Meditation 101

One comment

  meditation3

Meditation does not have to be a complicated, frustrating experience if you learn to apply some fundamental concepts to your daily efforts.  The purpose of this article is to provide you with key skills which we hope will not only benefit seasoned practitioners, but also those of you just journeying forth in your paths to enlightenment!

Create A Space

Create a special space for your  meditation practice. It can be either a room or corner, and use it only for  your meditation or contemplation.  Put  there only those things that help you meditate and keep the space clean and  clear. Always enter your meditation space with respect and become refreshed by  its peace and beauty. You should not be in a situation where your mind could be  easily provoked into anger or other emotions. When you create the right  environment, it’s easier to practice and you’ll receive greater benefit from  your time invested.

Meditation Posture

The mind and body are connected,  and the energy flows better when the body is erect (spine not stooped); when  the body is bent, the flow is changed and that directly affects your thought  process.

A comfortable but alert sitting  position is essential for regular meditation practice. Meditation chairs are  designed to help people with limited flexibility of their back. You should sit  upright with the feet touching the ground. The meditation chair provides more  comfort than sitting on the floor or on a regular chair. Good meditation chairs  should have a slight forward-leaning angle to prevent you from bending during  meditation. They should not tilt more than a few inches; a steeply angled  meditation chair causes overarching.

If you are looking not to spend too  much, a meditation cushion may be a good choice. Meditation cushions are easily  portable. Meditation cushions have a wedge profile that tilts your pelvis  slightly forward, helping you maintain the proper spinal alignment. The Zafu  makes sitting meditation easier on the knees, ankles and back. Other pillows  also raise you off of the floor while supporting an aligned posture.

When using a meditation cushion  find a comfortable position with legs crossed and hands resting palm-down on  your thighs. The hips are neither rotated forward too much, which creates  tension, nor tilted back so you start slouching. You have to find a feeling of  stability and strength.

The Buddhist meditation bench is a  small short bench that lifts you off the floor while helping you maintain a  straight-backed posture when sitting. The sloped seat encourages and promotes  good posture.

For sitting meditation the seat is  a matter of style and preference, the basic principle is to keep an upright,  erect posture with your shoulders and hips level. During meditation, you have  to be awake even though you are calm. If you find yourself falling asleep,  check your posture.

Before You Begin

You will find it helpful to do some  Yoga, t’ai chi, or other mindful stretching and gentle exercise. This will help  you to build energy and focus your attention before quiet sitting meditation.  Sometimes, if you find that your mind is too agitated to start, try walking  meditation or mindful walking.

Release Phenomena

As you begin to relax, it is common  to experience release phenomena, which may include various physical sensations.  These sensations range from quivering as if you are falling asleep, gurgling in  the stomach, to mental images and inner sounds. This shows that your practice  has started dissolving accumulated and rooted physical, mental and emotional  patterns. The best way to deal with them is simply let them take place without  distracting your attention.

As you practice, you will become  aware of subtle physical, mental and emotional changes. Eventually, your source  of stored stress will be exhausted, and you will feel lighter, clearer and  better equipped to deal with the challenges of modern life.

Relaxation And Awareness

The majority of us experience  relaxation as a dreamlike state that lacks awareness, and when we are alert, we  are tense and mentally agitated. Both of those conditions are far from the  alert but relaxed state of meditation.

At the beginning, most of the  practice may be spent returning the mind from distraction or sleepiness and  finding this balance of relaxed alertness. Eventually, you will be able to  become deeply relaxed and lucid during your meditation, and in your daily life  you will find that your understanding of the way things are will become more  clear and unconditioned.

Meditation Inspirations

By practicing meditation, we can  realize our full potential. This is why we should work with our minds. The  long-term result of meditation is a much more joyful, intense and complete  state of being.

Life is impermanent, and we don’t  know how much time we have to realize our true self. What we experience today  is mostly the result of our choices in the past; what we do and think today  will become our future. Remember, that not only what you do but how and why you  do something matters. 

Meditation Phases

You start your meditation with  steadying your attention by practicing concentration for a few moments. Then  you apply your mind to the meditation method you choose. During your session,  observe the quality of the focus of your attention. Watch when your attention  fades. If you find that it is too difficult to maintain your focus because of  distraction or dullness, find balance again in concentration meditation by  watching your breath, then return to your main meditation.

Complementary practice

Meditation practice can help you  develop many dormant qualities. You can use the period of your meditation to  develop clarity, understanding, kindness and vitality within, and then try to  bring these qualities into your daily life.

Throughout the day, recall your  feelings. When you begin to rush, pause within yourself, center and move  towards the sense of balance you experienced in your meditation. Brief periods  of meditation are opportunities for you to get in touch with qualities that  will guide your busiest, most stressful activities.

With time, you will find that any  activity can be an opportunity to train your mind and practice concentration,  awareness, patience and understanding.

Daily Meditation

Intention: Before you begin, make  your intention clear to your conscious and subconscious mind and offer a short  prayer or a call for inspiration. Call upon the sources of inspiration in your  life. Remember, you don’t practice “alone;” recall those who share your life.  Practice to help bring wholeness in the world.

Concentration: Use concentration  meditation (we will be including this in a future post!) to focus, use mindful breathing.

Meditation: Continue with a longer  period of quiet meditation using the technique of your choice.

Dedication: End the session with a  brief dedication, using the accumulated potency of your meditation and sending  it with your heart to all beings.

Application: After you finish your formal meditation  practice, make a smooth transition to your daily life with the intention to  carry mindful presence into your normal activities. During the day, pause from  time to time to renew your connection to mindful presence, continue to fill  your life with insight, creativity and compassion that arise from your formal  meditation practice.

 

1 comments on “Meditation 101”

I Would Love Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s