What are the signs that your meditation is working

Let us first look at the question: What are signs that meditation is working? sometimes one might go through all the prescribed steps and still never actually enter or experience the mental shift into a meditative state. Once you are sure that this is happening, then it is only a question of repeatedly, regularly and consistently returning back to the practice to experience transformation in all aspects of one’s life.

But there is one unexpected problem with answering this question, which is the reason why it is advisable to seek guidance from an adept mentor. It is best to actually practice the steps and experience whatever arises without knowing what to expect and then share the experience with your mentor, who would guide accordingly. The reason why I’m saying this is that it is not possible to go through the mental shift when one is holding a specific expectation or a set of expectations. Noticing all that is happening right now within your body and mind and in the surroundings with a stance of acceptance and allowing it to be happening as it is without engaging, reacting or responding to all that is happening right now is the only way to go through the mental shift.

The following answer therefore is for you to look back at your meditation practice and see if you got it right and not to hold as an expectation for the next practice. Simply drop all expectations when you practice next and go into it with an openness and innocence of a child. Each session of meditation could throw up completely different experiences.

Now coming back to the question: what are the signs to look for? In the body during and after meditation you may experience some of yawning, sneezing, coughing, burping, farting, itching, unnoticed or mild pains in different parts of the body may start becoming noticeable or more intense, in rare cases body may experience swaying or jerking or shaking, and sometimes an intense pain may go away. All these body experiences happen because your awareness is returning back to your body. In other words, you are becoming more present and aware of your body and this causes the body to open up, loosen up and relax. What was suppressed or imperceptible in your body before, becomes open and you start experiencing them. The only way to go deeper into meditation is to notice and allow all these and whatever else that arises in the body to continue without mental intervention.

For example if it itches somewhere, it’s ok to allow your hands to go there and scratch and it is ok to notice a thought that arises asking why is it itching. Simply choose to avoid engaging with the thought and going into a deep mental analysis of possible reasons.

Now let us see what happens in the feeling mind and the thinking mind. A feeling of expansiveness may arise or any of these feelings; peace, stillness, quietness, gratitude, compassion. loving kindness, joy, etc may arise. Thoughts may still keep arising throughout the practice but it may now seem as if you are noticing these thoughts as they arise instead of thinking these thoughts. You have become the witness instead of the participant in the drama of thoughts in the mind. As you continue staying a disengaged witness watching the arising thoughts and not labelling, judging, cringing, liking, disliking, reacting, responding, getting carried away or engaging with these thoughts in any way, you may notice that they gradually reduce.

This is just meant to just give a brief idea or gist of what may arise during the practice of meditation. The study of meditation as a subject matter of intellectual pursuit is actually counterproductive to being able to actually practice meditation. You cannot study for years and do research and write a thesis on cricket batting and become a Sachin Tendulkar. You need to pick up the bat, pad up and jump into the field and simply swing at the ball and keep doing this frequently, regularly and consistently. After that, some study along the way may help but a coach may help even more.

And now to come to the second point, if meditation works, then it would also work spiritually in the long run. I do not make any difference between materialistic meditation or spiritual meditation and if at all such differentiation exists it does so only in theory or as a concept. The above quote says it all.

My recently published book is a complete guide to answer all your questions around this and mentor you through a proven pathway to attain everlasting happiness, peace of mind, healing and transformation.

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