“Meditation is a mental exercise in which I do not allow the mind to do what it wants, but make it do what I want”.
Most sportspersons would have heard about meditation and would be interested in doing meditation. However, many are not aware how to proceed and what all types of meditation they can pursue.
Lets, look at some options and learn about meditation and how it helps sportspersons.
In meditation I give a particular task and ask the mind to do that. This helps me to find out whether the mind is my instrument or am I the mind’s instrument.
A proper understanding of meditation and its role is recommended for physical and mental health, personality development and better sports performances. Hence, a clear understanding of meditation is useful for all, whether one seeks spiritual growth or any growth in life. Sportspersons seek sports excellence. Meditation is the way forward.
Meditation can be subdivided into four types. This is based on the faculty to be developed.
In this, you learn to relax at all levels. You can attempt this in any posture (even lying down). Start by consciously relaxing every part of the body from head (start from head) to toe (finish at toe). When the body is totally relaxed, you feel almost body-less. Then observe the breathing. The breath is beautifully coming in and going out. Try to enjoy the rhythm of the breathing. It’s an enchanting concert that you haven’t heard before. This observation of the breathing will help in making the breathing-process smooth and even.
Next, relax the mind. The following methods can be used to relax the mind:
Imagine you are somewhere seated in a naturally beautiful place like a mountain, a riverbank, near the ocean , in a deep forest etc., anywhere you have felt peaceful and happy and can relate with that picture that you are imagining.
Consciously unload all your mental burdens to the scenic beautiful place. That place will take your burden happily and leave you refreshed.
Once you start feeling mentally refreshed Don’t stop. Mentally repeat to yourself: “I am confident of facing any situation in life or I have no worries now. I am relaxed.” Use any word or words that you enjoy that help you in relaxation. Work to ignore all other thoughts during this process.
While the relaxation meditation is for simple, deep relaxation, concentration meditation is to develop the faculty of focusing. Try the following process and develop focus (concentration):
Mentally chant a Mantra (A mantra is a meaningful word, or a sentence. Preferably from the Veda’s (ancient texts)). They are sounds, syllables, words or groups of words that are repeated (orally or mentally) with the goal of creating a positive transformation within the person. We are free to chant that word or sentence that we wish to imbibe in our life.
Example : “I wish to be happy”. This could be mantra you choose to chant. You may chant this for 5 or 10 minutes orally or mentally. While chanting you will notice your thoughts go somewhere else. Your job is to deliberately bring back your thoughts to the chosen mantra. How many ever times the mind diverts itself, bring it back to the chosen mantra.
As you build your muscles, by repetitive exercises, similarly by bring the mantra back into focus, after it has drifted (the mantra will drift away many times, it is normal, you have to bring it back), is what will make the concentration levels increase. You can see results within 30 days of daily practice.
All the time, being obsessed with sports life, personal life or family life, one develops a narrow, “frog in the well “ mental attitude. To break this, one has to meditate on the totality which expands the mind and makes the sports problems, individual problems and family problems insignificant. Once corrected from this problem of a “frog in the well” attitude, one unleashes an unknown energy that was lying trapped within you. Try the following:
Mentally visualize the earth as seen from space, the mighty oceans, the great mountains, the planets in space, the solar system in which we live and also the humongous universe.
Appreciate the sunrise and sunset, mentally follow the sun in all its phases from sunrise to sun set. The flight of birds in the beautiful blue sky, see the patterns they make when they fly in groups.
Try to tune yourself to the natural rhythm, the cosmic orchestra. Learn to enjoy the cosmic dance of the creator.
You become a whole new person!
This meditation is important. This will help in internalizing the values. They will then bring about a transformation in your life and make you sharper in all aspects wherever the values have been imbibed.
Sportsperson require various values in their life to succeed, amongst many values they need, the highest is self discipline.To become disciplined in anything takes a lot of perseverance. Value meditation is the way forward. Make values valuable to yourself. See success chase you.
Take up any value like truthfulness, patience, confidence, compassion, timeliness etc. Mentally see how important they are for a life of peace and progress. Bring to your mind any person who enjoys that particular value and appreciate him/her.
Take the opposite traits like hatred, lying, diffidence, irritation, rudeness, etc. Mentally see how they turn your peace into pieces.
Look at yourself as one endowed with a new value that you have worked towards. See how happy and confident you have become. That new confidence in you leads to the success.