Peace. Contentment. Balance. These are all qualities that are desired to relieve the stress encountered in our busy lives today. It is because of my search for these qualities that I recently found myself in a tranquil mountain setting in northern Italy.
My journey started almost thirteen years ago, when I found a flyer for a “Learn to Meditate with Sahaja Yoga” class at my local community centre. I attended, partly out of curiosity and partly because I really did want to learn to meditate to relieve the stress that I was experiencing in my life at the time. It did take a couple of classes, but eventually I did start to feel more peaceful, more contented and essentially more balanced.
I was also fascinated to learn more about this Indian method of mediation because up until I came across Sahaja Yoga, I had no idea about chakras, channels and an internal motherly energy that we all have called Kundalini. I was equally surprised that all these things had been written about in a great amount of detail in ancient Indian texts, some whose origins go back as far as 10,000 years.
Now it should be noted that true “meditation” and something called “mindfulness” are not the same thing, although in the media these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Mindfulness involves using your mind to direct your attention to thoughts or emotions – so still using your mind. Contrast that with what Indian texts describe as a true mediation – the achievement of “thoughtless awareness”, in other words, mental silence. In this state, one can be aware of everything that is happening all around them and at the same time, experience no thoughts.
When mental silence is achieved, the body and mind enter a state of deep relaxation which naturally leads to stress relief, better mental balance, improved attention and emotional resilience. Several studies in England, India and Australia have studied the mental, physical and emotional well-being of Sahaja Yoga meditators to come to these conclusions. Additionally, the effect of Sahaja Yoga mediation techniques on specific diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and others have been scientifically researched and documented. Findings include improvements or complete curing of disease when the body’s chakra’s and channels are operating in balance.
Now back to the mountains in Italy. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit such a place of peace and tranquility, along with a number of other meditators from all over the world who practice Sahaja Yoga. From camping under the stars, through seminars on honing meditation techniques, to collective meditations in scenic surroundings, we all enjoyed the silence that exists within and the uniting of body, mind and spirit that provides a sense of true peace, contentment and inner balance.
If you are interested in learning how to meditate, visit freemeditation.com for more information on the techniques of Sahaja Yoga and to find a free class near you.