An introduction to meditation
The basics of meditation
Meditation with its power to relax the soul and relive stress has become a much more popular notion in recent decades.
There was Martin Scorsese’s movie ‘Kundun’, telling the story of the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet. Movie star Richard Gere became a Buddhist and is seen photographed with the Dalai Lama and supporting the Free Tibet campaign. Comedian Billy Connolly learned to meditate way back in the eighties to help him break an alcohol addiction. Even Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls got passionately into yoga.
In the mainstream commercial world since the nineties, ‘things spiritual’ have gained a fashionable image. Department store windows are decorated with all kinds of shiny mutilcolored Buddhas. We see ads in our cities on billboards and buses of fashion models sitting cross legged with blissed-out expressions advertising deodorants …
So really, what is this meditation thing about?
‘Put simply’, writes meditation teacher Paramananda, ‘the art of meditation is the art of being with yourself’. Meditation is an invitation to take time out from our busy lives and ‘get real’ with ourselves on a deeper level, to find out what’s really going on in us.
In the western world, meditation is gaining popularity in current times, as it offers an antidote to the incredible amount of stimulation and speeding activity of modern life which can cause us to suffer stress, anxiety, and a sense of losing touch with what we really value in our lives. Looking beyond our particular contemporary needs for stress-busting, in the East, meditation has been a traditional spiritual practice for thousands of years, part of a tried and tested path to peace of mind.