‘Silence’ is the meditation, To KNOW what ‘Silence’ IS From this ‘Silence’ springs …‘Waking Meditation’ The ‘Silence’ you ‘Know’ is absence of ‘something’ The ‘Silence’ I ‘KNOW’ encompasses everything Mundane Awareness : Usually people aren’t fully aware of all the mental thought activity they are engaged in throughout the day. Meditation allows all this activity to settle down, and often results in the mind becoming more peaceful, calm and focused. Meditation is mind management : Meditation is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. It can be described as focusing the mind, stilling the mind, experiencing the mind, being at one with ourselves, being closer to our centre, or being present in the moment. Meditation techniques : May involve concentrating on an object, such as a flower, or a candle, repetition of a sound or word, or observing the breath. Over time, the number of random thoughts occurring diminishes. More importantly, as one learns to simply observe the thoughts as they arise in our mind, than our attachment to these thoughts, and our identification with them, progressively become less. As one’s awareness increases, it is easy to realize when one gets caught up in any thoughts, than attention is gently brought back to the object of meditation. Meditation can also be objectless, for example consisting of just sitting and being witness to all thoughts. When we sit for meditation we disengage from the outer world and go deep into ourselves. As we continue our practice, over time the thinking starts to calm down and all the emotional entanglements start to go away, and then we can feel the beautiful inner space. Meditation is the use of meditative awareness in our day to day existence. Experiences during meditation : It probably varies significantly from one individual to another, or at least if different techniques are involved. Relaxation, increased awareness, mental focus and clarity, experiencing light or sound or visions, a sense of peace and bliss are the most common by-products of meditation. Be cautious and Beware of some pitfalls: Do not dwell on any thoughts, Do not participate in any thoughts, Do not kill any thoughts – Simply Let them go as they arise. During meditation old memories come up, just let them go, be it pleasant or unpleasant. Regardless of the experience, the meditator should try, simply to be aware of the experience and not have any attachment to it.
Relaxation : Relaxation is a way of connecting with your body and mind, whereas meditation is transcending the body and mind. Relaxation involves thought process whereas in meditation you transcend the thought process. Relaxation can be achieved through passive participation where as meditation is an active process. Relaxation mainly gives you physiological benefits whereas meditation additionally gives you psychological and spiritual benefits. Thinking : Thinking is an activity of the mind and consumes energy. Random or focused thoughts can be tiring. Meditation attempts to transcend this crude level of thought activity and silences the mind. Concentration : Is an activity of focusing the mind on one object, process or activity. Meditation may begin with concentration, but after an initial period of concentration, gradually thought activity decreases and one may or may not continue to employ the object of concentration. Self-hypnosis : in Self-hypnosis, one essentially enters a sort of semi-conscious trance where as in meditation one is fully aware and alert.
Yes, more than 108 types already are known. But they can be classified in 4 categories depending on what they achieve at the level of awareness and functioning of the mind. Cognition Level : Moment to Moment Awareness- It teaches to be in Presence Recognizing Level : Non-conceptual Awareness- It teaches to observe without memory. Evaluation Level : Non Judgmental Awareness- It teaches non-duality, to SEE as IS. Reaction Level : Impartial Awareness- It teaches Pure Perception without any aversion or cravings. Some meditation methods employ concentrating on an object or picture, a sacred word or mantra, breath, or guided visualization. Typical objects employed include a candle flame or a flower. Some people use pictures, patterns, symbols, painting, a picture of a spiritual teacher, Mantras are sounds which have a flowing, meditative quality and may be repeated out loud or inwardly. Awareness of breath at nostrils is also a common focal point. A guided visualization may be used to induce a meditative state and then further use guided imagery, sound, and suggestions to achieve desired results.
You must choose a meditation as per your objective.
Individual Expectations from Meditation…
… an incomplete check list :
* Inner happiness and/ or peace of mind.
* Relief from high blood pressure, stress, heart condition, asthma, etc.
* A spiritual experience.
* Self-discovery or greater self- knowledge.
* A solution to personal or professional dilemma.
* Creative insights.
* Healing from traumatic life events, such as death, abuse, accident, divorce, etc.
