Meditation Mastery Secrets

Meditation Mastery Secrets

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Three Models In The Progress Of Meditation

I would like to postulate three models in the progress of insight meditation, ie, the progress of penetration into the three universal characteristics. The first model is the model of the microscope. The progress of insight would be like a microscope that is consistently increasing its power of magnification. When the microscope increases its magnification, you can see more detail into the nature of your slide. It is the same thing when you watch the nature of the three universal characteristics. As insight knowledge grows, reality becomes clearer and clearer. Of course, this does not happen all at once, it slowly increases. This model gives the idea that it does not come from thinking, but from pure, clear and concentrated awareness. There must be intention to see and to experience deeper. If one is just contented to experience what there is, then one may not go further. One has to push on. Photographs of trees, plants and nature occurring randomly within the context of each chapter...

Is Meditation Religious

Meditators come from all religious backgrounds and some have no religious beliefs at all. There is no need for religious beliefs. In fact, the Buddha said not to believe anything until it is directly experienced. This expression was mistaken by many to be a call to atheism. He only said this because people became too caught up in symbolic representations of reality. In other words, they forgot the reality behind such nonsense words as God, Soul, etc. because they were too caught up in words and ideas. Meditation is an experience that gradually transcends all symbolic belief. However, you may, while meditating, accidentally access the fundamental root of all religious belief systems and symbols. Meditation awakens our consciousness and soul perception (why did he just use those nonsense words again, Claudia ). Keep meditating. The knowing process is cumulative, always unfolding until you get it , decide that you know everything, then get it again, decide that you now finally know...

Getting the Most from Your Meditation

L Recognize sleepiness as something we experience in parts of every day. We practice meditation in order to wake up. By bringing awareness to the state of torpor, you can gain glimpses into those parts of your world you may be excluding from the totality of your awareness. & If possible, read the lessons on the five hindrances in Seeking the Heart of Wisdom The Path of Insight Meditation and The Experience of Insight A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation (see resource list, page 224).

Charlie Wuvanich Meditation

We would like to acknowledge here our deep and sincere gratitude to the many yogis who have come from many parts of the world to practise under Sayadaw U Pandita and given valuable suggestions, to Leon Prolius (posthumously), for his dedication to this noble deed, to Chris MacLachlan for his persistent labour and to Chayanont (Charlie) Wuvanich of Thailand for his valuable support. Also to yogis in Malaysia, particularly those from Malaysian Buddhist Meditation Centre, Santisukharama and Buddhist Wisdom Centre for their kind assistance and support in many ways, making this publication possible. 26 Tranquillity Meditation 187 27 Insight Meditation 196 30 Enlightenment factors And Their 35 Loving-Kindness Meditation 313

Dark Zen Meditation Part

Q How do we begin to practice Dark Zen Meditation DZM A No. That doesn't make any sense if you think about it. We need to backup and envisage being prior to the breath. Following the breath leads to attachment. We must sense our breathing as it is generated. At that point we enter true meditation sensing an energy-stream growing inside of us. A Well, Zen master Ejo taught this. He wrote about this in detail in his book, Absorption in the Treasury of Light. Remember that true meditation is not about sitting on your rump for hours on end. When you get in touch with the light energy, that is which Ejo is talking about, it doesn't matter how you sit. You are always immersed in it that is true sitting, you might say. Let me also say that A Yes. You might say there are two kinds Conventional Zen and Mystical Zen. Conventional Zen is learning to sit on your rump, enduring hours of pain. It is a form of low-level self-torture. It is for those who cling to the conventional world who are...

Book Two Chapter Three Guiding Meditators on the Path Tranquility

The general topic of tranquility meditation is taken up from the mah mudr lineage perspective. Tashi Namgyal examines conditions of solitude and physical posture. In treating suitable means of concentration for the mind, he discusses, in turn, mental images derived from external perception abstract mental images, that is, meditation based on awareness of breathing and formless tranquility, that is, letting the mind settle in itself without any determinate object or image. This formless meditative absorption is the one to be cultivated as the immediate basis for mah mudr meditation. Tashi Namgyal discusses the important topic of balancing exertion and relaxation in the context of formless tranquility, and characterizes this settled state.

