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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

meditation redux

as i'm sure we're all aware this shit is a work in progress. si, dans l'esprit de mes dernières vacances, voici la progression...

what we gonna do here is take a look at a simple meditation. whether you are new to meditation or a seasoned veteran, this technique can be very powerful.

before you begin this meditation, make the decision to sit down and devote yourself to it. find a place where you will not be disturbed, i.e. a room where no one will come in, where the phone does not ring, where little or no noise can get in, etc.

it is very important that you are physically comfortable when practising. this will help stop you from becoming distracted by bodily sensations that arise from being uncomfortable (obviously). it is best if you sit upright in a comfortable chairor cross-legged on a floor/cushion. make sure you clothes is not too tight/restrictive.

take a minute to relax. close your eyes and mouth, breathing normally through your nose. take a few deep breaths.

your goal is to turn your attention inward, away from the outside world of the ever changing ego and its associated judgments, towards a place of stillness and acceptance (trust me, it is there). you need a point to focus your attention on so that you can slowly withdraw from the external, chaotic side of the real world. this focus will be your breathing. become aware of your breathing with each inhale and exhale.

once you are aware of your breathing, slowly begin to breathe into your abdomen. in other words, try to breathe using your diaphragm, not just your lungs. the lungs expand downward instead of out during the inhale. If you are not sure how to breathe with your diaphragm or it is uncomfortable, then breathe like you normally do. just relax as best you can.

keep your attention on your breathing. feel yourself inhale and exhale. try not to let your attention wander from thoughts about the past to thoughts about the future, you are, after all, in neither of these places. try to withdraw your attention from all thoughts and let your attention become more and more immersed in the feeling of your breath coming and going. hold your attention and just be with your breath.

continuously recall your awareness to the inhale and exhale of your breath. if you find yourself being distracted by thoughts, gently bring your attention back to the feeling of your breathing. with each breath, allow yourself to be in the present. it is within the present that you can discover deeper levels of your mind and being. it is only ever the present you exist in.

now that you rest with your breathing, slowly turn your attention inwards and find the stillness in your mind. as you find the silence, be with it. Become the stillness. there is no reason to have any thoughts at this time. you have plenty time all day long for thoughts, now is the time for stillness. feel the silence and rest in it. if you find yourself distracted with thoughts, place your attention on your breathing again and withdraw from your thoughts. then slowly turn back towards the silence.

don't worry if you find yourself thinking a lot. this is normal. over time, you will gain the ability to quiet yourself more and more. like anything else, it just takes practice. and time. and practice and time...

try practicing this meditation once a day in the evening for about 15 to 20 minutes. make it a special part of your daily routine. as you become accustomed to your practice, add a morning meditation for the same amount of time.

finding the stillness within will be the most challenging task you can ever face, for silence is totally foreign to the normal condition of our minds. it will take persistent practice on your part. nevertheless, it is possible.

meditation can be very profound and meaningful, for the effects of resting within silence will be felt in your daily life. it gives you the opportunity to enjoy new meaning and appreciation. Meditation, like life itself, is full of paradoxes, for within the silence of nothing exists the noise of everything.

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