Hello everybody, welcome to Atma's blog. Today we are going to talk about meditation.

So, what is meditation? Meditation is a technique used to increase our awareness of any given object; it is a practice to understand the true nature of things.

Meditation has been practiced by multiple spiritual traditions across the world, however the practice is deeply rooted in the Yogic and Buddhist traditions of the Indian subcontinent.For millennia Yoga and Buddhism have emphasized the importance of meditation to increase awareness and reach higher states of consciousness.

Over the past century meditation has slowly gained popularity in the west; it has recently reached a new high where meditation is being practiced everywhere from corporate environments, to schools, and hospitals among others.However, the popularization of meditation has also brought with it the strip down of its original purpose, and it is now majorly practiced for its superficial benefits.

Today meditation is practiced as a way of coping with the hectic world we live in, and while it is true that meditation significantly helps in the reduction of stress and provides clarity of mind, these are only secondary benefits. The primary benefit of meditation is the reason why meditation started in the first place; and that is for the freedom of the Self. What do I mean by freedom? By freedom I mean to see things as they truly are.

The reality is that we see the world based on our inner state of mind and this creates a vision of reality that is far from reality itself. We see the world based on our own fears, emotions, dependencies, and bondage. We want reality to adapt to how we want it to be, instead of adapting ourselves to the nature of reality.

As the Dalai Lama said: “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make pace with ourselves.”

So, meditation is the way to such peace; it is your ticket to unlimited peace and joy.

When it comes to practicing meditation there is only one problem, and that problem is yourself. Meditation as a process of introspection and turning inwards, brings out all your deeply rooted unconscious patterns for you to deal with; it opens your mind to a reality within you that you never thought existed. Therefore, real meditation is only for the brave, because real meditation forces you to become who you really are; it forces you to take charge on your own life.

Many people play with the idea of meditation, but never get to experience meditation as such. This is because meditation is not easy, it requires dedication and continual practice for a long time. We live in a society of instant gratification and one thing for sure is that the real benefits of meditation are only appreciated in the long term.

Meditation requires a great amount of patience, and most of the time your own ego gets in the way of your practice. You start doubting your own self; you believe it is not for you and think of leaving your practice once and for all; however it is only through perseverance that meditation shows its true gains.

The secret to meditation is non-expectancy, because the more you expect from meditation the less you get from it. It is a mental game for sure; and this is why in ancient times meditation was only practiced by a few.

If you ask people around you, if they would like to start a practice that requires an enormous amount of humility, patience, surrender and perseverance how many people would be up for it? Only a few. If you are one of those few, then I strongly encourage you to start a regular meditation practice, I promise that you will not regret it.

I hope this post has shed some clarity on meditation and gets you to start a regular practice.

in the next posts of this series, I will get into further details on the practice of meditation and its different approaches.