* Relief from anxiety, confusion, depression.
* Aid in recovery from alcoholism, substance abuse, or other obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
* Boosted memory and intelligence.
* Reduce or eliminate chronic pain.
* Communion with God.
* A better handle on my weight, temper, passivity, anger, or other unbalanced areas of my life.
Meditation works at deep, intuitive level and results in real, not superficial or cosmetic, changes. Meditation is not a form of wishing for something.When you practice specific meditation in daily real time situations, you bring about physiological changes affecting specific brain centers and balancing hormones and Prana (Life Energy). Meditation can become your life long practice for Health, Happiness and well-being.
Meditation deals with contacting something within us that is peaceful, calm, rejuvenating, and meaningful. Whether one calls this something “Divine” or “God” or “soul” or “the inner child” or “theta-wave activity” or peace” or “silence” is not important. Meditation benefits everyone regardless of what they believe.
As one meditates the mind feels purer and one chooses intuitively to follow certain ethical norms of behavior without any religious affiliations. Though in some traditions, meditation practice requires acceptance of certain ethical codes.
Don’t treat meditation as a fast food item. There is a tendency to plunge into the activity with a gungho, expecting quick results, leading to frustrations and finally abandonment, because it is too hard or not worth it. Approach your practice gradually. Meditation is not complex, arcane or incomprehensible. It simply requires your commitment. It needs your discipline and dedication. You grow in meditation gradually you cannot master it overnight. In the beginning even sitting few minutes may seem overwhelming as climbing Mount Everest. This is natural and as expected. Your meditation muscles may be a bit weak. So, we’ll start out slowly and work our way up. Don’t have any fear about meditation. Though there is no guarantee of what you may feel or experience during meditation or after meditation- but definitely you will have a positive experience. The sensations, feelings experienced by each individual will range across a broad spectrum and will vary from person to person. There is no need to compare your experiences with anyone. You are unique and so are your experiences. The four conditions conducive to Meditation:
• A quiet environment to eliminate distractions.
• A comfortable posture that allows complete relaxation.
• A few moments spent relaxing.
• A “point of focus” to block the endless flow of thoughts generated by our waking mind. Daily Meditation practice
Create your own practice from range of lessons you receive in class. Establish a daily Meditation practice that will last for a lifetime.
1. Set the same matt, place and direction for your practice.
2. Select the place with fewest outside stimuli.
3. Practice everyday.
1. Do the body cleansing : first let running cold water run over your hands and feet. Next,take mouthful of water; keep your eyes open and splash water several times on your face.Spit the water and take in another mouthful of water, and repeat splashing your face. Do the whole process 7/8 times.
2. Take a comfortable sitting posture.
3. Become very still.
4. Rock back and forth gently. Feel your body.
5. Forcefully and speedily take several in and out breaths while rocking.
6. Leave your breath the state it is in, and mindfully hear your own words, “For the next 20 minutes, I will be doing my mediation.There is nowhere to go, nothing to do, no place to be, no one I have to be. I am dead to the world.”
7. Begin your Meditation.
1. Do not leap out of your matt; give few minutes for transition back into our mundane world.
2. Slowly come out, keep your eyes closed.
3. Quietly survey your body and mind. Does anything feel different from before you started? Better or worse? Positive or negative? Nothing?
4. No matter what you feel, realize that you have done something good for yourself.
5. Remind yourself to carry this state of mindfulness through out your day.
6. Now slowly and lovingly rub your palms a few times.
7. Palm your eyes. Blink several times.
8. Remove your palm, gently open your eyes,and keep blinking several times.
9. Bring your palms to your face and move up towards the crown chakra, over the head, to back of you’re head, and then back to face. Repeat several times.
10. Gently, slowly and lovingly rub your knees and elbows, bringing fresh circulation to these areas.
11. Mindfully come out of your posture.
12. Bring that beautiful smile on your face and carry it around all day.
Do it any time your schedule will allow you to meditate, but having a time of the day set aside for meditation helps in maintaining regularity. Meditation is beneficial at any time, but early morning is the best time to meditate. Early morning the hustle-andbustle of the world has not yet begun and so it is easier to establish a meditative atmosphere. Having an early morning meditation also lets us carry some of the energy and peace of the meditation into our daily activities. Many people also meditate either before dinner or later in the evening. Others also meditate at noon. A short meditation at these times allows one to throw off some of the accumulated stress of the work-day and become rejuvenated for further activity.
