Each day starts with stillness, the stillness of the dawn before the sun rises and before the birds start to sing their joy to the glory of the awakening day. This stillness is the path of meditation. Meditation can be compared to the long stillness before daybreak, when there is nothing but quietly increasing light. The gradual drawing of a new world is our consciousness, which comes about silently. It is secret, inner transition that we can never fully share with others. It’s silent path. In other words, the arrival, or the experience of it, simply is. However, the result of our awakening completely. Once we have experienced this different consciousness, we begin to truly see others, where as before we only looked. This new seeing is a new understanding, a new insight. It is also a few wisdom that has entered and opened us. This seeing extends not only to our fellow human, but to everything around us. We are born again! It is a whole new life, and it is very wonderful.
Seven Tips for a Successful Meditation
You are more likely to have a successful meditation if you try to following tips:
- Have a special room or a private corner. It will give you a feeling of special purpose and add atmosphere.
- Try adding symbolic articles to your meditation space, such as a statue, incense, a candle, or maybe a flower.
- This stillness of the day is a good time to practice. At sunrise or sunset, the whole universe is at peace. Our minds are fairly still when we arise, so generally sunrise is considered to be best time to meditate. Sunrise also brings a certain calm and strength for the day ahead.
- Be habitual about your meditation practice. Make it a habit, and have a regular time to sit. You will find that you are more ready for it. You’ll begin to anticipate the doing of it. Your mind and body will react to being programmed. Therefore, your practice will soon become automatic.
- Our mind generally works better if we sit in meditation. We tend to associate kneeling with praying and lying down with falling asleep. Sit to your awakening. If you have trouble sitting on the floor, sit in a chair. Simply remember to keep your back straight, not stiff, and to close your eyes.
- Try meditating outdoors. It is like getting away from the world. If you are in tune with nature, you’ll feel a oneness with the infinite. Did you ever stand outside on a starry night, look up, and completely forget about yourself? Did you feel as though you were a part of all the heavens and the stars? That’s what meditation is like. A good way to meditate is outside is to sit with your back to a tree and tune in the tree for a moment. If you are really open to the experience, you will feel the aliveness to the tree. Our blood circulates through our body like sap moves through a tree. You will feel the life of it. Something about a tree opens to us when we open to it. It is very relaxing. Try it.
- Remember that meditation is not copping out of life, but moving into the reality and the truth of life.
Begin by closing your eyes, and breathing deeply. As you inhale, your stomach pushes outward. As you exhale, your stomach falls inward. Tell yourself that this is your time to let go, to relax, to just be. You are free of stress and free of thoughts. You are in this moment.
Sit in Butterfly position with your knees bent and the soles of your feet together. Inhale, place your hands behind your head, and interlace your fingers. Exhale, gently twist to the left, and place your right elbow on your left knee. Inhale to raise your body. Exhale, twist to the right, and place your left elbow on your right knee. Inhale and raise your body.
This is an easier version of Plow posture for those who have difficulty with full extensions or difficulty breathing in full Plow posture. Lie on the floor with your legs raised, as if you are preparing to lower them in Plow position. Support your back with your hands. Cross your legs at the knees. On your exhalation, bend your knees and lower them to your chest. Inhale and straighten your legs up. You may also alternate lowering your knees to your left shoulder, then to your right shoulder.
Pelvic Leg Lift.
This posture may be used as an alternative to pelvic Lift and as an inverted posture to be practiced after Plow positions. Assume raised Pelvic Lift. Inhale and release your right heel. Raise your right leg up and straighten it out. Exhale, lower your leg, and grasp your heal with your hand again. Inhale and repeat the movement for your left leg.
Relaxation/Meditation: Beginning Meditation
The first step of meditation is to sit for a few minutes with your eyes closed. Your breathing should be relaxed, smooth, soft, and flowing. The second step is a little more difficult-emptying your mind! Meditation is not truly doing anything; rather, it is not doing. It is simply to be. “To be” means to be detached and attached at the same time. You become detached from personal involvement of anything that takes place around you, and detached from any thoughts that insist on passing through and flooding your mind. However, in meditation you will also remain attached, in the sense that you are wholly aware of, and in, this moment. If we could all become a lake or even a small pond for a moment, we would have a better understanding of how we should be. We must reflect, but not truly take on what touches us, like the water responds to the moon. When we are detached we make no distinction between good or bad; everything just is. In time, even that much disappears. You will want to choose the meditation method that best suits you. Some are taught to sit with the firmness of a mountain. Others imagine a massive oak tree, deeply rooted, with a strong, straight trunk, mighty, majestic, and unmoving. Then, they become it. If you too might want too choose to meditate on an image; then, following your breath in and out. Feel your breath enter your nostrils, fill your being, and flow gently outward once more. Instead of following your breath, you might prefer to repeat a mantra to yourself, over and over again, something simple, such as OM, peace, peace, peace.
