This is a question that is posed to me quite regularly, and I can see the skepticism in people's eyes -- the fear of meditation, and the preconceived notions that the only people that meditate are/were Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. However, I am also regularly asked, "Reetu, why do you always seem at peace? Why do you seem like you are happy from the inside? How are you so centered? So positive?" Well, this is because I meditate.
When our bodies become overworked, the body gets fatigued, you become stressed, your levels of cortisol rise and this increases your chances of getting sick. I am sure that so many of you find that when you get stressed you suddenly find yourself ill in some way, shape or form. And so you decide to rest until you feel well. We tend to listen to our bodies; when it's hungry we eat, when it's tired we rest. On that same token, when our mind becomes stressed, we must allow it rest.
Meditation allows us to calm our mind and let our heart speak. When we are faced with obstacles, our mind tends to go in many different directions, analyzing many solutions and possible outcomes. The heart will try to speak but the mind will be going full steam ahead. Once we quiet our mind, suddenly all the problems dissolve and possibilities presents themselves. All of the answers to your questions lie within you; you just have to allow your heart to speak.
Meditation takes patience, and having patience with one's self means having confidence. Tell yourself that you are able to calm your mind and you will. You control your mind, your mind does not control you. Buddha once said, "The mInd is everything. What you think, you become." If you tell yourself to meditate, to remain positive in life, that you want to succeed in life, you surely will. One of my favorite quotes is that of Muhammad Ali, "I am the greatest. And I said this even before I knew I was."
I cannot speak further about meditation without mentioning my teacher, Brahmrishi Sri Guruvanand Ji Swamy, or for short, Gurudev. I had been meditating for many years when I met this great spiritual leader. I did not know much about him the first time I had met him, but I was overwhelmed by his energy. He resides in an ashram in India, but had traveled to Canada to visit. About twenty of us were waiting in a room, and as he came to sit down, it felt as if the entire room became lighter. He seemed to look at people and just with his eloquent gaze and loving smile, he seemed to dissipate all of their worries. He did not preach religion, but spoke of spirituality and how to live life with happiness. He taught and perfected my meditation techniques. At that time, I did not know that one day I would be teaching meditation and so I am very thankful for all he has taught me.
So why do we meditate? Meditation is about Heart, Soul and Mind. Meditation quiets the Mind from the everyday chatter and stress, and the silence of the Mind reminds the Soul that it is free, never harmed and always capable of love. This in turn allows the Heart to speak freely. When the Heart is heard and followed, the heart smiles and you will smile. This is why we meditate, as only through meditation can one reach this state of inner peace and true happiness.