What Sahaja Meditation Can Do For You
Sahaja Meditation is good for heart, mind, body and soul. It's all about energy — Inner Energy — and everyone has it. Sahaja Meditation is a simple technique that lets you tap into that energy and harness its power to become better balanced and better connected to yourself — emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It's easy. Anyone can do it. And classes are always free.
Here are just a few specific benefits Sahaja offers…
• Immediate stress relief and long-term stress management
• Improve physical and emotional health and boost long-term resilience
• Improve overall personality and relationships
• Balance personal and professional responsibilities
• Take control of your life; control negative emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, guilt
• Improve cognitive functioning: focus, clarity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, enhanced creativity
What is Sahaja Meditation?
How does Sahaja Meditation differ from other popular forms of meditation? On the surface, Sahaja Meditation has a lot in common with other forms of meditation. But what's unique to Sahaja is the ability to awaken and connect to your Inner Energy and influence the movement of this energy up through your body's seven primary energy centers to achieve physical and emotional well-being and ultimately establish a spiritual connection.
How does energy flow work? Inner Energy flows through each of your energy centers or chakras, energizing, nurturing and balancing them. Think of your Inner Energy system as a flute with seven holes — each hole representing a chakra, and your Inner Energy representing the air that is blown through the flute. If the flute's holes are unobstructed, the flute can produce melodious, harmonious music in the hands of a skilled musician. And so it is with your chakras. When they're clear and free of obstructions, your Inner Energy flows through your body smoothly, achieving a harmonious balance.
Once your Inner Energy has been awakened, you'll find that Sahaja Meditation makes it easy to fall into the state of meditation, rather than having to perform meditation, as is the case with many forms of meditation. Most forms of meditation don't allow you to easily actualize the energy on Day 1. The reason is that Sahaja Meditation has the unique ability to achieve the powerful state of thoughtless awareness, quickly and effortlessly. What is thoughtless awareness? Think of it as purified attention, a state of maximum energy flow during which your mind is calmed and gradually emptied of all distractions and negative thoughts and feelings. Sahaja Meditation techniques allow you to extend that fraction-of-a-second gap between one thought and the next to remain in a thoughtless state for as long as you wish. Thoughtless awareness — mental silence — is a much-needed break from the thoughts that constantly bombard us all day long.
Recent studies conducted by Dr. Ramesh Manocha suggest that thoughtless awareness or mental silence has more impact, experientially and physiologically, than simple relaxation or generic meditation. Sahaja Meditation's mental silence approach to meditation, when compared to a “non-mental silence” approach, was shown to be, on average, twice as effective in reducing work-related stress, general depressive symptoms and anxiety. Sahaja is much more than just feeling peaceful and relaxed. If you choose to explore it in depth, it can be a transformative path to achieving your highest potential, reaching a higher plane of knowledge and awareness, and living in peace and contentment.
Physical and emotional health and well-being
Recent clinical studies have demonstrated the mental and physical health benefits provided by regular practice of Sahaja. For example:
• Stress management and emotional resilience. Stress, in one way or another, contributes to all mental and physical health problems. The sense of inner calm you experience during thoughtless awareness boosts your emotional resilience, which helps you effectively cope with stressful events in the future. Regular meditation activates a built-in stress management mechanism that helps your cope with stressors on an ongoing basis. Thoughtless awareness enables you to influence your Inner Energy; in other words, influence your central nervous system to heal and improve yourself.
• Depression and anxiety relief. Sahaja Meditation can helps relieve depression and anxiety symptoms and has been shown to increase positive emotions by influencing neurochemicals released by the limbic (emotional) system (e.g., beta-endorphins).Sahaja revitalizes energy and restores optimism, peace and contentment. Meditation helps manage anger, relieve fear and anxiety, erase negative thoughts and feelings, improve self-esteem, and restore a sense of balance, self-control and well-being. You're better equipped to confront and solve your problems, rather than just feel guilty about your mistakes.
• Prevention and alternative treatment for illnesses, including: epilepsy, hypertension and cardiac diseases, asthma and respiratory illnesses, migraine syndrome, and menopausal symptoms
• Structurally alters the brain. A recent study at Massachusetts General Hospital, (Harvard Medical School teaching hospital), showed that the regular practice of meditation may produce structural changes in areas of the brain associated with attention and sensory processing.
