As a person with no meditating experience, the first thought that comes to your mind when you think of meditation to achieve serenity is – a Buddhist sitting cross-legged, levitating, with his eyes closed and a serene expression on his face. Whether anyone honks beside him or beats drums, he does not lose his composure. How does he maintain that composed persona in a world full of distractions? Through a journey of finding his center, balance and focus – a journey of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a state of achieving your awareness to the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. Learning mindfulness teaches you to be present with your mind, everything is right now. It’s like living in that very moment. Imagine being content, focused and happy in the present, with no intention to go anywhere, be anyone or check your phone for any social media updates as if your life depended on it – you are truly in that moment, feeling nothing but calm and content.
Before starting meditation to achieve serenity, an important point to remember is the emphasis on the journey rather than the goal of achieving 100% perfection. So, let’s begin understanding the key points of meditation while focusing on the path to reach your destination- achievement of serenity.
What are the Five Key Points of Meditation to Achieve Absolute Serenity
1. Be conscious of your current moment
Being a beginner, you need to first learn how to deal with distractions be those external or internal.
External distractions are noises or odors. You can easily get distracted by a loud honk or an aggressive dog barking. An unwelcoming smell from outside is also a distraction during meditation as it will immediately take you off from your current moment towards the smell and where it is coming from.
Internal distractions can be spiritual – inner thoughts, emotions, mental disturbance etc.) or physical – itching, tingling or any pain in body. Internal distractions are harder to gain control of, as compared to external distractions, which can be easily put off by finding the right time and right place for meditation.
The first step in meditation is to free your mind from those distractions for a set amount of time – 5 to 10 minutes. This will help you in establishing an undivided concentration before the distraction wins against your mind.
You need to try to free your mind of any anxieties, opinions or decisions that may lead you astray from the present instant. It is useful to trick your mind into believing that you are a hollow container with no past recollection of what all it may have ever contained in it. You relax your mind by being in the present state instead of thinking of any worrisome past or anticipating a dubious future. Although it may take some time and practice, it will be worth living in a new state of mind that is all present here and now.
2. Get Rid of all the Negative & Toxic Thoughts
Time and again you have an inner voice that debates to you about all worrisome matters. Hasn’t it brought those matters to the forefront even when you least expected it to? It’s not easy to handle such a negative inner voice even if you know that it’s the culprit behind all the darkness and grief in your life. It often damages your physical and mental wellbeing if the voice keeps proposing the theory that your life, relationships or your own existence is wrong.
To overcome this negative inner voice, you need to make yourself aware of the present moment. This is done by trying to push away whatever rises in the mind stream and then learning to let it go one by one, whether the action is fascinating or unpleasant. It can be quite astounding when you get a constant chain of thoughts. There is a technique in which you try to focus on noticing the gap between two consecutive thoughts. No matter how small this silent gap is, if done attentively, it can do wonders in raising mindfulness. In due course, this meditation technique will calm down that inner voice and help in achieving serenity with the negative conversations of your complicated mind.
3. Set a Focus Point
Another important fundamental of meditation is to teach yourself to be focused on something – a beautiful waterfall, a candle flame, physical atmospheres, focal point, previous positive experience, your breath or even a repeated word are all examples of this technique. It is soothing for letting go of distractions by thinking about one thing and clasping the present moment.
Breathing is the most common practice followed by meditators as it calms the mind, allows continuous focus and sets a perfect rhythm as you inhale and exhale. Thinking of any positive past experience, enables you to let go of negative thoughts and embrace positive thoughts and feelings. This enables you to revive your mind peace, helping it to be light and fresh, and thus achieve serenity.
4. Experience an awakening – Transform Your Thoughts
This technique is a step ahead of meditating with breath and could be a gateway to positive personal makeover. As your meditation practice improves, you can’t help but notice your psychological and mental pattern. Whether it is the gap between inhaling and exhaling or between one thought to another, you become coordinated with the constantly changing world. It enables you to choose your good habits or views and let go of outdated or negative habits. It is a crucial stage of transformation as it makes you feel content and truthful about looking at yourself, your view of the world and your influence on others. This awakening in turn fetches a strong inspiration to carry on practicing meditation to achieve serenity.
5. Carry Your Transformation Outside Meditation
After you start getting the hang of meditation, you will notice that you always had that consciousness but were unaware of it. It takes you less effort to relax your mind and you have gained power over distractions. If you are focusing on a point, your mind obediently follows that point. When you are eating, you are completely only thinking about food and its taste. When you are bathing, you are only thinking about the feeling of water on your skin. This serene state of mind then follows outside of meditation as well. The margin between restful state versus any other moving state becomes almost similar for your mind.
When mindfulness and consciousness become natural to your personality, you automatically start involving yourself in the world with an attitude that is independent of outer conditions. Situations around you have no impact on your mental health. After you start seeing such goodness in your life, it is obvious that you make a firm pledge to continue with meditation practice and spread positivity from your personality, thereby helping others achieve serenity too.
So, now that you have understood the five essentials of meditation, it’s time to regain control of your thoughts and be in power of your own true self. Start with baby steps. Although you won’t be able to levitate yourself with meditation as we spoke casually in the start, but through practice, there will come a time when you experience absolute serenity. You carry the burden of negative thoughts and experiences which always hinder your positive being. But once you start meditating and achieving serenity of your mind, you feel very light- just like floating in the air.