Meaning Of Meditation: In Context
Awareness is a very widely used yet mostly misunderstood term. Being aware, agile, and nimble-footed is a must to remain competent and relevant in today’s highly competitive global landscape that is now also marred with Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA).
The term is still very broad and can have different meanings for different people, and different meanings for the same people at different times.
Types Of Self Awareness
Any competitive professional would have at some point in time done or come across a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat (SWOT) analysis that is largely applied in an organizational context. But the basic principles remain the same if a similar analysis is done on this professional himself. In a new highly volatile world order that is witnessing a surge of gig jobs and shortening full-time employment tenures, being aware of opportunities, market dynamics, sunrise and sunset industries, business movements, political developments, is necessary to remain competitive. This can be termed as External Self-Awareness. Modern careers are like treadmills. One needs to keep learning to preclude from falling.
As per psychologists, people explore careers until the age of 35 after which they start self-actualizing and excelling at the chosen option. The age-old advice of selecting careers after the class X board examination is superficial and lacks any credible evidence. People learn as they grow up and explore options along the way. Having said that, it is also imperative that drastically changing career paths may also be difficult. Ergo, a detailed Internal Self-Awareness of one’s strengths, interests, passion is necessary to excel and be among the best. Not all can be good programmers; they may become better writers. Exposure to options, periodic introspection, mentoring, deep thinking, etc may be useful in realizing life’s true goals.
Meditation is a method or technique to focus on a certain thought, object, or bodily activity such as breathing. Meditation has been practised in different religions over thousands of years primarily as a route to enlightenment and self-realization. It is also perceived to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Of course, the straitjacketed researchers from the mainstream medical fraternity are yet to fully acknowledge the health benefits of meditation.
People meditate for a wide variety of reasons but the most commonly cited reason is one of self-awareness, to seek a deeper meaning to life and find out one’s true purpose and goal. Regular meditation can have long-lasting benefits in soothing nerves, managing anger, and controlling emotions.
Some Of The Intangible Benefits, Of Meditation, Are Listed Below:
- Materialistic desires put human beings at war with and within themselves. This internal conflict is the root cause of many cases of depression and frustration. Trying to win a rat race that has no beginning and no end does more harm than good to one’s life and health. Meditation gives a sense of inner peace.
- People have dogmatic views and opinions on several issues that revolve around them or impact them. Whereas it is good to have individual perspectives on a wide variety of topics, fighting tooth and nail on public online and offline platforms to prove oneself right does not make sense. Meditation makes one rise over trivial matters and take holistic view of situations. In most cases nobody’s right and nobody’s wrong too. It takes a great level of maturity to realize this.
- Although meditation and spirituality are often used interchangeably, both do not mean the same. While meditation is one of the paths to spirituality, all people who meditate need not aspire to become spiritual. Spirituality goes beyond the initial simpler objectives of meditation and is useful to deep dive into understanding the subconscious.
- Meditation is also considered to be an intuitional and at best a behavioural science as no laboratory test can clinically prove the impact inside the brain. External physiological changes may be visible and can be correlated with an observation by people around. Behavioural changes may be evident in the form of better quality of sleep, less impulse in decision making and reacting, and stronger control over one’s temper.
Self-awareness is knowing how to bridge one’s physical and emotional being to attain inner peace without compromising one’s core goals in life. Self-awareness is important because it allows the body and mind to live a contented life in a world continually bombarded with options and opportunities that do nothing except putting the person in a loop that ends only with death. The quiet inner feeling is crushed under the demands of society and a never-ending need that often turns into greed unless tamed in time.
How To Meditate
There is no single right method to method while there are plenty of guidelines to help derive maximum benefit from this exercise. All people that meditate do not sit cross-legged, chanting holy mantras while counting beads, in a dimly lit room. No doubt, chanting mantras and counting beads may have some neurophysiological benefits, but that is not the only way to reading one’s inner self.
Sitting quietly in a park, jogging alone in the wild, spending time with one’s plants, or doing deep breathing exercises are also great options to spend some “me time” with oneself. The objective is to carve out some space and time for oneself. Experiential activities that do not draw energy from either the left or right brain, but tap into the medulla oblongata are the best bets after the ones listed above. Jogging, cycling, swimming, or even bathing are activities that once mastered do not require application of mind. It is no wonder that people go swimming or walking on familiar paths when stressed out.
Being aware, both externally and internally is of paramount importance in today’s hypercompetitive world where economies are growing but families are shrinking. Being mentally fit is as important as being physically and financially fit. The hyper-competition can sometimes be distracting and lead to impulsive decision-making. Exploring opportunities with a reducing margin of error, realizing one’s goals, understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses, and aligning lifestyle accordingly can be brought about with a proper meditation schedule.