In Spiritual Reality – The Journey Within video, we will watch a presentation on the subject meditation techniques for beginners at home (or anywhere we are feeling comfortable).
What is meditation?
It is a state of thoughtless awareness. In this state, we don’t think about past nor future, we are 100% in the present moment. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs. The English word meditation is derived from the Latin verb meditari, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder”. In Orient, word meditation comes from Sanskrit dhyana, meaning to contemplate.
“It is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” – Swami Sivananda quote.
What meditation is not?
Is not concentration, exercises or reciting mantras.
- brings the brainwave pattern into an Alpha state that promotes healing;
- helps gain inner peace;
- decreases depression, neurasthenia, anxiety, and stress;
- increases emotional intelligence and emotional stability;
- increases focus and attention;
- happiness and creativity increases;
- Intuition develops.
- helps increase production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA;
- decreases blood pressure and hypertension, and improves the immune system,
- neurologists discovered that meditation produces measurable changes in the brain. For example, in a 2011 study published in the medical journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, researchers found that people who participated in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program experienced increased density in brain regions associated with memory, one’s sense of self, empathy, and stress response.
- more doctors are prescribing meditation to help treat anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure and manage pain;
- according to a recent study by the Harvard Medical School, shows that meditation can actually alter how the brain works;
- increases the quality of your sleep.
- Personal Transformation: meditation can bring about a true personal transformation. As you learn more about yourself, you’ll naturally want to discover more about the mystery of life.
- Consciousness evolves: with the assimilation of this practice into daily life, your consciousness evolves and in time, is able to experience the higher and refined states of consciousness.
Benefits during pregnancy:
- better heart rate and blood pressure;
- enhances the connection between mother and child;
- decreases pregnancy related issues such as morning sickness;
- increases the levels of melatonin, thus supporting the immune system of mother and baby.
- it has also been proved that pregnant women who meditate regularly experience less pain during labor and are happier and healthier during gestation and delivery.
- also, meditation is very helpful in postpartum depression.
Benefits for college students.
Overall, rise in IQ levels, academic stress goes down reduction in destructive addiction.
Benefits for war veterans.
Helps veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, relaxing their minds.
“It’s that kind of scientific research that really changes physicians’ minds,” said Dr. Henry Emmons, a Minneapolis psychiatrist and author of “The Chemistry of Joy” and “The Chemistry of Calm.”
The effects of the practice?
Some types of meditation work by affecting the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. This system regulates many organs and muscles, controlling functions such as heartbeat, sweating, breathing, and digestion. It has two major parts:
The sympathetic nervous system helps mobilize the body for action. When a person is under stress, it produces the “fight-or-flight response”: the heart rate and breathing rate go up and blood vessels narrow (restricting the flow of blood).
The parasympathetic nervous system causes the heart rate and breathing rate to slow down, the blood vessels to dilate (improving blood flow), and the flow of digestive juices increases.
The key to a healthy human being is the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
How to do it properly?
Only a very few people can enter this state from the beginning, so at first, you will do concentration. From now, in this post, mostly, I am going to refer to meditation term, but it will be concentration.
Where to meditate?
For starters, find a comfortable place in your house, where during the practice, you will not be disturbed.
What are the best positions?
Ideal posture is Lotus position, but the posture for beginners is the closest position to Lotus in which you can stay for the time you will meditate.
Do I need to have my back straight during the practice?
Yes, or as straight as you can.
Can I loll my back against something?
Yes, not ideal, but yes.
What clothes to wear during the practice?
Wear loose clothing if possible, and remove your shoes (if you are sitting down).
What are some different types of techniques?
There are many methods, but you should start with the basic and maybe some of the most efficient technique, which is Zazen.
Zazen meditation explained:
- Get into position (Lotus, Half Lotus or whatever position you can even sit on a chair).
- Fold your hands in the cosmic mudra.
- Begin by clearing your mind and thinking of nothing but your breath.
- You can keep your eyes open, or half closed, or you can shut them completely.
- Count each inhalation and each exhalation, until you get to ten. Start back at one again.
