How to meditate: all you need to know
Is meditation a real social phenomenon and is it essential to overcome our malaise? How does it work? What are its benefits?
To begin with, almost all forms of meditation have a common base: it is about sitting, motionless, eyes closed, back straight, centering oneself on one's breathing and physical sensations (contact with the ground etc.). It is an attitude that is both passive (no gestures to make) and active (maintaining attention).
It can be accompanied byconcentration exercises or by following one's thoughts with detachment, without identifying with them (in zazen in particular). It can also be practiced throughout our daily lives, such as the so-called mindfulness meditation, where it is a matter of being attentive to everything we do and to everything around us.
What is the purpose of meditation? Its benefits
Psychic benefits of meditation
At the psychic level, the regular practice of meditation has recognized effects on stress, anxiety and their corollaries (nervous breakdowns, burn-out, etc.). It also has a positive influence on attention span, concentration, and memory.
If practiced intensively (and accompanied by specific concentration techniques) it can even provoke the development of certain targeted brain areas.
Physical benefits of meditation
At the physical level, it can have positive effects on hypertension, insomnia, pain sensitivity and fatigue. Improvements in cardiovascular and muscular function, stimulation of self-regulatory reactions and alleviation of disorders following heavy treatments such as chemotherapy have also been observed.
By taking a break from the flow of thoughts, preoccupations, projects and other cogitations, we relieve the mind and also the body. We know the impact that the psyche can have on the body. The slightest emotion has an impact on the internal chemistry and the so-called psychosomatic diseases are the direct consequence of psychological disorders.
Long before we started talking about meditation, doctors were already saying that the patient's morale could have a definite influence on the evolution of a cancer. It is not surprising, then, that amomentary cessation of mental agitation can have such an effect on both the body and the mind.
This said, at the physical level, most of these effects are related to stress relief. Doctors who use it insist on the fact that if it can bring a real well-being to their patients suffering from serious diseases, it does not replace medical treatment.
On the other hand, since there is no postural readjustment work (meditation is immobile), there is no rectification of the positioning of the vertebrae for example. This has a direct impact on the organ or function associated with each of them. Meditation will therefore not have a regulating effect on the dysfunctions (and they are numerous) linked to this bad positioning which can be very subtle, invisible on the radions.
At the psychic level, meditation is presented as a particularly effective tool to alleviate most of our ills and even, in the most advanced forms, as a way to inner liberation.
What is meditation and how to meditate?
From discovery to the experience of wholeness, there is a whole path that everyone can take at his or her own pace. To fully experience meditation is first to accept that it has not always been part of our lives and that we must gradually tame it by making room for it.
Knowing how to listen to yourself and respect your own limits, understanding the steps and the fundamental laws of meditation is also essential to engage in a just way on this path of awakening and inner transformation.
Meditation is like a tree planted in the ground; it grows gradually and becomes stronger every day.
It will be up to you to gradually create this space in your life by giving it all the best conditions so that it appears, grows, blooms and can offer its wonderful fruits.
If it does not seem natural and accessible to you, you will discover how little by little, through regular practice and the acquisition of a rhythm, meditation will no longer seem like an arduous and constraining exercise, but will become a natural part of your life and, just like breathing or bathing, will become a fundamental need, an obviousness, a joy, a simple and intense happiness, that ofgoing to meet your soul.
Enter into all the steps of meditation step by step and discover this art of landing on the Mother, of putting down everything, of finding the right posture, of breathing, of entering into silence and inner calm, of observing the worlds inside you and of touching little by little the heart of your being, until you touch peace, serenity, harmony...
It is by accepting the steps, by remaining observant, without judging yourself, without tensing up on your difficulties, by having this benevolent look, that little by little a rhythm will take place, new perceptions will be able to come to visit you and that you will be able to let yourself be filled with the light of this new space of communion inside you.
Once your intention is clear, create a space for yourself in matter and in time: find your place of meditation, make it your own, arrange it with love, define for yourself a space-time, a rendezvous with your inner being that you do not want to miss, as an essential moment of your day
Thus, a rhythm can appear, a world is created in your world. It is like welcoming a new child, you must give it time and space. Give your inner self a part of your life so that in communion with you, it can guide and direct it with love towards wisdom and fulfillment.
Ground rules for meditation:
1) Learn to sit on the floor
Meditation consists, first of all, in becoming deeply aware of our relationship with the earth. Sitting on it in the meditation posture is a way to deepen this relationship, to make it alive and clear.
2) Find the right posture
Meditation is not torture or gymnastics. The best posture is the one that suits you, the one in which you feel best.
However, there are some rules to follow:
It is necessary to be seated, because this posture allows one to be alert and awake. In addition, it is important that the sacrum and coccyx, which carry the memory of who you are, are in contact with Mother Earth.
It is necessary that the back is straight, but without forcing, without creating tension. When the posture is right, the back is straight naturally, without effort. The straight back brings the presence of dignity, promotes awakening and connects man to the energy of the sun.