Begin with 20 minutes, after regular practice; one becomes able to meditate for longer periods of time. Many people meditate twice-daily for 20-30 minutes each time, but the right duration and frequency is for each individual to decide.
Meditative music help’s easy concentration and relaxation. Some people use music quite often while others prefer silent meditation and never use it.
Unless you have some medical reasons, always close your eyes during meditation. If closing your eyes contribute to drowsiness, sleepiness, or some phobia, then direct your gaze on a blank wall Or direct your gaze at the tip of your nose or try with the eyes open halfway or a bit more, the gaze unfocused and directed downward, but keeping the head erect with the chin slightly tucked in. The gaze should be relaxed to prevent eyestrain or headache. Experiment and see what works for you. If you are using a candle, flower, or other visual object in your meditation then the technique itself requires your eyes to be partly open.
Regular practice non-attachment are necessary for meditation. Meditation is not simply the practice of a technique, but having the capacity to bring that technique into your daily life so that your life-style supports reflects your inner work. When we sit for meditation we disengage from the outer world go deep into ourselves. As we continue our practice, over time the thinking starts to calm down all the emotional entanglements start to go away, then we can feel the beautiful inner space.
One of the problems when you begin your practice is that we can have a great experience on the mat, but later when we go back into our daily life, we lose it. This process is natural. It is due to shift in awareness between the two states – the state we achieve in meditation and the state of mind in daily life. We need to understand this process of oscillation and develop the meditative state. Assess and evaluate how much your life-style helps or hinders this process. How much do diet, sleep patterns, exercise, work, pastimes and relationships play a part in bringing us out of the meditative awareness and what changes will help us get back into it. We must be open to know ourselves, become aware of the oscillations of our mind, our thinking patterns and tendencies. This is where self observation with detached awareness, comes in.
More then 1000 Laboratories in USA alone have done research on effects of yogic exercises and meditation. Latest cutting edge technology like
EEGs, MRI brain scans, Blood and hormonal samplings have been used to study the phenomena of yogic exercises and meditation, and there has
been unanimous incontestable evidence of the Psychological and Physical benefits of such practices.Psychological benefits
* Improved mental health
* Greater emotional stability
* Lessened anxiety and depression
* Creative thoughts
* Increased concentration
* Improved memory and intelligence
* Increased empathy
* Reduce dependence on drugs
* Greater sense of and interest in the spiritual
* Improved judgment Physical benefits
* Boosts energy
* Increases stamina
* Speeds recovery
* Asthma and allergic reactions reduce
* Lowers blood pressure
* Reduction in stress and stress- related illnesses like heart disease, hypertension,insomnia etc.
* Significantly alleviates chronic physical pain from migraine, arthritis, back, knee and joint problems when it arises.
Sure, as one develops a witnessing mind the desires and cravings stop disturbing you. Another simple way combines visualization and affirmation during relaxed state of meditation.
Sometimes the cause is just an uncomfortable posture–make sure that your posture is comfortable. As you become more adept at meditating, your mind becomes sharper and can sense subtle sensations in the body. Understand clearly you are not imagining, visualizing, contemplating or intellectualizing these experiences. May be you experience itching, aches, joint pains, heat, coldness, stinging, tingling etc. Remain aware and simply observe these sensations in your body, use them as the objects of meditation. Sometimes these sensations just go away without your having to move or change your posture. Remember that a quiet body contributes to a quiet mind.
Pain is an inevitable fact of life, we simply cannot avoid it. But meditation opens a new way of dealing with pain. Meditation teaches that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. We learn THAT pain is physical but suffering is mental. Suffering= Pain x resistance to pain. So the more you resist pain the more suffering and vice versa, if there is zero resistance there is zero suffering.
