#LifeInTimesOfCorona: A Daily Meditation Routine Is All We Need To Hold Up, Introspect and Heal
While the world outside seems to be crumbling down as a result of an unprecedented war between the humans and the planet, there is a pertinent need now, more than ever, for all of us to look within. To realize the highest purpose of our existence and reflect on the ways in which each one of us can make a positive impact on the world we inhabit.
The manifestations of the wounds of Mother Earth in the form of an ‘Irreversible Climate Change’, that’s just a decade away or a mere precursor to that – the outbreak of the ” Corona Virus” which has already affected 160 countries, infecting more than 3Lac people, claiming 13000 lives as I write, are prodigious testimonials to the fact that the human race isn’t any superior to other sentient creatures or the planet earth or the Universe. And that maintaining the Ecological Harmony is the only answer to our own survival.
Now is the time to unite at the most elementary level of our existence and become one with life itself breaking through the facade of ego and attachment.
Now is the time to align our individual and collective units of consciousness with the universal unit of consciousness and move with the flow of life with zero resistance.
Now is the time, to lay our indomitable trust on the most profound technique of Meditation to hold up, introspect and heal, not just for ourselves but for others as well, whose lives we touch anyway inadvertently.
Now is the time to focus on emotional self-regulation, to prevent a pandemic of unnecessary fear and anxiety.
Knowing vs Doing
Lord Buddha was once asked, “What have you gained from meditation? “
He replied, ” Nothing! However let me tell you, what I have lost: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old Age and Death.”
Debbie Takara Shelor mentioned in her book ” Peering through the veil ” that ‘Deep meditation for just 20 minutes, allowing your brain state to slow down to alpha, theta or even delta can have the same effect on the body, as several hours of sleep. Energy is restored. Repair and healing can take place. Stress is reduced and a whole host of other health benefits occur.’
The multitude of benefits that meditation can bring to one’s life is no secret for any of us. No matter what the technique is, it’s proven to be the most powerful way to self-actualization and would always stay relevant.
But despite having the knowledge or the wisdom, if we don’t reap the benefits then we are kind of robbing ourselves from becoming more of who we truly are.
I know at least a handful of people in my life including myself, who gave it up even before they reached what I say as the ” Sweetest Spot ” – the tipping point – when an unfathomable quietude, that emanates from inside, canceling all the noise outside, becomes the new normal.
The Ugly Truth
It’s almost funny how some of us in moments of distress have relied on this technique to keep our sanity in place. In desperate times, we take desperate measures and begin to meditate only until we feel more in control. And once life slides back into normalcy again, we refuse to go beyond what we know meditation can do to our existence. Slowly we begin to resent the whole process of getting to ” get started’. It makes us anxious and feels like a complete failure.
There is no denying that our life is a culmination of choices we make every day and there is very little to blame on the circumstances. But having said that, trying to look for a silver lining can get immensely overwhelming at times. And when the going gets tough, our inability to look inward steers us to hold on to the ‘blame story’ for everything that isn’t right. We play the victim card to save ourselves from taking the responsibility of how we feel, over and over again making it nearly impossible to break the cycle.
When I Hit My Lowest Low
My life has always been a glorious mess that truly reflected my chaotic inner self. And albeit late, the process of spiritual awakening for me started only when I was thrown out of my comfort zone 2 years back. Moving to a foreign land, with a 1-year-old child in tow, becoming a full-time stay-at-home mum, losing an incredible familial support system & financial independence, all at once brought in a whirlwind of change in my life. I took refuge in travel, writing, reading, embracing a clean, healthy and minimalist lifestyle. Yet there was something, that held me back from living my life to its fullest potential. And the feeling irked me always till I decided to do something about it.
Then, just a couple of months back, when I felt most emotionally challenged, I registered for a Vipassana Course for July 2020 as per the availability. I got desperate, couldn’t see myself waiting that long, therefore I started to look up for guided meditation techniques on Youtube.
And what I found was Gold – A quick 20 minutes, 6 Phase Guided Meditation technique, designed by Vishen Lakhiani, the Founder of Mindvalley, who of course needs no introduction in the world of personal growth and development.
I can say this now, that I have practiced it daily for the last 2 months, and have seen a noticeable change in the way I feel today.
The 6 Phase Guided Meditation Technique That Has Changed My Life
This meditation technique is based on the 6 pillars of spiritual growth – Compassion, Gratitude, Forgiveness, Visualisation ( Future Vision ), Positive Affirmations ( Your Perfect Day ), and Blessings. It needs just 20 minutes of your time and would leave you fully energized and recharged to take the day on.
