Meditation practices which focus on the awareness of thoughts, can be thought of as a time to allow reflection and integration of experiences. I’m not sure if other meditation practices have this effect. I have been practicing meditation daily for many years, Antar Mouna (Inner Silence). I do other meditation practices but not as much as Antar Mouna. Antar Mouna is a practice that deals with thought awareness in one of its stages.
Ultimately meditation can bring ones mind to a clarity and stillness when the space between the thoughts opens up and pure experience occurs. A still and focussed mind can arise, but not always.
The rest of the time meditation can be thought of as a reflection. An opportunity to witness the stuff in the head lying out of sight. Sitting and watching the thoughts, or more importantly the mind space and the activities in that space. It provides time for the mind to integrate experiences (impressions). We are shown the nature of the mind and also the content. Greater self understanding occurs, both the nature of the mind and its content becomes more clearly perceived. In the process we are able to let go of negative impressions, or at least gain the awareness they exist, thereby providing an opportunity that we can work to resolve them.
One outcome of meditation is that (in my experience) connections between things become established or clearer, sometimes during or after practice.
Another outcome is that the instances of insight and wisdom to arise more frequently and with more profound understandings.
There are of course other effects and benefits of practicing meditation. The others you can learn about for your self. Meditation is something that should be practiced much more often than it is talked about.
Please try the following meditation practice. Before you do, please set your intent and an initial number of days. You can if you so wish dedicate each days meditation practice to something or one etc. Decide how many days in a row you will practice, make it once a day to start with. For an intention try “I am going to practice meditation for 7 days regardless of how difficult it is. I am capable of success in this endeavor. “, or you can use and intention of your own choosing of course.
All negative feelings about the practice including those that relate to your ability to “do meditation” should be ignored without reservation. It is more important to follow the sequence (the mechanics) of the practice than it is the expectations and/or the dialog in your head about it. To quote Yoda (if you’re a Star Wars fan) “do or do not, there is no try”. So just do the meditation and ignore your opinion about it is 🙂
- Sit comfortably. Attempt to get a straight spine (good posture). Use a chair, or what ever, but sit upright.
- Close the eyes and become aware of the physical body.
- Let go of any effort to breath, the body will do that
- Allow the body to settle into physical stillness while you move your awareness around parts of the body like; feet, legs, etc. really feel the body part, place your awareness there, notice the sensations in that part of the body.
- Now place awareness on your breathing – observation only
- After some time (you choose) become aware of the mind space
- Reverse out of the practice when you are ready to finish
- back to the breath for a bit
- back to the body for a bit
- gently start moving the head neck SMALL movements
- gradually take your time to fully externalize and start moving more
- This is no Antar Mouna, it is a stripped down meditation technique that does work.
There are no timings given.
Approaches to use the practice
A: Memorize the basic sequence. Use your memory to guide you. Then start at the beginning and follow that instruction until you feel its time to move on.
B: Record the practice sequence with your own timings. Smart phones have a voice recorder, or buy a voice recorder. May laptops built-in mike. Suggested timings are 2 minutes each section.
C: Get a friend or family member to guide you through it. Guide each other 🙂
Please try. Then maybe explore different meditation techniques there is always YouTube 🙂
Once you find a meditation practice that works for you, stick with it through thick and thin. Digging many holes gets you nowhere. Dig in the same place and the hole will go deep.
I wish you every success.
Posted in Contemplations, Raja Yoga (Yoga Sutras)