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Meditation: The new cool

Shameem Akhtar | Updated on: Saturday, July 13, 2019, 02:51 PM IST

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In case you have not noticed, there is a big explosion of interest in all things that deal with meditation.

Expensive ear gadgets that ostensibly set your brain wave pattern. Gadgets to measure these brain waves. Sonic meditation to reset your inner being. Sound meditation. Tantric meditation. Expensive chairs to help you maintain the tricky meditative posture. Even more expensive meditation retreats. And gurus, who charge a neat penny to initiate you into it.

The rising babble over this aspect of spiritual experience could stifle the original reasons why it became cool in the first place.

So lets jog our memory why meditation is the new cool route to health.

Before it became a fad, meditation was researched. In the ’60s and ’70s. Several spiritual gurus, on the behest of their masters, landed on Western shores. Their feats surprised the scientists. And to their astonishment, it appeared that these Indian gurus really did pretty impressive stuff with their bodies by just the right meditative focus.

- Himalayan Swami Rama could direct blood flow where he willed in his body.

- B K S Iyengar could manipulate his iris at will.

- Meditating Tibetan masters could change their brain wave pattern at will.

- Indira Gandhi’s personal yoga teacher Dhirendra Bhramachari could visit cold countries like Russia dressed in just flimsy muslin robes with a shiver.

A stunt that even the locals could not carry off. Intrigued, the western scientific community studied (and continues to study) meditators.

While we can’t be like the Shaolin meditative masters who are known to bounce off weapons from their body by just directing their focus (chi/ki), we can gain stupendous health with just 10 to 20 minutes of daily meditation.

Health benefits of meditation include:

- Improved immunity

- Faster healing

- Harmonising blood pressure

- Faster recovery from stress

- Better cognitive skills

- Faster repair inside

- Anti- ageing

How to start

- Start humble. Just three or five minutes

- The durations may be increased later. First priority is to sustain it, daily.

- Always do it in the morning, before other chores. Ideally at the same time and same place.

- Use audio tapes initially, for guided meditation before progressing to the task of focusing without external aid.

- Don't experiment wildly. Stick to one method.

- Attend well-respected meditation retreats to get a better grip on this habit, which can indeed transform your life.

And let us know – in a few weeks only -- how this simple act of sitting on your butt for a few minutes daily changed your life.

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Published on: Sunday, July 14, 2019, 07:00 AM IST