This is a question I am sure many of you have asked yourself. If your anything like me you may have had aspirations to do be able to sit and attain this miraculous state of peace that is sold to us, but perhaps wondered what the real point is and what it will actually do for you.
My journey with meditation started about 10 years ago, mainly because I wanted to be able to escape my overpowering mind that often filled me with negative thoughts. I also knew I wanted to connect to something, but I was not sure what that was.
I tried to do this, listened to meditations or music online. I went to a couple of groups and tried to follow their path. These turned out not to be for me and I gave up. I put it down as one of those things that ‘more advanced’ people could do. I was never able to still my mind, sit for long or feel I had achieved some connection or state of inner peace that I had told myself I should be able to.
And then I came across a Hindu teacher, a Satguru. A female one at that, who was only 1 hour from me. Not really knowing what a Satguru was or having any knowledge of the Hindu tradition I went with my gut instinct that was very strongly telling me that this was the right person to teach me all the things I had wished for answer al the questions that I had, I plunged myself into all these teachings and classes.
I love learning about Hindu philosophy, it has such a profound yet simple way to explain things to me, to let me understand my mind and life. My teacher explained and translated everything she taught so it applies to western minds, something I had not found before.
One of the classes I took was Advaita Vedanta which is a path in Hinduism that takes you on a journey to your Atman – which is your true self inside. I knew this was the connection I had felt I should have but wasn’t even aware of. This lit a fire inside my heart so strong that I had to follow it.
Meditation is a way to help you connect with this true self, this inner power that we all have. Our Atman is a tiny little drop of god/consciousness, and by connecting to it in meditation we help this to grow. It starts to filter through in our life, it helps us regulate our overpowering mind, refine our reactions and responses to things that make us angry or sad. It gives us a sense of peace. Our Atman is always inside us, it never changes. Our mind can ego change depending on our circumstances, our emotions change depending on how life is treating us, our physical body changes depending on how we treat it, but our Atman stays unwaveringly holding space inside us, it is the ultimate consciousness.
This was my main reason for learning meditation and teaching it. There are many other benefits that come with this, all stemming from the connection we grow with our Atman. Benefits such as reduced anxiety and stress, a reduction in negative thoughts. E feel an increase in positivity in the ability to let go and not let everything get to us. There are many different and individual benefits, and much research being done about the effects on our brain in reducing stress.
Meditation is a wondrous thing, it can change your life. It is a commitment, to your self. It requires patience as there are times when your mind will overpower you, and that’s ok. We do not aim to stop the mind, we are simply becoming the observers of it. This was something that was a huge relief for me.
The meditation technique I have been taught comes from my Satguru and before her the Yoga Sutra’s written by Patanjali, an Indian sage, many many years before us. It is a wonderful blend of practical techniques to prepare the body and mind to meditate. Treating the body, mind and spirit as a whole. It is the first time I have been able to meditate properly.
I am so passionate about sharing this technique with you
I owe all my learning to my Satguru, who is the most inspirational women I have ever met. Her name is Ramana Devi and she runs a charity called The Shiva Trust. She delivers services to people to support their mental health and to teach and support people on the path to self-realisation. Her details are as follows