A Look at Meditation
I've counseled many people from every background and led workshops and lectures about self-empowering topics for about 25 years. Over that time, I saw a need. Everyone was searching. What they were looking for was unclear, many times. But the search was on. While I could meet many of their immediate needs, through counseling, they still needed a source, or connection with who they really were.
This was not a religious pursuit, per se, but a spiritual one. We all need to know our inner self. And the best way for us to get there is through meditation: a quiet time of some sort---contemplation. So out of that need, I saw an answer. Spreading information about basic meditation became my mission.
Almost all of the information I received about meditation over the years was through personal experience-trial and error. I did not read any books on the subject. They all seemed too deep and philosophical. And many times, the books included a whole cultural exploration. This is good for someone looking into historical information, or perhaps a religious belief. But just to know the basics of what meditation is and how to do it, there wasn't anything.
I've been able to connect very well with the groups I've spoken to because I've been in their shoes. I had first hand experience looking for my own inner self. And so, the column you see here will explore for you, the personal experiences of the proverbial searcher.
I had just graduated from high school, and was looking for some kind of personal project for the summer. Since I lived in a very small town, and it was in the 1960's, I was very surprised to find a yoga class being offered at the nearby middle school. I was always open for the new and different, and this fit the bill.
I joined the class as soon as I could and found myself in some very strange positions. But there was one position that I kept going back to. It was sitting cross-legged with my hands resting on my knees, palms up. It immediately made me sit straight, and my spine was relaxed.
While practicing this position at home, a strange thing happened. I began to feel unusual. There wasn't any way I could describe it. But it was a kind of light-headed feeling---almost like dropping off to sleep---but I was awake.
I asked the instructor about it on the very next session. She assured me it was fine. But I had my reservations. So I stopped. I didn't go back to the class. And I didn't continue with the yoga practice.
I found out much later that I was beginning meditation. The instructor must have been concerned about giving too much information about yoga philosophy and the spiritual traditions of Eastern India. Our community was extremely slow about accepting new ideas. She was probably reluctant to introduce something new that could cause problems. So the yoga positions were only taught as an exercise.
I imagine many new or different ideas were stifled in the beginning. Some hesitate to share information for fear of being rejected or ostracized. And some of us hesitate to look at new information because we're afraid of rocking the boat.
As you explore the concept of meditation, you will learn about the varied benefits that can be brought about by meditation, including health, emotional release, and self- empowerment. You will realize that meditation is about ease.
The Purpose of Meditation
Meditation is a way to connect with the inner self, or what some believe is the Divine Spark of God that we all are. It is to become quiet: to allow all outside disturbances to fade away, to be comfortable with the quiet. That quiet, or silence, which is allowed in, can calm the mind, restore the body, and define a spiritual path. Let's take this opportunity to try a sample meditation on for size. Remember that this is a sample. It gives us the chance to practice. And in practicing, we learn.
Bringing In A Quiet Moment
Take a moment out of your busy day. Go for a five-minute walk by yourself. Pay attention to the sound of your footsteps. Let it become even with your heartbeat. When this rhythm within you overrides the sounds of the day, take a deep cleansing breath. Look at the sky. Watch the clouds. Just enjoy the moment. This is the skill of meditation. It is nothing harder than that: just taking a moment, and relaxing into it. Allow your mind to relax into it.
This is just a very quick way for everyone to get some idea of what meditation is like. There are plenty of different types of meditations, as many as there are people. It requires a few undisturbed minutes, dedication and a desire. It will open up a whole new world for you. Just give it a try.
Copyright 2003, Melissa Leath
Rev. Melissa Leath is a personal growth and metaphysical counselor and meditation instructor. Explore more about the ease of meditation by visiting her website: http://www.MeditationMadeEasy.com
Relaxation Magic - Hypnosis, Meditation, Visualization
Hypnosis, meditation and visualization are three similar processes for accessing a creative area of the sub-conscious mind. Relaxation Magic lessons use a combination of all three therapies for maximum results. With the exception of people who have mental disabilities such as schizophrenia and severe retardation, everyone can achieve the relaxed focus of hypnosis, meditation and visualization by themselves.
