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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Patanjali Yoga - Secrets of Meditation

By Diwakar Vashist

Meditation is a part of the yogic tradition of India. It is a union of body, mind, soul, spirit and environment. This union is possible through meditation, as described by the sage Patanjali many years ago. According to Patanjali, yoga is the progressive settling down of the mind, into the field of pure silence. When the mind is silent, we are in our essential state, which is pure unbounded consciousness. In the course of our daily routine, our essential state is overshadowed by the activity of the mind.

Our expression or existence has three levels - the physical body, the subtle body and the causal body. The physical body, according to quantum physics, is a space and time event. It has two components: (1) the material component, which is made up of food, and (2) the energy component, or what we call the vital force. Some of us are very energetic and some of us are lethargic. If we derive adequate energy from our sensory inputs such as vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste, then we will be energetic.

Sight Energy: If we visualize colourful, attractive scenery, it will energies us. On the other hand, if we watch horror movies or violent scenes, it will de-energies us.

Touch Energy: Touch is also a very important part of healing energy. Shaking hands, kissing, hugging, embracing, petting and massage therapy, including acupressure, are known to release healing substances such as endorphins which are responsible for a feeling of well-being. But if we pinch or slap somebody, that is a negative touch influence and liberates jittery molecules. Self-massage with oil (abhyanga) is excellent for health.

Smell Energy: Fragrance, smell or aroma also energises us, though the effect varies among individuals. The smell of spirit may cause nausea in someone, while the smell of incense may have a healing influence on the same individual.

Sound Energy: Certain sounds have the power to energise us. Invocations and chants such as Om, Ameen and Amen fill the body with a healing force.

Taste Energy: Gustatory or taste sensations also energise us. All the tastes, including sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent, should be consumed in moderation depending on the dominance of our dosha - vatta, pitta or kapha.

The various types of meditation are transcendental meditation, Raj yoga meditation, Japa meditation, primordial sound meditation, mindfulness meditation, breathing meditation, Gregorian chanting and Tibetan chanting. Though the methods are different, the objectives of all these techniques are the same.