Experience Of Enlightenment

Enlightenment creates the following sensations and experiences a sense of peace and tranquility, spontaneous seeing the auras and paranormal energies, spontaneous contacts with luminous bodies and other spiritual beings, knowledge on topics talked about or thought about, without knowing what the source of the knowledge is understanding other people's thoughts, helping others by giving advice, tenderness and love not reacting abruptly enhancing creativity, wish to work, vitality wishing to direct thoughts of all men toward the Creator's path creating an atmosphere of peace, comfort and trust around the enlightened person.

Road To Enlightenment

The meditation method that you have achieved and initiated your sons into, is the true path for the development of paranormal powers. It is the only correct, complete, and the only possible method for reaching an individual maximum. This method is the most correct one because meditation is a natural process in harmony with the achieved power, also because it has a humane background to it - an appeal and paranormal power. Besides, with your method of meditation one can achieve powers exactly suitable to the level of the person, while in transcendental meditation one goes beyond the development of the person, which in most cases is not a good thing to do. The aim of this meditation is gradual adjustment of the brain capacities to operate on a low frequency, i.e. the low frequency of brainwave emission. As you know, the level of paranormal powers depends on the level of the brainwave frequency the lower they are, the higher the powers. Your method is the only one capable of reaching the...

Meditating with music

When you're moving too fast to sit and be mindful, you can use certain kinds of music to help you tune in to a slower, steadier, less jarring rhythm before you begin meditating. The music you choose depends on your taste one person's aaahh is another one's ouch. Some people relax to classical or jazz, while others seem to need the intense sounds of heavy metal or the staccato rhythms of rap before their bodies settle down. a quieter space. When you're breathing a little easier, you can head for your meditation corner. Or you can make listening to music a meditation in itself. Begin by being mindful of the music the way you'd be mindful of your breathing. Instead of thinking or daydreaming, listen with full attention to the sounds as they unfold in your awareness. When your mind wanders off, return to the music. At times, you may even lose yourself in the sound so that you, as the listener, disappear and only the listening remains. Such moments of deep meditation offer a glimpse of...

Your First Meditation

Your first meditation is to meditate (pay attention) to the sensation of coolness when you inhale and a very faint sensation of warmth during exhalation. You will notice this inside each nostril on the wall that divides the two nostrils at the very tip of your nose. For the next 5-10 minutes, please notice the sensation of coolness on inhalation and warmth on exhalation. Notice what happens to the noise of your mind as you intensify your awareness of the cool and warm sensations at the tip of your nose. Notice how your body feels after three or four minutes of this introductory meditation.

Not worrying about ones body and health during meditation

When meditators undergo intensive practice over a long period of time, it is likely that sickness may befall some time or other. Too often we use it as an excuse to stop. If we understand that sickness and death are inevitable, then we will see no reason to stop. We ought to

EEG Studies of Gamma Activity during a Particular Kind of Meditation That Includes a Self Induced Dissolution of the

This EEG approach was used to study one experienced meditator, 59 years old. He was a long-time teacher practitioner of a Tibetan form of meditation.11 His gamma EEG activity was recorded in one frequency band (between 35 and 44 cps). He shifted his mental activity voluntarily among five different meditative states during the 7.4 minutes of total data that were analyzed. During the first two states he visualized the Buddha during the third he verbalized a long mantra. The fourth and fifth successive meditations are of special interest, because they relate to the sources of self.'' During the fourth meditation, he concentrated on experiencing his self being dissolved into a boundless unity'' (the authors used the term emptiness to designate this state). However, during the fifth meditation he concentrated on experiencing the reconstitution of that usual self which had just been dissolved during the previous state. As expected, LORETA analysis showed that a visualizing form of...

Book Two Chapter Six Consolidation of Experience in Meditation How to Maintain Absorption and Postabsorption

Tashi Namgyal emphasizes how important it is not to be content with a glimpse experience of mahamudra meditation but to carry it out fully. Thus the subject of this chapter is the main mahamudra practice, that is, having recognized it, how to continue and consolidate it both in absorption and postabsorption. In ordinary terms, absorption (nyamshak, or meditative resting) refers to the formal meditation session, and postabsorption (jethop, or postmedi-tation) refers to the aspirant's awareness practice during meditation breaks. The author explains that in the context of advanced practice, absorption refers to spacelike equipoise undisturbed by any dualistic thought, even though the meditator may be walking or talking. Similarly, postabsorption refers to the emergence of thought projections, even though the meditator is still engaged in his formal session. the meaning of mahamudra consists of recognizing the intrinsic nature of every thought or appearance with no concern for...

