Meditation – A Beginner’s Guide

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a simple, but life-transforming skill that can help you to relax, enhance understanding about yourself and develop your inherent potential. If that sounds a little vague, it's because there are many types of mediation done for different purposes.

Concentration meditation

A concentrative meditation technique involves focusing on a single point. This could entail watching the breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repetitive gong or counting beads on a rosary. Since focusing the mind is challenging, a beginner might meditate for only a few minutes and then work up to longer durations.

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation technique encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge them, but simply to be aware of each mental note as it arises. Through mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns.

Other meditation techniques

There are various other meditation techniques. For example, a daily meditation practice among Buddhist monks focuses directly on the cultivation of compassion. This involves envisioning negative events and recasting them in a positive light by transforming them through compassion. There are also moving meditations techniques, such as tai chi, chi Kung and walking meditation.

What Are Mantras?

Another term that comes up a lot when talking about meditation is mantra. What is a mantra? Simply put, a mantra is a word or sound that you repeat through a meditation to help focus the mind. “Mantra” comes from Sanskrit: man is the root of the word for “mind,” and tra is the root of the word for “instrument.” Mantras help us disconnect from that stream of thoughts constantly flowing (sometimes rushing) through our minds. Keep in mind, not all forms of meditation use mantras.

How to Meditate

Newcomers to meditation often feel intimidated. They imagine a monk sitting in lotus pose for hours on end atop a mountain. But the reality is that meditation is much easier and accessible than most people realize.

Here is a simple 10 step beginner's guide to meditation:

1. Sit tall

The most common and accessible position for meditation is sitting. Sit on the floor, in a chair or on a stool. If you are located on the floor it is often most comfortable to sit cross-legged on a cushion. Comfort is key. Now imagine a thread extending from the top of your head, pulling your back, neck and head straight up towards the ceiling in a straight line. Sit tall.

2. Relax your body

Close your eyes and scan your body, relaxing each body part one at a time. Begin with your toes, feet, ankles, shins and continue to move up your entire body. Do not forget to relax your shoulders, neck, eyes, face, jaw and tongue which are all common areas for us to hold tension.

3. Be still and silent

Now that you are sitting tall and relaxed, take a moment to be still. Just sit. Be aware of your surroundings, your body, the sounds around you. Do not react or attempt to change anything. Just be aware.

4. Breathe

Turn your attention to your breath. Breathe silently, yet deeply. Engage your diaphragm and fill your lungs, but do not force your breath. Notice how your breath feels in your nose, throat, chest and belly as it flows in and out.

5. Establish a mantra

Mantras can have spiritual, vibrational and transformative benefits, or they can simply provide a point of focus during meditation. They can be spoken aloud or silently to yourself. A simple and easy mantra for beginners is to silently say with each breath, I am breathing in, I am breathing out.

6. Calm your mind

As you focus on your breath or mantra, your mind will begin to calm and become present. This does not mean that thoughts will cease to arise. As thoughts come to you, simply acknowledge them, set them away, and return your attention to your breath or mantra. Do not dwell on your thoughts. Some days your mind will be busy and filled with inner chatter, other days it will remain calm and focused. Neither is good, nor bad.

7. When to end your practice

There is no correct length of time to practice meditation, however when first starting it is often easier to set for shorter periods of time (5 to 10 minutes). As you become more comfortable with your practice, meditate longer. Set an alarm if you prefer to sit for a predetermined length of time. Another option is to decide on the number of breaths you will count before ending your practice. A mala (garland) is a helpful tool to use when counting breaths.

8. How to end your practice

When you are ready to end your practice, slowly bring your conscious attention back to your surroundings. Acknowledge your presence in the space around you. Gently wiggle your fingers and toes. Begin to move your hands, feet, arms and legs. Open your eyes. Move slowly and take your time getting up.

9. Practice often

Consistency is more important than quantity. Meditating for 5 minutes every day will reward you with far greater benefits than meditating for two hours, one day a week.

10. Practice everywhere

Most beginners find it easier to meditate in a quiet space at home, but as you become more comfortable, begin exploring new places to practice. Meditating outdoors in nature can be very peaceful, and taking the opportunity to meditate on the bus or in your office chair can be an excellent stress reliever.

Meditation is a simple, effective and convenient way to calm your busy mind, relax your body, become grounded and find inner peace amidst the chaos of day-to-day life. Begin meditating today and reap the rewards.

Benefits of meditation

Studies on the relaxation response have documented the following short-term benefits to the nervous system:

• Lower blood pressure
• Improved blood circulation
• Lower heart rate
• Less perspiration
• Slower respiratory rate
• Less anxiety
• Lower blood cortisol levels
• More feelings of well-being
• Less stress
• Deeper relaxation

Thus, after having read all the benefits of meditation along with a guide to meditate too, I do not think there should be anything keeping you from practicing it from this moment onwards!

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Take Control of Your Energy

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

It’s not hard to develop the basic tools, abilities and concepts to clear and calm the mind. Awakening your inner power is not something to be rushed into lightly. This is a path from which there is no turning back. You are going to see, feel and experience things that most people don’t even believe in and some of those things are going to be unpleasant (to say the least!). When you start digging into your inner self you are going to have to deal with whatever you find.

