I used to play tennis as a kid. If somebody decides to train seriously hard in the game, it’s because they have a dream – they want to win Wimbledon or become world No. 1 or, as in my sister’s case, they just don’t like school. Likewise, if you devote hours strumming a guitar, its because you just love music or fantasize about playing to a crowd wildly chanting your name or you’ve discovered it’s a neat way to wreak revenge on your landlord.
What I’m arriving at is you either do something because you love doing it or you do it with a sense of purpose. It’ll pay you back – it may become your career, fetch you loads of money and/or win you admiration and/or respect. Now, why in the world would anybody want to learn to meditate? If I put my years in any skill – music, sport or even the gym, I end up with something to show. I don’t quite foresee people queuing up to watch me breathe. And to be honest, it doesn’t quite appear to be terribly thrilling either.
People might enroll in a dance class because they’re too embarrassed looking at themselves on the dance floor in the last family wedding video. They sign up for a maths tuition because they might be trigonometrically challenged, quadratically handicapped or differentially arrested. But if I’m coming to you to learn breathing, how bad can I really be? I mean, I’ve managed to keep myself alive so far, haven’t I?
And yet, that outrageous premise, with an outrageous name for a movement – the Art of Living, has been outrageously successful. It has now reached over 150 countries.
So what is really so special about meditation? The power of mind over matter is well known, especially in martial arts. You can train the mind in any way and over time and dedicated practice, it attains mastery of that skill. There are, of course, diverse non-martial applications of this knowledge too. For generations, wives have been using this very principle to train husbands for shopping.
We are all made up of layers. For instance, the layer of cognition, thought and understanding is deeper than our physical selves. The realm of feelings is still deeper and mastery over it makes you that much more powerful. This also explains how with the ability to get emotional anytime, women always hold an edge in any argument while men are often found offering weak explanations “That’s not what I meant darling…” The boat of logic that takes you across so many troubles will always sink when it encounters the whirlpool of feelings.
But beyond all these layers, at our very core, is the power of the no-mind or the Self, that meditation allows access to. And that power, once you are able to reach it, changes everything. Everything that effort can fetch from outside pales compared to what effortlessness unveils within. This zone inside you is the treasure-chest of all abilities.
A NEW BEGINNING – Meditate with Sri Sri on 12-12-12 www.artofliving.org/webcast and youtube.com/artoflivingtv
6.30 am IST ; 12 Noon GMT ; 12 Noon EST