Meditation in Active Daily Life
By Remez Sasson
Meditation is not reserved only for people living in an ashram or a cave, or for people whose sole interest is spirituality. It benefits the most practical person, and also the most visionary one.
On the physical level, it relaxes the body, replenishes it with vitality, and restores its energy, health and balance. It prevents exhaustion from overwork or too much activity.
On the emotional and mental levels, it reduces anxiety, worry and anger, and develops peace of mind, tolerance, patience, and good will towards the surrounding world.
On the spiritual level, it awakens awareness of the real inner Self. One gets a taste of the inner consciousness, which is beyond the mind.
Meditation also improves the the memory and the concentration, and allows for clearer thinking.
Meditation has nothing to do with impracticality, absentmindedness and laziness, as some might believe. You do not have to live a secluded life, own nothing, and stay away from any activity in order to meditate and lead a spiritual life. You can live an ordinary life, with a job and family, and yet, at the same time meditate and lead an intensive spiritual life.
You can wear a robe or other special clothes, grow your hair, light candles and incense or sit on the floor when you meditate, but you can also spend your day in an office, wear a suit and sit on a chair when you mediate. The outside cover and trimming are not really important. It is the attitude and what goes inside you that count.
Proper and effective meditation requires some inner strength. There has to be ambition, desire, will power, drive and perseverance. All these qualities are in fact the same basic qualities needed for success in the material world.
Even if you have a job, run a business or pursue a career, you will benefit from this practice. It will not turn you into an indifferent, ambitionless and impractical person. It will add to your commonsense, develop intuition and energize you. The concept that meditation is not for practical people is utterly wrong.
Here is a simple, effective and practical method that will strengthen your concentration and add to your peace of mind, besides other benefits. To get results you will need to practice daily for about ten minutes each time.
Watching thoughts meditation:
1) Find a place where you can be alone.
2) Sit down and pay attention to your body. Relax your muscles and ease any physical tension.
3) Breathe a few deep breaths.
4) Watch your thoughts as if watching an uninteresting movie. Regard the thoughts as birds hovering round a crumb of bread. This crumb of bread is your attention. They are all seeking your attention. They will bring associations, images and feelings. Your job is to stay detached and disregard all these thoughts. Just watch them with no interest.
You are not these thoughts. They are visitors coming to visit your mind. It is you, the real you, watching these thoughts. Just look at them as if watching some far away, uninteresting scene. If they force you to follow them, ask them who is the boss, you or they?
Stay relaxed and don't get tense. Do not fight your thoughts or get angry and frustrated if you cannot stay away from them. It is a natural habit to let every thought enter freely into the mind. It takes time and effort to change this habit. The secret of success with this exercise is detachment.
Go on practicing this meditation, even if you fail and forget to watch the thoughts. Your resolve, patience and perseverance will eventually bring you peace of mind, concentration, composure, happiness and consciousness of you real inner self.
Imagine how free, calm and happy you would be, if you could stop getting upset by what people say or do, let go of negative thoughts and emotions, and avoid taking things personally.