You’ll learn how to cleanse and harmonize your body, mind and spirit; develop the attitudes to handle anything that life throws at you and learn to reset your basic programming to help you get the results you want from your life.

You will use these skills and exercises every day for the rest of your life, so the more time you spend here now the easier the more advanced exercises will be.

It’s Already There

The first point I want to make is that you already have inner peace, everyone does. The problem is that our human body, the interface between this world and the Universe, tends to provide us with a lot of distractions. The simplest way to find your own inner peace is to learn to let go of the distractions.

Energy exists in two ways – On and Off. Esther Hicks continually states “There is only a stream of well-being” and I agree. It’s like light; there isn’t a natural force called Dark. Darkness is simply the absence of light. When you allow light to shine you have illumination, when you block it you have shadow or less illumination. Energy works the same way. When you allow it, it flows. When you block it, it stops.

The distractions that block inner peace are simply blocks to your energy. Some of these blocks may be mental or emotional, some physical and some may even be spiritual. For the most part getting rid of these blocks can be very easy. With a little bit of training and a lot of practice just about anyone can release their energy blocks and find deeper levels of inner peace.

Releasing energy blocks can be a very gradual process for some people and fairly explosive for others. This is why I caution people who are new to meditation or energy work. Energy blocks are energy, and energy can’t be created or destroyed. When you release those blocks from your system that energy has to go somewhere and it may manifest as anger, pain, joy, happiness or any other emotion. Ask any massage therapist, acupuncturist or healer and they’ll regale you with stories of clients who had uncontrollable fits of laughter or bouts of inconsolable crying during healing sessions. In many cases the client had no idea why they were having this emotional outburst simply that the feeling came on so strongly and they couldn’t resist it.

The release of an energy block can affect every part of your life and in many cases has provided the catalyst for people to make life altering steps in jobs, home life, relationships or just about any other part of life. Fortunately there is a safety mechanism built in to our bodies. Generally it takes some consistent effort to release these blocks and when you make that effort through meditation then frequently you’ll have the guidance to manage the effects of the energy release.

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Clearing Energy Blocks

What Most Energy Blocks Have In Common

I can sum this up very easily in one word. It's FEAR. In fact, I challenge you to find one single energy block or distraction that is not caused by fear. Learning to let go of our fears is a major step on the path to inner peace.

In many cases our fears exist for a good reason, to keep us from doing something stupid or getting out of control, but it's also possible for fears to be planted from seeds and cultured, usually to be harvested on Election Day.

Clearing Energy Blocks

I can give you an overview, but be aware this is a subject you can study for the rest of your life and still not learn it all. Volumes have been written about this.

Some energy blocks can be released simply through intention. Get into a light meditative state and simply say to yourself “I'm releasing anything I do not need and anything holding me back”. If you've built up any energy sensitivity through your meditation practice you'll feel your energy shift when you do this.

Louise Hay has a wonderful exercise where you stand in front of a mirror and repeat your affirmations while looking into your own eyes lovingly and lightly hitting your throat. I've found this and other forms of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping to work very well on a number of issues.

Forgiveness is another powerful tool and once again, in meditation, you can just say (and you have to mean it!) “I forgive everyone who has ever wronged me, made me angry, hurt me or hurt my feelings, _____________ (add your own here.) I also forgive myself for all the wrongs I've committed or the people I've hurt. ” Do not forget that last part. Self-Forgiveness is a very big deal. You may have the urge to contact people and apologize after doing this meditation. Go with it. I went through this process a few times and was shocked that I had felt bad for years over some things the people I thought I hurt did not even remember!

It can take a while for some of the concepts I've written about here to feel like they are working so do not be discouraged if you do not experience much instant gratification. You may have layers or levels of pain that need to be addressed also, so this is not necessarily a one shot fix. If you're looking for McPeace (with a side order of Enlightenment) you're in the wrong place. Remember you have a built in safety mechanism to insure that what you ask for is really what you want, so be consistent and you'll find yourself well on the way to achieving inner peace.

A Special Note for Those in Relationships

You're involved in a process that changes the way your energy flows, and the frequencies with which it flows. As your energy becomes stronger the energy levels of your mate will also begin to increase, just by the constant contact with you.

What you do to yourself can easily affect those you're close to, so do not be surprised if your mate also begins to experience some clean outs. This can frequently happen after or during sex as this is all sexual energy and when you begin to crank it up then it can easily affect others.

Fortunately, I was aware of this fairly early on as I had issues with several girlfriends who've experienced emotional clean outs while having sex. If you're not very well attuned to your own process it can be really shocking when the object of your affections bursts into tears after making love.

As usual communication is the key. You'll probably also begin to gravitate more towards sexual partners who are involved in metaphysics and energy work, or at least open to it. It can take a long time for a non-energy worker to get used to your energy and intensity.

If you're fortunately enough to be in a relationship with someone who can handle your energy the practice of Tantra can open up some fun new areas of study. “The Big Red Book” (Douglas & Slinger Sexual Secrets) can bring you and your partner hours of practice and exploration. This is another area where the discussion groups can be extremely helpful.

The closer you are to your mate the more energy you will share between you.

