Easy Spirituality | What is Spirituality | What is Meditation | Meditation for Beginners
There’s increasing awareness in the world today of the importance of Spirituality and Meditation. However, many are still unaware what Spirituality is, hence are unable to get it’s easy practical benefits.
To aid understanding, below is given a very simple explanation of Spirituality, or meditation.
Meditation means Caring for the Mind
Meditation simply means taking care of the mind. Just like the musician takes care of his instrument, singer takes care of his throat, cricketer of kit, etc, we take care of the mind.
Because the mind is the most important resource we have. While skills & talents useful in one profession may or may not be useful in other professions, the mind is one resource which is used universally across all professions. And indeed, any marvel created outside is first created in the mind. Hence, caring for the mind is of utmost importance.
Even though we may have the best of skills but if the mind is disturbed or not in control, we are not able to use or even remember the skills we have. That’s the primary reason we are shifting from requiring individuals with high Intelligence Quotient (IQ) to individuals with more Emotional Quotient (EQ) and now to more Spiritual Quotient (SQ).
And since it’s the mind which takes care of everything else, caring for it ensures that everything else is automatically cared for. Hence, we care for the mind.
Thoughts lead to Feelings
The main function of the mind is to create thoughts. Now, if I create a negative thought ‘He is useless, spoilt‘, I will be the first to feel slightly low inside. If I create a positive thought ‘He is a wonderful person’, ‘Life is beautiful‘, I will feel very nice inside. Hence, as is the thought, so is the feeling.
Hence, Spirituality simply means that while doing all actions & fulfilling all responsibilities, I keep a check on what I am feeling inside. If my feelings start going in a negative direction, check the thought behind the feeling, and then change the quality of thought. This will change the feeling. Hence, this allows me to maintain good feelings & experiences throughout the day.
Going forward, I am then able to keep an attention on my thoughts, and change them as soon as needed. Hence, I am able to change my thoughts even before going in the low-feeling stage, thus allowing me to maintain an elevated state of mind throughout the day.
Going Beyond Blame
Hence, we have understood how Spirituality means caring for the mind, and as is the thought so is the feeling, hence if feelings start becoming negative, change the thought behind it. However, it’s observed that the biggest obstacle that comes in changing our thoughts is blame.
Many times, we feel our feeling or state of mind is low because of situations or people, and hence blame them for our state of mind.
However, looking closely, we encounter a different picture. Let’s understand this by some examples.
Suppose you are travelling by road and get stuck in a traffic jam, along with many other cars. And suppose everyone’s getting equally late. Will everyone stuck in the traffic jam respond in the same manner? Some will keep getting irritated inside the car, some will step out & start shouting or fighting, some will catch up with their favourite music, some will complete most work or replan postpone etc by phone itself, and so on.
Hence, the realization here is that if the situation was responsible for each one’s response, then the same situation/stimulus should have created the same response in everyone. However, that’s not the case. Although the situation was the same, the responses were different.
Similarly, if someone fails in an exam, in response, one could create the following thoughts ‘I am no good’, ‘What will everyone say?’, ‘I have let down my parents’ etc which makes him feel low. Depending on the magnitude & duration of such thoughts, the student could feel low for a few minutes, few hours, years or even commit suicide. Alternatively, another student could take this as a challenge and in the next attempt, rise up greatly in his performance.
Hence, the power lies less in the situation but more in the thoughts we create in response to it.
Similarly, where a senior scolds some of his subordinates equally, will everyone respond in the same manner? One could lose his self-confidence, one could remain upset for the whole day, while some may put a full stop immediately afterwards.
From the above discussion, we have understood how rather than the situation, it’s the thoughts we create in response to the situation which determines our state of mind. This shifts our focus from looking solely outside towards situations & people to also looking inside at our thoughts.
‘Inside – Out Approach’
And indeed, there are 2 aspects of each one of us. We are Human Beings.
- Human (which comes from the Latin word humus meaning soil) denotes the body, & all associated physical things like looks, clothes, achievements, status, etc. These things are outside us
- Being denotes all the non-physical aspects, including thoughts, feelings, attitudes, perceptions, memories, subtle habits, qualities, specialities, etc. These are inside us
Both factors are important.
We usually focus all our attention on the outside, thinking if we do well outside, we will automatically feel good inside i.e., if I achieve or succeed outside, I’ll be happy inside. This is the Outside – In Approach to life.