Meditation also Gave Me Something else
Some of the greatest benefits for me have been my ability to tap into 'my well of inner peace' whenever I need to, my connection with, and to, spirit, achievement of greater clarity and balance at the end of each session, and overall wellbeing. Meditation also gave me something else.
An Algorithm to Remove ?Hurt? from Pain
The behavior of pain was enigmatic. Its responses were strange. It was only a pin prick, but the surrounding skin reddened and the child cried out in pain. Yet, the caress of a gentle finger around the injury subdued that pain. A person suffering from the agony of chronic pain reported no pain at all, while focused on painting a canvas. Again, hypnosis caused a patient to report that his pain did not hurt. How could just a touch, or a change in the focus of attention reduce or remove pain? How could there be a pain, which did not hurt? Could such phenomena be explained as clear algorithmic behaviors of the brain? Could such knowledge be used to subdue the distress of pain?
The subconscious is a scarey thing to comtemplate for some people. We have been taught that it is a dark place that keeps deep dark secrets about ourselves that could destroy our peace of mind at the very least, and our lives at the very worst. And quite possibly it does. But, that is not its only function.
Meditate to Unlock Your Hidden Potential ? Part 1
Meditation is often misunderstood by those who do not practice it. Very often, I hear meditation referred to as, "altered states of consciousness." That sounds more like intoxicants, rather than bringing clarity to a cluttered mind. Without going too deep into what meditation is, or is not, let's focus on one of the many things a daily meditation practice can do for you.
Bhagavad Gita Commentary
Most of us have heard the story of the centipede who, when asked how he managed to walk with so many legs, could no longer do so, but tangled his legs hopelessly in the attempt to intellectually figure it out and ended up on his back, helpless. This is not unlike the person who attempts to plumb the depths of oriental scriptures. Right away it becomes evident that they consist of incalculable layers, nearly all symbolic in nature. Furthermore, the meanings of the symbols are not consistent, changing according to the levels on which they occur. For example, on one level water symbolizes the mind, on another level the constant flux of samsara, and on another the subtle life-currents known as prana. This being the case, our Western linear mode of thought becomes as entangled and disabled as the fabled centipede. Knowing this to be so, I have decided to avoid the Lorelei of subtle symbolism and concentrate instead on the obviously practical side of Krishna teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. Having stated this, in complete consistency with oriental thought, I shall contradict myself and consider the symbolism encountered in the first chapter of the Gita.
You Can Meditate Right Now
Why Should You Meditate?
Meditation Is Not Just for Men with White Beards
What kind of picture comes to mind when someone mention the word "meditation?"
What Would Plato Think of Prozac?
Each person is unique and it is that individuality that we as a whole draw strength from. We should use such advantages to our benefit. Plato often wrote about this in The Republic, that each member of a society ought to do what they are best at and be alleviated from responsibility of those things they are not good at, which can be done by others. The individual and the society gain the most using this methodology. Why have we not considered this wise advice in our culture? Instead we often put people into jobs they are unsuited for in patience, competence and ability. Who benefits? Would a Football team, which actually wants to win the game do that? After all; the guy with the strong foot and lanky build ought to be the kicker, not a lineman, for he would only be good for one play.
Meditation and the Monkey Mind?
Some find the term, "monkey mind", upsetting, derogatory, and insulting. This is a shame, as the point is lost, the ego is involved, and a natural human defense goes up. After all, we are supposed to be the "king of the primates," aren't we?
Meditation Supply Items ? Can They Help Deepen Your Practice?
Can a meditation supply item help you go into a deeper state of inner awareness? If you choose the right item, there is a good chance that it can help you get more comfortable and allow you to become more relaxed.