- If your mind wanders, which it will, acknowledge the thought and then continue back counting from one again. Eventually, you will be able to just concentrate on the breath and abandon the counting. For this to happen you need to practice zazen on a daily basis.
- This final step is achieved by exploring the stillness we create or discover within us through sitting. Take time to observe yourself and the world when sitting and afterward.
Start a 10-15 minute session every day, then slowly increase, in your own rhythm, till 45 min a session or even one hour.
What is transcendental technique?
The practice involves the use of a mantra and is recommended to practice for 20 minutes twice per day.
What is mindfulness?
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way. On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn quote.
What is Vipassana?
Vipassana is about observing the breath, combined with the contemplation of impermanence, to gain insight into the true nature of this reality.
What is Buddhist meditation?
There are many techniques that aim to develop mindfulness, concentration, tranquility, and insight.
What is guided meditation?
It is simply meditation with the help of a meditation teacher.
What is benevolent meditation?
This practice generates beneficial states of mind for yourself and others. A common approach is to repeat: “May I be happy. May I be free of suffering. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.” Then repeat the same passage focusing your attention on someone you love, then on a stranger, then on an enemy, and then on all creatures. “People with chronic illnesses often experience a lot of self-loathing and self-blame,” says David Vago, Ph.D. of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“If you can transform those negative emotions toward yourself into compassion and love, it not only benefits you, it also benefits everyone around you.”
What is passage meditation?
It involves reciting a short passage (prayer, mantra, or short poem) silently to yourself over and over and over again. The meaning of the words is not the most important element—most importantly, the words are a focal point for attention. “It is great for beginners since it’s hard to maintain distracting thoughts when you have a verbal anchor,” says Dr. MacLean.
What is meditation with crystals?
This method is a two-step process. First, you must find the crystal that has the Universal Life Force energy that is appropriate to your intentions. Then you must either hold the crystal or place it in front of you where you can focus on it during your practice.
Is meditation better with music?
No music is needed during the practice, that’s relaxation. If you really want to use music, you can use some with nature sound or Tibetan singing bowls.
Should I use candles?
If you want, yes, but not really necessary.
Is meditation better than sleep?
If you can enter that state of thoughtless awareness, it is more beneficial than sleep.
It is a conscious sleep?
No, but we can learn to sleep consciously.
Is it better than prayer?
These are two paths, leading to the same target.
Meditation techniques tips.
- before starting you can learn on insightstate (breathing exercises or Nine Purification Breaths) + The Five Tibetan Rites, Tsa Lung or Lu Jong;
- experiment different types and different postures until you find the one for you;
- read a book about the subject;
- find a real life teacher;
- notice small improvements;
- don’t stress about what happened the practice;
- make sure you will not be disturbed during the session;
“Meditation is a very complex business. This is a dialogue between us. And I said it is a very complex business. The word meditation implies both in Sanskrit and in English, not only the brain concentrating on a certain subject, but also it implies a great deal of attention. But primarily meditation means, in Sanskrit, to measure. And also in English etymologically, I believe, it is to measure. The whole question of becoming is involved in it, which is to measure: I am this, I will be that. I am greedy, but I will gradually become non-greedy, which is a form of measurement, which is a form of becoming.
Both becoming in the affairs of the world and psychologically becoming. That is the whole question of measurement. The Greeks, the ancient Greeks – you know all about that, I don’t have to go into it – were the originators of measurement. Without measurement, there would be no technology. And the Asiatics, especially in India said measurement is an illusion, measurement means limitation. I am translating, they didn’t exactly say this, they put it differently. So measurement means comparison, to compare ‘what is’, ‘what should be’, the ideal, the fact, the fact becoming the ideal.”
In another lecture, Krishnamurti replied:
“It is never the control of the body. There is no actual division between the organism and the mind. The brain, the nervous system and the thing we call the mind are one, indivisible. It is the natural act of meditation that brings about the harmonious movement of the whole. To divide the body from the mind and to control the body with intellectual decisions is to bring about contradiction, from which arise various forms of struggle, conflict, and resistance.”
“When there are thoughts, it is a distraction: when there are no thoughts, it is meditation.” Sri Ramana Maharishi quote.
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu quote.