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Friday, July 19, 2019

The Beauty of Duality and Meditation

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Conflicts started at the beginning of time. If we look around, we will find duality touching all realms of dimensions touching our lives. A closer look will reveal that there is always a pair of opposite forces in action everywhere. For instance, light and darkness, knowledge and ignorance, duty and righteousness always go together. The presence of only light or only shadow is not conducive for any picture to develop.

On a similar note, happiness and sorrow are integral parts of human life, but we all know that emotions cause turmoil. Eyes dwell on what is superficial, what we observe from our limited perspective. We can obtain proper reflection of an object only when the water is still and deep. If it is not so, a clear image cannot be seen. Likewise, a clear image cannot be formed in a mind in turmoil.

Light and darkness, happiness and sorrow have their designated places in life. When the Sun rises from the far-east horizon, darkness is defeated and disappears in the west. Similarly, after a long exhausting day of work, millions of tired minds and bodies retire in the arms of soothing darkness of the night.

What is Duality?

Duality is the essence of life. It simply means that everything that exists holds opposing truths. Aspects that are all true. The infinitesimally meager is also infinitely big and the other way round. It is all a matter of perspective.

If one says that Earth is an enormous planet but from scratch ignores the fact that it is a mote of dust that is suspended in space, then that person is surely ignorant. Understanding the concept of duality in everything is important, as it allows us to see different aspects of the same thing from other perspectives. Perceptions are relative and not absolute.

The Nature of Duality

Duality brings forth two sides of truth to us. One is what we perceive, that is, the relative truth and the other is, the absolute truth.  Absolute truth is always beyond what we perceive. Why? This is because perception is only one angle of all the different angles from which we can view the truth. It is only one of the filters that we use to view something.

Why does Duality exist at all?

Duality brings in balance. If there existed no duality, we would never yearn and strive for unity, wholeness or oneness.

The Chinese philosophy emphasizes on the combination and opposition of the two basic forces Yin and Yang. These reflect the philosophy of balance. In this principle, two opposites co-exist in harmony. If we observe the symbol of Yin-Yang, we will find that there is a dot of Yin in Yang and vice-versa. This shows the inter-connectedness between two different forces. The Yang on reaching its climax retreats in favour of the Yin and so does Yin in reciprocation. The dynamic interplay of these two forces results in all manifestations of the Tao.

In Hinduism, Ardh-narishwar represents duality. Shakti is the feminine aspect of Shiva. Shiva is a sage and is called the destroyer while Parvati referred to as Shakti is the source of energy in our body, giving us life, movement and consciousness.

Tuning in the Mind

The energy that is being transmitted by the satellite is everywhere. The antenna, fixed at your roof-top receives this energy in the form of signals and you can easily turn on a news station or a weather channel just by the touch of a button. You can turn on a movie, a soap-opera, a drama or a religious channel just by pressing a button. What you are doing here, is that you are accessing a particular frequency.

There exist countless frequencies in the world. By every action, thought, speech of ours, we are generating a particular energy that goes right into the atmosphere. Though subtle, it is very real. The kind of energy that we access depends on what we keep our heart and mind open to. That is how we determine whether we head towards nurturing our good qualities to access the divinity within us or move in the opposite direction.

Let us try to understand this with the help of a practical instance. The world today is getting commercialized in all spheres. A business flourishes only with intelligent proper investments. The future of the business depends on the nature of the investment. Similarly, there is need to bring about peace and stability through investing in the internal nourishment of the mind.

What we have is what we can give back to others. A poor man cannot give wealth to the society. It is said that if we are not a part of the solution then we are part of the predicament. 

Understanding Yoga

‘Yoga’ in Sanskrit means unity. Body, mind and consciousness together constitute a living being. You might ponder, what is meant by the word ‘consciousness’? The energy emanating from the soul is called consciousness.

Yoga means to unite or bring in harmony, the body, mind and soul. To bring in stability within ourselves, we need to understand the complete yoga system. Unification of body with nature is hatha-yoga. To unite mind and body is pranayam. Unifying mind and soul is jnana. In such unified condition, we can naturally feel and express the unlimited love within our own selves through all our visible as well as unspoken actions.

All of us are spiritual beings. We have boundless spiritual power within our hearts. Yoga refers to taping that limitless spiritual power and expressing it in every aspect of our lives with a pure heart.

