Seven Meditation Basics (adapted from Mindfulness Meditation)

 

  1. Environment: choose a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed. Make this a special time for yourself. As you respect it, so will others.
  2. Posture: best to sit with back strait, on chair or cross-legged. Be open, with hands resting comfortably. Eyes closed (though you may prefer softly open).

  3. Relaxation: become aware of each part of your body in succession, tensing on the in-breath and letting go on the out-breath. Move from the scalp down to your toes (or you may prefer the other way around). Pay attention to the tension, and keep dropping deeper into your seat.

  4. Breath: notice the breath going in and out, warm and cool. Don’t try to control it, but allow your abdomen and diaphragm muscles to release. You breath may become slower and shallower as the relaxation response slows you down.
  5. Mantras: choose a word or sound to focus on, repeating it silently in time with your breathing. Alternatively, you may wish to focus on a candle flame, or just your breath.
  6. Non-Judgement: whenever you begin to question if you are doing it “right”, notice that and remind yourself there is no right way, only what is happening now. Simply bring your attention back to your breath and/or your mantra, over and over again.

  7. Practice: any habit can be developed if done regularly every day for 3-4 weeks. Short sessions often (at least daily, if not 2-3 times a day, for 3-20 minutes) will bring better results than a few irregular long sessions . As you continue in this way, you will naturally grow accustomed and not want to miss your meditation.
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Meditation: On Four Planes

Meditation: On Four Planes

As I was thinking about what meditation does for me, the usual answers came up like “relaxed” “centered”, “blissed out”, “clarity” “oneness” “all-pervading love”, “pain-free”, not-to-mention “disturbing insights”.  Then came the question “But how does this come about, how do different techniques help bring about these outcomes”?  Well the answer or answers certainly won’t be simple, but as soon as I remembered how we work with energy for healing on four progressive planes – the Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual, everything became clearer. Aha! Perhaps intentionally opening to awareness on each plane will enhance our practice, so here are some initial thoughts about optimizing all four planes.

The Physical Plane: We are taught to use progressive relaxation in preparation for meditation, relaxing each muscle group in turn. All of this and more we do to tune into our body selves, the first vibrational plane, and if you add the intention of noticing any tension or pain in the body field along with the desire to release it, expect miracles.

The Emotional Plane: When it comes to emotions, I find we are most likely to not be aware; or alternatively, to consciously shut them down. This is a practical means to protect ourselves from overwhelm, so you might ask for safety for your emotional field, to open the door just a crack, or even to begin to let go of the obstacle of fear. Then relax and expect miracles.

The Mental Plane: Generally, meditation guidelines focus on this plane, quieting the mind and moving to the vantage of observer. When we focus on breath, it combines the physical and the mental (naturally engaging the emotional feeling self as well). The use of a mantra helps keep the mind at a still point. When you take a moment to address current worries of the mind, to acknowledge them and set intention to find answers or to release them, expect miracles.

The Spiritual Plane: Here’s where the real power, the pay-off, comes. When you set the intention to be open to others in non-judging and to connect with your highest self and higher power, to sense the love in and all around you, expect miracles.

Aha! In Mindful Movement (Qigong-based Meditation), I start every session with these four intentions – starting with Physical through Emotional and Mental to Spiritual, the highest vibrational plane. Now it is all coming together!