If you sit on a chair, you will have to place yourself on the edge to find the right balance, so that the back enters the straightness without effort.
If you sit on the ground, you will need to raise your body slightly so that your back naturally goes straight.
The secret of the right posture is not in the posture itself, but rather in theinner attitude and awareness. It is important to sit on the ground with gentleness, love, respect and awareness. The more your consciousness is awake, the more you will find the right posture.
3) Staying in stillness
To remain in immobility is difficult, it is a training and we are not trained.
If you manage to stay in perfect immobility of your body during 20 minutes, in an upright posture, by putting down what comes towards you on the ground, that is to say all the tensions of your body, all the thoughts, all the feelings, the states of mind, the forces inside you which disturb you, everything will become clear in you, your body will disappear
You will make this experience of differentiating inside you the body and the non-body, the invisible subtle part of your being: the precious. Then silence can appear.
What to think about during meditation?
Learning to control your thoughts can be a more difficult exercise than expected!
Only silence allows you to approach the source.
You must be calm, silent inside, you must take care of the source.
Your breathing is filled with softness.
You enter into the stillness, into the silence, into the calm.
Deep calm is a state that can be found in all circumstances of life, but to begin, it is good to develop it through the posture of meditation, posed on the ground.
If you have trouble with thoughts, perhaps start this exercise of meditation with guided meditations where you can focus on the word.
The other solution is to concentrate on your breathing.
What is the best time of day to meditate?
The best time of day to meditate is up to each individual.
It is a moment for you, therefore a moment when you know how to extract yourself from the daily life and its agitation. This can be in the morning when you wake up and the energy is so special.
Morning meditation has the advantage of putting you in the best condition to have a good day.
If you don't have time in the morning, you can practice your meditation before going to sleep. In this case, your sleep will be improved.
Putting down all the tensions of the day before going to sleep is a good thing. You can do this through meditation, for others a good bath will have similar effects.
What is the best method of meditation?
Again, there is no easy answer. Listen to your feelings and know how to perceive the meditation that suits you best.
Zen meditation: tools to help you
Meditation, like any other practice, is a learning process.
Sometimes certain tools are very useful to accompany us in this process.
I mentioned above the guided meditation that can help you to stay focused more easily. There are also sacred geometry symbols that are particularly suitable for meditation.
One of the most famous is the Sri Yantra.
The Sri Yantra or Shri Yantra is a sacred symbol, a meditation and yoga instrument, a tool for energy healing. It is the representation of the shape of the Universe. This sacred symbol has been used for thousands of years in meditation and yoga.
In some yoga classes, for example, it is used to focus one's attention and to empty one's mind. It allows one to center and anchor oneself.
The attentive contemplation of the yantras forces the mind to concentrate on forms whose metaphysical meaning the intuitive intelligence apprehends progressively (or instantaneously, according to the schools)
But you can also use Mandalas or any other symbol of sacred geometry.
The most suitable medium for meditation is the Mandala painting, Sri Yantra painting etc. (printed canvas mounted on a frame). (printed canvas mounted on a frame) which we offer in different sizes.
Beyond a simple practice that we integrate into our lives, meditation can be not only a tool to reconnect us to our inner being, to find calm, serenity, the right inspiration, the right guidance, but it can also become an entirely new way of living.
There are several degrees of internalization. Meditation can be more or less profound, can make us experience different states of inner awakening and consciousness, and can really enlighten and transform our lives.
But beyond the practice itself, which may take only a short time, meditation can be viewed in a broader dimension and become a permanent part of our lives as an art of mindfulness, concentration, and inner control.
Consciously directing our lives in a different direction, towards a higher world, is the ultimate goal of meditation, which can become a real way of breathing, an art of living, a way of thinking, being, feeling and acting in harmony with our soul. To hold ourselves in discernment at every moment, to connect with the universal, to cultivate a broad and beautiful vision of life, to accomplish acts that bring forth a work of Light, is also to widen the field of life of meditation and to allow it to radiate in all the floors of our being, in all the components of our life. Meditation can then become the art of connecting ourselves permanently with a higher intelligence and consciousness.
Mastering the awakening, the right posture, the silence, the calm, the clarity, the serenity can be done through regular practices of meditation. But beyond these limited time experiences, it is on a daily basis that we can develop these virtues and gradually give them a growing place in our lives
Meditation shows us a true way of being in the world, of governing ourselves from within, it opens up a whole path of life, a way of orienting ourselves and of being in constant communion with the divine intelligence within and around us.
If you wish, you too can cultivate meditation in your daily life, a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a breath that is an integral part of your life, a new organ of perception that guides your choices and decisions, a living and acting light that enlightens.
We are coming to the end of this article which is a complement of "Meditation: 5 basic rules".
I hope you enjoyed it.
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A few rules for meditation from Essenia Publishing
Bio contact article from January 2019