I'm not a big fan of the phrase time is flying, however recently I feel like there have been so many changes in life as well as with the growth of Vanaya that time seems to be going so quickly. I weep a little every time when I change Vanaya and realise the new outfit I just got for her is now too small. She outgrows her outfits so quickly that her wardrobe is bigger than mine and Rakesh's put together! I guess it's only natural when you are looking after a baby that you feel that time goes by so fast. I almost wish I could freeze time so that I can really appreciate all the moments as Vanaya grows up. With all the recent major life changes of the move and the birth coupled with these rapid day to day changes I feel like I just can't keep up and it does make me feel like life is passing me by so quickly.
I've always welcomed change into my life as change brings excitement. It can also bring about fear and anxiety too. But if we don't overcome our fears and make a change it can cause stagnancy. Therefore its always wise to lovingly let go of the past and allow changes to rise. During times of change it is natural to feel unsettled and I find doing a grounding meditation on a daily basis can really help me to feel stable and strong within myself which overcomes any anxiety or worry that I maybe feeling. However since Vanaya was born and even during my pregnancy I have not been meditating as much or as deeply as I did in the past. Meditation brings a sense of stillness which is so valuable in the fast pace world we live in and during times of change. Meditation helps to slow life down so that we can live in the moment. When we live in the moment time does not escape us and in fact time becomes abundant.
So the big question I have asked myself recently is how can I incorporate not just more meditation in my life but deep meditation. Here are four tips that I have been working with and I hope that they are useful for you too;
1. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate... shall I say that again.... concentrate :-) I feel that five minutes of concentrated meditation has a deeper effect than 20 minutes of lost thoughts. Concentration (Dharana in Sanskrit) is the sixth limb in the eight limbs according to Patanjali's yoga sutras. Dharana precedes Dhyana which is meditation therefore you need to concentrate to be able to meditate.
2. Find the right time and place to meditate that suits you. Before I had Vanaya I would have said that in order to meditate you need to sit on the ground or at least in an upright position on a chair. However now I find that the best time and place for me to meditate at present is when I am breastfeeding Vanaya in the morning in her nursery and last thing at night seated on my bed before I go to bed. It works for me at the moment and no doubt this may change in a few months as Vanaya's routine changes.
3. Always start your meditation with a grounding technique. For example recently I have been starting my practice with a visual of a tree and its roots. As I visualise the tree I also allow myself to feel as though my own feet are rooted in the ground and that my body is as heavy, solid and stable as a tree trunk. Creating this energy allows your meditation to be deep and strong and your mind is less likely to wonder. But the key to this is to really feel this in your body!
4. Incorporate at least one breathing technique into your meditation practice. The breath is the link between the body and the soul therefore when you work with your breath it will bring you closer to the quiet, peaceful inner space of your soul.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and I would love to know where and when you find yourself in a deep meditation.