The human mind is a restless entity and not an easy one to control. It can be easily distracted and deviated. The distracted or unfocused mind is like an adrift ship in the ocean of life. No direction and uncontrolled mind lead an erratic life, career, family which ultimately create sorrow, aimless, depressing, and stressed life. When the mind becomes a problem, life becomes a problem. So, the mind is the most important part of your body that need to be kept under the control. A controlled and focused mind is a powerful mind which is resistant to stress, depression, pessimism, fear, and others negative factors. When the mind is focused and free from any distraction it becomes calm and free from unnecessary thoughts.
Why Meditation Important?
The mind can be controlled by the process of Yoga. Yoga is a state of evenness of mind. When you are in this state your mind is at the most perfectly balanced state as per Ashtanga Yoga before reaching a Dhyana or Meditation state you need to create a concentration state called Dharana.
Meditation is the highest state of the mind, it creates a complete balance in your thought process. A meditative mind is a focused and mindful one which is silent and peaceful. The meditative mind can be attained not when you are just doing a meditation on your yoga mat but it is a state that can continue with your all daily activities and that bring an awareness and mindfulness.
How to develop a Focused Mind by Meditation?
Dharana or concentration is the first step in the process of meditation. Focus can only be created when your mind is one-pointed toward the object( anything that you can focus) without any disturbance of any irrelevant thoughts. It is like holding a mind to a point. As you start to focus on the object the vibration of the mind (due to numerous thoughts) start vanishing and stillness start observing by the mind. A still mind is a silent mind, free from external thoughts. You can imagine mind as a lake which is still and ripple free, the ripples of thoughts diminish, a deep silence becomes a reality. Once the focus achieved, now the mind is moving towards the meditation of deep peace and silence.
Meditation is a self-conscious process to create one-pointedness. Meditation is an effective way to develop a focused and calm mind. Many Scientific types of research on meditation conducted by the many international medical institutes have been proved the effectiveness of meditation on mind and its mental processes.
Meditation Practices to Create a Focus and Mindfulness
As per the study and analysis of various Yoga & Buddhist literature on Vipassana Meditation, Ashtanga Yoga and Dhyana Yoga we have curated the best practices in meditation to enhance the focus and create mindfulness. Here are the meditation tips :
Vipassana Meditation or Mindfulness Meditation:
There are two kinds of meditation in Vipassana i.e. Mindfulness & Concentration. All meditation techniques can be categorized into two types: insight meditation and tranquility meditation, or concentration.
In tranquility practice, you fix the attention on a single object until the mind enters a deep, trance like stillness. You develop enough concentration to quiet the mind and suppress mental impurities such as anger.
- In tranquility meditation, the Rising & Falling exercise is a good way to improve the concentration in this exercise just sit comfortably on the yoga mat place your hands in your lap, palms facing upward, the right hand on top of the left. direct your attention to the abdomen, an inch or two above the navel. Find the point that seems clearest to you. Don’t actually look at the spot. Just place your mind there. The point should lie along the vertical midline of the body. As you breathe in, the abdomen expands; as you breathe out, it contracts. In meditation, these movements are called, respectively, “rising” and “falling.”
The practice of insight, on the other hand, cultivates wisdom. The student develops systematic mindfulness in order to see the real characteristics of existence: unsatisfactoriness, impermanence, and impersonality.
Walking meditation is an important vipassana technique to develop mindfulness. It is a very simple meditation exercise :
- First, before walk observes the standing posture, noting “standing” for a few moments. This means to focus awareness on the posture of the body as you stand Slowly lift the right foot and place it down, taking one step. Be aware of the entire arc of movement from beginning to end. Slowly take a step with the left foot, noting “placing.” Stop Continue walking, making sure to stop completely after each step. Only move one foot at a time.
Ashtanga Yoga (Pranayama)
Yoga is a science of creating a balance between body & mind to realize the self. In Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Yoga defines as the cessation of external & internal conditioning of the mind. The whole philosophy of Yoga is based on this explanation. In Ashtanga or Raja Yoga there are 8 important part Dharana(Concentration) & Dhyana(Meditation) are the important parts in the Ashtanga Yoga.
To reach the state of meditation the concentration is needed i.e.Dharana, holding the mind to certain points is Dharana. When the
Chitta, or mind-stuff, is confined and limited to a certain place it is Dharana.
- The exercises in Pranayama that help to create the state of concentration. Sit upright; the body must be kept straight. The spinal cord, although not attached to the vertebral column, is yet inside of it. If you sit crookedly you disturb this spinal cord, so let it be free. Any time that you sit crookedly and try to meditate you do yourself an injury. The three parts of the body, the chest, the neck, and the head, must be always held straight in one line.
- The first exercise is just to breathe in a measured way, in and out. That will harmonize the system. When you have practiced this for some time, you will do well to join to it the repetition of some word as “Om,” or any other sacred word or mantra.
- In the second exercise, slowly fill the lungs with breath through the left nostril, and at the same time concentrate the mind on the nerve current. Stop the right nostril with the thumb, and then slowly draw in the breath through the left; then close both nostrils with thumb and forefinger, and imagine that you are sending that current down, and striking the base of the Sushumnâ; then take the thumb off, and let the breath out through the right nostril. Next inhale slowly through that nostril, keeping the other closed by the forefinger, then close both, as before.
- In Dhyana yoga, there is a simple exercise that can be practiced to enhance the power of concentration. Sit straight, and look at the tip of your nose.
These are some ancient meditation practices to control your mind and make it focussed and fill it with mindfulness.