Monthly Archives: March 2016

Different Types Of Meditation

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What is Meditation?  Click Here to know more.

Different types of meditation:

  1. Concentration meditation
  2. Mindfulness meditation
  3. Reflective meditation
  4. Heart centered meditation
  5. Creative meditation

 

(1) Concentration meditation:

Concentration is the central motto of all types of meditation, but in some techniques, main focus is only on building concentration. One needs to train the mind to focus and concentrate on nothingness or on an object in order to cut distractions. This helps in calming the mind. There are many types of concentration meditation techniques which help to gain concentration by overcoming distractions within and outside your mind to sustain mental focus.

Some of them are:-

a) Zen Meditation

b) Transcendental Meditation

c) Om Meditation

d) Samadhi Meditation

e) Chakra Meditation

 

 

(2) Mindfulness meditation:

This is one of the most powerful of all techniques. In this, the emphasis is on cultivating a highly receptive mindful attention towards any object or action within your sphere of influence. This meditation helps to learn to pay attention or be “mindful”. This is a great tool to overcome depression and anxiety. It can also provide pain relief .

Different techniques in this category are -:

a) Vipassana Meditation

b) Deep Breathing Meditation

c) Mindful Breathing Meditation

d) Walking Meditation

e) Sitting Meditation

 

(3) Reflective meditation:-

This type of meditation promotes disciplined thinking. In this, one has to choose a question, topic or theme and reflect upon it or analyse it. Hence, it is also called as analytical meditation. In the initial stages, when your thoughts wander to other topics, you need to discipline your mind to return to the chosen topic or question. In order to discipline the mind, one needs to have strong concentration.

After regular practice, thoughts will not wander off and your mind will be more in control. This is an important type of meditation to achieve calmness of mind. It also provides inner strength and conviction to transform your life by having control on your thoughts and mind .

Some questions you can choose to focus on-:

a) Who am I? What is my true nature?

b) What is the real purpose of my life?

c) What is my role in this universe?

d) How can I help eliminate or reduce suffering of others?

 

(4) Heart Centered meditation:-

This meditation is also know as Heart Chakra Meditation. In this, the focus is on radiance of love, kindness and compassion. Over time, practice of this meditation helps to heal the heart by releasing all fears and sadness by opening the heart chakra and removing any negative energy present there. One feels calm and very peaceful after doing this meditation. The goal is to increase the awareness of Divine Love. This helps to increase the emotional and physical well being of a person. It helps in coping with stressful experiences. 

 

(5) Creative Meditation:-

This form of meditation helps you to cultivate and strengthen different qualities of your mind such as appreciation, joy, compassion, patience, humility, empathy, fearlessness, tenderness and may other. This is done through visualization done as per guidance through an audio or the visual medium. Visualization can help in bringing about major changes. This technique helps to get rid of negativity and problems that act as blocks in achieving the desired state of self.

 

Generally, the meditations which are commonly  practiced are a combination of two or more of the above mentioned techniques.

Hope this helps you to know about different ways of meditation. Choose the technique which you are comfortable doing and which resonates with you. This will be the most beneficial and effective for you.

Learning any meditation under the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher is the best way to experience it. Meditation will definitely help you to Refresh and reinvent yourself.

 

I would love to know your meditation experiences. Please share them in the comment section below !

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Let’s Have A Gala Time With Colors !

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                   SHOP SELLING HOLI COLORS

 

India, a land of rich culture and diverse heritage has many festivals. Holi ! the colorful festival of fun and joy has been one of my favorite out of the dozens we Indians celebrate. The mere thought of this festival fills me with excitement and enthusiasm.

 

I have always associated Holi with a time of great festivity, joy and love. Traditionally, during Holi, even enemies, turn into friends and forget any past grudges or hatred. This is the true essence of the festival. The colors spread their cheer all around, filling each corner with happiness and joy. Colors are definitely the main attraction and highlight of Holi; making it so popular with kids, irrespective of religion, caste, social status, or economic background.

 

Colors make for some of the strongest and fondest association in our brain. They can change even our moods. Colors evoke different emotions and responses ; eg: Yellow for comfort, Blue for trust, red for energy; and when they are all combined together as in Holi, they denote the strongest emotions of love and happiness.

Soon, it will be time to celebrate the fun filled Holi again, with colorful gulal and balloons, delicious gujiyas, and the cool thandai.

The very word Holi evokes such fond memories of fun, laughter and reunions . As a child, I literally used to start counting the days for Holi as soon as month of March began. Growing up, we would eagerly look forward to the colors, water-guns, balloons and off course the delicacies that were prepared on holi.

