5 Free Gifts Of Life – Meditation
Mindfulness, visualisation, breath, silence, chant and stillness are all elements that can be utilised to bring about a meditative state. Meditation is about creating a space where you are non reactive to stimuli. Its about letting go of the need to act and paradoxically this allows us to be more present, have clarity of mind and to engage with a calm centredness.
Meditation does not need to involve a religious doctrine as it is a stand alone technique which creates a calm inner space. Into this space you can introduce any other elements which you may wish to focus on.
There are many ways to activate this deeply personal tool. This blog is really just a reminder that this is a hugely helpful and powerful activity which can bring balance to your mind and body in an often chaotic or busy modern life.
If you have never tried meditation, see below for a few links.
I have heard of people who are scared to try it as they think they will be helplessly indoctrinated into a religion or loose control of their minds. This is pretty far from reality as it is a very calming activity and you can always choose how you would like to approach it. You are always in control and after a while realise how out of control you were.
The extraordinary filmmaker David Lynch describes his experience of meditation in his book “Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity”
“It takes you to an ocean of pure consciousness, pure knowingness. But it’s familiar; it’s you. And right away a sense of happiness emerges—not a goofball happiness, but a thick beauty.”
Using simple techniques can often be most effective. Meditation can be used to bring you calmness, clarity, self awareness, conscious awareness and to connect you with the divine.
Some practices use a CLOSED EYE method which helps close off visual distractions and can assist in developing an open space to practice visualisation techniques.
Other practices involve the eyes remaining open. A soft gaze is adopted so that there is no direct focus into the outside world. An awareness can be created which holds central the practitioner whilst expanding the awareness to include them in their surroundings. A simple technique in this incidence is to focus only on the breath going in and out of the body and bringing the awareness back to the breath each time the mind wanders. Breathing through the mouth is recommended in this practice. The OPEN EYE technique is said to keep the mediator connected with the world rather than disconnecting them, a state that can bring the calmness and awareness into the everyday life rather than just at the times of mediation.
Chanting is of course sound based and creates a type of meditative trance state in the mind. Traditional and religious chants and mantras were often developed using specific sets of sounds which are said to be pure resonances of prayers and creationist sound. Chanting is often used to prepare the mind for meditation.
Regular meditation can affect long term changes in brain wave patterns which in turn can help sustain the positive effects of meditation.
Here are a few links, and meditation techniques to try.
Urban Monk – Get Started: Buddhist Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Comment – Clean, detailed site, with clear supportive information which leads to longer and more varied practices. Focus is on Mindfullness and Vipasana techniques.
David Lynch- Talks about meditation
Comment – Short and interesting but poor quality.
Deepak Chopra Meditation
Mantra OM 2
Comment – 1 hour sound recording of Om Mantra. Sit quietly and breathe to this one.
Mary Jaksch, Zen Master – Meditation and tips
Comment – Nice little web page that gives supportive advise for silent meditation to the beginner.