HoW Long to Meditate From Quickies to the Long Haul

Meditation resembles sex in a number of ways, and this is one of them You may prefer it short and quick or long and slow. But whatever your predilections, you would probably agree that some sexual contact with your beloved is better than no sex at all. Well, apply this dictum to meditation, and you'll get the drift. If you can't schedule a half-hour, then meditate for a few minutes. Sitting for five or ten minutes every day is much better than sitting for an hour once a week though you may want to do both. As with all the guidelines in this book, experiment with the different options until you find the one that suits you best. Digital alarm watches provide an accurate and inexpensive way to time your meditations precisely without watching the clock. Also, you may want to signal the beginning and end of your meditation with the sound of a small bell, as is done in many traditional cultures.

Q When I Meditated My Mind Kept Singing 11 White Christmas Over and Over Again Its Maddening What Do I Do

Don't worry, you're not going crazy.The appearance of popular songs, commercial jingles, and school alma maters during meditation is a very common occurrence. Let's say it's December, and you're in the midst of your 8 Minute Meditation period. Suddenly your mind begins to play a familiar melody. It's the Irving Berlin classic, White Christmas and the voice of course, is that of Bing Crosby. you see I'm meditating But do Irving and Bing care Absolutely not What in the world do you do so that you can keep meditating Here's what

Why bother to time your meditations

You're welcome to experiment with sitting down to meditate when you feel like it and getting up when you're done. But there are some excellent reasons for deciding when and how long before you begin meditating and then sticking to your plan I You can develop regularity. Like building a muscle, you can begin with 5 minutes and gradually work up to 15 or 20 minutes. In the same way, sitting at the same time every day creates a natural circadian rhythm to your meditation, which makes it easier to keep going.

Functional MRI during Kundalini Meditation

Later, inside the fMRI laboratory, during each breath cycle, the meditators concentrated on silently verbalizing one mantra during inhalation, another mantra on exhalation. As the authors noted, this is ''a challenging task requiring constant vigilance.'' In their acknowledgments, the authors thanked their ''intrepid subjects.'' No mention was made of whether the eyes and ears remained open. The earlier part of a meditation period was compared with the later part. Both meditation periods lasted 12 minutes. Thus, two separate time points were available for analysis. Increased fMRI signals were detected bilaterally at sites within both frontoparietal-temporal and anterior cingulate regions. Increased signals were also found in the left superior parietal lobule (BA 7) when the final 2 minutes of the two meditation periods were contrasted with the first 2 minutes. Heart rate, respiratory rate, and ECG recordings were followed in two patients. The title of the article includes the phrase...

Where to Meditate Creating Sacred Space

Perhaps you've seen those Chinese paintings where a bearded sage in a flowing robe sits in deep contemplation at the base of some majestic peak with a waterfall thundering beside him. Maybe you've even had moments when you wished you could become that sage, disappear into the mountains, and meditate in silence and simplicity for the rest of your days. Alas, life doesn't usually support us nowadays in actualizing such fantasies

Guided Meditation Emotional States

We've calked about working with the mind states of the hindrances as they arise in meditation and in our lives. We also want to become aware of the entire range of our emotional life. The different emotions that arise in sitting practice, in walking meditation, in the eating meditation we want to bring this awareness to all of these, and then beyond that, to the emotions we experience in the world every day. As you sit, feeling the breath, feeling sensations, noticing the hindrances as they arise, be aware of different emotions as they appear in your experience.There might be the feeling of happiness or sadness there might be the feeling of joy or depression. You might feel quite light and buoyant. You might feel heavy or despairing. In our meditation practice, we want to recognize what's arising and be accepting of whatever it is. A common emotion that arises in meditation is boredom. Sometimes as people are being with the breath for some time, there's a certain lack of interest....