 

Having spent an almost nomadic childhood with frequent transfers to different parts of India, I have celebrated Holi in different styles, unique to each region.  When I look back and revive the experiences of my childhood  Holi celebrations, my most precious memory is of Holi spent in ‘Aligarh’ – a city in North India.

 

Holi was celebrated in its complete form and in its full glory in Aligarh,  with everyone participating with great enthusiasm and joy.What made Holi even more special is this city was the ‘true spirit of holi’ that promoted goodwill, and unity.

 

Holi preparations started almost a week in advance. The most interesting part was the preparation of herbal colors in each home, to be used for playing holi. No one used chemical colors as according to religious tradition, only herbal colors were allowed.

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PALASH FLOWERS USED FOR MAKING HERBAL COLORS

To prepare the color, dried Palash or Tesu flowers (flame of the forest)  were soaked in water for about two days, then strained to get a dark orange concentrate of herbal color. Later, this was diluted for use on the day of  Holi.

 

This color was completely natural and thus completely safe not just for our skin, hair and eyes, but also for the environment. The wonderful smell of the Palash flower seeped into the color and when this was sprayed on each other during Holi celebrations, it imparted a nice, soothing fragrance to the whole atmosphere.

 

The festival started the night before the actual’ Holi’ with Holika Dahan (Bonfire) being lit in an open ground of the colony I lived in. It signifies the’ victory of good over evil’. The legend of Haranyakashyap and Prahlad ( in which Prahlad tolerates all the torture of haranyakashyap but does not give up his path of truth), helps to strengthen our belief in righteousness and honesty.

People gathered around the bonfire and roasted the new wheat stems in the pious holi fire and later these grains were offered to each other as a token of welcoming the new harvest of crop and thanking mother nature for her abundance.

 

We kids waited for the next morning with great anticipation. Often, we were not able to sleep due to over-excitement. We would irritate the younger siblings and cousins by drawing mustache on their face using kajal (black eye liner). #BuraNaMaanoHoliHai  (All mischief is allowed on Holi)

 

The next morning we woke up early to welcome the ‘carnival of colors’. We had a quick breakfast so that we could hurry and start playing with colors. But elders allowed us to venture out of the house only after coconut oil had been applied all over our skin and hair. This was to prevent color getting soaked in skin; thus helping in their easy removal after holi. The coconut oil also acted as a natural block to the sun rays and as a natural moisturizer for the hair.

 

Once we were out of the house, it was a non-stop  merry making  and fun of  throwing buckets full of color on each other, smearing each others’ cheeks with color or  chasing each other with water guns in our hand.

As we moved from one friend’s house to another’s, we were welcomed with plates full of delicacies, which helped us in regaining our strength before we ran away on our next adventure.

As I pen down my thoughts; one interesting incidence comes to my mind- My Maths teacher was quite strict and she lived in the same colony where I stayed. I would always try my best to avoid her because of the risk of getting reprimanded for something or the other. But on Holi, I would gather all my courage and visit her home as i couldn’t resist a chance to pour color on her and with our color smeared unrecognizable faces, she could never make out who was who😄.  Also, the tasty items ma’am offered us were very delicious and different from the other houses as she was from South India and her recipes were unique to that region.

 

There were some Nigerian and Palestinian students in our neighborhood. They were studying in the Aligarh Muslim University nearby. On Holi, even they were not spared from spray of colors. Initially, they were a bit apprehensive of playing Holi, because they had never played it before, but after getting soaked for the first time, they were unstoppable. They played with great enthusiasm and enjoyed a lot.  They loved to dance on the Dhol (drums)Beats, which is an integral part of the Holi revelry and relished the goodies that were served.

 

Most of them were from Muslim or Christian backgrounds, but there was complete bonhomie amongst everyone without any differences. We all enjoyed to the fullest. The festival of Holi united us all. My friends who still stay in that colony, tell me, this is still the norm there.

I wonder why media is always full of stories of hatred and differences instead of focusing on such examples of togetherness and universal brotherhood.

 

Time may have glided by, but the beauty of these memorable experience still lingers on.

Today, though Holi has evolved into  a new avatar, the spirit of the festival remains the same- one of joy and of rejoicing the love we have all around us.Ultimately, the joy of holi pervades our daily lives. That’s what makes it so magical !

 

As we get ready to ring in the festival of joy- Holi, let us pledge to spread the happiness and love all around and imbibe the positive virtues by deciding to burn our negatives traits in the holi fire.

Let us wash away all differences, end conflicts, forget and forgive, to repair broken relationships. It is the festive day to rid oneself of past errors and begin anew.

