We have all heard that meditation can relieve stress, make you sleep better, improve concentration and generally help us deal with our hectic lives. But do any of us actually understand why meditation is so good for us? One man, who believes he has found the answer, is the founder of Bali Usadha Meditation
, Merta Ada, one of South East Asia's leading meditation gurus. Merta believes that 'a harmonious mind makes your body healthy, your mind peaceful and gives you happiness’.
Born in 1958 and raised in the hills of Northern Bali, Merta began meditating from a very young age. The tragic loss of his brother coupled with the fact that Merta developed polio as a young boy meant that his body and his mind were deeply affected and for many years he tried to find a meditation technique that would suit his needs and in particular help him overcome the gastric and heart problems he suffered from.
He surmised that just like the body needs regular exercise and stimulation, the mind also benefits from strengthening exercises to make it healthier and stronger. He found that meditation was having a positive effect on his body and this inspired him to start teaching meditation to others. He wanted to give people a simple yet effective meditation tool that they could practice for the rest of their lives. This is the basis on which his meditation technique, Bali Usadha Meditation was founded.
Now you may ask what in particular makes his meditation technique different from others out there?
The Bali Usadha technique focuses on learning how to heal oneself through concentration, mindfulness and the wisdom to achieve harmony of the mind.
‘Many people have a good mind, but this isn’t enough to heal sickness. When you have a harmonious mind and when your wisdom appears, you feel your body and the impermanence in your body, and then your mind becomes more flexible. When this happens, it affects your body like your hypothalamus or neurons, which becomes your medicine’ says Merta Ada.
The literal translation of Bali Usadha means ‘offering healthiness' and this is exactly what Merta’s technique offers people; the chance to become healthier. Once a practitioner has achieved a harmonious mind, they can then really begin to feel their body and tune into the subtler bodies.
‘If you can feel your body then you can heal your body. If you feel it with wisdom by putting lightness and love, then you can weaken the bad reactions in your memory. Thus, all traumas, unhappiness, panic attacks and all other types of sickness will become weaker and weaker’.
Merta Ada teaches people to “make good mind” first and after that harmonious mind. For beginners, he makes sure that they have a pure and harmonious mind, so they have to train with equal shares of mindfulness, concentration, wisdom and love.Many of us who have experienced trauma in some shape or form may feel as though we have dealt with it in a certain way and may not realise that our cells and sub-conscious still hold onto traumatic memories. These diseases are usually treated with medication but the root of the problem is very rarely discussed with a doctor. This means the disease is never really cured and in turn continues to crop up in different ways. By learning to meditate with a harmonious mind, a disease can be cured.Focus on qualities such as loving kindness, wisdom and faith, and begin to embody these very qualities. With regular practice they become part of who you are.