Spirituality teaches us to take care of the inside aspects while doing everything outside i.e., be happy inside while doing everything outside. This is the Inside – Out approach to life.
With the former approach, we keep our happiness only at the final destination. This means during the journey, I am allowed to feel stress, fear, anger,etc because I will finally get happiness at the end. Although we do become happy at the destination, this happiness lasts only momentarily, since we’ll then have another goal to achieve & then another round of stress, etc, and this goes on.
While in the latter approach, we understand that happiness is in my journey. Hence we take care of ourself throughout the journey, hence remaining happy both during the journey & at the destination. Hence, we start to remain happy always.
Hence, Spirituality does not mean leaving the outside, but simply means we don’t let our happiness get dependent on the outside. This, in turn allows me to work outside without the negative emotions of fear & insecurity associated with dependency, actually increasing my efficiency & hence achievements outside. Hence, it allows me to achieve success in my chosen field more easily.
Empowering the Self
And what does it actually mean to care for the self?
It’s very simple! Like when we care for the body, the primary things we focus on are diet & exercise. It’s the same for the mind.
Diet of mind = Pure Information
One of the key determinant of the thoughts we create is the information we put in our mind i.e., all that we read, see or hear. Hence, the easiest method to change the quality of thoughts is to change the quality of the information we put in.
Hence, Spirituality just means consciously putting in pure positive spiritual knowledge daily. We could listen to any speaker, read any literature, books, magazines, etc related to knowledge which we prefer. But the key is, just like daily eating of food is essential for the body, so is this regular intake for the mind. Such a regular, or daily diet of spiritual knowledge empowers the mind and makes positive thinking absolutely effortless.
Even putting aside just 10-15 minutes daily with discipline for putting in spiritual knowledge has a significant benefit on our daily routine.
Exercise of Mind = Meditation (How to meditate | How to do meditation | Meditation for Beginners)
The right meditation technique not only makes us feel good while meditating, but also has a strongly beneficial effect throughout the day. In other words, it should lead to a change in our quality of thinking, hence reflecting in the quality of our practical life.
Hence, meditation simply means creating a series of positive & elevated thoughts, which creates an elevated state of mind.
Here’s how meditation works:
When I create a thought, ‘I am a Peaceful Being’, it creates a little feeling of peace. Then I create another thought e.x., of happiness, creating another feeling i.e., of happiness. Continuing to create a series of such thoughts for a few minutes, creates a series of such feelings which accumulate to eventually create a powerful state of mind.
Along with creating thoughts, it’s also a good practice to visualise those thoughts. When the Mind (thoughts) & Intellect (visualisation) work together, it’s concentration which gives easy experiences. Hence the name of this article Easy Spirituality!
Taking a simple example, would request the readers to perform this simple exercise slowly & gradually:
First of all, select a place, e.g., your home, workplace or friend’s home. Suppose we select a friend’s home.
Visualise yourself getting up from where you are sitting, come out from your apartment, go towards your vehicle, go by road to friend’s home, slowly see the color of the door, walk inside, see the furniture around, then gradually go to the place where your friend is, interact with him, ask about his health, hear his story / experiences, talk with his family, have some breakfast with them, take an orange, see it, peel and eat it, etc now gradually come back home in the same way you went.
If you notice, the mind didn’t fluctuate while doing the exercise. Also, you’ll have actually experienced being in your friend’s home, experienced your friend, etc although not physically present there. In fact, many might even have experienced their mouth watering on eating the orange, although we were obviously not eating it physically. This is the power of the Mind & Intellect.
Rajyoga Meditation, which we learn at the Brahma Kumaris, involves using the Mind & Intellect to experience the original qualities of the soul (purity, peace, love & happiness) and the Supreme Soul (who’s the Ocean of these virtues!)
In very basic terms, it involves creating thoughts about the self, like ‘I am a Peaceful Being’, ‘I am a pure soul’, ‘I am the energy using this body’, ‘I am the Master of this body’, ‘I see through the eyes’, etc. Alongwith, we visualise ourselves as a very tiny sparkling point of light in the centre of the forehead. Hence, the 1st step is stabilising ourselves in this very light & pure awareness of the soul conscious stage. Then, we move towards connecting to God by creating & visualising thoughts such as ‘Like me, God is also a point of light’, ‘I am a peaceful soul, He is the Ocean of Peace’, ‘Powerful vibrations of peace are reaching me’, ‘I am getting filled with the power of peace’, ‘I am full of God’s peace’, etc. Hence, even in the above basic terms, you must have understood & got a glimpse of how such Rajyoga meditation, in just a few seconds, creates a powerful, long-lasting & elevated state of mind.