Find more meditation resources at our website at: http://ride-for-ptsd.com/

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Divine Chiropractics

I am practicing meditation late into the morning on a recent evening. As I sink deeper into the relaxation I begin to feel an urge to move my body, specifically to adjust my spell. I go with the feeling as I sense that it will allow me to sit even more comfortably and to relax more deeply. Each time I adjust my body and spine it feels incredible. The energy in my body flows more freely. I sink into the mental silence. As I sit calmly another urge to adjust coming from within me and cracking my spell I feel great relief and increased peace in my mind and body. The meditation position feels even more comfortable. This goes on for forty or fifty minutes with long periods of still and silent relaxation then an intuitive spinal adjustment and great physical relief from tension I did not previously know exhausted.

When the meditation feet complete I reach my hands over my head and press my palms together pointing my fingers straight up which I have never before done. My left shoulder pops into place leaving my body feeling perfectly aligned as after the best chiropractic session of my life.

In fact I have since termed this experience Divine Chiropractics as the body movement seemed to be guided from an internal intelligence, an intuition that deepened as I became more relaxed and simultaneously more aware. This is reasonable based on my experience in athletics. I always performed at a higher level when I felt most relaxed mentally, emotionally, and physically while also experiencing increased awareness. I played my best basketball the last year of college when I began doing Hatha Yoga postures. The more relaxed I become the more aware I become and the meditation postitting sitting cross-legged on the ground makes it harder to get sleepy which is the natural inclining for most people when they become relaxed.

Two days later I am with some friends in a dining hall having dinner. I pass my friend Emily and she stops me to tell me that two nights ago she had a dream. In the dream she passes by me and stops to lay her hands on my left shoulder healing my shoulder with the light through her hands. I think little of it as my mind is on other things for the moment. I walk outside and two hours later it hits me like a flash of lightning! Emily's dream was two nights ago, the same night I was up late meditating, up until 3 am to be exact. While I was enjoying my late night chiropractic meditation she was asleep and dreaming.

Was Emily's touch the cause of the healing or was she perceiving telepathically my unique healing experience? Hmm, good question.

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How To Get The Most Out Of Guided Imagery Exercises

Guided imagery returns to the process of consciously using your imagination to create positive images, often called hearing visualizations, with the goal of bringing about healthy changes in both your body and mind.

Although guided imagery depends a lot on a person's visual sense, this relaxation and meditation technique actually makes use of or involves all of the senses. Each guided imagery exercise involves the whole body, emotions, and all the senses. This unique body-based focus, which is not a lot of meditation techniques can offer, gives users or followers a powerful impact.

This type of meditation can be used by almost anyone, regardless of age, sex, or race. Studies show that children and women have an easier time gaining mastery in this technique since they are naturally more imaginative. Compared to mindfulness meditation, guided imagery is easier to learn and practice since it requires less time and discipline than a practitioner.

Getting started in guided imagery though would normally require first-time users to gain mastery of some exercises. There are various guided imagery exercises that will be shared or taught to you by a psychotherapist or other licensed practitioners or you can download online. To fully optimize and make the most out of these exercises, follow the tips below:

• Your choice of imagery content has to be consistent with your values. As such, do not let other practitioners influence you with your choice of imagery, especially if they do not sit well with your values. Although it may take some time, let your personal images come up and work for you.

• Do not force yourself too hard. Seasoned practitioners say that guided imagery always works best in a permissive, relaxed, and unforced atmosphere. As such, try not to get too intense about getting it right immediately. Your level of efficiency and mastery will increase with time and practice. Whatever skill level you start with, you will improve with regular practice.

• Imagery is usually more powerful when you are in a group. This is large due to the contagious nature of the altered state. As such, if you are just starting, working with a support group, special study group, or healing group.

• When practicing this technique, do not forget to engage your other senses, particularly your kinesthetic or feeling and auditory or hearing or listening methods. Music, in particular, can increase the effects of imagery, especially if it is well-chosen.

• Avoid using negative verb forms if you will be using self-talk with your imagination. Practitioners say that the use of “bossy” language is not naturally encouraging and can marshal unnecessary resistance from your part.

• Lastly, keep in mind that imagination that can ericit emotion is generally more effective than imagery that does not. As such, do not feel embarrassed about feeling sad or even crying with certain imageries. Responding with some form of emotion is a positive sign that the imagery is working for you in a deep way.

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6 Tips for Meditating for the Beginners: A Revelation

Meditation is such a powerful practice that you will be awed to discover its contribution towards the betterment of your life and habits. No one can explain this to you until and without you, yourself contemplate it. It augments your self-understanding that leads to more positive energy. As a result of this, you worry less about the discomforts that you face and learn to count your blessings and be grateful for them. It is for this reason that a number of organizations have developed today that offers you ample scope for this and hoards of people are getting benefited with an enhanced quality of life from these.

But if you want to get an idea of ​​this powerful habit then you can try it for yourself first with the following tips.

In case you are a beginner and are not aware of this process, do not worry for below are enlisted a few steps for you to begin with the process.