Pain reduction can be achieved, not by escaping from it, but by escaping into it. When we make pain itself our object of meditation, we are aware of the painful thoughts, feelings or emotions as they arise in our consciousness. When we treat them with noncritical awareness, acceptance and equanimity, there is increased neurochemical secretions and the brains ability to efficiently utilize these natural ‘happiness chemicals’, which includes Serotonin and Dope-amine. So there is pain reduction, increased relaxation, and calmness.
Grounding means to be firm and stable before you begun your meditation practice. The best place to be grounded is in the body; we can also ground ourselves in the breath. This process of grounding helps us in our daily living. It makes us feel anchored and prepares us to face life as it comes. Grounding is an essential component of meditation practice. Without grounding, as soon as energies start to change, there may be a tendency of not trusting the new pattern we are trying to create. Grounding brings you back into the base of the body, the pelvic floor, or the bones (the ground of consciousness), or the breath, whatever we develop as a habit of grounding ourselves.
Meditation is where we develop a subtle awareness, so that in our daily lives, when core issues or powerful emotions arise, we can see them for what they are and develop a calm confidence in dealing with them. Divine heart meditation and Divine cleansing meditation lifts your consciousness and awareness from lower chakras and stabilizes it into the heart chakra. You begin to be in touch with yourselves. As your meditation practice stabilizes, you will become more and more aware of what drives you. Is it the desire for attention, to be important, to be loved? How do we get our fulfillment and where do we lack it? What emotions are coming up and what issues do we need to face – at work, with people, with anger, fear and frustration and our self-esteem, or our arrogance? As your self-awareness grows, your ability to watch your own thoughts and emotions grows and you intuitively know how to act in those situations.
Actually you train yourself to become a neutral observer of your own mind. The process reveals the quality of this ‘monkey mind’
• Thoughts themselves have no power. But once you grasp (hold) the thought – it means you have paid attention to it. This attention is the
energy or force that gives manifestation power to these thoughts.
• As you develop attitude of neutral observer, your awareness affects your daily life; now, reactions because of attachment or aversions start
• The different sensations observed during meditation, actually teaches us the impermanence of mind-matter relationship. All sensations arise, stay and then pass away;they are transitory and ever changing. Our thoughts keep changing, our breath keeps changing, and we discover the transitoriness of all that exists in our consciousness.
Let’s understand this through an analogy:
We all know about the sheep dog which tries to
keep the herd of sheep from wandering away.
• Now let’s say the herd of sheep represents – your thoughts.
• The Brain is the unfathomable vast field in which the sheeps (our thoughts) can graze
• And the dog is our mind trying to control the flock (our thoughts)
Now we all know that the dog spends better part of his life running around in circles, trying to nip at the heels of the sheeps, ALL simply to maintain the status quo.
Meditation is simply giving the dog, rest, and letting the sheeps roam where they may. Meditation teaches us to stop running around in circles.
Happiness is illusive because it is not material in nature, it cannot be procured like other world objects. It is a state of mind, which arises in the absence of Suffering and Pain.
As your meditation deepens you become like an expert mariner caught in a typhoon. A meditator instead of being tossed and hurled by his thoughts, feelings, sensations and emotions, has learned to watch these thoughts and feelings pass, like clouds in the sky. He remains calm and alert, unidentified with the thoughts. This naturally and gradually distances him from the agitated states of his mind and establishes him in self-awareness. Where his/ her deeply ingrained sense off self is profoundly and irrevocably transformed.
Of course it does. When you start meditation practice you gain insights into the truth about yourself. You realize that it’s perfectly OK to allow the thoughts, feelings, sensations, concepts and perceptions to come and go as they please, freeing the mind to do its dance without any interference and control. Mind experiences Freedom and this leads to a state which is experienced as Happiness. Once your mind stops running in circles, you experience sustainable happiness.
Compassion is a natural response of an open heart. Meditation works at deep intuitive level and so results in REAL not superficial or cosmetic changes. Meditation lets us penetrate deep into the root cause of our unhappiness and transforms us. We discover no separation, no boundary between our external and internal worlds. This dissolving of imaginary boundary reveals that another beings suffering is no more than the reflection of our own pain. Now compassion keeps growing. As we continue our meditation practice, the M in ‘Me’ turns upside down and becomes ‘We’.
We realize happiness comes not from holding BUT from Letting Go.
