Who is Meditation for…
Meditation is for all who seek the deepest peace and the greatest love,
For whom all is not what it appears to be,
For those who simply seek to know what is truth and what is illusion,
For those who know they are not being true to themselves and are moved to live with greater authenticity and integrity,
For those who are aware that this world is on the verge of a dramatic and profound shift and sense they have a significant role to play,
For those who know a Higher Power is at work in the world and hear the subtle call of that One to be present and available,
For those who wish to know exactly who they are and why they are here.
For those who wish to experience life as a soul and to see others as souls and recognize this may be the greatest paradigm shift of all.
More incentives to bring meditation into your life
In our world today it is apparent that the sufferings of people and nature are widespread. Often when we see seemingly innocent people, including children, suffering tremendous pain at the hands of others, our sense of injustice is triggered, often accompanied by what many would call “righteous anger” and perhaps even hatred for the oppressor.
In the process, these negative feelings create more suffering for ourselves and those around us.
This becomes a habit, an inner pattern that is repeated, not only when we witness global strife, but also when someone at home, at work, at our place of worship, or on the street does something we consider unjust. The same button is pushed and the same pattern of outrage, fear, sleeplessness, anger, hatred, or revenge can emerge.
What has not be acknowledged or understood that could alleviate this added pain and trauma?
A deeper understanding of the laws of action (karma) assures us that whatever we give, will eventually return to us. Therefore whatever happened or is happening to us is the result of our actions returning.
When this understanding is integrated into our awareness while we watch apparent injustices in the world, it defuses our outrage, diminishes fear, and lessens our pain. It’s not that we sit passively by and allow people to inflict suffering upon us or others, but it helps us to see that the best possible contribution we can make on behalf of both the victim and the ‘perpetrator’ is to help them to remember who they are and to rise above their anger and fear.
And what helps us to know our deeper, wiser selves, yes, MEDITATION.
Meditation opens the door wide into the realms of the unlimited…unlimited peace, unlimited love, and even unlimited bliss. Meditation helps us souls to break the bonds that have kept us trapped in negative karmic exchanges for ages!
However, before we can do this for others, we must do it for ourselves, and see that it works. We must have certainty in the process.
Fortunately, these days, meditation has been attracting good amounts of attention from doctors, like Deepak Chopra, psychiatrists, and instructors and researchers such as Sara Lazar of Harvard University Medical School and Neuroimaging Center of Massachusetts General Hospital.
Based on research done by Rossi in 1993 and followed by Chopra in 1994, it was found that meditation lowers the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the bloodstream, while at the same time increasing interleukin levels which enhance the immune system and provide us with more energy and a greater ability to cleanse chemical toxins such as lactic acid. This can enhance neurotransmitter receptors and elevate your mood.
Further research on mindfulness meditation also indicates that qualities we once thought to be immutable including the ones that create temperament, personality, and character traits can be altered significantly because meditation practice creates new neural pathways. As Sara Lazar, instructor at Harvard Med School and neuroimaging researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and others have determined, the more meditation is practiced, the thicker the mid-prefrontal cortex and mid-insular region of the brain becomes. This results in a happier, more even and peaceful you.
Lazar also found that even new meditators who practice meditation as little as 4 hours a week can achieve and sustain states of mindfulness that lead to creative flow or higher levels of consciousness, and that even beginners in their early twenties were able to achieve advanced states of concentration and contemplation equal to that of senior meditators of 10 or 20 years. (Lazar and Siegel 2007)
This information and much more can be reviewed in Wise Mind Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change by Ronald Alexander Ph.D.
Discover for yourself the doorway of reflective/contemplative meditation that will take you beyond the patterns of old thinking and allow new ways of being with yourself and others to emerge.
Find out how deeper waves of peace and love can inform your life and help you to navigate through situations which may have previously caused stress, blockages, and sorrow.
Learn how meditation truly is a practical way to deal with the waves of life.
Where to Begin
Motivation: Imagine how it feels when peace arises from the depths of your soul.
Where do you begin when you wish to turn inward? Have you created a well worn path that brings you into the nourishment of peace and silence easily? Or do you feel overwhelmed by racing thoughts, innumerable distractions, and uncomfortable feelings that all get in your way of finding and maintaining the sweet spot inside your heart, mind, and soul? Where do you turn and what do you find when you wish to enter your inner sanctum? These are important questions to ask yourself.
