Questions and Answers with Premajyoti
I first tried meditation as a university student in Dunedin. The style of meditation freaked me out a bit as the teacher was attempting to teach us to ‘Astral Project’ (leave the body), so I never went back.
But, even the smallest encounters can plant a seed for the future. So another fifteen or so years later, I came to Ashram Yoga in Parnell to ask some questions about yoga and not long after that, I started attending meditation classes with Swami Shantimurti Saraswati and my interest and practise gathered momentum from there.
What can someone who is new to meditation expect to gain from it?
Many of the benefits can be experienced very early on – even after the very first time. What most people notice immediately is an increased feeling of calm and general well-being. With a little practice come other benefits such as greater clarity, increased emotional stability, improved attention, concentration and memory, as well as an overall reduction in a wide variety of stress-related illness.
How can meditation help people in their busy lives?
Feeling calmer and having more clarity in life inevitably has an impact on the way you approach life. One of the biggest changes you’re likely to see is in your relationships. When you are willing to observe to your own mind with some objectivity in meditation then this objectivity naturally spills over into your interactions with others. This usually makes you more willing to listen to others. This is in contrast to the common scenario of being so caught up in our own stuff that there seems to be no time or space to really view what’s going on or to approach it from a ‘step back’ position.
You will be much more aware of your emotions through meditating. The difference is that there will be a bit of space between you and the emotion, a bit of perspective, and therefore it is less likely to feel so overwhelming.
What 3 tips would offer someone who is new to meditation?
Keep it regular and achievable
Find a time in your day that you can easily ‘guard’ as your meditation time. Even ten minutes each day can give great benefit.
Regularity is beneficial for your practice because the regularity sets your whole system up to expect and enjoy meditation at your regular time. This allows your system to absorb the benefits of the meditation more readily and more deeply.
Stick with it – especially if it seems hard
Meditation is not always sunshine and rainbows. Meditation has the affect of gently stimulating the body and mind and sometimes unhelpful patterns or memories come to the surface to be re-viewed and then released. The first sign of this process can be restlessness in the physical and mental bodies. In these moments it is important to sit through it so that you can push through any barriers to achieve greater levels of harmony and awareness.
Accept, Accept, Accept
Whatever comes up in the mind during meditation, accept that it is there, don’t attempt to deny it or suppress it, but view it as an observer. The more distance we can have from thoughts and feelings, the more likely they are to release and no longer bother us. Along with this is the importance of accepting that the mind naturally fluctuates. When you lose focus during your practice, this is quite natural. It’s important not to see it as a set back, but as a natural opportunity for training the mind as you guide it back to the practice.
What can people expect to get out of the ‘Meditation II, Deepening the Experience’ course?
- More connection with the subtle energetic systems within the body and brain and how to harness these to go into deeper states of connection and expansion.
- More Prana (life force) in the system leading to a fuller meditative state.
- Increased lung capacity and strength in the diaphragm through the extended Pranayama.
- A set of tools they can use to add depth and strength to their meditations when they choose to.
- The experience of meditating in a group within a collective energy field.
How can people contact you to ask more about the course, or meditation in general?
Inquiries can be made through the Meditation page on this website.
Check out my facebook page Brightstar Yoga.