our innocence.
Mood swings happen to everyone. However, if they become extreme or continue for prolonged periods, they can affect work and relationships. Meditation can be an excellent solution for returning to your natural state, which is that of calm.
Meditation (also called mindfulness) is observing the mind in its natural, effortless state unaffected by impulses of the mind. It is being in a state of existence where you witness all thoughts and feelings appearing and disappearing without any reaction. Meditation is a state of being in which awareness is recognised and experienced.
The problem with language is that it has limitations when it comes to explaining something experiential. It is important to know that awareness should not be personalises as ‘my awareness’ or ‘my consciousness’. Awareness or Consciousness is that all pervading intelligence behind all creation.Meditation is not an attempt or a pursuit to ‘develop’ awareness or consciousness, but a state of existence where the mind is not taken cognisance of and nothingness behind everything is recognised.
It is essential to realise that just because a thought appears in the mind you are not that thought. Just because you feel a particular way doesn’t mean that you are that feeling. There is a place within you that is beyond thought, beyond feeling, speech and action. That state of existence is pure awareness.
To attain a state of meditative being, first of all you need to develop the practice of sitting alone at one place for 20 minutes daily and let the world know that you are not to be disturbed at this important time.
Then start the practice as given below;
-Sit in a comfortable position. As long as your back is vertical, it is OK. No need for lotus position specifically.
-Close your eyes and starting breathing as slowly as you can giving more emphasis on slow exhalation. Slower the better.
-Start to observe your breath focussing on the tip of your nostrils or by placing your hand on the belly
-Every time the mind wanders, bring your focus back to your breathing.
-Stay with this for at least 10 minutes
Initially the more you try to quiet the mind for meditation, the louder it becomes. The moment you stop to fight, the mind slowly settles. The struggle may persist for the entire duration of the meditative session initially. This is something inevitable if someone chooses to get into the practice of meditation. Do not put any effort in calming it down. Let it be.
AS weeks go by, slowly you will start to notice small periods of stillness without thoughts.
Phase 2. (After a few months of doing Phase 1)
-Start to shift your focus to the centre point in the forehead.
-Notice how a thought appears every time there is a bodily sensation or a faint noise.
-Notice how the thought raises and falls off by itself without any effort from you.
-Continue for 15-20 minutes.
-You start getting small intervals of a mind free from thoughts more frequently.
-After a few weeks or months (depending on the individual), you start to notice that the frequency of thoughts starts decreasing with the simultaneous increase in the period of stillness.
-Subsequently, with more practice, your thoughts enter your space very rarely during your sessions.
-The trigger that manufactures thoughts loses its power over time and you are no longer dealing with the onslaught of endless thoughts even in your regular life.
You are now a meditative being.