Meditation is Yoga – a tranquilizer

Thoughts come from the minute we wake up until the minute we fall asleep, and even after that they are in our dreams. We undeniably need voluntary thinking, but how to silence involuntary thoughts – thoughts that brings down efficiency, is the cause of stress, anxiety and depression!

One key meaning of the term Yoga itself is Meditation! Meditation is the art of ‘seeing’ one’s mind with one’s own mind. There are different ways to prepare for Meditation. These include several variants of breath awareness, concentration on various centers inside or outside the body, non-dual awareness, chanting, imagination and visualization, contemplation through each of the senses etc. With consistent practice of any of these techniques, the attention gets so fixed that mind starts to get insulated from any external as well as internal stimuli.

The progression into Meditation practice undergoes three stages:

  • ‘Dharana’, or Concentration – the effort to repeatedly bring the attention to one point of focus while learning to remain undisturbed by any external stimuli i.e. the mind is interned, within the limited mental territory and has to be brought back if it strays out.
  • ‘Dhyana’, or Meditation – when the attention remains on that one point of focus for a sustained period of time. To understand this and the next stage, let’s take an example – when a scientist focuses his microscope on a drop of dirty water, the field of vision is defined and limited within a circle. Now, he cannot see anything outside it, but within that circular patch of light there are still constant movements of all kinds.
  • ‘Samadhi’, or complete absorption –With concentration and meditation, there are three things;
    1. Observer,
    2. Process of observing
    3. Object of Observation

With deep absorption it is as if the three merges into one, unbroken experience i.e. there is no longer an observer and a process of observing; only the ‘OBJECT’ of observation remains.

It should be understood that these three stages are just different phases of the same mental process, each succeeding stage differing from the preceding in the depth of concentration and the more complete isolation of the object of meditation from distractions. The complete process beginning with ‘Dharna’ and ending in ‘Samadhi’ is called ‘Samyama’ in Yogic terminology and the practical mastery of its technique opens the door not only to knowledge of all kinds but also to powers and super-physical accomplishments.

Practically, it is possible for a student to start practicing meditation right away. In order to control the mind we have to get to know it. As a preliminary exercise it is good to spend some time every day simply watching our minds. The mind finding itself watched, gradually grow calmer. It becomes embarrassed by its own greed and silliness, for no amount of criticism is so effective and as penetrating as our own simple self-inspection.

If one were to resort to this practice for even some length of time regularly, one could find it very helpful in clearing overloading of information of the hectic life. Therapists from various fields often use meditation as one of most important tools for holistic-treatment for its numerous benefits. Researches depict that Meditation;

  • Is specifically beneficial in minimizing stress related disorders. Enhances the immune system, Increases activity of ‘natural-killer’ cells, which kill bacteria and cancer cells.
  • Increases serotonin production which influences mood and behavior (low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, obesity, insomnia etc.)
  • Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, migraine, managing chronic pains, aches etc.
  • Most importantly it helps in – minimizing negative emotions, concentrating on the present, attaining new perspective on the situations, increasing self-awareness!
Happy Meditating

27 thoughts on “Meditation is Yoga – a tranquilizer

  1. Thanks for the informative post. I sometimes go through bouts of insomnia and have recently talked with someone who practices meditation. I’d also fallen victim to negative thoughts which were affecting me adversely. I’ve meditated on occasion in the past but want to get in the habit of doing it routinely to help quiet my mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, the only effort it need is discipline towards the practice of meditation… As no matter how theoretically anyone tries to explain, unless we practice and feel the benefits ourselves; it can’t get convincing!
      I’v been in the similar struggle as yours; practice of meditation has got me tremendous positive change.
      Thank you Sean for reading and sharing your experience🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you very much for this beautiful information. It helped me with my healing process during my burnout. It is a beautiful journey 🧘‍♀️❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anna… your words of appreciation always brings me smile🙏… Yes, meditation is such a positive addiction; completely energizes from all stresses of the everyday life…and once established in practice… As you say, the beautiful journey awaits ❣️

      Like

  3. My understanding of the stages of yoga as given by Patanjali is a little different Gunjan.
    Yes Dharna is concentration. And when are minds are focused and we bring that focus to God that is Dhyan or Meditation.
    But before Dharna if we don’t do Pratihar stage carefully and well later stages are almost meaningless.
    Meditation Single cure for all human suffering

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s absolutely correct Ashok ji. Thankyou for bringing that out. Since Pratyahar is a little complicated aspect, I thought of bringing it out separately as I progress in my blogging experience.

      However, my experience (of working as a Yoga therapist) so far has given me tremendous results… Like I said in my article, even a few minutes of practicing to watch the mind brings out noticible improvement in patients mental health.
      Subtle aspects are much deeper and as one progresses in their practice, they get inquisitive to know how it’s all helped and evolved them over time; that’s the time I feel (as a teacher) – it becomes easier to introduce topics such as Pratyahar, Yama and Niyama (as unknowingly with the practice of watching the mind, Pratyahar begins to form it’s base in the practitioner. That’s the beauty of ‘ashtanga’, you practice any one limb and it subtly prepares you for the others) … So you’ll definitely find it all a mention on my blog sometime soon ☺️
      Thank you once again for reading and adding quality to this article 🙏

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Seeing our mind is a very complicated task. Sometimes we shut ourselves in ourselves and it makes it difficult for us to reach consciousness. As you say, it’s all about knowing how to meditate and that’s what I’m doing to concentrate on making changes in my way of thinking and being more positive. It is helping me and I see that it gives results. I will continue in practice. It is good to read you because we receive lessons about our interior and it is very good … At least a path is opened to achieve inner peace. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for acknowledging the efforts. And more than that, thanks for contemplating on the topic; sharing experiences build trust in a system that eventually may help many beginners who may be struggling to bring about positive change. Always appreciate words coming from a deep thinker as you, means a lot. thanks again 🙏☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice peace of information.”As a preliminary exercise it is good to spend some time every day simply watching our minds. The mind finding itself watched, gradually grow calmer. ” I have experienced this in my meditation practice. I am a beginner in meditation sometimes negative thoughts and overthinking irritate me and keep on coming and sabotage my practice. Could you please share some tips to overcome this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ankit for giving it a read and also connecting with it.
      What you’re experiencing everyone goes through; so don’t get bothered with it.
      Try not to fight with yourself; mind needs to be tactfully trained and not by force. So when you realise your mind has gone into something else, simply bring back to your focal point – keep doing this as many time as it’s needed.
      Lastly, try to be consistent in your practice i.e. practice same time, same place everyday. Even if it’s for 5 minutes. Hope it helps!
      Happy practicing🙏🧘

      Like

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