 

This Holi, let us shower each other with love and celebrate life joyfully !

Wish you all a very happy and joyous holi 😍

 

P.S. Water is precious. Pls play dry holi , in order to save water as the world is facing water crisis.

 

“I’m pledging to #KhulKeKheloHoli this year by sharing my Holi memories atBlogAdda in association with Parachute Advansed.”

pic credit: Pixabay.com

video credit: BlogAdda.com

What Is Meditation ?

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The word Meditation, is formed from two Latin words:

meditari ( to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind)

and

mederi ( to heal)

There are several definitions given for meditation and what it is. Here i will write based on my personal understanding and experience of practicing it.

Generally, it is considered that meditation is based on worshiping or prayer. It is not so!

Meditation to me is awareness. Meditation means to shift our awareness inwards, to explore, observe and communicate with our true inner self. It is turning inwards to free yourself from the chaos and distraction of the external world and constant chatter of your own brain.

Meditation is a technique to attain a state of consciousness, where the mind is free of scattered thoughts and their repeated patterns. In such a state, all the activity of the brain is reduced to one.

While meditating, when some thoughts come to your mind, don’t focus on them, don’t react to them, just observe them i.e. just be a Witness  and let them pass, let go.

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. With regular practice of proper techniques, the consciousness can be expanded to a great extent and you can easily reach state of deep meditation.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION ?

There are numerous benefits of meditation which have been proven by scientific studies. Here i will list some major ones:

  1. Enhances emotional well being- one learns to be more calm, less anxious and fearful. Meditation also helps in decreasing depression.

2. Enriches your Soul, by guiding us towards our true essential nature of happiness, love and joy

3. Improved concentration levels

4. Attainment of Enlightenment or Supreme Bliss.

5. Reduction in stress level.

6. Improved general health and increased energy level, leading to more efficiency.

7. Improved immune system.

HOW MANY TYPES OF MEDITATIONS ARE THERE ?

Meditation techniques can be classified broadly under these five categories:

1. Concentration Meditation

2. Mindfulness Meditation

3. Reflective Meditation

4. Heart-centered Meditation

5. Creative Meditation

In my next post i will elaborate on different types of meditation.

BE BLESSED !

Overcome The Setbacks !

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We always get into something thinking it to be the best. Later, if we get into trouble or if the outcome is not according to our anticipated success or fulfillment, we feel crushed with regret.

We keep thinking and brooding about the negative instance in form of mistake for a long time. It even pops up in our mind without invitation to create unwanted ripples time and again.We feel helpless and hopeless. We seem to be lost on our way to the planned destination. These flashbacks to the experience, traumatise us often in the quietness of late hour.

Why is it so?

The reason could be our attachment to the ego and its inconsequential desires. Our ego feels good when it’s desires are getting fulfilled. When this does not happen, it tends to deviate towards sadness and depression. We get disappointed and regret our decisions. Our mental web of thoughts traps us and consumes us.

Also, our mind keeps going back to what has hurt our self-esteem. Certain negative experiences drain us emotionally by affecting us mentally and physically. We all have situations that go wrong. Setbacks or mistakes are inevitable in everyone’s life. Life does not always turn up the way we expect. But it is sheer  ignorance to slip into remorse again and again. As someone has rightly said “Worry is a misuse of power of imagination”.

How do we take ourselves forward by forgetting the mistakes or setbacks?

The right way would be to see things in a positive light. Realize that mistakes are part and parcel of life. Every mistake is an experience which come to teach us a lesson. At the moment, it might seem to be most disappointing and regretful but over the course of time it imparts the most valuable lesson. It might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to us. We should learn from errors of judgement. If we fail, we can always try again in a much better way.

Be objective to the real situation. Retrain your mind to focus on the best that has come out of the situation. Chose the thoughts with awareness to meet our need of healthy living. Our brain needs help to defeat the negative inner chatter. By maintaining a journal of our negative thoughts, we can find out what triggers them. Stop negative self-talk as soon as it starts.

Try not to over-exaggerate the feeling of sadness. Consider it just a feeling like any other. Stop wallowing in self pity.  Thoughts are not always facts; they can be just figments of our over active imagination and could be way far from reality at times. The more you focus on the negative thoughts, the more power you give them.

Practice forgiveness and gratitude to be really positive. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. We are human, not God. Forgive others, to maintain the peace of your mind. Let past remain in the past. Don’t let it control your present or future. Stop overthinking. What’s done is done! Life goes on.

Believe, you can do better in the future. Turn setbacks into fuel for self growth.

REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK!

 

Inevitable