First off, a prevailing misconception about meditation is that you must eliminate all thoughts in order to be “meditating”. This is simply not true. However if you are feeling at the mercy of your thoughts -try this- reflect on the “who” that is upset, the who that is troubled by the thoughts and who is witnessing the thoughts. By refocusing your attention on who is hearing the thoughts, you have already created some space, some distance between you and the thoughts. Allow this part of yourself, the who, to focus elsewhere, on your breath, on the steady flame of a candle, or on a powerful thought such as: I am peace. As you withdraw your attention (energy, focus) away from the stream of thoughts, the thoughts will begin to slow down on their own. This is a powerful step in the right direction. Bring yourself back to this awareness of the breath, the flame, or the powerful thought-I am peace. Don’t give your attention to the parade of thoughts.
In the next section, you are invited to focus on a little journey designed to take you into peace and silence and away from your everyday thoughts. This journey when practiced frequently can create wonders in your life. At the end of this guided meditation, you will find a special resource of short meditations that can be easily accessed anytime you wish to slow down and experience peace.
How to Meditate:
Letting go and remembering who I truly am.
A simple way to begin.
Find a comfortable spot in your home or in nature. Begin to wind down by noticing and connecting with the rhythmic pattern of your breath…Allow yourself to deeply inhale and deeply exhale. Breath into areas of tension and pain that may have collected in the body during the day or over time.
Starting out this way helps the body to let go and frees your awareness to begin the process of refocusing on something besides the thoughts, interactions, or images, that may have been triggered during the day. Remember you are the observer and can redirect your attention away from being consumed by the thoughts that are emerging.
Direct your awareness to the part of you that is not your thoughts…You may wish to gently guide your mind to contemplate on peace, your breath, or on a focusing object such as a candle or other object which works for you. Your thoughts will gradually slow way down.
This letting go stage is the first step. Don’t try to rush it. With the dissolving of each distracting thought or feeling know you are getting more and more relaxed to experience the peace within.
Start by bringing your attention to the center of your forehead … see yourself as a point of LIGHT radiating brilliantly in all directions like a star or a diamond.
Hold this awareness of the self for 2 minutes.
Then gently direct the power of the mind to focus on Limitless Light all around you the point of light.
Hold this awareness of being light immersed in Light for 2 minutes.
Be receptive to this Limitless Light. Feel how this powerful, loving current of Light is embracing you in deep peace. This peace is filled with silence, the silence that is your essence. As you transcend the denseness of the body and the mind, you will find you can experience your unlimited nature. This is a very liberating and refreshing experience. Be patient, remember that for so long, we souls have been completely absorbed and identified with being just the body, just the mind, causing this experience of being a ‘light’ within the body, who can observe the mind to be lost. So be very patient and kind with yourself. Remember: Just one moment of an experience of the true Self will never leave you the same. Once tasted you will want to dip into the awareness of who you are again and again…And for longer and longer periods of time… Always remember your true self is a free, peaceful, silent, loving, blissful being of light.
When you return from this experience, notice what has changed.
You may wish to jot down a few notes about your experiences in meditation. Each time will be different. All meditation experiences count towards bringing you into a new consciousness.
You may notice you have gained energy and enthusiasm and that your inner resource of peace has been awakened.
As you continue your experiments in meditation, know that connecting with the self and then the Source of Light is the method for regaining inner powers of the soul such as acceptance, loving tolerance, the capacity to let go easily, intuitive understanding, discrimination, fearless courage, humility, enthusiasm, detachment, and more
What to Meditate Upon
Motivation: Frequent practice opens up the experience of deeper self-respect.
Before getting into “what to meditate upon”…think about what you know about the difference between self-esteem and self-respect?
You may agree that self-esteem is most often described as the value the ‘world'(and you) places on the strengths and qualities that are connected to your outer achievements and talents. These qualities and strengths are measurable via tests, as skill sets and the like.
Self-respect, on the other hand, is based on your intrinsic values within the soul, the qualities that are part of your humanity. Self-respect requires self-acceptance and self-awareness. Your intrinsic qualities are love, peace, happiness, bliss, joy, truth, and wisdom and are not measurable by outer methods. These qualities or values are also called virtues. Often they have been covered over by the rust of time and the impact of negative worldly experiences. In our struggle for outward recognition, these intrinsic qualities or virtues have taken a backseat in our everyday awareness simply because they are the deeper, invisible side of who we truly are.
Your incognito qualities are just waiting for a chance to emerge, to be known, to be appreciated, and to shine brightly into the world. They are waiting in the wings for your attention.
This is where the “what” of meditation comes in~
CHOOSE the value, virtue, or quality you wish to experience more of in your life. Bring this quality into your meditation by selecting an affirmation from this list of statements or create your own.