For a simpler meditation, exhale and feel the vibration of your humming. You might decide that you would rather listen very intently to the silence. If a sound comes through, don’t try to name it. Simply continue to listen to the silence as though you might hear the most important massage of your life, and you will. Choose whatever meditation you think might best suit you, and try it now. (pause.)
Do you feel content just as you are at this moment? What is there to be desired that this moment does not hold? When you feel this inner peace, this quiet joy, could you possibly wish for more? This moment is special because you are not dependent on anything or anyone. Everything is wholly yours, an unending source of peace. You must only open yourself allow it to happen. Try to truly feel it for just a moment more. (pause.)
Now, you may lie down, stretch out, and relax. If you opened yourself to your sitting and aware of the experience, your body should already be relaxed as you lie down. It feels very light, almost nonexistent, and the inner you is smiling. We can only feel this way when we truly put the ego self aside, which me must do the enter meditation.
In your sitting, you come to a quiet knowing, a new understanding of life. A new dimension expands before you and in you. When you return to your usual routines, everything is different because you are different. Your inner attitude changes. While your outward movements remain the same, you perform them with a new sense of hearing and feeling and seeing and knowing. You throw your blinders away and raise your face to the sun! (pause.)
Think about how you feel right now. Do you feel rested, peaceful, content? Are you still smiling inwardly? Are you in your moment? This moment is the pause that truly refreshes, renews, revives, restores, and reunites us to the essence of what and who we truly are. (pause.)
Always remember that your body needs movement, your mind needs rest, and your spirit needs inspiration. When you combine these three principles, you become a whole person. To be whole is to be holy!
Welcome yourself back to aliveness with a gentle stretch and your private affirmation: “My body is rested and my mind is peaceful. I feel whole and complete just as I am at this moment, and this moment is complete.” Fully stretch. Yawn your release, and smile to your wholeness.
The Path to the Now
Reality can only be found in the now, in the moment. You will not find it in the past or in the future because these don’t exist. You must pay attention to now.
The following suggestions will help you on your journey:
- True attention lets us see all things transfigured.
- True attention allows for a life free of boredom.
- True attention is life lived and experienced to its fullest.
- Opening to the force of attention evokes a sense of wholeness and equilibrium.
- Attention is not only a form of meditation. It is a transmission. In other words, our vibrations become stronger and more powerful.
- True attention is being aware of the silence between, as well as the sounds of the notes or of the spoken word. In listening to someone speak, be aware of the silence between the words, as well as the words.
True attention is the key to all the elements in the path of the now. It also facilitates formal sitting meditation by training our mind to pay complete attention. The pause in life is very important. When you hold or pause in a certain position, you experience one of the most important time in your life. Your body is talking to you and telling you where it is strong, where it is weak, and what it needs. You are learning about yourself. The pause of the stretch, that pause between breaths is extremely exciting. You inhale and, naturally, your breath pause, and then, you exhale. The paradox is that during the pause between breaths, at the very moment when there is no life, per se, feel more alive than when you are truly in the breath. Let this happen to you sometime.
Weightless Arm Lift.
Assume a comfortable standing position with your arms as your sides. Inhale, rise up on your toes, and lift your arms to the ceiling. Hold this posture for as long as it is comfortable. Exhale, lower your heels to the floor and your arms to your sides.
Rama’s Easy Pose.
Assume a comfortable standing position with your arms by your sides. Inhale, rise up on your toes, and lift your arms out to the sides. Exhale as you lower your heels to the floor. Bend your elbows and bring your hands to your chest, then lower your hands to your sides.
Bouncing on Knee Breath.
Stand comfortably with your arms at your sides. Inhale as you raise your left leg, take a step forward and bend your left knee. Very gently and loosely bounce up and down. Exhale as you lower your body, and inhale as you raise your body. Your right heel may slightly leave the floor as you bounce up and down. Repeat this movement for your opposite leg. The goal of this posture is to get your blood circulating throughout your body.