Phase 1 – Compassion
True meditation is about keeping other sentient beings at the center instead of the self. And the moment we do that, that is where the magic begins. We feel more and more connected to the world when we change our perspective and shift our focus from ‘what I can achieve for myself’ to ‘how can I impact the lives of others positively’.
In this phase, we emanate the light of love, and compassion to every sentient being on the planet.
Compassion improves our health by strengthening the immune system, normalizing blood pressure, lowering stress and depression, improving physical recovery from illness, and even extending life. It also enables us to understand ourselves and others better as we seek to relieve suffering.
Phase 2 – Gratitude
Practicing gratitude can dramatically change the way we feel on an everyday basis. We begin to pay attention to the smallest of happenings, that we otherwise tend to take granted for.
Gratitude helps us experience more positive emotions such as optimism, enthusiasm, love, joy, and happiness while protecting us from the destructive emotions of envy, greed, bitterness, and resentment. It also improves our self-esteem and makes us aware of the good other people do for us.
In this phase, we count 3-5 things we are grateful for in our personal and professional lives. And also about our own personality that is truly unique.
Phase 3 – Forgiveness
Forgiveness can lead to feelings of understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who hurt us. It doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the harm done but to release ourselves of the negative charge and let go.
In this phase, we feel the pain that the individual has caused for a moment and then forgive them and seek forgiveness in return.
Initially, I had more than few people in mind for this phase, but slowly I ran out of that reserve. We can only have as many conflicts in our lives with others, right? But the conflicts we have with the self, are unlimited. So I started dedicating this phase to forgiving myself And it worked wonders for me. It has taught me self compassion.
Phase 4 – Future Vision
This phase is my favorite. This is where we can daydream for 90 seconds visualizing one or more of the life goals that we wish to achieve within the next 3 years. This process is highly liberating, because of the freedom we get to enjoy to carve out our own future. We visualize different aspects of our life unfold making the experiences as vivid as possible by using all our senses.
Regular visualization helps to focus our minds on what we want. The brain cannot differentiate well between real and mental action, thereby making it easier for us to train it to believe in something and regulate our bodies accordingly.
Phase 5 – Plan Your Perfect Day
Affirmations are positive statements that can help us to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When we repeat them often and believe in them, we can start to make positive changes.
In this phase, we affirm and visualize on a perfect day assuming we have achieved the 3-year goals that we had set in the previous phase. We visualize every small detail of your day from the time we wake up, our morning routine, breakfast, commute to work, lunchtime, coming back home from work, evening hours with loved ones, dinner, and sleep routine. This phase can particularly make us feel immensely in control of our time, which adds up to a day, and eventually translates into how we spend our life.
Phase 6 – Blessings
In this phase, we pray to the highest source of power we believe in and have nothing to do with any religion. In fact, we can choose to bless ourselves. We visualize feeling protective energy embracing us, offering us support.
The Art of Showing Up
The only secret behind forming a daily powerful habit is the art of Showing Up.
The 21/90 rule says, it takes 21 days to build or break a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle
So showing up at the same time, every day, and following the same ritual that can trick the brain to settling down into the routine faster. For example. Setting up a fixed time, place, clothes, and things you do before and after the practice can really help you do it well and more.
And when you show up, lay your trust in the power of the universe and surrender yourself completely to the process. Put out the right intentions keeping others at the center. And most importantly be grateful for every little step that you are able to take each day.
Top it up with a 20 minutes mindfulness practice for superior results
Follow this process up by practicing mindfulness and thank yourself later.
Set up a timer for 5 min and upwards basis your convenience. Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. You need not take deep breaths. Just breathe normally. If your mind wanders which is quite inevitable, gently bring it back to focus on breathing. Remember the word – Gently. If you find the timer, too intrusive, just skip it, and do it anyway. Sitting still is the key here. Practicing this at any time of the day can be really effective. It has always come to my rescue before I go to pick my daughter up from kindergarten. I feel more and more centered and grounded with each practice.
This 40-minute daily routine is helping me tremendously to stay afloat during these times of deep distress. And I hope it helps you too to stay centered and relaxed.
I hope, wish, and pray that this pandemic comes to an end soon and that we all show up with the same vigor to address the issue of ‘climate crisis’ as well.
Take Care. Stay Home. Quarantine. And Meditate.
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