  • Try to sit for a couple of minutes – In the beginning days, just attempt to sit for two minutes; that will be easy. Sit for two minutes for the first two weeks at any part of the day, preferably morning and then try to increase it to four minutes the next week.
  • Prefer to do it first thing each morning – Make it a habit of doing this first thing in the morning. This is because there is a tendency that you will forget it if you keep it for the later part of the day.
  • Do not be too much attentive towards how to do it – You do not have to concentrate much on the process of doing it. All you have to do is be careful that you allot at least two minutes each day to it.
  • Try feeling your mind – You should try and analyze what your mind is feeling at the moment. See if it's angry, frustrated or calm and try to accept whatever thought process is going on.
  • Attempt to feel your body – While doing it, try to see what your body feels like. For this, you can start with what your foot is feeling like, then your toe and then gradually move up. It is through these processes that helps in eradication of pain if you practice it for the long run.
  • Try counting your breaths – Concentrate on counting your breath. Like you count one when you are inhaling then while exhaling you should count two and so on.

You can try all the above steps if you are thinking of seeing in yourself the power and the benefits that this practice will give you.

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Effective Tips For Mindfulness Meditation

A lot of people today really struggle with jogging work and personal life. And as a result, they become stressed and lack the energy to think better. That's what stress does; it depletes you or robs you of the joy to live through life in a mindful and positive way. If you're ready to gain control of your life back and regain order and joy, opting for mindfulness meditation is one strategy to try. Experts share some of their best stress-relieving movements and breathing exercises, so check them out here.

Try bringing your awareness to the physical sensation what stress feels like in your body, where do you feel it, how does your body tell you that it's stressed rather than pushing stress away. Let your attention rest there with gentleness and kindness, noting how stress is not static but moves closer and then further away as you bring your attention to it. Shift your attention to your feet. Assuming a comfortable posture, notice how your feet feel as they connect with the floor. You might notice pressure against certain parts of your feet. Be curious and open to this sensation. You might even take your shoes off to bring your awareness to the texture of the surface of the carpet, floor or grass under your feet. In doing this, you may notice that your mind slows down, stops racing, and stressful thoughts and feelings may subside.

Take a deep breath in and then release it slowly, noting how your hands move with your diaphragm's movement. Assume a comfortable post which may be standing, sitting or lying down and place your hands on your tummy. Allow your hand to rest on your abdomen and continue breathing slowly and steadily, focusing your attention on the movement of your hands. This practice again connects us with our body and takes us out of our heads. Indeed, this is one effective way to relieve stress and be more productive at work and at home. Stress happens to everyone; different people just have different ways of managing it and mindfulness meditation, wellness professionals say, is one of the most effective ways to do it.

If you're ready to take full control and explore the various proven strategies in relieving stress, then do exercises, go on a retreat, eat better, sleep more, or learn mindfulness meditation and stress will cease getting the best of you. This will also help make your life a lot easier and lighter.

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Meaning of Meditation

When you hear the word meditation, you probably think Yoga. That's because for a very long time, or at least over the past few decades, meditation has been primarily implemented as a part of Yoga. But meditation, does not really have anything to do with Yoga. It is in fact an act in itself. Meditation is generally performed after doing Yoga asanas / postures, because yoga pushes you into a state of calm, which is perfect for meditation.

Meditation is far too deep a concept to discuss over a single article, but I will try to explain the fundamental points of meditation and why it should be practiced.

Understanding Meditation

• The practice of training one's mind to focus or going into a deep level of consciousness of oneself, gaining an understanding of the same, with or without the expectation of some benefit, is meditation.

• Meditation fundamentally requires alignment of the mind and body (and soul) in order to achieve a heightened sense of self. It requires separating the external world from the internal one and focusing only on the core.

• Meditation has been practiced since time unknown, in religious, spiritual and wellness practices. It is not a departure from any of them. All these practices get some form of benefit from meditation.

Meditation in Religion

Various religions use meditation as a part of the religious practice, since it has many positive effects on the people who practice it.

Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity are some of the major faiths in the world, that propagate the importance of meditation. Especially in case of Buddhism, where Gautama Buddha found enlightenment through meditation. Meditating to the Om chant in Hinduism (Dhyana), is a well-known practice during ceremonies. Similarly, in Islam, Dhikr is a meditative practice among mystics in Sufism. The Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi Order, are also considered to be in a deep trance, a form of deep meditation.

Meditation in Spirituality

• In religion, meditation is practiced as a method of focusing on the ritual and on the Almighty. In spirituality, meditation is done in order to find inner peace, state of oneness and alignment of the mind, body and soul.

• In spiritual practices, the mediation practiced, is what we are most familiar with. It is the one we practice after doing Yoga. It is not done with religious intention, but purely to bring balance.

• Spirituality and meditation have a very deep connection, mainly because both seek to achieve the same purpose. Inner peace and heightened sense of being.

Meditation in Wellness

There is not much need to elaborate on this one. We're all familiar with yoga and meditation. Meditation has the ability to calm down the entire body and bring all the processes under control. The focus being entirely on relaxing the body, works wonders.

Even a mere 5 minutes of focused meditation, can help heal a lot of emotional issues, disorders like anxiety and depression are also controlled through it.

Benefits of Meditation

• Increases attention span and ability to focus
• Facilitates mental wellbeing and releases stress
• Increases positivity and brings a sense of calm
• Helps relax the body and mind
• Lowers risk of hypertension and other stress disorders
• Creates harmony of mind and body

Let us now discuss some of the most common myths related to meditation.

