Why do people meditate? Finding clarity and calmness with meditation is a popular answer. But what are the tangible benefits? The road to growth begins with Self-Awareness and asking these types of questions.
As we approach the winter season, there is a natural tendency to turn inward. The holidays, however, ask us to do the opposite. Gatherings and relating with others often become our focus in the holiday season. There’s a craving to spend time alone, but instead, we cram our schedule with celebrations and gatherings. There is ample activity, wants, challenges, eating, preparing, and shopping. All these demands have to do with life outside of ourselves and none of that leads us towards inner reflection.
Why do people meditate?
When we take time to meditate, it allows space for reflection of the ups and downs of daily life. When we step back from the roller coaster, we can see the bigger picture. More importantly, we can see where the roller coaster is headed and its perpetual patterns. The holidays are important times to come into ourselves for deeper introspection.
We can approach the holidays with wisdom to honor all of the chaos with a personal and analytic meditation called ĀTMA-VICHĀRA. Ātma-vichāra (or jnana-vichāra), loosely translated from Sanskrit is known as ‘inner-self’ or ‘soul’.
A little bit of meditation on ĀTMA-VICHĀRA, self-inquiry, can go a long way. Here, we can find a way to tend to our hearts with presence and compassion for our inner lives and honoring others. But where do we begin?
How to Find Clarity and Calmness with Meditation
Start by finding a quiet space in your house and sitting down. Set a timer so you have a boundary. This could be 5 minutes or 20 minutes, whatever you have time for. Now, repeat in your mind the word “hello.” Be with the words and listen to the mind saying “hello” to your inner self.
When you get distracted, don’t make a big deal about it. Just come back to the word “hello.” Keep going until the timer goes off.
“You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness, there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things of the not-self. If one gives up being aware of them, then pure awareness alone remains, and that is the Self.” ~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
The greatest return on investment (ROI) you will get from this practice will happen outside of the meditation itself. If this specific meditation doesn’t work for you, here are 9 other styles you can choose from. You will see the returns in the way that you communicate and behave with others during this busy season, and in the choices you make for yourself.
Practice this with us in Office Yoga, and in quiet times either before bed, while waking, in the car, cooking, or washing dishes. Take time to meditate and contemplate what may bubble up for you, breathe, and honor yourself where you are, here and now.