Not from seeking pleasurable experiences but by remaining open to the present moment. Our mind is no more bound up in pushing away pain or holding on to pleasure. When we settle back and remain open to what’s happening at each moment, without any attachment or aversion, we develop compassionate attitude towards each experience. From this attitude we begin to manifest compassionate action around us.
A teacher can be an invaluable aid in learning a meditation technique and making sure it is practiced correctly. You can get individualized sessions or learn with a group of people in a meditation class. Most people find that they have some of their best meditations while meditating in a group, because there is a collective energy and focus present. Various individuals and groups teach meditation. Some charge and some do not. Many different techniques are taught, some more spiritual in nature and others mainly concerned with stressreduction and gaining a little peace of mind. As always, the important thing is finding what works for you.
Sanskaras – the Cause and Anatomy of Karma. Sanskaras – the basis for our Thinking-Working Mind: The phenomenal-world that we experience, respond, and interact with, through our Actions, depends on thoughts that arise in our brain. The brain is the repository of All Sanskaras. We actually have no control over our response. Our responses are ‘programmed’ through our experiences. Any action arises from thought. Any thought is a response; a reaction of memory. Memory is stored in Brain as knowledge. Knowledge is the result of our experience.
We must understand how we are ‘programmed’ by our experiences. It is this cycle of experience, knowledge, memory, thought, action; from that action learn more through experience, and so the cycle repeats and we continue to be ‘Programmed’ in this life, genetically, biologically, physically, mentally and intellectually, by our ‘limited experiences’. So, the cycle of forming the Sanskaras keep on repeating itself and these Sanskaras get accumulated with the Sanskaras that are part of our human consciousness. Sanskaras have been formed and transferred genetically through millennia upon millennia of our evolution.
The Four Gross Aspects of Mind are : Cognition, Recognition, Evaluation, Reaction .
Note : The Reactions attract Karmic Particles (Asrav) and based on the type – Intensity & Quality i.e. wholesome or unwholesome of your Reaction you accumulate (Bandh) Karma Particles. These Karma Particles form our Sanskaras that can be – a) Writing on Water (Very Light Impressions) b) Writing on Sand (Surface Impressions) c) Writing on Rock (Deep Impressions).
Each person’s life is simply unfolding of Sanskaras from moment to moment. I suffer, I am anxious, I am lonely, I am insecure, and I am confused, exactly like others. I laugh, I am happy; I am joyful, exactly like others. I have greed, I have envy, I have jealousy, and I have hatred, exactly like others. So, life is unfolding of our Sanskaras, and we create our own future life, as we go through this life.
Events are occurring and happening outside, but the experiencing and the experiencer is within.
Our pleasures, our sadness, our tragedies, our ecstasies, are created because of the ‘program’ we carry in our own brain. Thoughts are our Sanskaras. We are all caught in the cycle of sanskaras
The practice of meditation removes defilements from root, subconscious levels through process of generating within us:
1. Non-Egoistic Awareness
2. Awareness of Impermanence
3. Awareness of transitoriness of everything
4. Insights into causes of our misery
5. Removes duality of Observer and Object of observation-there is only Observing.
What does meditation Reveal?
You train yourself to be a Neutral-Observer. Using breath as an anchor, you train your mind to remain focused with single pointedness.
The ‘monkey mind’ starts revealing to us:
1. Thoughts themselves have no power, the power come from our grasping (holding) the thought. Once you grasp, then the attention you give (your force, energy) moves it to manifestation in material world. Instead, if we do not grasp ( not hold) than they will be mere thoughts and not ‘my ‘ thoughts. They will fade away.
2. The reactions because of attachment or aversion diminishes gradually, as you become equanimous, even minded because of your attitude of neutral observer, and this ability permeates in your actions in daily living.
3. We actually experience the impermanence of mind-matter relationship by focusing within our body and observing our mind. The different physical sensation felt during meditation like heat, cold, heaviness, lightness, itching, throbbing, contraction, expansion, pressure, pain, tingling, pulsation, vibration, or anything else are all arising, staying for sometime and then fade away. Our thoughts keep changing. Our breath is changing. All sensations arise and pass away, they are all transitory and change every moment.