Myths about meditation

• Meditation is concentration

Meditation is not concentration, but de-concentration. It is the practice of emptying one's mind of all unnecessary information. The idea is to focus on forgetting the external factors.

• Meditation is a religious practice

Meditation is not at all a religious practice. It is used in rituals. Meditation has nothing to do with religion or beliefs of any particular religion. There is no such connection.

• Meditation is for old people

Huge, huge mistake! Meditation is in fact for the young! Meditation helps destress and maintain a sense of calm. This is most essential when we are young and dealing with the pressures of work and other activities.

No doubt the old benefit from meditation. But it is the young people who really need it.

• Meditation has to be done in a particular way

There is a common belief that meditation can only be done is an absolutely silent environment, with your eyes shut, separated in a particular way. This is absolutely untrue.
Meditation can be done at any time of the day, anywhere you are and you can do it with your eyes wide open.

Remember the idea is to shut out the outside world and focus on yourself. What better way than to do it in absolute chaos. People who practice meditation in places where there is some amount of commotion, become far more adept at controlling their minds.

• Meditation makes you a recluse

This is absolutely untrue. Meditation opens up new vistas. It helps you find yourself and that makes you more open to the world. You do not become a recluse; quite the opposite. You communicate better.

As much as I would like to keep going, this topic is too vast to end so soon. But the above basics on meditation, should help you get a screenshot of the larger picture.

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Nature of Meditation

About Meditation

One day I was interacting with a friend of mine in Rishikesh. He said he was learning yoga and meditation. When I asked him the difference between yoga and meditation and he said, “Yoga is a sort of physical training and meditation is the training of mind”. When I told him Yoga and meditation are not two different things, he interrupted me and asked a question why we chant 'Oum' before a mantra and 'Shantihi'three times after meditation. I replied 'Oum' is the first and foremost sound in the universe, there are in fact three sounds 'aa', 'o' and 'ma' within 'Oum'. These three sounds represent three types of characteristics named 'Sattwa', 'Rajas' and 'Tamas' which make our nature and behavior. These three attributes are present in everything. While meditation we chant 'Oum' and try to balance these three Gunaas (attributes) in order to achieve 'Yoga'. 'Shantihi' means patience, control and constant. I am sharing the main points of that conversation about meditation and a true Yogi.

“Yatha Deepo nivatastho nengatey sopama smritah, Yogino yatchittasya yunjato yogamatmanah”.
Srimadbhagavadgita (chapter 6, 19th shloka)

Meaning: – As light of an earthen lamp does not flicker in a windless place, just the yogi meditating on God wraps his mind from all directions to attain his ultimate goal of life.

Explanation: Here lord Krishna is teaching Arjuna that a Yogi's mind must be standing still to practice meditation on God just like a lamp in a windless place where the flame does not flitter and illumens that place.

This particular Shloka tells us about the balanced state of meditation as well as achieving one's target. When we talk about meditation we think of sitting in the right posture, breathing slowly or chanting a mantra. This is in fact the first step to control your mind. Meditation however is to enable one's mind to do something. Our mind receives energy from different sources and reacts promptly. When we sit to meditation, we close our eyes so that things can disappear but our subconscious mind gets active and things start dancing in front of us. Our guru teachers us to start it with some 'Pranayama' and it looks to be a little easy. If you ask people their experience about their meditation classes they say that it is difficult in the beginning but very soothing after some time. Meditating on god is in fact the seventh step towards the Moksha (the ultimate goal of life). According to the 'Asthanga Yoga' (eight parts of Yoga) one has to go through the eight different stages to attain the 'Raj-yoga' (the complete yoga). These stages are:

1. Yama-
2. Niyama
3. Aasana
4. Pranayama
5. Pratyahar
6. Dhaarna
7. Dhyana
8. Samadhi

The above 'Ashtanga Yoga' seems to be difficult to understand and follow but if you do not want to practice meditation to attain the ultimate goal; 'The Moksha', you can at least enjoy each and every moment of your life by doing meditation provided you understand the first six steps of the 'Ashtanga Yoga'.

The first step (Yama) is to purify your behavior by eliminating the notions of malice and strife as this step yields you to real humanity.

The second step (Niyama) is to follow one of principals rigorously to purify and strengthen one's mind and character.

The third step (Aasana) is to remove the volatility and indensity in order to balance your life style. By practicing Asanas (postures of Yoga) you become healthy.

The fourth step is to slacken your breathing which bestows you with patience and endurance.

The fifth step teachers you to balance your food and diet in order to poise your thoughts and mind.

The sixth step (Dhaarna) is to mature your Chitta (mind) in order to ponder the target.

The seventh step (Dhyana or meditation) is to sojourn one's Chitta (mind) to realize one's beingness. Here you are the king of your body, mind, senses, feelings, circumstances and fate. Nothing may move until your permission.

This seventh step of meditation makes you so strong that no distraction or temptation can hurt you without your consent and the tranquil flame of will power enlightens your soul, mind, body and character. Your soul is a reflection of god which blesses and nourishes others. As you become the king, you enjoy your kingdom without any war. The eighth step (Samadhi) is to join oneself to the almighty.