Love – My love is a gift to every soul, given freely without expectations
Generosity – I am overflowing, abundant, easily contributing,
Humility – I bask in self-respect without seeking external praise
Peace – I sink into inner silence, as I unwind the flow of my mind
Detachment – I love without clinging, I’m involved, not dependent
Contentment – My needs are always fulfilled, as surely as the sun rises
Kindness – I see, I understand, never imposing, always supportive
Happiness – The joy of being alive flows through my being
Simplicity/Uncomplicated – I see the essence; I stay real and keep life simple
Lightness – I am free from thoughts of the past-life is a wonderful game
Courageous – Having seen the truth, I know what I must do; I am undaunted
Bring your chosen virtue into focus for the next week by spending at least 10 minutes a day, experiencing yourself as a beautiful being of light, filled with the quality you have chosen.
Start where it feels most real.
Build up to two or three times a day, meditating on your special virtue.
Journal about the experiences, images, and feelings you have during these meditations and also about the magic and/or the tests that show up.
Share your experiences to uplift others. Encourage them to explore their original nature. Sometimes meditate together.
We are all special … most of us have just forgotten.
It is time to return to our original state of being!!!
Remember to free yourself from the thought process by noticing the I that observes the you who thinks, dreams, and desires. This is a part of you that is separate from the mind, from the habits, from the reactions. This is the part of you that can be empowered through meditation. This is the part of the soul that is called the silent witness or the detached observer. This part of you, the soul, is also called the intellect and is continually refined as you study, as you experience, as you learn, and as you meditate.
The intellect contains your reservoir of wisdom and knowledge gained, and has the power to discern, discriminate, and decide. The intellect contains the wisdom to calm the mind down and to choose which thoughts make you feel elevated and happy. The mind simply generates thoughts, indiscriminately. It is doing what it was designed to do. However, it does need gentle guidance from the intellect, Grow this part of the soul. It is the ‘mother’ to your mind. It will guide you. Have faith in the intellect.
RECAP-4 Steps to Take You into Meditation
The first step in meditation is called INITIATION. It simply means creating a quiet, comfortable place that is conducive to slowing down your thoughts in preparation for meditation. A place where you won’t be disturbed or easily distracted. A place just to be quiet in and to build up the energy of peace and stillness. A place where you can shift from the outer world of the body and mind, and refocus upon the inner world, upon your breath, a powerful affirmation, and possibly a focusing object.
The 2nd stage is called MEDITATION. It involves selecting a topic or a theme for your meditation. It could be a quality, value, or virtue that you would like to focus upon in order to understand it and embrace it more deeply. It might be a statement claiming the quality … such as: I am a Peaceful Soul. It might be in the form of a question such as: What does bliss feel like? or humility? or contentment ? Concentrate your mind on your chosen statement or question.
If the mind wanders, if there is a struggle, know you have the ability to bring it back, like a loving mother to the theme at hand. Training the mind is important, getting the wheels of a rusty mind going in the direction you want, may take a bit of coaxing… gently bringing it back time and time again. Be kind to the mind and it will cooperate.
As this loving, guiding relationship develops between you-the witness and your mind, you will be able to naturally move into the next stage of concentration where the mind is happily engaged and moving with your topic.c.
The 3rd stage is called CONCENTRATION. In concentration you have reached the stage where your thoughts are flowing freely upon your chosen theme, circling around your subject like a bee buzzing around a flower, drinking in the nectar, enjoying the feeling state and the contemplation of your theme. This will lead you into the 4th and last stage in which you become the topic of your meditation. You become peace, bliss, humility, or contentment, etc.
The 4th stage is called REALIZATION. It is the stage in which you come to know and feel the essence of the topic or theme you have chosen. In this stage you have gone beyond contemplation into knowing and being. This is when meditation becomes very practical and has a beneficial effect on the rest of your life.
You may choose to meditate on one theme for a month or longer. Accomplished meditators are known to stay on certain aspects, qualities, or themes for long, concentrated periods of time. This develops patience and faith.
Contemplating on elevated states of being, such as peace, bliss, humility, true love will produce elevated streams of thought. You are literally invoking these states to arise within your being. Doing this type of 4 step process on a daily basis can create a powerful vibration which will affect you physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Daily meditation creates a powerful momentum. As you meditate, your meditation begets more meditation. A new consciousness emerges from within. As you powerfully integrate the themes you have chosen to take up in meditation, they will color your experiences and even uplift others.
As you meditate on these beautiful states and qualities, ask yourself how can I stay in touch with this place inside of myself, with this knowing, with this awareness? How can I hold the preciousness of this consciousness, so it does not fade away? As you continue this process of realization, you will come to know the qualities of your own essence.