06 Feb Cultivating Compassion & Confidence Through Meditation
We are growing at an astounding pace. And that, with India’s population means astronomical growth all around in every sphere and every industry.
Prosperity IS finally coming to us. BUT with an attached price-tag. And a big one at that.
Like an overfilled bus going at a fast pace, our pace of life and change is bringing with it huge number of conflicts. Like passengers unknowingly stepping on each-others’ toes in a densely crowded bus, around us too, we see the same happening. Crowded streets, homes, offices and lives, and the need to compete with the whole world to get the goodies right in time means we remain an angry and unfulfilled lot. Sneering, staring, getting angry, fights, revenge etc. are commonplace in practically every inch in the country. Some of this does ease out when people go their way or when drastic changes take place like is taking place in housing, jobs, connectivity, technology and even the way we earn. These though aren’t enough. Being circumstance and system-based changes, these aren’t deep enough to make an impact on us as humans.
What will bring change, and that too long, long term change and change that is noticeable is when we calmly think about ourselves, our situation and everyone around us who is part of this ecosystem and a fellow traveller. It’s with these deep thoughts that we become aware of the root causes of conflicts of which we may be a part. The next thing after becoming aware of the root causes is to find ways to address everyone’s role in the conflict in a manner which does NOT see them as villains or wrong doers but as someone who inadvertently became its part.
Hi, Atul Bhide once again. And through this blog, I shall tell you all about building compassion and confidence through meditation.
A little aside to this topic. Do you know why traffic in some of the busiest cities in the world aren’t as chaotic as most cities in India? No, it isn’t because they have great systems. It’s because they practice a degree of compassion towards everyone in their daily lives with the result that everyone reaches their destination well in time, and safe.
What is meditation? Peeling away the element of yogic stances and poses and what it does to us as humans, it means only one thing. Observing and feeling things and issues be it within or without dispassionately, gaining an insight and then taking steps to address certain underlying thoughts. Meditation is primarily of three kinds:
Focus meditation: Here we focus our minds on a particular object, which could be a particular sound, a word, a sensation or even a breath. Initially our minds tend to wander but with time, we learn to hold our attention. It helps improve concentration and keeps us in the present instead of re-living the past or worrying about the future. It also helps us let go and move on- an essential skill to develop compassion and confidence.
Mindfulness meditation: Simply put, mindfulness is about being aware of what one is doing and feeling. In doing so, we move focus from a single object or thought to thoughts and feelings happening inside and outside of us at a given moment. We observe thoughts, feelings, sensations, smells, sounds etc without judging it as being good or bad, pleasant or painful. With most responses in life these days becoming automated by conditioning, this kind of meditation helps us experience our thoughts & emotions while being fully aware i.e., being mindful.
Compassion meditation: Compassionate awareness opens our attention to others and makes it more inclusive. It helps us change the way we treat ourselves, our family, friends and the world at large by intentionally bring to our mind the good things about us, be it situations or experiences, and practice gratitude for what we have and love for oneself. This process next extends to those close to us and then to those not particularly close or with whom we share a difficult relationship. Over time, we develop the ability to look at situations from the others’ view point and develop compassion for their state.
Why meditate? Because it is only when we look & feel things dispassionately that we realize the depth of our attachment to things, feelings, ideas and ideologies. Attachment and possession give rise to feelings both positive and negative, and where they run strong, have the capacity to distort our thoughts and destroy our lives! In meditation, we observe many things be it things as simple as our breath to things complex as our innermost feelings and others’ reactions to situations.
What does meditation do to us? Calm and an aloof observation help discern patterns of our thoughts in given situations. This helps us change our thoughts and reactions to certain impulses and ideas which arise from situations and chain of thoughts. We react differently so we derive differently!
How is meditation connected to compassion and confidence? In the first part of this blog we mentioned about conflict and how pervasive it is in India. When we meditate and think dis-passionately (it DOES NOT mean we are not compassionate), we realize over time the view-point of others and the reason why they did what they did. It is then that we develop the feeling of compassion for even our most hated enemies. As for confidence, it builds when we change our views positively to persons and situations and try to react to their doings in a more mature and positive manner!
If you are into meditation, good for you! If you aren’t, its time you got into it. And that’s because you lose nothing and gain lots!
Do let us know if there is something specific you would like to know. We welcome you to our clinics in Pune. Where you need more details, do visit our website www.recovalife.com or #roadtorecova.com.
An important point we would like to add here is of our sessions in Pune on various activities under Ayurveda which range from teaching yoga to hair-care sessions to correct breathing techniques and so on. The list of our plans is long. But we will do it for sure! And if that interests you, do visit our website and register your email ID to get timely information on all our future sessions.
This article is meant solely to provide information about remedies under Ayurveda and is not meant to be used for diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.
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