Therefore one has to contemplate on the first six steps in order to be a Yogi.

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What Is True Meditation?

Meditation is the method of synthesis which can commune us with the whole cosmos, making us one with the Absolute. It does not impede mere sitting in a specific posture and practicing a few exercises or the very attempts of concentrating on a void … Basically for meditation three things are required:

  1. Meditator: the one who meditates.
  2. Meditating Object: the stimon upon which to meditate.
  3. Meditation Process: the process involved in meditation.

But, the meditating object should not be misinterpreted as anything external. As the mind is so fickle that at one moment, it is here and in a fraction of second, it is somewhere else. In our holy scriptures our fickle, wavering mind is compared to the flowing water, for, just like water, mind too has the tendency of flowing downwards. However, for a healthy, balanced, and morally high living, this downward flow of the mind needs to be reversed. Now can we reverse the direction of our mind flow? … We have compared our mind with water. How can we make water rise up? … Very simple! Just place the flame of fire underneath and water will start converting into steam, which has the tendency of rising up. The same way we need the flames of certain kind of fire that can evaporate and, hence, sublime our mind. But, what flames? And, which fire? Our great ones reveal that the water of our mind can be sublimated by the blazing flames of the fire of True Knowledge, or Divine Knowledge, or 'Brahm Gyan', imparted by a Perfect Master. For the opening of our inner world lies in the middle of the physical eyes called 'Divine Eye' or 'Third Eye' which can be opened through the eternal science of 'Brahm Gyan' only.

Meditation based on true knowledge controls and influences the human brain lobes … leading to a total brain development. But how? Actually true knowledge activates the Cerebrum (the largest part of the brain). The activation of the Cerebrum through true knowledge further exercises a positive effect on the Cerebellum or 'little brain', the structure that is associated with the regulation and coordination of movement, posture and balance. Not only this, even for the proper functioning of the Limbic system, the 'emotional brain', efficient working of the Cerebrum is required. Thus, true knowledge can control all levels of physiology.

One important question arises here: “What's the proof that the knowledge we receive from a Spiritual Master is 'True Knowledge'?”

Dear brothers and sisters, the only identification criteria for this is that you would be able to achieve the meditating object, which is nothing but our own True Self, our Pure Consciousness, as is hinted in the quotation by Swami Vivekananda:

If there is God we must see Him; if there is a Soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.

Thus if the Spiritual Master enables you to see God and perceive your soul, then the knowledge imparted by Him is 'True Knowledge', and you can be confident that your Third Eye has been opened; for, without it, you can not be the Divine experiences within. Above all, this indicates the commencement of your spiritual odyssey!

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4 Benefits of a Daily Meditation Practice

“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak.” ~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

A couple of months ago I gave myself a challenge. I committed to meditating every day for the next thirty days. I created a small altar on the coffee table in our living room, consisting of a Buddha statue, a surrender box, and an incense burner.

Every morning, soon after waking, I sit cross-legged for ten minutes in front of the altar. I meditate with my eyes open, but in soft focus and place my awareness on my breath. I count my breaths from one through ten and begin again when I reach ten. This method helps calm my mind and keeps me focused.

That does not mean that I've achieved enlightenment or inner-peace! On the contrary, meditating has helped me realize how active my mind really is. It sees as soon as I begin, my mind remembers this HUGE to-do list that had previously been living in the dark recesses of my mind. Things that had seemed trivial yesterday all of a sudden come to the forefront, wanting to be heard and recognized. When the thoughts come (and they always do), I try to practice compassion and loving-kindness towards myself. I label the thoughts “thinking” and bring my focus back to the breath.

Sometimes while meditating, I experience thirty seconds of presence and sometimes I experience two whole minutes! And at other times, no peace comes, just an endless stream of thoughts punctuated by breath.

What have I earned in my 80+ days of daily meditation?

  • Time. I used to feel like I did not have time for anything, like time was constantly slipping away and I was running to keep up with all the items I had to check off my to-do list. I still have the same amount of responsibilities in my life, but now I experience a lot more space around these responsibilities. Time seems to be elastic, rather than fixed. And although I'm taking at least 10 minutes a day to sit in stillness, somehow I seem to have more time to do the things I need to do and, more importantly, the things I want to do.

  • Inner Peace. A funny thing started to happen after I'd been meditating for awhile. I started sweating the small stuff less. For example, I live in New Jersey and have struggled my entire adult life with road rage. The moment I get in the car I'm “horn happy.” I will not claim to be a saint now, but I will say that my tolerance for sitting behind someone who has stopped at a green light has increased ten-fold. I no longer take their absent-mindedness as a personal affront, but recognize that they may be having a bad day. Nowadays when I find my stress levels rising, I remind myself that “we are all one.”

  • Perspective. We all struggle. We all have stressful aspects to our lives that are not going as well as we wish they would. Meditation has given me the perspective to recognize that my problems are only as big or as small as I make them. I have the power to change my perspective. I have the power to decide if a problem is going to ruin my day.

