Meditation is a natural process of:
a. Experiencing more settled and refined aspects of your mind and body.
b. Tuning into your spirituality.
c. Discovering you own unique essential nature and operating from that place.
This post will deal mainly with the first part of meditation – settling down the mind and body.
Because meditation is natural there have developed hundreds of different orientations to meditation – each with different goals. These can be thought of in two ways:
Defined or Traditional Paths:
Almost all spiritual traditions, religions and teachers give instructions on how to meditate. These involve specific rules which often include specific: mantras, prayers, postures, instructors, fees, ceremony and gatherings. This can be likened to train tracks which can take you from one point A to point B.
Independant or the Pathless Path.
The flip side to all these actions and rules is the acknowledgment that you already have all the spirituality you would ever want or need already within you – that there is nothing needed to ‘do’.
Your spirituality is constantly there and being presented to you. All you have to do is welcome it.
Welcoming IT involves welcoming everything else too, like the thousands of thoughts, emotions, feelings, and vibrations that are passing though us daily.
Meditation therefore becomes a ‘ letting go’ of trying to do anything and just witnessing the ‘show’.
Instead of train tracks taking you to a specific destination, you have an off road vehicle that can take you anywhere in the world OR you may decide you like it right where you are already.
These two orientations are not mutually exclusive – you can do both, even at the same time. I have enjoyed several different ‘train rides’ and I also like being on my own.
The nice thing about a train is that there can be a lot of people on it at the same time and you can benefit from that social support and warmth. I was trained and certified to give train rides and spent many fulfilling years doing so.
Starting to Meditate:
Whichever orientation you take, it is very useful to calm down the mind and body. The easiest method to do this, available to everyone, is though the breath.
1. Just putting your attention on the breath, will naturally allow the breath to slow down.
When your breath slows down, your mind will follow.
2. When you have done this for a minute or so, you can then direct your attention to that point at the junction points between in breaths and out breaths.
At those junction points you are technically not breathing at all. Your body is very still and your mind will be still also.
3. Once you have done this for some time and feel very comfortable with it, then you can expand that stillness by pausing – just for a moment or two – after the in breath. You are not holding your breath in an uncomfortable way but just enjoying the […]