By Parul Agrawal
Our mind is at work all day, every day. Every decision we make, every challenge that we face, every moment we go through in life, our mind is our constant companion…and it can be our best friend or our worst enemy. Our mind needs a way to release all this tension and stress, or if possible, not create it at all. Hence, we need a vacation every now and then to keep ourselves refreshed and rejuvenated. But let’s face it; few of us are in a position to take a vacation whenever we desire because of our work and financial commitments.
The good news is that we can afford to go on a vacation every day, even more than once a day, without going away and spending money. We can enjoy a period of freedom from our daily tasks and chores, from stress and problems, and at the same time renew our energy and enjoy inner peace. We can all enjoy such a vacation when we practice meditation. More and more people are coming to realize that one’s quality of life depends largely on one’s quality of mind. People are becoming aware of the fact that meditation is a way not only to relax and de-stress but also a way to accelerate spiritual development and enhance overall quality of life.
So what is meditation?
Quite simply, meditation is that space when the thoughts have subsided, and the mind is in complete rest. When you are really happy, reposing in love, you are meditating. When the mind settles down, it lets go of tension and stress and centers itself in the present moment. Daily practice of meditation enables us to gain an increased ability to focus and concentrate, as well as clarity of mind and expanded awareness. Meditation also removes past impressions, and provides relaxation and deep rest. The rest one gains in effortless meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep. Through specific, natural breathing techniques, it’s possible to quiet the mind of thoughts, preparing it to slip easily into meditation.
Sudarshan Kriya for Meditation:
Sudarshan Kriya is a rhythmic breathing technique designed to relieve people of stress of daily living leading to a more peaceful and joyful state of being. It has been taught for over 25 years in more than 150 countries across the globe with remarkable results. This breathing technique incorporates specific natural rhythms of breath that release stress, detoxify the body, and center the mind in the present moment, naturally bringing it to a meditative state. Quieting the mind and dissolving deep into meditation, this technique brings joy, peace, and a sense of connectedness to oneself and others. A Harvard Medical School Publication has highlighted the benefits of breathing on certain health conditions, and says that Sudarshan Kriya and its accompanying practices “show promise in providing relief from depression”. Other Independent research has shown that Sudarshan Kriya helps significantly in the following ways and more:
- Reduces levels of stress (reduce cortisol – the “stress” hormone)
- Supports the immune system
- Increases optimism
- Relieves anxiety and depression (mild, moderate and severe)
- Increases anti-oxidant protection
- Enhances brain function (increased mental focus, calmness and recovery from stressful stimuli)
- Enhances well-being and peace of mind
This simple, yet powerful breathing practice has a unique advantage: it is free from unwanted side-effects, can cut health care costs, and is easy to learn and practice in daily life. This powerful technique teaches us how to have greater peace, energy and joy…for a lifetime. We have learned many skills at home and in school, but we have never been taught how to handle negative emotions like anger, sadness, fear etc. If we learn the skill to deal with our mind when these emotions arise, the quality of our lives can change significantly for the better. We can take control of our negative feelings and experience a new depth in life, spirituality, and in our meditations.
“Children’s Fears and Anxiety”, Harvard Mental Health Letter”, Volume 21, Number 6, December 2004, Available Online at “http://us.yesplus.org/research-results”