Hence, it’s a very simple, scientific & practical technique of connecting directly to God’s powers, which makes our routine life very easy.
Hence, we understand that more than just believing in God, Spirituality is actually about directly connecting to Him, experiencing his powers & filling ourself with those powers. This acts like recharging of our soul-battery, making all our tasks like work, caring for relations, applying knowledge in practice, etc very easy & natural.
Meditation = Programming of Thoughts
We have seen above that our response to situations is most important.
Hence, Spirituality also teaches us that before the day starts, we could visualise a common particular situation occurring, and then see ourselves consciously responding in a particular manner, which we feel is comfortable for us. This creates a recording within us, and it becomes more likely that we actually respond in that chosen manner practically when the situation comes.
Hence in this way, we easily shift from an automated reaction to a proactive chosen response, thereby also a chosen comfortable state of mind!
Connection between diet & exercise
If you ask someone with a weak body to exercise, it may be impossible for him. First, he needs to eat a good healthy diet for a few days to build a certain level of strength, and then proceed with exercise.
Similarly, asking the mind to remain stable in challenges in today’s times may be too difficult. Instead, we first need to give it a high quality diet of knowledge for a few days, after which it becomes very easy & natural for us to create thoughts of stability & calmness even while facing challenges outside.
Also, we have seen above that meditation involves creating elevated thoughts. Hence, knowledge of what thoughts to create in meditation is of prime importance. This again comes from spiritual knowledge first.
Spirituality does not require much time. Simply taking out 15-20 minutes of quality time daily for the self, to put in pure knowledge and to meditate, is enough to maintain a good & stable state of mind throughout the day.
Because of today’s busy lives, even though we understand the importance of knowledge, meditation etc, we might feel we don’t have time.
Hence, let’s take a simple example!
Suppose you are given the opportunity to invest Rs. 100 at the start of the day, with a guaranteed return of Rs. 200 at the end of the day. Will you invest? Of course!
Similarly, taking out time for the self is not an expense or use of time but an investment which will actually save me a lot of time during the day:
- By remaining protected from a range of waste thoughts, we end up saving quite a lot of time.
- Since waste thoughts reduce, our focus or concentration power improves, hence enabling us to do more in less time; hence saving time.
- When our mind is stable, sleep quality improves hence we require less quantity of sleep. This also saves time.
Making this investment of 15-20 minutes is easy, since:
- On weekends, we do have quite a lot of time. Even on working days, there are many periods of time when we have spare time e.x., while travelling, in breaks, at night, etc.
- Even while doing habitual actions like brushing, having breakfast, routine work etc, the mind is not required much & is free to think differently, listen to spiritual knowledge, create elevated thoughts, etc.
Hence, in essence, taking out few minutes daily for the self is not difficult, and in fact results in savings of much more time throughout the day than the time given to the self. And of course, results in a much more improved quality of life all-round.
Spirituality and Relationships
Spirituality doesn’t mean leaving relations, but involves making our relations more genuine, truly loving and strong.
- Spirituality empowers us, helping us shift from blame to personal responsibility, expectations to acceptance, taking to giving, control to positive influence & support, all these factors significantly improve our relations with all
- Spiritual Knowledge broadens our Intellect, helping us understand that other’s are also right from their perspectives. This is true respect.
- Spirituality teaches us to look at the specialities of others rather than weaknesses. This improves our perception of them, improving relations
- Before, we went in pain seeing close ones in pain, hence were unable to heal them. Spirituality empowers us, hence we now remain protected from pain, actually allowing us to heal & take them out of pain. Hence, we are able to fulfil our responsibilities better & in the true sense.
- Spirituality teaches us the importance of relations; that only when we express our qualities are we able to experience them; only then they grow; also when we share qualities with all, we get blessings from all, making our progress very easy
- Spirituality teaches us we are all souls, children of One Supreme Father. This consciousness breaks all limited barriers of caste, creed, language, religion, nationality, etc, emerging true love & unity, i.e., universal brotherhood
- We learn to separate the act from the person. Even though a person does worst acts, he is also originally a pure being. This generates genuine love & respect, empowering their transformation.
