Today, the word meditation tends to awaken expectations, especially in big urban centres, where the accelerated rhythm of life generates ever-increasing stress, and, among other things, neural exhaustion.
Based on this need, and consequent demand, schools, methods and centres have emerged, offering online and in-person meditation as a way of addressing the aforementioned problems.
This increasing pursuit of ways to provide greater efficiency and quality of life is positive, and shows that there’s a budding need across society: to find alternative answers to problems, something which forms a step forward in the slow process of evolution.
Nevertheless, it’s good to clarify that, if we consult the ancient texts that talk seriously about the matter, we observe that meditation was not a technique that was developed to provide a solution to daily problems, such as increased stress or muscle tension; issues other disciplines exist to resolve. On the contrary, since its origins, meditation has been considered to be an expanded state of consciousness, a process accessed via developing linear intuition with a view to achieving self-knowledge. The immediate beneficial effects of its practice are a simple consequence of the behavioural habits that accompany this process, which, while very significant to our quality of life, are not the goal that is sought.
We can begin by trying to concentrate on a single object; something that, in Sanskrit, is called ekagrata which we can translate as a technique to fix our attention on a single point. This point may be a physical object, the point between the eyebrows, the tip of the nose or another element on which we’re able to sustain our focus. The activity of the senses and the unconscious mind constantly introduce into our consciousness instabilities, which dominate and modify the mind. however with consistent practice, it is possible to inhibit these psycho-mental automations that disperse our attention.
In order to advance towards the state of meditation, it’s necessary to strengthen our willpower, something that we can make more powerful by exercising concentration on a single point with discipline and constancy. Sporadic training does not work; by dedicating a lot of time towards our practice on one day, then, on the next few days, nothing, followed by another spasm of enthusiasm, we force ourselves into exhaustion, and the only thing we manage to strengthen is our dispersion. It’s highly useful to train a few minutes every day in order to generate a habit, rather than acting irregularly.
In his book Meditation and Self-knowledge, Professor DeRoseclearly explains that “everything is based on simply practising concentration two or more times per day, allowing the mind to become educated and stop getting distracted all the time. The mind is nourished by diversification. That’s why people are attracted by novelty”.
In his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the historian Yuval Harari highlights the importance of practising meditation, noting that “in a world flooded with irrelevant information, clarity is power”.
Based on my own experience, I can affirm that, gradually, the mind becomes disciplined, and any initial resistance is transformed into a state of quiet and the conquest of moments of much pleasure, during which time expands and intuition, clarity and certainty are obtained.