The Simple Art of Meditation
What is meditation? In the West meditation is considered to be quiet thought, reflection or contemplation. In the East, where the ancient art of meditation developed several thousand years ago, it is considered to be ‘thoughtless awareness’ or not thinking.
Meditation developed in India as part of a tradition of mental, physical and spiritual practices known as yoga. The purpose of practising yoga was to achieve the state of ‘self-realisation’, a meditative state in which the practitioner becomes one with the whole universe, has a feeling of total peace and tranquillity and achieves complete psychological integration.
Modern psychologists have called this state of self-realisation ‘self-actualisation’ and Carl Jung has called it ‘individuation’. It is the state in which artists, writers and musicians receive inspiration and sports people talk of being ‘in the flow’ when everything becomes effortless and spontaneous. It is also the state where healing, both physical and mental, takes place. It is a state of ‘thoughtless awareness’ in which you are able to focus on the present moment for a sustained period of time. You are fully alert and in control, but you are not being bombarded with thoughts about the past or the future.
In about 500BC in India a sage and physician called Patanjali formalised this tradition of yoga into a science to achieve the state of self-realisation which included eight branches among which were ethical restraint, self-discipline, mental focus, physical exercise and meditation. The physical exercises were called Hatha Yoga (with which we are familiar in the West) and they were designed to clear the chakras (subtle energy centres) so that self-realisation could take place.
For thousands of years people who wanted to achieve their self-realisation and experience this meditative state had to spend many years studying with a guru in the Himalayas, clearing their chakras and undergoing many hardships in order to achieve it. In 1970 Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi devised a simple method to allow people to attain their self-realisation and to go into this state of meditation spontaneously, which is called Sahaja Yoga. It takes just ten minutes but is a truly life-changing event.
Sahaja Yoga Meditation fits easily into our Western lifestyle taking just five minutes in the morning and ten minutes at night to start seeing the improvements in your life. It has been shown to have many benefits – better health, peace of mind, improved relationships and greater enjoyment of life. According to the wishes of the founder, Shri Mataji, Sahaja Yoga is always taught free of charge.
Phone 1300 724 252 or visit www.freemeditation.com for more information, and to find the Sahaja Yoga centre nearest to you. Classes are held in Canberra, Wollongong, Bathurst and Bowral in the Southern Tablelands area.