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A Goal Oriented Approach to Meditation

You need to be clear about your goals when you undertake this long journey. If your goal is to merely release stress, stay in a good shape and build positivity, that is a very different direction. You could focus on the physical stretching component of Yoga and learn breathing techniques. A strong workout combined with flexibility routines and some breathing will probably be enough to achieve your goals. If you venture into deeper meditation you may end up in frustration. I am sure your goals will change with time, it would be prudent to build a strong platform, on which you can later move forward, if you decide you go deeper.

If you are seeking to fulfill intellectual curiosity, and you prefer to indulge in debates and discussions, be forewarned that this is a game of silence. It will be many years before you reach a level where you can talk about experiences and learnings. What you want to avoid is getting into this game with too many pre-conceived ideas and mistaking your wild imaginations for achievements. Take your time and do necessary contemplation before you dive into deeper work. Till than you could stay with the lighter components of physical workouts and breathing.

If you have been through a stressful event, such as a separation, death in the family or other losses, do not dive too soon into deeper aspects of meditation. As you go deeper, your mind becomes extra sensitive, and without adequate control or detachment, your negative emotions could get heightened. It is better to use the lighter routines of breathing and physical routines to first stabilize your self before you dive deeper. Joy and bliss are side effects of meditation, not the end goals, you need to be joyful to start with, to be productive in this discipline.

If you feel extreme urgency in knowing yourself, if you ponder about why you exist, if you cannot accept the futility of a life that spans building a career, building a family and then exiting the world, if you have extreme curiosity about what more is possible in human evolution and if you are wiling to prioritize seeking, to most of other worldly achievement, go and dive for it.

Goals will change, your mindset will change and your priorities will change, adjust your goals accordingly, but always be clear about your goals, this is not a game you will win with half hearted efforts, I believe everyone can attain self-realization, as long as they are willing to prioritize and work for it.

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