YOGA/MEDITATION – WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
To put it in audaciously simple terms, everything! Everything because it starts with a thought.
According to the famous Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu, also known as Bo Yang( interestingly, I have also heard but not verified that although he is commonly known to be of chinese origin, Bo Yang was an Indian Nath Yogi by the name of Bhogar Nath who travelled to China and later called as Bo Yang) had said “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
In recent times, science is beginning to redefine the universe in terms of energy. Quantum mechanics, quantum physics or the quantum theory is a fundamental theory in physics which describes nature at the smallest scales of energy levels of atoms and subatomic particles. So, thoughts can be defined as a form of energy because they consist of waves(hence the term thought waves or the science of telepathy).
Stephen Covey, in his hugely internationally successful bestselling book ‘seven habits of highly effective people’, states that always begin with the end in mind. If we carefully observe ourselves in all our actions, the end goal is happiness. The word is clear enough but the essence can be quite tricky to define. It means different things to different people. Ultimately, to make it really boring, when looked under the ‘microscope’, it is a chemical reaction. Endorphins, dopamine and serotonins – humans have to thank these chemicals for that happy feeling and on planet Earth, much of the business of life occurs with chemical reactions driven by sunlight. So, for eg, one of the simple remedies recommended by psychologists is spending more time outdoors in natural light.
The science of Yoga, which includes meditation as one of its latter stages of practice of control of the mind, has this specific goal of achieving ‘happiness’. One of the statutes of Yoga is ‘Chitta Vritti Nirodah’ or ‘Cessation of thoughts’. It basically refers to the condition where we are not overly reactive to our thought processes leading to unnecessary hormonal secretions which are responsible for the emotional rollercoaster rides in life and other associated psychosomatic issues.
Yoga, therefore, is not a physical exercise, as defined nowadays in most places. It is not to build your lats or hamstrings, you can do that if you were doing a little bit of gardening or cleaning work instead of hiring people to do them for you. The science has a very deep and subtle purpose in mind. It aims to reach the very root of the problem of the human species, one which is entrenched very deep in our subconscious layers of our mind. It aims to bring the vacillating, unstable and, sometimes, violent mind to gentleness and stability. As the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi said….
So, who wants a happy and stable world? I am definitely in 100%!