Embracing the history and real meaning of meditation
The West have now embraced complementary therapies and understands meditation to be a useful practice of relaxation and concentration. This is not wrong, but we should remember that these stages are just preliminary to the real core of meditation. In most ancient schools of thought, meditation is more than just a wellness practice; it is actually a means to get in touch with the presence of your soul.
According to ancient Indian scripture, the soul was originally pure and one with God. The soul wished to experience things and so willed the body and mind into existence. The body and mind are not therefore barriers to the soul, but the means through which the soul can experience life. For us, the challenge is to condition our body and mind in order to get into line with the reality of soul within. This is the very essence behind the word ‘Yoga’ – meaning ‘to yoke’, or ‘bring into union’.
This gem of ancient philosophy has complete relevance for us today and should be thought of as a guide to ultimate wellbeing. In life, we must avoid conflict within ourselves and seek the way of flow. This means being kind to yourself and approaching life gently and with awareness. Consider how much negativity you allow in your life and plan ways to gradually exclude all of it. There will always be people around who want to gossip and slate others, there will always be temptations to smoke and drink alcohol, and there will always be desires to pursue. But these things are the temptations of the body and mind, not the soul. The soul’s nature is peace, and that means that everybody’s real nature is peace, too.
The presence of soul is available to those who meditate, or so the ancient systems have it. It is up to us how much we embrace these theories, and you could argue that it doesn’t really matter what philosophy is behind the attempt to create peace and wellbeing, simply because – the benefits are obvious! Nobody would ever choose to feel in conflict or stress. Meditation is a simple method to help you align all parts of yourself, let go of conflict, heal trauma and manifest what you truly desire in life. The practice adds to a sense of vision that will enable you to clearly decide what you want in life, and give you the focus to achieve it.