Earlier I used to think Meditation is 'Focus'. Focus on light, or some sound or an image of a God. I learnt Transcendental Meditation from a Thermodynamics professor in CEG during my 2nd year. Don't remember his name, but remember his teaching still. His focus was on a Mantra.
I thought I have to focus on the Mantra during meditation. But later realised the Mantra is just a vehicle to go into "Thoughtlessness".
Actually once I realised the goal of Meditation is to get into Thoughtlessness it became easy as I did not have to fight to focus or control the mind. I just let it loose. When I sit for Meditation a ton of thoughts come to my mind - much like a jelly lorry emptying its load on a road side - the mind is very excited now - finally it is getting a piece of time to analyze everything. I let the mind analyze everything and once in a while remind the mind ( by recalling the Mantra ) that I am here to meditate and not for a psychiatric session.
But some where I drift into Thoughtlessness - do not know how much time I go into this state - I know I have gone into this state as when I get out of my 30 minutes session I cannot remember much of the analysis the mind was doing. I feel fresh and calm - and a kind of happiness and love sets in. Something like the runner's high.
Meditation puts the mind to rest. This allows the subconscious / soul to surface. The soul gets a chance to come out of the cave - as this mind is like a dog barking all the time outside this cave - and the soul never dares to peep out. When the soul peeps out brilliant things happen - as it is pure and is full of love. The soul/heart is pure intuition and if we let this drive our life wonders will happen as it is not weighed down by ego or the mind.
Of late I am discovering one more style of Meditation - Mindfulness. This is even tougher to practice but this is the next logical step.
Right now, this very minute - as I am writing this blog - my ego is jumping like a mad monkey from one tree of thought to another - how will the person who is reading judge me, will I get enough Facebook likes etc. I am not completely immersed into this post and writing with my heart and soul.
But when I write being mindful of just this post - I automatically get enough Facebook likes or people call me to appreciate that was a good post. At times after I finish writing I know - this is a good post - I was mindful only about this Post, and the ego was forgotten.
I am noticing this "not being in the moment" during many instances of my waking life. Yesterday I was in Juhu beach standing on the shore with my niece Charu - a 12 year old. She was jumping and talking to the waves and was fully drenched in the moment. I was standing there not drinking in the moment but thinking of work or the thousand things my mind likes to chew upon.
Now and then I get into a "flow" like state when I am immersed in the moment. While coding or while writing some emails or such blog posts - words or code just flow. I get into this meditative state - and I would have dished out ton of good stuff in a short span of time - and yet feel refreshed and energized to produce more.
I should try to get more into the "being in the moment". When I write code or blog or eating or shaving or cleaning my laptop - should just be mindful of this task. When I am singing or dancing with kids - be there with them - in the moment. This sounds much easier than meditation but it is quite tough.
I have to keep reminding myself to be mindful. Much like the mantra I use during my meditation session to break the train of thoughts and remind myself that I am here to meditate.
When I am doing a task - and if my mind starts drifting - should bring it back to the task at hand. Then I am in a meditative state all day and the very thought is intoxicating!
Mindfulness is Meditation.