Journey to meditation
Journey to Meditation
From beginning of the world, human searched for the answer for the life. A life with meanings and purposes. Many of them taken that journey to find answers outward and many of them taken that to inward. Who taken that joinery inward, they found that ultimate goal of life is to achieve Moksha (liberation / salvation). Many of the souls achieved moksha at the end of their lives and some of them achieved moksha while being in their life time.
To achieve Moksha, we need to achieve Samadhi (a uniformly state of mind - super conscious state). To achieve Samadhi, we are doing Dhyana (Meditation). Dhyana word can be explain as meditation or awareness or mindfulness or observe. Universally we do have different types of meditations depend on where the practitioner have to begin. Many of them begin the meditation from physical movements or postures, many of them begin from breathing, many of them begin from purifications, many of them begin in a seat. Doesn’t matter. We all do can find an attraction towards in that practice where we all do have to begin that journey. That attracted practice vary from different levels of being. But we all do finally reaches that state once where all do have to sit down and meditate. Here I am trying to bring out is the guidance of seated meditations.
Steps of meditation
- Sit in a comfortable seated pose. If you need to be supported with a yoga block or folded blankets under the buttocks then go for it. A steady and comfortable pose only can help to steady the mind to achieve stillness.
- Sit tall, long spine, elbows straight, palms in any of the mudra (chin mudra, jnana mudra or bhairava mudra)
- Gently gaze towards the floor in front of you. Ground yourself and bring stillness in that gaze. Once the gaze still and focussed, gently close the eyes
Forget all other things which the mind bringing front of you. Don’t try hard on it. If the mind keep bringing the thoughts as needs, worries, things, etc then let it be. Leave them slowly and remember that you are gonna do meditation and gonna forget about all other things for a while.
- Sharpen your listening. Listen all the sounds what you can hear around you. Might be fan sound or wind or anything existing in that surrounding where you meditate. Keep listening that sounds and aware that sounds for a while. But, don’t be irritated by that sounds or follow through thoughts connected to that sounds
- Aware your body. Scan the body mentally from bottom to the top and top to the bottom. If you feels any uncomfortableness in any part then you can move that part and place it comfortably. This is the time you can move the body to adjust. After that try to not move the body at all. Once finished that scanning of the body, go for the next steps. If you still feels the body is disturbing you to be stay still then keep continue scan the body from bottom to the top and top to the bottom.
- Aware your breathe. Observe the natural breathe first. Observe how is the diaphragm moves up and down silently when your body is completely still.
- Begin control the Prana / Breathe. Begin taking slow controlled breathes. Slowly inhale and slowly exhale. No forced breathes or suffocated breathe. Steady, slow and comfortable breathe. Take 10 - 20 controlled breathe.
- After that, suddenly stop controlling breathe. Watch the diaphragm movement. If your diaphragm is mostly silent and still then take the next step. If your diaphragm still moves unstable or moving faster then continue the previous steps of observe the controlled breathe.
- Take a focal point to fix the mind. Third Eye or Heart Center. If you are an intellectual person then third eye will be better. If you are a hearty person then heart centre will be better. Once you selected that point then don’t change it. Fix the mind and awareness in that point for through out the meditation.
- Select a meditative object / subject. This is the step people selects different object / subject for meditation. You can select any mantras (energic vibrations) like Om or Soham or Om Namah Sivaya or Om Namo Narayanaya, etc; or you can select meditative object as a flower or a tree or a sun rise or sun set or god or spiritual yantras or mandalas or any positive vibe giving subjects or simply observe what is your mind is offering that moment with the thoughts or simply ask questions as who am I? What is life? etc. Depend on your meditation what you doing, this is the step where people selects different meditative object or subject. Keep thinking about a single subject or object. Continue with it. Whenever the mind wanders, slowly bring it back to the meditative object. Continue on this step for a while.
- Conclusion of meditation. Don’t try to suddenly come out from the meditation. Step by step come backward from it how you entered. Slowly focus on the focal point, then focus on controlled breathing for a while, then aware the body, then aware the surrounding without opening eyes.
Finally, very slowly - slowly open your eyes. Bring yourself back to the place where did the meditation.
- Don’t be hurry to move or talks. Take enough time to enjoy that lightness and emptiness of mind, body and time. Make the movements and talks slowly after a meditation.
It’s always good to ask that whether preparation of body is important for meditation or not. Body is an important tool to reach towards salvation. Yogis uses the body as a vehicle to lead a long life and achieve the salvation in one life time without much obstacles. So, body preparation is important for the meditation same as any practices of yoga.
Keep the body like a temple. Clean and cared. If you expecting to have a comfortable meditation and maintaining a calm state of mind then maintaining body in a clean state is important too. When talking about cleanliness, it’s external and internal. External purification is the daily routines like taking a bath and daily routines. Vegetarianism and cleaning routines in duration of internal also takes a great part in it. Asana (yoga posture) practices, breathing exercises and other kriyas (cleaning techniques) helps to maintain the body healthy and comfortable. Even though, I said it with strong impression that purity of body is important in meditation, that’s not totally correct. A strong and pure mind is more important to have meditation than a pure and clean body. It means, if you have a strong will to meditate then always you are ready to be in the path of meditation.
By Rajeev, ERYT500