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  • Hasitha Illa

Is meditation really worth it?

People tend to have different opinions on the same subject. But, that should not lead to discriminations or superiority. We need to start respecting the beliefs of others and ideologies. Today, my friend and I will be talking about our perspectives towards meditation. Both of us have experienced it, love how it became a part of our lives but, have different approaches to it.

What is meditation?

Hasi: Like religion, there are various methods to meditate. Whether it is through the breath or the heart but, the end goal is the same which is to reach tranquility. But, to me it is much more than that. It is the beginning to a self- transformation. Since the day I started my meditative practice, there are innumerable changes that happened to me and I’m working towards many more!

Ankit: To me, meditation is like the gym for the mind. It’s flexing the mental muscle and making it stronger by taking control of the thought patterns. Meditation, much like physical exercise needs to be done regularly to get maximum benefits. At first I didn't believe that meditation could actually help me achieve a better state of mind because I felt like it was just another cult kind of preaching, but then I came across a series of tweets by Naval Ravikant on how meditation is supposed to be the most natural thing not requiring any guru or there's no right or wrong way to do it. He is someone I look up to and he highly recommended that everyone should meditate. This forced me to give an honest try to meditation and over time I began to see it work. If life is a multiplayer worldwide game, meditation is the single player mode that you need to play to level up, for self-maintenance.

Life is the game you play outward. Meditation is the game within your mind.

Our approaches

Hasi: I follow the Heartfulness meditation which believes that there is divinity within us and we ultimately need to acknowledge that. This approach not only brings peace but, carves an open mind. Initially, we only had ganapati or krishna idols in our house. Now, we've brought jesus and buddha into our space. They preach about their unique teachings and include the essence of various others for example the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita. More than the bookish knowledge, he stresses on experiences and practice. He says, “Your faith should be backed up with experiences because solely believing does not change facts!” The fact that they are instilling all these human values really hooked me. (Click here) to read about how I started my journey.

Ankit: Different people approach meditation in different ways, but for me, the simplest way to get started is to just sit down for 30 minutes and let whatever happens, happen. There’s nothing better than doing it yourself and seeing if it works. Just sit down, close your eyes and see what your mind does. Do not judge your thoughts, rather observe as your mind keeps hopping around and then try bringing it back to a calm state, back to the present moment. Do not let it out of your control. Much like at the gym, you start with shorter durations and lesser weight, you do as much as you can and over time you get better at it. This allows for a much better mastery over your mind. Do not try too hard to be thoughtless, as it will be hard for a beginner, just let it happen. Let go of your preconceived ideas of what it’s supposed to feel like. Just try to stay in the moment, find something involuntary to focus on, like your breath or your heartbeat, or the wind on your face and see what your mind unveils to you.

How has it helped me?

Hasi: How hasn’t it? By embarking in this spiritually journey, it has transformed me into a completely different human being (Ask my parents!). I was an extremely short tempered girl that would always burst out But now, very few can find me doing that! I was able to have a positive outlook on life and a have very different perspective about my disability (This is mainly what many admire about me). I started believing in myself after my stage show with Shankar Mahadevan which was organized by the Heartfulness institute. After that beautiful experience, my self-esteem raised and I gained enough courage to give more motivational speeches, start a blog as well as YouTube! (Youtube link)

Ankit: The biggest change in my life ever since I started meditation has been the decrease in my anxiety levels. I had a really bad case of anxiety and would have anxiety attacks regularly, but meditation forced me to face the demon head on. Sitting alone with my thoughts for 30 minutes forced me to take control of my thought chain. I learnt to disrupt my anxious thought cycles and keep my mind from spiraling out of control. This has majorly reduced my anxiety attacks and I feel more secure and in control of my life in general.

So that has been the biggest learning from meditation in my life, I've learnt to take back control of my mind and that has made a huge difference in my performance in other spheres of life and allowed me to be more happy and positive.

The goal is to stay present and observe the mind. "Do or do not. There is no try!"

While we both have very different approaches to meditation, we agree that it is an essential practice in this busy, chaotic world we live in. In an age of constant connection across the globe, it is necessary to disconnect and tune into what is going on in our minds and do some self-maintenance work. Meditation keeps us in tune with the state of our mind. If we take care of what’s within us, dealing with everything the world has to throw at us becomes much easier!

So do consider getting into this practice. There are plenty of methods, choose what suits you best! Get started with your inner work!

This was collaborated with a person who has dangerously similar thoughts to mine. His name is Ankit Nag and he has a beautiful Instagram page,The Lost Indian, with heartful content. This our second collab and our first was about love. (CLICK HERE) to read it!

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