“Meditate? Who, me?” A common reaction by many who feel that meditation is the most difficult thing to do. When we are so used to doing some activity all the time then sitting with our eyes closed for even 10 minutes and doing nothing sounds absurd. Let us look at some of the most common reasons why people find meditation difficult, while we offer some simple solutions to these apparently difficult situations.
#1: You say – I work for 10 hours in a high-pressure job, barring the time lost in traffic. It is difficult to find the time to meditate!
We say – If you don’t have time, this is exactly why you should meditate. Confused? Meditation adds hours to our day. Meditating for 15-20 minutes daily can help improve concentration and productivity, the work gets done faster and you are left with more time which you can use to relax the mind and recharge yourself after a long day at work. Remember: If you find 15 minutes to meditate in the day, you will be able to find time for everything else. You definitely need to try for yourself to really see how difficult it is when you don’t meditate!
#2: You say – Sit still at one place with eyes closed for 20 minutes? Are you kidding me?
We say –It’s really not that difficult when it comes to actually sitting and meditating. At the end of those 20 minutes, you may not even realize that you had been sitting for that long! Moreover,there’s nothing more refreshing than a short meditation session. In fact, it might make you feel as though you have just woken up from an eight-hour-long deep restful sleep.
#3: You say – I’m considered cool in college. If I sit and meditate, I’ll be looked at as somebody from another planet! My friends would ask, “What’s wrong with you?”
We say –This is a general misconception among some young people. Meditation is no longer an alien concept. Lots of people want to learn this technique and derive its benefits.Moreover, it works for everyone – kids, youth and the old – at different levels. As a student, you may witness increased concentration and improved exam results.You are also better able to handle your relationship with your parents and peers.
#4: You say –My family thinks that if I meditate I would become a sanyasi (recluse). I don’t want to upset them.
We say – You only need to be skilful in dealing with this, and again, meditation can help you acquire the skill to become more sensitive, intuitive and well equipped to connect with your family better. It might be initially challenging to make them understand your viewpoint but as you keep meditating, they will start observing positive changes in you – your personality and speech become pleasant, and communication skills get better. Slowly, they start getting comfortable with the idea. It would definitely be ideal if all of you meditate together as it is always more effective in creating a positive environment.
#5: You say – Once I close my eyes, what am I supposed to do next? What will happen in meditation?
We say – Such a feeling is natural because we are always so caught up in action that letting go completely seems impossible. But take it easy! All you need to do in meditation is simply relax. To start with, you can take guidance from an experienced teacher at the Sahaj Samadhi Course, who can lead you into meditation. Or you can practice it at home by listening to a online guided meditation and you will see how easy it is to slip into a state of doing nothing!
#6: You say – It’s always too noisy at home. I have children and it is difficult to find some quiet moments when I can sit and meditate.
We say – Have you noticed when you are tired or sleepy, how you can doze off simply anywhere -on a moving bus or train, or in the middle of a movie at the cinema? This happens because we don’t have a choice and the mind automatically switches offeven amidst so much noise. In meditation, we have a choice to switch off our mind for some time. We have a say over our mind!
#7: You say – When society is facing numerous challenges– poverty, conflict, unemployment, corruption - at this time you expect me to sit and meditate when so much needs to be done?
We say – This is exactly the time when meditation can help. It gives you the strength within to be able to serve, to help bring about a resolution to conflicts. When you meditate, your aura starts affecting the people around you. When you are calm, rather than being affected, you start positively influencing the environment. Over time, regular meditation will help change a lot of things – you might notice good things happening around you because you meditate!
The wisdom in this article is based on talks and discourses given by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in different satsangs around the world.
Last weekend HTCC Kansas City hosted a beautiful course for children, ART Excel (All Round Training in Excellence) for age group 8 to 13yrs.
My favorite part of the program was the part when we lay down and it was really quiet. I liked the stories a lot as well. And it was fun to play games along with the 6 very important keys that we learned. I loved the course overall and I really enjoyed it. Yes! I would recommend it!
- Kanishka, 12
My favorite part of ART Excel was doing the relaxation techniques and the games. I really liked eating dinner with all the other kids and getting to know them. ART Excel really helped me and helped me gain confidence and helped me learn how to make new friends. Since I am starting a new school these skills will be very important for me not only now, but for the rest of my life.
- Nikita, 11
Helpful, fun, exciting, careful, making friends, Most of All Awesome ART Excel- Rishi, 8
What I like about the course – fun, happy, helpful, amazing, great, THE TEACHER!!
After doing Kriya it felt calm. ART Excel was very fun.
I liked doing a lot of stuff like Kriya, dog and the bone and Kho Kho. I really liked ART Excel
I liked the ART Excel course a lot. I liked playing games and doing meditation. I think this course will help me lot. My most favorite part of the course was Kriya.
I find this camp helpful. I would give this camp a 4.5 star rating and recommend this camp to my Indian friends. I liked the gibberish naming game thingie.
It was awesome. I am repeating the course and it was really different this time. Last time I did it at Guru Poornima in North Carolina (Boone). I would recommend this course to other people. Thank you for the experience. It was the best. I loved everything. GO ART Excel and Art of Living
- Amita, 9
1. After everything I was relaxed, tired and refreshed
2. I have breathing problem and I think Kriya will help me
3. I learned new game like dog and the bone and Kho Kho
4. I like the Yoga. It will make me more flexible too.
5. ART Excel was a very fun and relaxing program.
I liked...Kho Kho and Dog and the Bone
I think...It was really really really FUN!
I feel...It will help me with my allergies
I learned...Surya Namaskar, Bhastrika, Kriya and many other stuff.
It was awesome!
- Prag (Pragathi)
It was a great course. It was fun and relaxing. We played exciting games and everybody was nice. My body and mind felt refreshed. We played Dog and the bone and Kho Kho. It was fun. I recommend you to go this program. It’s awesome!
It was a great course!
It was relaxing and refreshing
I also liked the games
I really really really liked Kho Kho!
I was scared the first day because I thought I didn’t know anybody but I reached out my hand and made friends.
I also liked writing stories about “Laugh and Let go”
My favorite part about ART Excel was doing the Kriya. I learned that Yoga and meditation is good for your focus, stamina and a lot of other things. I experienced a lot of stuff too!
My favorite part about ART Excel is when we were doing Yoga with colors, gibberish, and numbers in Spanish, Japanese and French.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, yes, fire them!
- What is Guruji?
Child who refuses to grow up!
Lifeline or could be deathline.
Love upside down.
That brings happiness.
That brings misery.
The lucky one.
Mother of bliss.
- Your smile?
Doesn’t work all the time.
Responsibility. Anyone who takes responsibility is a youth.
One who performs the responsibility.
A gift to humanity.
Meant to bring comfort.
That which you can’t avoid.
That which you can make bright.
The same. Ditto!
A person in the audience says, “Fear”
Sri Sri : Fear is love, upside down!
A person in the audience says, “Love"
Sri Sri : Love! That is what you are!
A person in the audience says, “Longing”
Sri Sri : A prelude to love!
A person in the audience says, “Loss”
Sri Sri : You can say that every loss is a prelude to a bigger gain.
A person in the audience says, “Faith.”
Sri Sri : To understand faith, you must know doubt.
A person in the audience says, “Grace.”
Sri Sri : Grace comes with gratitude.
If you feel grateful, then something comes up in your life - and that is grace.
This New Year we'll devote to our youth and children. We'll share the excerpts from Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji's talks on topics related to youth, children and their upbringing by parents. We'll also share our own experiences from working with youth for past few years. Below are some cool Q&A with Sri Sri on December 24, 2011 in an all youth gathering.