This would not only bring about a balance in our lives but also help us  overcome many obstacles that appear impossible. To overpower the fundamental disunity in our life, what is required is not a sword to overcome the conflicting mind but the realization that if we have unity within ourselves, within our own mind, we can create unity as well. If the mind is not harmonized with the body and soul, it will lead to a dysfunctional self and then, there will be no real peace, real love or real happiness. The self will not be calm within and if we are not calm inside, we will not be able to feel the same outside. It is to be remembered that nothing external gives happiness until and unless you are content within. There is no end to cravings, but the stillness is to be sought within.

Meditation as a Healing Power

Meditation as healing means to give time to your mind and soul. You must have heard over and over again, ‘You are what you think’ but have you ever had the time to give this idea, a thought. We all know that life confronts us with one or the other problem every now and then. Your positive thoughts take you a step forward towards healing your inner-self thereby taking you above your problems.

Suppose a trivial issue has been nagging you for long. You start thinking about it positively thereby, sending the same dilemma of yours, positive vibes which in turn changes your whole outlook towards it and it turns into a beneficial aspect of your life. So, you have been successful in turning a bane to a boon just with your thought process. Amazing! Isn’t it?

This magic mantra is not a hidden treasure but each one of us has it with him or her. The only thing is that pestered by day to day bothering, we often forget that this jewel or magic lamp lies in our own hands. We simply need to understand its powers and utilize it to nurture our being.

Say, a particular thought is constantly disturbing you. You are finding it difficult to put your mind in anything other than that thought. What do you do then? Ride your bike and run away from it? Can you really do that? I believe that is practically not possible. Then, what is the way out?

Well, there is a very simple solution to it. Try to focus on other aspects of life that give you inner peace. Things that disturb you are not what you are looking for in life. Simply try to concentrate your energy on the aspects or things that you are really looking forward to in life. I say so, because by this act, you are sending energy to your cherished goal and it slowly manifests. It gradually turns up to become a reality.

There exists an unseen power that we refer to as the almighty that responds to all our genuine desires. Through meditation, you can easily connect with that power. This power lies unexplored within you. You need to tap it. Explore it. Let it enhance.

Meditation helps you overcome the duality or conflict within. It brings about stability in your inner-self. It leads you from divergence to convergence. It helps you focus your energy to what you want, what brings peace, satisfaction and joy to your inner-being.

Our problems are not bigger than us. If there were no problems in life, what would be the joy of living? Moreover, nothing lasts forever. Not even our troubles. The issues bothering us are not as big as they appear. We can always take them as a passing phase of life, whose seriousness will dilute with the time to come. The problems are not that many either. If you look closely and do a self-assessment, you will find that ninety-nine percent of the problems are self-created. ‘Self-analysis’ will help us in finding the root cause of our troubles and help us chalk a way out of our dilemma.

Save some time for your mind, body and soul, heal yourself and cherish the beauty of life through meditation and a positive outlook.

How to meditate in everyday life

It might surprise you that one can meditate anytime or anywhere, accessing a sense of stillness, over and above what the situation and surroundings are like.

Practice Mindfulness

You need not restrict meditation to strict practice sessions. You can always choose to be mindful in your everyday life. For instance, if you are stressed out, focus entirely on your breathing and sway away negative emotions or thoughts from your mind.

In your daily activities like taking your breakfast, try to be more aware of the food that you are taking and the sensations that you feel while you eat.

Try to live in the present, in the very moment. Try to be more aware of your actions performed in your everyday life. 

A healthy mind in a healthy body
Healthy eating habits, exercise and ample sleep together constitute a healthy lifestyle and can contribute to more effective meditation.

Guided Meditation
An experienced teacher can be a good support in guiding you on how to meditate when you are unsure about where to begin.

Timing of Meditation
Make it a point to meditate everyday at the same time. This will help you make the practice of meditation a part of your daily routine and you will start experiencing its benefits sooner. It is very good to meditate early in the morning before the mind gets consumed with stress and worries.

Meditation is a journey. Its purpose is to calm the mind, overcome fears, dilemmas and duality within. A mirror shows you your image but what if the mirror has been neglected for a considerable period of time. There are layers of dirt and dust on it. Such a mirror gives you an idea that the filth on it is you. On the other hand, when you clean the mirror, slowly emerges your true image. And you see your actual self as soon as the mirror is completely clean.

Meditation fulfils that purpose and so does spirituality. One can surely feel more connected, wholesome and balanced by filtering his mind through meditation and bringing the consciousness back to its original state which is pure and tranquil.