• Boosts immune system and slows aging. By improving overall health, Sahaja helps your body manufacture more disease-fighting cells (T-cells). Thoughtless awareness, combined with the ongoing nourishent of Inner Energy, helps slow aging by keeping your mind and body revitalized and rejuvenated. The Mass General study also showed that meditation may help slow aging by reducing thinning of the cortex.
• Reduction of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder symptoms, such as attention deficit problems, impulsiveness, hyperactivity and conflict in interpersonal relationships in all settings (school, workplace, social and family). Family-oriented AD/HD studies of meditation have also shown that parents reported feeling happier, less stressed and better able to manage their child’s behavior.
• Pain reduction. NIH-funded neuroimaging studies found that long-term meditation can mitigate the brain's response to pain by 40 to 50 percent. In other words, meditation is actually capable of modifying how the brain perceives pain, which could be good news for chronic pain sufferers.
It's important to mention that treatment or cure is a coincidental benefit of Sahaja Meditation — a wonderful byproduct — not Sahaja's ultimate goal. Healing is not Sahaja's core objective, nor was Sahaja Meditation intended to be a formal system of treatments for diseases and disorders. Having said that, healing — and long-term wellness — begins with harnessing your own untapped energy. So at the very least, Sahaja Meditation is a great place to start.
Personal Development, Self-Actualization, Personality and Relationships
Sahaja Meditation increases self-awareness, intuition and introspectiveness — all qualities that improve your communication skills and increase your compassion and empathy for others. Once you've awakened your Inner Energy through meditation, your attention turns inward — deep inside yourself, to your own energy centers. Through your own internal process of self-awareness and self-realization, your sensitivity to the feelings of others feelings automatically increases and it becomes easier to put yourself in someone else's shoes. You're better able to visualize and understand how others might feel or anticipate someone's reactions to your own words and deeds.
You begin to focus more on how to improve yourself. You focus on self-improvement through introspection and self-examination, rather than seeking solutions externally through other people, situations, or circumstances. This alone brings about powerful personality changes and builds a foundation for positive interactions with others and strong, pure relationships. The people around you quickly notice your improved attitude, and that you are surrounded by an aura of peace and contentment. You become peaceful from within. As meditation continues to nourish your energy centers over time, people find you to be pleasant to be around and view you as someone who has valuable advice to offer.
Sahaja techniques can teach you to gauge the state of your own energy centers and become adept at pinpointing the location of blockages (known as 'catches'). Each energy center is associated with a set of qualities. So a problem in an energy center means a problem with the quality associated with that center.
You'll have live and constant feedback of what's going on with your mind and body — a powerful self-diagnostic tool that allows you to quickly pinpoint and solve problems. Sahaja helps you analyze your own feelings — whether positive or negative — and determine what's triggering them. Negative emotions fade (e.g., feeling guilty for past mistakes) and the trajectory of your life becomes an ascending spiral.
The spiritual face of Sahaja
For those who choose to explore its depths, Sahaja Meditation can deliver benefits on two powerful dimensions: (1) the rejuvenating experiential aspect and true improvement of oneself and; (2) growth and understanding of spiritual knowledge. Regular practice of Sahaja Meditation can illuminate the true meaning of spirituality and what the journey of spirituality can mean in your life, not tethered to any religion or "rules." The ability to influence the subtle energy system is a thoroughly modern solution with origins revealed in ancient scriptures more than 14,000 years ago. Sahaja can open up a whole world of knowledge known to very few. Attempting to fully articulate the Sahaja spiritual experience is like trying to describe the magnificent beauty of the ocean floor in all its living, miraculous complexity to someone who's standing on the shore, asking what lies beneath the surface of the ocean. No matter how hard you try to describe what can be found in the depths of the ocean, it can only be truly experienced if you dive to those depths yourself.
What to expect from a Sahaja Meditation class
First, all classes are free, no strings attached. There's nothing to buy, now or ever. It's against Sahaja principles to charge money for helping others awaken the energy that we were all born with. Sahaja instructors feel that spirituality should not be equated with money and commerce.