  • Positivity. Before I started meditating, I was often at the mercy of my mind. Human beings have a tendency to over-focus on the negative and I was no exception. Since I've started meditating, I've become more aware of my negative thoughts. When you notice a negative thought before it takes hold, you can easily replace it with a more positive thought. One of my favorite sayings is: “You do not have to believe everything you think.” Meditation has given me the power to choose more positive thoughts and that is an invaluable gift.

This started off as a thirty day experiment, but now that I'm eighty-seven days in, I think it's safe to say I'm hooked! I can not imagine not continuing to meditate daily and I've upped my daily meditation practice to fifteen minutes a day. Meditation is how I start my day; it is a small, but incredibly effective way that you can begin your day with self-care.

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The Glow of Self Awareness: Meditation Techniques

Our world has many different schools of medicine, and many beliefs. But the fundamental basis of these beliefs is that all the energy around us belongs to one system. When a person seeks peace and tranquility, the first process he must consider is meditation.

Meditation is the process of focusing on one thought, or focusing on the nothingness of the mind. Both methods involve getting rid of the mind's clutter. No personal growth process is complete without meditation. Even ten minutes of meditation every day can significantly improve all spheres of well being.

A timeless concept

Meditation is said to have been first mentioned in the Vedas in 1500 BCE. It has been mentioned numerous times in great detail in all schools of philosophy – from Tao to African culture.

Why is this idea so important? Think of meditation as a cleaning process. By focusing and getting rid of mind clutter, you're smoothing out your life force and creating a strong balance between all the energies. Alertness and self awareness will cause your body to grow without being stunted by external hurdles. Refined mental peace is the fundamental reason why positive, calm people are more likely to be healthy and successful than troubled people.

Of course, every mind is different and while everyone is capable of self alertness, a person should look for a technique that best suits their state of mind.

Point source meditation

This method involves focusing on a single point, single mantra, your own breath or single image. You must not allow your mind to think about anything except that point. If you're focusing on a flame, you must reflect on the appearance of the flame and be aware of it, and avoid any unnecessary thoughts. It is effective if a person does this ten minutes every day, but for better results, you must try to increase your
concentration span periodically.

Wandering meditation

This method is for the abstract minded. Instead of an external source or word, simply watch the thoughts that pass through your head. The key is to not think too deeply about these thoughts or shift to memories. Do not judge these thoughts. Simply watch them.

Having a detached view of your own thoughts is a remarkably effective way to develop self alertness.

Void meditation

This is a rather challenging form of meditation, but once you've mastered point source meditation, it is a good idea to advance to void meditation.

Void meditation requires you to keep your mind blank- create a vast nothingness in your mind. The only thought you must have is the awareness that your mind is empty. This prominently reduces the clutter of the mind and is super effective for the anxious.

Action meditation

For the fitness freaks, focusing on your body movements is also a meditation technique (this is especially yoga!). Action meditation also includes focusing on music or beats, or any complex dynamic in your environment.

But wait! We're missing one vital step in meditation, a step that could make our regular meditation sessions even better.

What is one cruel belief that our ancestors had and we do not?

The concept of a Guru.

The ideal of a Guru is not, as many believe, regarding a randomly chosen spiritual master as a god. The reason yoga techniques from the past have lost their lustre today, is because we have lost faith in our yoga gurus. Similarly, meditation needs the guidance of an expert.

Looking for the right “meditation model” is no longer a task as it once was now that technology helps us connect with so many passionate people who are willing to teach their ideas and share their experience of so many years. While meditation is a self development technique, the experience becomes enriching only when we choose to learn from the examples of meditation masters. Meditation masters are people who have already reached the “real” higher quality of life; gaining their help will only serve to help you achieve your spiritual goals one day.

Why should meditation be a regular practice? How does it help reach your spiritual goals?

Health. Mind and body are fiercely interrelated. Besides the fact that a healthy mind is by itself a necessary thing, the power of the mind over the physical organs is a scientifically tested parameter of health. Meditation takes off the veil that covers your mind. By having a strong, balanced mind, you will have a strong, balanced body.
Happiness, always. There are so many difficult circumstances in our lives that stop us from being who we're really meant to be. We can not change the circumstances that seem to chain our spirit down; what we can do is to transform our spirit into something fluid, so that it can escape the chains.

Meditation primarily promotes excellent emotional stability and a refreshing positive attitude. A regular meditation practitioner possesses a soul that refuses to be waived by external problems. A Soul that knows Itself to learn to be always Happy and Pure.

Meditation is a necessity in today's age. We're letting humanity lose values ​​with every atocity that happens around us. Meditation can shape lives in such a different way, and is one of the few methods we can ever hope to add peace to this world. Meditation is both a personally gratifying technique, and a process that should be spread to others. It is a note of peace that could change many lives.

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Meditation Styles For Beginners

Are you planning on starting a meditation practice? If you do, you might want to read this carefully. Starting a meditation class, especially for newbies, can be both exciting and demanding. If you ask 5 different people, what style of meditation they practice, you might as well get 10 different answers. As a fresher, it is common to feel overwhelmed and also uncertain as to where or how to get started.

The best step to take, when planning on starting meditation practice, is to first and foremost, familiarize yourself with some of the different types of meditation. This will help you to determine what resonates with you. Let us take a look at some styles that are excellent for beginners. The best way to begin is to familiarize yourself with some of the different types of meditation to see what resonates with you. Here are a few of the more common styles that are great for beginners.

