June 24, 2015 by Admin
Meditation: Coming Home
The beneficial effects of meditation on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level have been widely described and scientifically examined. Meditation has a harmonizing effect on the body, on emotions and on the thinking mind. Furthermore it opens the gate to our inner treasures.
Becoming silent we get access to the core of our being. In meditation, we can connect with this immortal core, which is pure love. We leave behind the judgemental polarity of everyday life and accept everything as it is. Meditation is a loving devotion to the Here and Now, with intention, but with no aim.
Distracting thoughts have less impact, if we do not identify with them but let them drift by as onlookers. Practising regularly, we are better able to hear the inner voice, to take better decisions and live a fulfilled life. From silence come peace and clarity.
Eventually, if we are able to see our whole life as one big meditation, it is not necessary anymore to sit every day for hours in a possibly uncomfortable posture.
If we see every step we walk, every breath we take, every word we speak as being meditative practice, we develop a caring, compassionate attitude towards the world and ourselves. We then understand that meditating is not about fleeing the world but about embracing it. Meditation is a present we give to ourselves and to the world.
How to meditate?
There are probably as many ways to meditate as there are humans on earth. Many religions, traditions and schools practise and teach meditation. If you are interested, start looking around and try out different forms. See what suits you best and, who knows, maybe you come up with your own way of meditating.
Please note that alcohol and drugs do not combine with meditation. People with a history of psychic disorders should get medical advice before starting to meditate.
Regularity increases the effect of meditation. It helps if you assign a regular daily time slot and a special place in your apartment for meditation. A flower and a candle add liveliness to the setting. To meditate in a group can increase the effect of meditation, as compassionate hearts support each other.
Different postures of the body, the hands and fingers may contribute to better concentrate and to set a direction for the meditating spirit. The eyes are closed or half-closed. Basically it is possible to meditate in any position – sitting (even on a chair), stretched out on the floor, while walking or even running. The posture should be relaxed and comfortable. To find the way that is most useful and beneficial to you, seek whatever feels right and enhances the inner flow – an excellent opportunity to sharpen self-awareness and to trust your inner guide.
In order to overcome the feeling of separateness often induced by modern living, and to better connect to your self and your surroundings, it is helpful to activate and train your “heart power”. You can do so by kindling the spark or the little flame in the middle of your chest (the heart chakra) and making it grow with every breath you take. The loving “heart fire” will continously expand to reach all other chakras. It will spread in the whole body and beyond. By burning what keeps you from being truly you, the heart fire opens the path to emotional and mental freedom.
Breathing is an important bridge between body and spirit. Breathing in your own harmonious rhythm will help you find peace and disperse distracting thoughts. With temporary breath control, stress and anxiety can be diminished, for instance, by performing the following sequence four times in a row: inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds.
Very popular are meditations designed for relaxing the physical body and calming the spirit. Furthermore there are meditations with the specific intention to attain emptiness in order to dissolve preconceptions and illusions blocking our progress. There are also guided meditations directed by experienced soul guides concentrating on a particular theme.
A wide spread form of meditation uses a mantra. Mantras are holy syllabs, words and sentences to be repeated. They may be chosen in respect to particular themes, such as peace, love, liberation, purification, invigoration, clarity, praise… Being recited devotionally from the heart, they resemble prayers. As a “side effect”, the repetition of mantras chases away distracting thoughts or transforms them into positive ideas.
Mantras are known from all religions and cultures; there is the Buddhist “Om mani padme hum”, the Hinduist “Om Namah Shivaya”, the Christian “Halleluja”, the “99 names of Allah”…
The ancient Indian OM or AUM is regarded to be the “mother” of all mantras, syllabs, words, languages and is even seen as representing the “code” for the initial “Big Bang” and its creative energy. If you chant it 108 times in a row, you will experience a cleansing and vitalizing effect.
Beyond practising with “approved” mantras you may wish to experiment with finding or inventing a mantra that fits you best at a certain time, in a specific situation. It’s a very playful and rewarding way of experiencing the powerful, healing energy that a mantra can generate. Examples are: “I am love”, or simply “I am”, or just “Yes!”.
The respective language is of less concern as long as your mantra feels right, adds joy and has an energizing effect. Make your mantra gently rotate in your heart like a prayer mill. The heart is the best place for a mantra to work.
Wonderful variations to meditate are to be discovered in combination with gem stones (healing stones, crystals), fragrances (rose oil, inscense, herbs), with pictures (mandalas, images of the Divine), with sound (gong, bowl), or with colored light.
If you welcome every bite of food in your mouth as a loving gift from Mother Earth, conscious eating can be a rewarding meditative practice and overmore it supports weight control.
A particularly cheerful way to meditate is the laughter meditation. Make every cell of your body burst into laughter – let the cells express the joy and gratitude of simply existing! Don’t stop before all cells have happily joined the big silent laugh!
It is my pleasure to encourage a growing number of people to explore meditation, for example by giving introductory workshops that make you experience the benefits of meditation for every aspect of your life.