Conclusion (What is Spirituality)
Hence, we have understood how meditation simply means caring for the mind. And as are the thoughts being created in the mind, so are our feelings. Hence, if the feelings are not comfortable, change the thoughts behind it.
We also saw the main obstacle in changing our thoughts is blame. Once we realise that situations don’t create my thoughts, and it’s I who have the power to choose my response & hence resulting experience, my focus shifts from looking outside to looking inside.
Then, we saw the role of Knowledge and Meditation as powerful tools to empower the self; we saw how giving some time to the self actually saves a lot of time in the day, and the invaluable role of Spirituality in Relationships.
Hence, in essence, Spirituality is a lifestyle, which empowers & transforms us, making each aspect of our life beautiful.
Role of Brahma Kumaris
The role of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) in facilitating easy spiritual progress is quite immense. The Brahma Kumaris is an International NGO of the United Nations accredited with General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), having Consultative Status with the UNICEF & many more such associations.
All the courses & services here are provided free of charge.
The resources we use & offer at the Brahma Kumaris for the regular diet of spiritual knowledge & meditation are:
- Each B.K. Centre teaches the foundation 7 Day Rajyoga Meditation Course, 1 hour daily, at a time convenient to us. This explains & teaches to us the basics of meditation.
- Peace of Mind TV & Awakening TV are free, ad-free 24 hour TV channel, which provides continuous positive information. There are many programs like ‘Awakening with Brahma Kumaris’ by Sister Shivani which are a quality source of practical knowledge. I highly recommend this program
Our local B. K. Centres keep conducting management courses / regular programs on various practical topics:
- Topics include Stress-free living, Happiness Unlimited, Harmony in Relationships, Power of Purpose, Conflict Resolution, De-Addiction camps, etc
- We also conduct these programs in corporate & industrial houses, companies, schools, etc on request. Innumerable such organisations have benefited through this.
We also benefit from the following major resources regularly:
- The Murlis, which are God’s elevated versions, hence the most elevated source of thoughts available. It provides very simple, clear, practical knowledge and is also a quality source of pure elevated thoughts to create in meditation. It is studied at the B. K. Centre, the version of which differs daily.
- There are many recorded meditation commentaries available. Initially, practising meditation with the help of these gives very easy experiences since we simply have to follow & visualise the thoughts shared.
The Brahma Kumaris has more than 9000 centres in 140 countries. There are numerous advantages associated by keeping a close connection to the Centre:
- The environment of the Centre is charged with years of intense meditation, making it very pure & powerful.
- Everyone comes here with the aim of self transformation. This also influences the collective, positive & spiritual vibrations of the Centre. The power of which pushes our spiritual journey upwards.
- The instrument B. K. teachers at the Centre are following best meditation practices since a long time, their practical knowledge & experiences help us immensely
We are spiritual students!
There are more than 10 lakh families who are daily students of the organisation. They are like all of us; performing all duties, working, caring for relations, etc. The only difference in lifestyle we have made is take out a fixed amount of time daily for the self i.e., for spiritual knowledge & meditation, as per our convenience. The remaining time in the day is externally the same as before, but internally a life of much greater stability, love & happiness, both for us & everyone around us, actually allowing us to truly excel and do justice to our work & relations.
To conclude, I would request all the readers to attend the free 7 Day Rajyoga Meditation Course once to learn meditation. Once we start connecting to God & filling ourselves with His powers, our life becomes very easy & simple. Best wishes indeed to all of you for a wonderful easy life filled with true everlasting happiness!
You might also like to read these best-quality articles:
- The Art of Anger Management (How to control Anger)
- Practising Soul Consciousness | Creating a soul conscious stage
In this blog, you may also find:
- Very short posts on practical topics in series How to be happy always, Positive Thinking, etc
- Spiritual inspirations from the various International Days
Let’s also understand the spiritual significance of Diwali, Holi, Raksha Bandhan, Mahashivratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Dussehra, Gudi Padwa, Gita Jayanti, Ram Navami, Hanuman Jayanti… And Guru Purnima, Buddha Purnima, Mahavir Jayanti, Vallabhacharya Jayanti, Jalaram Jayanti
A version of this article ‘Easy Spirituality | What is Spirituality | What is Meditation | Meditation for Beginners’ was also published in ‘The World Renewal‘ magazine
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