Yoga is an ancient science. Its practices have been used for centuries. Of course, when I refer to "yoga" I mean much more than the postures (asanas) which we in the West have whittled "yoga" down to. Yoga means union, and it is a set of much broader practices which lead to union with all things, including the divine. Meditation is a big part of the ancient tradition of yoga, and ancient, sacred yogic texts (predating Jesus Christ by hundreds of years) heavily emphasize the practice of meditation as central to divine union.
Yogic practices like meditation are inward in nature. In meditation, we literally turn our attention from the outside in, noticing the breath and controlling our focus. Through concentration, we can achieve elevated states of consciousness, which can include feelings of joy, calmness, and love.
The beautiful thing about experiencing states of joy, calmness, and love in meditation is precisely because you are experiencing those states while meditating. While doing "nothing" (so it appears under outside observation - although meditation is actually active and not passive, but perceiving the action is difficult since it is all inward). In this experience, no outside validation is needed. We aren't feeling joy because someone noticed us, or because we were recognized for an achievement, or because we bought or were given something we longed for. There is nothing causing the joy which is related to anything outside ourselves. We experience joy in its purest state. Just joy, just because. The same goes for calmness or love or any other experiences in meditation. As long as we are holding true to the meditative state and not drifting into memories or meandering thoughts, these states are generated from within without external cause. This is something to get habitualized to! Not depending on the outer world for your joy, peace, calmness, and love can be downright revolutionary if you have been living your life in relation to everything around you and how you fit in with all of it. We realize that we already have - in fact, we are - that joy, calmness, and love which we have been looking for in our partners, friends, family, work, things, and so on. The joy, calmness, and love is within us at all times - we only need stop and tune into it.
The deeper we go in meditation, the more able we are to detach from the likes and dislikes of others. We can separate our worth from how we are seen by others. We can understand that if someone is rude to us without cause, it's a reflection of their inner state and not a reflection of us. We needn't fret over how we are perceived because we are directed within - not in an egotistical way, but working to align ourselves with our Higher Self, with our divinity.
I am an Ananda® certified meditation teacher. I am passionate about meditation and embrace a yogic lifestyle for greater wellness physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
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