Visualization Meditation

Visualization meditation, is a very powerful method of using the mind to influence the body, and it can also be an empowering way of manifesting desired outcomes in your life. According to the words of one prominant yoga teacher, what we place our attention on grows stronger, while what we take our attention off, will start to diminish. The unconscious mind is very powerful, and it works well with imagery. One popular visualization practice, is focused on health. By viewing your body-mind as being healthy, energetic, vibrant or peaceful, calm as well as grounded, you can start to elicit these things both physically as well as mentally. Another approach is by making use of visual imagery, for creative purposes. This is also very simple. By constructing or creating an image in your mind, of what your life might look like after accomplishing a particular goal, and truly seeing yourself to have achieved it, is a way to start living in ways that support the manifestation of your desired outcome.

Guided Meditation

This style of meditation, have become very popular in the past couple of years. The guided meditation, is usually led by someone else. It could be either in person or through a recording, that in most cases, have a theme and relaxing music, playing in the background. The guided meditation, usually last from 10 to about 15 minutes, based on the purpose or theme and they come in different styles, including healing, manifestation as well as going within to find your purpose. Based on the fact that guided meditation is usually led by someone else, this particular style of meditation is great for newbies, as well as those who are finding it difficult to sit still for more than just a few minutes at a time.

Yoga meditation are very effective. You can look for a qualified Yoga teacher to guide you. That's the benefit of enrolling in a yoga class.

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How Effective Is Guided Imagery Meditation?

From personal transformation to deep relaxation, guided imagery can influence your subconscious mind and allow you to unleash your full potential. The power of guided imagery meditation comes from its portability and simplicity. It is a practice where you create harmony between your mind and body through focused relaxation. It is a gentle yet powerful technique that helps you direct your imagination in positive, proactive ways.

Guided imagery meditation uses using all of your senses, not just your visual sense, so that you are absolutely transported to that image you had in mind. Various research studies have explored the effect of mind-body technique, including guided imagery. Researchers from different universities in the world reveal that this strategy for breast cancer patients produced significant effect sizes, with boosted killer cell activity, among others.

There are also articles and posts that highlight how it elevates immune system functioning, with cell-specific imagery affecting white blood counts. Other studies in major universities around the globe further echo the positive changes in immune activity at a cellular level. Here, it is already conclude that it is a very powerful technique that produces a lot of benefits. And these benefits of meditation should, in no way, replace medical forms of therapy for serious illnesses, like cancer.

Its undeniable boost in immune function certainly makes it a powerful physiological and psychological added tool for improving your health. Guided imagery is known to stimulate heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory patterns. So there are indications that it will decrease respiratory problems. It could also decrease blood pressure, decrease pain, and enhancing healing.

With such effects, you're also likely to cut short a hospital stay. Aside from its physiological benefits, it can also decrease anxiety and stress. It can also help you improve the quality of your sleep. Practicing the best guided meditation will allow you to tap into inner strengths that drive courage and control. When you have a sense of control, it can become a powerful form of therapy. With control, you will have higher optimism. You will feel a greater ability to manage pain for both physical and emotional. You will feel better about yourself and about your future. This strategy is, indeed, a very smart one.

Knowing that the mind is an extraordinary thing, you can use it to boost your whole being. When you practice guided imagery meditation , you can unlock awesome possibilities you never even think about. Whether it's personal development you're after or profounding healing you need, let it take you to your goal of health and wellness.

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The 3 Major Benefits of Guided Meditation

When you listen or utter the word meditation, it only means to be calm and serene in a peaceful environment where there would be no one to disturb you. While you are at it, you tend to often slip into a slumber where you meet your inner self to release the tension and stress that seems to be cluttering your mind since long. The emotional confusion is often caused by factors such as professional pressure, personal issues with family, finances, etc. While you meditate, you often sit in a comfortable position or simply lie down with no one to disturb you. Meditation can be of varied forms, and the use of guided music is something that has taken people by storm.

What is guided meditation and how does it help?

Guided meditation is often taken up by beginners or those who want someone to lead them and initiate them to meditate. It is a voice that guides you along with supporting music playing in the background that initiates the sense of calmness and solitude in the mind and finally feeling fresh. The speaker would suggest the right position to meditate; he would guide you to imagine several things and accordingly continue to guide you through the entire process till the end. It is, even more, effective when someone is showing you the path and initiating the right process to meditate. Guided meditation has several benefits for your body and, therefore, you could consider some of them.

• Physical improvement – While you continue to practice it, you would find that the performance of your body has improved. While you release stress every day, you would feel light, have a lower heart rate and have reduced blood pressure. This is the result of the relaxed body that you have after every session of meditating.

• Mental benefits – When you mind is blocked with stress and anxiety, you would often notice that you tend to be irritated with life and feel miserable. After every session of meditation, you would find a noticeable change in your mind. You would feel clutter-free and then allowing newer information and thoughts to get absorbed in your mind in a better and positive way.

• Spiritually benefitting – While you sit with yourself and meditate, you often tend to meet your inner self and discover newer things about yourself. You tend to look at life in a different way where you are always welcome to positive thoughts and words and then leading a blissful life.

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