I have had a see-saw relationship with Meditation till very recently. I have been initiated into a variety of meditations including Transcendental Meditation (TM) which had in fact created waves all around the globe and has been validated by over 600 scientific studies by institutes, Universities and colleges over nearly four decades. However, the crux of the matter is that I have not been able to do regular meditation for I got busy with the goings on of day-to-day existence and life. Each time I learnt a meditation I would do it enthusiastically for a few days and then the activity would lose its sheen. Like a rubber band, I would stretch myself and come back to the point where I started and back to square one – a thoroughly Arian trait, wherein I lose steam and go for something new that captures my eye.
Meditation or “Dhyana” has been an age old practice. In fact Hindu religious texts even as old as 2000-3000 BC are replete with descriptions of instances of meditation indulged in by Gods, Hermits and Seers. Buddhism, which the eminent philosopher-cum-former Indian president Dr. Radhakrishnan says, “in its origin at least is an offshoot of Hinduism” also had meditation as a key practice to cultivate tranquilty (Samatha) and insightfulness (Vipassana). Yoga Sutras and Patanjali also speak eloquently of the innumerable benefits of Meditation.
Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer, said Carl Jung. I read of the word Synchronicity in “Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles” where Dr. Deepak Chopra says that there is no strange coincidences. Everything happens for a purpose. The word Synchronicity itself was coined by Carl Jung and refers to an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more events that are causally unrelated. In a society where we need validation and proof to believe things, we find it difficult to believe in synchronicity. We think that things don’t happen out of the blue. But I am convinced that the latest meditation came to me through the magic of synchronicity.
Jobs took me to different places and now I am in the UAE. Being an administrator in education, like any other profession, I too feel the heat of work stress. The frenzied pace of life here can really get to you if you allow it to. Then you would end up day in and day out poring over Microsoft Outlook & responding to the messages, planning a host of things to improve teaching and learning, activities – curricular & extracurricular - and also engage teams in professional development. When this kind of a life started affecting my health and mental well being adversely, I took a vow a couple of months back – that on reaching home after over 10 hours of work, I will not check office mail / do official work. I realized that with a little planning and organization I can actually make this happen. When I succeeded in this, I must say it brought a broad grin to my face and a spring to my steps. I now had free time for myself – the most important investment that one can make in the hustle and bustle of life.
Initially I was able to stick to my decision but gradually work pressure started stalking me again. By end on November, I realized with consternation that even my sleep pattern was getting affected plus the tell tale black rings around my eyes. It was difficult to video chat with near and dear ones – for all were asking me what I was doing to myself! One such night I woke up at 3.45 am. Sleep evaded me and I tossed & turned. I switched on my mobile phone and heard the click of a message in my gmail inbox - the wireless was on. It was from Isha Foundation – I am a subscriber to their newsletter. Scrolling down, my eyes were riveted to a title – ISHA KRIYA – Video of the month. What attracted me most was the very enchanting tagline – BE BREATHE BLOSSOM. Having been initiated into yoga, I am more than aware of the power of the breath. By now, I was wide awake. I clicked the link and it took me to http://www.ishafoundation.org/Ishakriya It said, “Learn Isha Kriya now, View and Download Free”. There was a sign-up post for keying in your name, email address and country. I entered the details. Barely within a minute, I heard another click. Another mail had come to my inbox. As expected, another one from Isha with the download link. I downloaded the audio link with its introduction. By then it was 4.10 am. Listening to the introduction made me want to do the meditation and the next 20 odd minutes was spent on that. A new feeling coursed through my veins. The only “Guru Dakshina” so to speak was the resolve to do the meditation, twice a day for the next 48 days (a Mandala) or once a day for the next 90 days. I decided to go for the former. Thus from 4th December onwards I have been religiously investing time on this meditation twice a day – immediately after I wake up and just before I go to bed.
What benefit have accrued unto me, sceptics and cynics may ask. I have become much more composed. Peaceful, nay, serene should be the right word. I have more clarity of thought and vision. There are times when I feel an extra surge of energy coursing through my veins and especially activating the energy centres or Chakras. I am happy most of the time and have practically stopped worrying. I even perceive that I engage myself in some kind of mindfulness while doing my daily chores which I earlier used to do very mechanically - in fact, so mechanically that sometimes I won’t even remember to have done it at all. From pre-hypertension readings of 130/90 my blood pressure has stabilized to a healthy & robust 120/70! I definitely feel the compelling urge to continue all my good practices. So now I go for walks in the nearby Al Ittihad Park, find time for prayers, reading, blogging, and of course for meditation! What more can I ask for? And I am grateful that I stumbled upon Isha Kriya at a time when I needed it the most. If this is not synchronicity, I don’t know what else is!
PS: As I finish this post, I just saw this link on my FB wall courtesy, Music for Deep Meditation, a page that I have liked. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2006/02/meditation-found-to-increase-brain-size/?fb_ref=sidebar%2F This should help all the scoffers! :P And methinks this is yet another... yes, you said it, SYNCHRONICITY!!!