Mastery Through Meditation
Are you still looking? For Love? Self-Worth? To know, truly KNOW, that you are of value to others and the Universe as a whole?
How You Can Unite Meditation, Divine Essence, And Personal Tenacity to Serve Your Highest Purpose
Active Meditation For Surges In Energy Levels!
When I first started learning about deep breathing exercises and meditation I had this pre-conceived notion of sitting very still for long periods of time, my body like a statue, my breathing hardly discernable to an onlooker.
Meditation - What is It Good for Anyway?
Meditation is an age old healing and stress relieving modality practiced throughout the world, in virtually all cultures and all religions, although it may go by different names - prayer, visualization, relaxation techniques, and hypnosis; they are all forms of the same practice.
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How to Train Your Brain to Keep You Healthy and Happy
When you are unhappy what do you do? Do you go out for a meal? Go to the cinema? The theatre, perhaps? Do you go shopping? Perhaps you like a drink to overcome your unhappiness. Or do you get a buzz from jogging or going to the gym?
Enlightenment through Meditation
Helping the broadest range of people attain enlightenment through meditation is my lifelong preoccupation. I have more than 20 years of daily interaction with people helping them meditate and encouraging them to set high goals and use meditation as a tool for attaining inspiration, precious insights, enlightenment and other benefits that come along with it. In order to practice meditation, you need a pleasant quiet place where nobody is going to disturb you. Once you are comfortably seated, you can start with pranayama (rhythmic breathing exercise), followed by pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from the outer world), thorough relaxation of the mind and senses, and finally relaxation of the physical body. By breathing rhythmically ? inhaling, holding the breath, and exhaling while following a simple pattern (4-16-8, for instance) ? you will accumulate prana, revitalize your life force, and new spiritual strength will come to you. During the pratyahara you will play the role of a neutral observer of your thoughts, with the ultimate aim of achieving a state of consciousness without any thoughts. In this way, the objective possibility of reaching the most inner part of your Being ? God in you ? is realized. This means that you can now start feeling the warmth in your heart, see the light which is present there, and experience the subtle energy of Divine love. Furthermore, you can become aware of the harmony of mind, heart, and will. Your devotion and relaxation can lead you into deeper levels of consciousness, into deeper meditation. You can turn your senses inward to further increase you awareness. Your meditation will start realizing its goals. This is the level of devotion where you can actually contact the source of inspiration, gain countless insights, and approach the possibility of enlightening your Being. It is the harmony of your mind, heart, and will, that brings you into Unity with the One. When you learn to be quiescent, when there are no thoughts and aspirations of any kind, you will find yourself out of your mental body, out of limitations, free in the consciousness of Unity. Only when your intentions diminish, when your mind becomes unoccupied, the enlightenment will start to show its magnificence. The sustained flow of attention will connect you to the endless reservoir of power, the source of knowledge and inspiration. When meditation occurs, love is its flavor. This love is your true nature. When the consciousness starts perceiving itself, it becomes pure consciousness. What resides is only the voiceless spirit of awareness whose meaning is I AM, I EXIST, I ENDURE. You should meditate every single day, if necessary two times a day. If some day you find yourself distressed, a simple exercise can help you. Light a candle and put it some 30 cm away, at the level of your eyes. Simply by gazing at the blue part of the candle's flame for 5 minutes, you can relax yourself. Your positive attitude, faith, calmness, and serenity can help. You should consciously develop love toward your meditation and meditativeness. The results will be in accord with your efforts, persistence and fortitude. There is not a single individual who can not succeed. There are only different kinds of obstacles with different people. Don't forget to consult your spiritual teacher, who is there to help you overcome your obstacles.
Secrets of Meditation For Better Health
Meditation can improve your health, increase energy levels and maximize your enjoyment of life. Without a doubt, more people would benefit from meditation if they took the time to practice the simple exercises used to calm the mind, reduce stress and increase energy levels.
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