I won’t keep you waiting for long…the simple secret is ‘Meditation’. Yes, you heard that right. M-E-D-I-T-A-T-I-O-N!
Now, meditation is not something you would associate with Islam, at least that’s what I thought. I had heard of several types of meditation ranging from Buddhism, Vedic, Christian and Chinese traditions, but never ‘Islamic meditation’. (which I later realised, on doing a simple google search, is actually a thing. Don’t believe me? Here’s a link)
It is not something that is practiced in my family or anyone close.Neither do I know of a friend or acquaintance who does it. Zero-Zilch-Nada!!
Okay, you get the point, That’s enough of me exaggerating everything!
So, how did I stumble upon this valuable, gem of a notion that completely transformed the way I connect with my Lord on a daily basis, let alone my life.
It all happened on one lazy evening. I was on one of those “Youtube video marathons” where you resort to watch every possible Youtube video in your subscriptions and not know how 2 hours just flew past.
I’m pretty sure I clicked on this TEDx video about meditation by accident! It is a very well spoken video and more importantly it cleared many doubts I had about meditation; classic myths like- ‘You have to quiet your mind in order to have a successful meditation practice’ or ‘It takes years of dedicated practice to receive any benefits from meditation’ and ‘Meditation is a spiritual or religious practice’- which by the way, are all untrue.
Oh! A quick google search will have you wandering through BuzzFeed style articles debunking the many myths people like me had about meditation.
After watching this video,something moved inside of me…and made me want to finally give meditation a chance it deserved. You see, I was seeing it everywhere, in every magazine I read, every Life Coach suggested it, only I, had never had felt the need to try it.
I’ve struggled a lot with khushu from ever since I can remember but lately salah had become a chore rather than a conversation with Allah. I was yearning to taste the sweetness of salah.
So, without wasting a second, I shut my eyes and focused on my breathing. While I know that I’m supposed to be letting all thoughts go, more and more fly through my mind. Soon I had a list of “to-dos” in my head … and then it was all downhill from there.
I realized I go through this same process during my Salah- ‘distractions’.
That’s when it clicked in my mind that if I could get better at meditatin – ‘Clearing my thoughts’ and being more in the present, I might be able to finally master Khushu.
The maximum I can maintain my concentration in salah is upto the first Fatiha. After that I go on auto-pilot (reciting my go-to surahs) and my mind goes on a different planet altogether.
After saying the 2 salams, I am always gripped by this overcoming sense of incompleteness and regret instead of joy and accomplishment.
It usually ends by a promise to myself, to be better next time only to repeat the same mistake again.
Before really jumping into the idea of taking up meditation seriously I had tried a few hacks. You might want to have a read- here’s the link- How I Added a touch of spice to my prayer
To get myself started, I downloaded the app ‘Headspace’ after watching this TEDx video by Andy Puddicombe, a meditation and mindfulness expert, former Buddhist Monk and Founder of Headspace.
(As, you can probably say by now, I’m a great fan of TEDx. But then again, who is not? )
The app has a free ‘Take10 program’ which consists of 10 recordings of 10 minutes each and provides you with options to buy premium service if you wish to.
Obviously, I started off with the free stuff. I like to listen to these recordings when I go to bed. They have been extremely helpful and I have seen an improvement in my Salah by 90%.
I’ll be honest with you guys, I’ve only started meditating since the last month and I haven’t been consistently listening to the recordings. But I am fully positive about this approach as it has shown drastic results in my case.
Over to you peeps now! Try out meditation and give me a…. ‘review’ if you will.
I hope it helps you in your prayers!
Until next time! Take Care! 🙂
P.S: If you are one of those who already practices meditation or has tried it in the past do share your insights with us beginners. We really value them. Thank you 🙂
*Khushu: Concentration in salah