Here is a summary of the most frequently asked questions about the meditation course I teach:
I always thought that meditation is for New Agers/ Women/ Yogis /Eastern philosophers. I am a business owner and none of my friends are doing any of this stuff. I don’t want to be ridiculed.
A: Meditation is a practice suitable for everyone. The perception that meditation is not fit for modern active people does not reflect the truth. In many cultures meditation has been regarded as a powerful practice for powerful individuals. If people would understand the tremendous benefits of it, we would have classes on meditation in any business school. Think of how many powerful people in the history were familiar with meditation: Mahatma Gandhi, Pitagora, Socrates, Isaac Newton, Sri Aurobindo, Francisc D’Assissi, etc. Nowadays, many government leaders are practicing meditation on regular basis, and you will find meditation rooms and teachings in many prestigious universities.
I tried to meditate before but my mind chatter drives me crazy, plus I have a really hard time sitting still with my eyes closed for more than a few minutes. What shall I do?
A: Learning to meditate takes a progressive approach. You cannot jump straight into a total body and mind stillness. The meditation course I teach will guide you step by step in this process. Yoga treatises compare the mind with a crazy monkey. Getting it under control is like dealing with a spoiled child and requires patience and perseverance.
I have read many modern books on positive thinking and I have been to several seminars on this topic, which promise substantial improvements in life. I have done my best to think positively, however not much has improved in my life. What am I doing wrong?
A: The idea that positive thinking can improve life is correct. This idea can be presented as a novelty nowadays only due to the general ignorance of most people regarding genuine spiritual practices. For example, Yoga has been studied the mechanisms of the mind for thousands of years.
Unfortunately many of the modern seminars only present the effects of positive thinking. In these trainings you will learn the value of positive thinking, suggestions for success and so on. What you are not told is that it takes a focused mind to influence the matter. This is where the hard work comes in. The ability to control your mind and truly think positively is not easy to acquire and it takes perseverant and extensive training.
There is scientific research that shows that the space between two similar thoughts is occupied by 3,000 – 5,000 secondary thoughts that we are not even aware of. What we are not aware of, we cannot control. What we cannot control controls us. So if you have one positive thought and three thousands of other random thoughts, you can figure out what kind of results you will obtain. That’s why yoga says that most people are used by their mind, instead of using their mind.
I tried to meditate but it is always so hard to deal with noise and distraction. There is always something happening around me. How can I avoid it? Do I need to go to some quiet retreat place in order to learn meditation?
A: Going to remote quiet places to meditate can help a lot, especially at the beginning. However this is not an absolute requirement. Meditation is a practice of everyday life so we need to be able to meditate in every condition. You will learn in this course how you can deal with outside noise and not be disturbed by it.
I have a very strong and well organized mind, so I believe that I am very good at controlling it. Why should I meditate?
A: A strong and organized mind is a great asset for meditation practice and everything in life! However this is just a tool and not the final goal. Meditation helps us realize that the thinking process is not the most important thing in life. Meditation is actually what remains after we have finished thinking. It is like a leap in a wondrous space that we don’t even know it is there, as we are so busy thinking all the time.
My job requires me to be alert and quick thinking all the time. I cannot afford to be dreamy and aloof. How is this going to go with the practice of meditation?
A: Meditation does not make you dreamy and aloof. It will actually help you see and analyze everything with clarity and speed. A clear and relaxed mind is the key to tremendous effectiveness in everything. You will also have more energy for everything. As you start calming down the unnecessary chatter of your mind, all the energy that was previously spent with this agitation will be redirected for accomplishing your goals. This is the reason why most performance athletes get training in meditation nowadays. It helps them perform much better.
Will meditation conflict with the religion I am embracing?
A: The ultimate goal of all religions is to help us realize in a practical and direct way, in our own existence, the divine reality that exists in each of us. And through that awaken and manifest all the ideal human qualities.
Different religions have different approaches to this goal, and promote different individual practices. The ability to meditate can deepen your individual religious practice. All saints of all religions used meditation to obtain a state of communion with the divine.
How can I know that I will obtain real effects through meditation, and I am not merely imagining things?
A: Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a growing subfield of neurological research. Modern scientific techniques, such as FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and EEG (Electroencephalography) have been used to see what happens in the body and brain when people meditate, as well as its long term effects. These studies have shown substantial bodily changes as a consequence of regular meditative practice, including growth in regions of the brain involved with compassion and understanding others, being mindfully aware, sustaining focus on a single object for a long period, and others.