And Sahaja is a "family practice." We welcome all ages. Walk-ins are welcome.
Overview. The primary focus of Sahaja Meditation classes, especially for beginners, is awakening and experiencing the energy with the goal of achieving thoughtless awareness or mental silence. We'll provide a brief overview of the subtle energy system so that you can understand the sensations you feel within your body and correlate your experience to real physical and mental attributes. But experience is always valued over knowledge. In other words, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not in learning how to make elaborate pudding recipes or discussing how wonderful the pudding tastes.
If you continue to practice Sahaja, you'll discover and experience, step by step, your own energy centers and their associated qualities. Once you're able to consistently feel the energy and have experienced noticeable differences in your cognitive and emotional states, you can explore more advanced techniques, such as clearing and healing the chakras. You'll learn how the energy centers play a vital role in our evolutionary process of becoming better human beings and experience holistic improvement on all planes — physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual. In the ultimate and most advanced phases, you may choose to use Sahaja Meditation to discover your inner spiritual self and how you can evolve to higher realms of spirituality. For many, Sahaja is much more than just a temporary solution or quick relief. It is a journey, rather than a destination.
Ultimately, Sahaja classes can provide a complete course on meditation and spirituality, which you can continue to experiment with and verify at every step. Just as no two life experiences are exactly alike, no two Sahaja Meditation experiences are exactly alike. You can explore at your own pace, in your own way. There are no rules, restrictions or rituals. Sahaja is entirely Do-It-Yourself. And I'm always available to help.
There's no pressure to continue attending classes. You can come once or twice and never come back again or you can attend classes weekly. Many find that attending classes weekly is just what they need to recharge their batteries.
About our sessions. Classes are conducted in a peaceful environment; soothing background music helps facilitate meditation. Meditations are guided by instructors and are designed to accommodate the collective experience. Individual assistance (both beginner and advanced) is always available. While the actual practice of meditation forms the core of our sessions, sessions may also include discussions of, for example, specific aspects of the subtle energy system. But it's not all "serious." There's also plenty of opportunity to enjoy casual conversations and share experiences with others.
The power of collective meditation. Collective meditation in an optimized environment can be exhilarating and rejuvenating. In fact, generally, the larger the group, the better the experience. Once you have awakened your Inner Energy, you may find that the benefits of meditation are compounded when you meditate in a group of people who are "on the same frequency;" i.e., connecting to the collective universal energy at the same time and place. Think of it as a network of computer servers linked to each other… each can access and share resources of the other, and as a group, they form a powerful network of resources. Collective meditation is also likely to help you progress faster in the initial weeks, as compared to meditating at home, alone.
Meditating at home. You can meditate anytime in any quiet environment. Once your Inner Energy has been awakened, the technique simply involves easing into the state of meditation to raise the energy, then gradually easing out of it to carry on with your day. You're likely to find your solo meditations to be much more beneficial if you have first attended a class where expert Sahaja practitioners are on hand to help.
What Sahaja holds in store for you, personally, is up to you. You can devote as much time to it or as little as you wish. But like everything else in life, the benefits you reap will generally be commensurate with the amount of time and effort you invest.As with a physical fitness program, for example, you must have knowledge and understanding of the techniques, as well as the motivation and maturity to pursue thefitness routine. You must enter into the experience with an open mind, a belief that it can work and a willingness to work, or the program won't achieve a high level of success. And as with any physical fitness program you undertake, meditation results may vary, depending on variables such as how fit you are when you begin the program and how hard you work on an ongoing basis. But typically, two 10 to 15- minute-sessions per day will yield significant benefits.
Weekly on Saturdays at 11 a.m. at Franklin Community Center, 505 Demott Ln, Somerset, NJ
I've been practicing Sahaja Meditation for more than 18 years and conducting Sahaja Meditation programs all over the globe for more than 15 years. The greatest privilege of sharing my knowledge of Sahaja is helping people transform their lives through energy awakening — spiritual awakening. I love the fact that Sahaja Meditation is such an easy, spontaneous way to explore a realm of the universe as endless and deep as spirituality.