Discovering inner peace through mindfulness
"Like we go to the gym for our body, we need to have something for the mind and, as a discipline and a practice, that's what meditation is," says Ishan Shivanand
Ishan Shivanand is a globally honoured and sought-after young meditation master, motivational speaker, mindfulness trainer, and a contemporary reformer of inner consciousness par excellence. However, despite his fame, he comes across as a simple, optimistic person who believes that there is good inside every human being. "I am a happy person looking for good, and wherever I find good, I try to make it better," he says in an interview with wknd.
Ishan hails from an ancient lineage in Rajasthan, India, in the Aravali mountains that even predates the Himalayas. He was born in a monastery where his father was the main monk, and the life he knew was one of discipline, meditation and learning martial arts.
According to him, the whole culture there was about human development. "I discovered my life's calling when I realised that I could help people under stress. I wanted to make them smile and teach them what I know," he says.
Stress, according to Ishan is when things around you change at a much faster pace than you can evolve. "You become stressed because the inner clock cannot cope up with the external changes. Stress is caused by uncertainty. To overcome stress one has to bring in predictability through discipline. Set a time to get up in the morning, start the day with gratitude, do some physical exercise before you throw yourself into the chaos of this world," he advises.
Sleep is another critical factor. "As a rule, do not take gadgets to the bedroom. The pineal gland secretes serotonin to induce sleep. If it functions normally, there is relaxation on demand and activation on demand. Switch off the gadgets for a normal life," he says.
Another way to overcome stress, according to him, is to write in a book, a ledger for your free thoughts. "Ask yourself what do we want from our life, and what is the price you are willing to pay. Mindfulness, gratitude, forgiveness and acceptance are crucial," says Ishan.
Unconditional service to the world such as serving nature, society and the country can reduce stress.
The feeling that life is unfair can also cause stress. "Remember, what is yours will come back to you. What is not yours will go away. Practice the mindfulness exercise called gratefulness - start smiling, be grateful to people around you. List out five things to be grateful about," he advises.
Ishan highlights that loneliness can be stressful. "Be the best friend to yourself. Be happy inwardly. There is a huge difference between meditative and religious practices. God is positive. Meditation practice is for the mind. It is a protocol-based approach, good people trying to become better. Celebrate the mundane, discover the masterpiece inside the rock, carve and chisel and make a masterpiece of your life," says the guru.
Speaking about the public perception of meditation over the years, Ishan says: "When I started, people would not be able to differentiate between religious practices and meditative practices. Prayer was thought to be meditation. But prayer is your connection with God. That is something completely different. That is for the soul or redemption of the soul. But meditation is something a little more worldly, a little more tangible, because in today's life we can get stressed. Like we go to the gym for our body, we need to have something for the mind and, as a discipline and a practice, that's what meditation is."
Ishan admits that nowadays people have become more focused. They want to give their best in everything, and that's why they're choosing meditation as a tool, and this shift in consciousness is what he sees in the 15 years of what he is doing.
|Five tangible reasons to meditate|
> Focus more
> Helps you to relax
> Love your family
> Respond rather than react
> Control emotions better
Tips for a healthy and happy life
Gratitude - to get rid of that feeling of unfairness
Discipline - to inculcate a healthy routine
Meditation - to learn to fall in love with yourself