There are many different ways to meditate but first let me help you understand what meditation is through my understanding and experience of it. It is a tool you can use to go within and get to know yourself (know thyself), but that’s not it. Meditation allows us to gain an understanding of the divine and the subtle invisible forces around us as well as certain mysteries of life. It teaches us one of the most valuable tools in life, awareness. Meditation can also help us to overcome stress and depression, improve memory, allow the body to heal itself, and let our light shine—enlightenment. I like to call it IN-LIGHT-ATTAINMENT, which allows us to express our true selves (light) from within.
Let us first look at brainwave states as this gives us a basic idea of where we are in everyday life.
Beta - Concentration, arousal, alertness, cognition Higher levels associated with anxiety, unease, feelings of separation, fight or flight.
Alpha - Relaxation, superlearning, relaxed focus, light trance, increased serotonin production. Pre-sleep, pre-waking drowsiness, meditation, beginning of access to unconscious mind.
Theta - Dreaming sleep (REM sleep) Increased production of catecholamines (vital for learning and memory), increased creativity. Integrative, emotional experiences, potential change in behavior, increased retention of learned material. Hypnagogic imagery, trance, deep meditation, access to unconscious mind.
Delta - Dreamless sleep. Human growth hormone released. Deep, trance-like, non-physical state, loss of body awareness.
Basically, most humans operate in the beta state but our aim is to be as much in the Alpha state as possible as this will allow us to be more effective in everyday life and opens us up to our creative levels as well as helps us understand the power of the mind.
So how do we get to that state? Here are a few exercises to get you on your way:
Visualisation (Use your imagination to create the picture)
Imagine you are sitting on a beach. The sand is warm and the sky is blue. There is a slight warm breeze caressing your skin. There are seagulls in a distance and the palm trees are swaying ever so slowly. The sound of the sea and the crashing water soothes your soul. In a distance you see a cave. You get up and decide to walk into the cave. Feel the sand on your feet as you walk and be as vivid as you can in creating the picture in your mind. As you enter the cave you see it is filled with sparkling Amethyst crystals. There is a crystal staircase going down to a warm glowing light. There are 15 steps. As you walk down each step allow yourself to go deeper, letting go of each part of the body so that by the time you reach the bottom you are just pure light. At count 1 let go of hands and arms, 2 let go neck and chest, and so on. Let go of everything, the thoughts of today and yesterday. Be present. When you reach the light, bathe in there for about 10 minutes. Let it soothe your soul. This is your space and no else can enter it. Once you have finished there, walk yourself back up the stairs and allow yourself to become aware of your physical body. Back onto the beach, see all the images from before, until you come back to the point of bringing yourself back to now.
1. Imagine a point in the center of your brow, commonly known as the third eye. Draw a point on a piece of paper and put it a few feet in front of you. This is a form of one-pointed focus. Sit comfortably, and with your mind’s eye image a line going from your third eye to the point of focus. What will happen is that you will have non-stop racing thoughts coming in and you will lose focus. Don’t fight the thoughts, let them pass and come back to your focus. Eventually, if you are dedicated, you will get to a stage where there is no thought and you can experience a state of bliss and awareness. It is an amazing place to be. Don’t underestimate the simplicity in this technique.
2. Simply focus on the natural rhythm of your breath coming in and going out. This is your point of focus.
3. Some people like to chant a Mantra which is simply a word or a sentence that is repeated over and over again. The common ones are "OM" and "Om Mane Padme OM" but it can be simple as "I AM LOVE."
These are just some techniques for you to play with. Experiment and see which one you feel most comfortable with. Create a sacred space and time in your place or out in nature where you will not be disturbed and dedicate yourself to at least 15 minutes a day. It may do you wonders.
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