Once upon a time, there were two monks who were walking towards their destination. They encountered a lady in a white kimono (the Japanese ethnic apparel). She was very reluctant in crossing a muddy patch on the road. The monks offered help. They suggested that both of them could pick her up and help her cross that muddy stretch. She agreed to their proposal. Once it was done, the lady thanked the monks and they parted ways towards their destinations. A couple of hours later one of the two monks said “Do you know it is forbidden for monks to touch women?”. The other monk replied “I left her the moment that we crossed the mud. Why are you still carrying her?”
Have you suffered from the plight of this monk? Here I have shared a very common example of our daily troubles. We as people have been blessed with a beautiful organ the brain, which has limitless potential. But if it is not trained well, it starts building obstacles for us. We are either too busy in beating ourselves about our actions and inaction in the past or we get way too anxious about what is going to happen in the future. We fail to live in the present moment and lose the opportunities which we have in front of us.
Yoga is a 5000 year old practice but, it is becoming a world wide phenomenon steadily. the reason is simple, we are the most stressed out generation ever. If you were jogging or going to the gym in the 20th century, people would have called you crazy. But today the gymnasium business is booming all over the world. This is because our physical activity has decreased while the amounts of junk food we eat is increasing. Similarly there is this new uprising of a huge number of people who have started realizing that they have stressed their brains beyond their limits. Which is where Yoga and meditation come to the rescue.
Have you been in a situation where you knew stuff very well, you are aware of the circumstances, causes and most importantly the solutions. But just could not act on them? Or you are in the middle of something very important and urgent, but suddenly you find yourself paralyzed with a feeling which is difficult to put down in words. Do you sometimes feel that the voices in your head won’t stop no matter how hard you try? Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night petrified or can’t sleep at all? If you have experienced any of these things before, the first thing you should know is that you are not alone.
We live in a world where all of our time is spent in running behind targets, goals and expectations. Seldom do we stop to wonder where are we going? Why do we lose the essence of life? The very beauty which we read about so fondly in books, poems and plays- its all around us. But why cant we relish as these literary geniuses, artists and enlightened individuals do? The problem is this sense of fear about the uncertainty of what might happen and the remorse of what has happened in the past. Do you know what is common in both of these instances? You are not in the present moment.
Almost every individual you seek help from will ask you to ‘concentrate’. Concentrate for the choir, band, dance, sports or studies. We are always expected to concentrate. But when was the last time anyone of these people taught you how to concentrate? How to channelize all of your efforts to bring out the best of you? Let’s talk about that, shall we?
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it”. – Eckhart Tolle, writer of The Power Of Now.
According to Eckhart, what we forget is that we were never supposed to pay so much attention to our thoughts. But now that we have made a habit of overthinking we cant stay without thinking for even one minute. He, very correctly, claims that apart from mainstream addictions, one of the most dangerous one goes unnoticed. It is the addiction to overthinking. The problem is a lot of people have absorbed this notion that they are their thoughts. They fail to differentiate themselves as a different entity. (No these statements are not inspired by Dr. Strange. They will make sense once you start introspecting).
So what’s the solution? Should one go in search of peace on the Himalayas? Should I give up all mortal pleasures and become a sadhu? Is this what you want??
Try meditation. You cannot? Fair enough. That is one more problem, but every problem comes with a solution. You should just be eager enough to seek it. Download the application Headspace, which has one of the most descriptive sources of information about meditation in my opinion. They teach you the basics and as you start reaping benefits and it starts to get a hold on you, they ask for money after 10 days *reality check*.
The Shree Ramchandra Mission has various centres where one can reach out to perceptors who can counsel you and teach you the importance of inner peace.
Meditation is one of the many branches of Yoga. So if you want to reap benefits of all that Yoga has to offer check out these links
The book lovers can read Eckhart Tolle’s books.
You can walk in for a free 7 day meditation tutorial in Brahmakumaris meditation centers.
On this International Yoga day, let us start a new habit we have been pushing away for far too long now and take the first step to mental well being.