By Jeoffrey Mukubi
THE art meditation is all about the mind, and the identification of thoughts, according to meditation coach Gunther Martens.
He believes that even addictions, habits and fears fall away, when one cultivates a culture of self-awareness, through meditation.
In a world where were humans are consistently under pressure, the mind, body and spiritual ways pay the price, Martens said. However, meditation may be the solution.
Martens, who is also a communication facilitator, told Confidente that meditation makes life easy, and less complicated, through thoughts and imagination.
This also leads to a person being more loving, peaceful and joyous, as well as adventurous.
The 60-year-old was first introduced to meditation in 1993, while on a personal visit to India. The new art inspired him to stay in the Asian country.
“At the age of 32, I had my own business and lived an easy life, but I felt there was more to life than wine, women and song,” Martens said.
“While in India, I participated in different meditative therapies… I have been back home in Namibia since September 2008, having found the answers I needed. My challenge now is to let life evolve.”
Martens now holds regular morning meditation classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the Parliament Gardens.
He dismissed the belief that meditation is something new, before explaining that even sportsmen know the space which one accesses during meditation, which they refer to as “the zone”.
“Artists know it through singing, painting and playing music. We can know it through gardening, playing with our kids, walking on the beach or making love.
“Even as children, we may have had experiences of it. Meditation is a natural state, and one that you have almost certainly tasted, although perhaps without knowing the name of the flavour.
“Meditation can ultimately change your life for the better, if you really put your mind to it… It has no negative side-effects.”
According to Martens, when one is drawn into meditation, it is an individual journey.
He stressed that meditation has been successfully implemented in schools, and the benefits to children is clear, as they adopt an understanding of self-awareness.
This, Martens believes, is how meditation can be the answer to Namibia’s social and mental issues, such as suicides, stress, a lack of concentration and denial. The practice is also said to benefit cardiovascular health and also boosts immunity against disease.
He also addressed the general misconception that mediation is only for those on a spiritual journey.
“The benefits of meditation are manifold; among them is the ability to relax and to be aware without effort. These are useful tools for just about everyone.”
About the perception that one can only meditate to gain peace of mind, Martens said, “Peace of mind is a contradiction in terms. By its very nature, the mind is a chronic commentator.
“What you can discover through meditation is the knack of finding the distance between yourself and the commentary.
“This is so that the mind, with its constant circus of thoughts and emotions, no longer intrudes on your inherent state of silence.”
He added that meditation is neither a mental effort nor an attempt to control the mind.
“Effort and control involve tension, and tension is antithetical to the state of meditation.”
The Qigong and Tai chi teacher is of the opinion that there is no need for one to control the mind, but the goal is simply understand it, and to know how it works.
“The meditator does not need to tame his mind to become more mindful, but rather grow their consciousness.”
Drawing a comparison between focusing and meditation, he said that the former is the narrowing of awareness, where one concentrates on an object, and is oblivious to everything else.
He said that by contrast, meditation is all-inclusive and expands the human consciousness.
“So pull out a cushion or a mat, set it up in your living room or wherever you feel comfortable, sit with your legs crossed and back straight, close your eyes, clear your mind and just breath.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015