EEG and Heart Rate Changes in Zen Meditation

Toichi, et al. Frontal midline theta rhythm is correlated with cardiac autonomic activities during the performance of an attention demanding meditation procedure. Cognitive Brain Research 2001 11 281-287. 6. T. Murata, T. Takahashi, T. Hamada, et al. Individual trait anxiety levels characterizing the properties of Zen meditation. Neuropsychobiology 2004 50 189-194. 8. L. Aftanas and S. Golocheikine. Non-linear dynamic complexity of the human EEG during meditation. Neuroscience Letters 2002 330 143-146. Sahaja, in Sanskrit, means natural. 9. L. Aftanas and S. Golocheikine. Human anterior and frontal midline theta and lower alpha reflect emotionally positive state and internalized attention High-resolution EEG investigation of meditation. Neuroscience Letters 2001 310 57-60.

Awakening vs Enlightenment

A clear distinction should be made between awakening to the Way (Great Awakening) and attaining the Way (attaining Enlightenment). (Note There are many degrees of Awakening and Enlightenment. Attaining the Enlightenment of the Arhats, Pratyeka Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, etc. is different from attaining Supreme Enlightenment, i.e., Buddhahood.) To experience a Great Awakening is to achieve (through Zen meditation, Buddha Recitation, etc.) a complete and deep realization of what it means to be a Buddha and how to reach Buddhahood. It is to see one's Nature, comprehend the True Nature of things, the Truth. However, only after becoming a Buddha can one be said to have truly attained Supreme Enlightenment (attained the Way). A metaphor appearing in the sutras is that of a glass of water containing sediments. As long as the glass is undisturbed, the sediments remain at the bottom and the water is clear. However, as soon as the glass is shaken, the water becomes turbid. Likewise, when a...

Meditation Makes You More Empathic

Most meditators would agree that their practice has helped them see beyond their usual self-centered preoccupations and tune in to the feelings of others. But can meditation actually make you measurably more empathic In a study reported in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (Lesh, 1970), one researcher investigated the relationship between Zen meditation (zazen) and the development of empathy in counselors, using psychologist Carl Rogers's characterization of empathy as both the capacity to sense what the client is feeling and the ability to communicate this sensitivity at a level attuned to the client's emotional state. One group of 16 students was taught zazen another group of 12 students volunteered to learn zazen but was not actually taught and a third group consisted of 11 students who were opposed to learning meditation. All subjects were tested before the experiment and then again four weeks later. In a related study, Dr. Paul Ekman, director of the Human Interaction...

The Three Meditation Practices

Sitting Meditation where the primary focus is on the elements of the body while switching to the other spheres of attention as they arise. 2. Walking Meditation where the stepping or foot movements in walking are noted in detail and the attention is focused on the movements as the primary object. 3. Daily Activities the meditator continually labels body movements and actions.

Ten Meditation Research Studiesand What They Mean for

Discover scientific evidence for the health benefits of meditation Find out how meditation boosts your mood in several ways Determine whether meditation can help you with your health concerns m Myhen expert Asian meditators began arriving in the West in the '60s and early '70s, researchers jumped at the opportunity to hook them up to EEGs and EKGs to test their unusual powers and abilities. (For more on the history of meditation in the West, see Chapter 2.) Before long, Westerners were becoming adept at meditation themselves, and scientific attention turned to the potential health benefits of regular practice. In this chapter, I summarize ten of the most revealing meditation studies, covering a range of ailments and issues, from hypertension to depression. Ever wonder what meditation can really do for you Read on, and find out

Effort Discipline and Letting Go

How to develop great meditation habits without getting uptight The secret to having more energy, in meditation and in life The three aspects of discipline and the five stages of letting go ZM s I mention in previous chapters, meditation has quite a bit in common W with sports. First you have to learn the mechanics how to sit up straight, position your legs, relax your body, and focus on your breath. Then you need to understand the rules of the game how long it takes, where you should practice, what you should wear. But when you're clear on the details, you need to know how to apply yourself so you can get the most from what you've discovered. Well, the same is true for meditation. Discipline grabs you by the collar and sits you down day after day, even when the going gets tough. Effort keeps focusing your mind and bringing it back again and again to your breath or your mantra (or some other object of meditation). And letting go allows you to relax and open to whatever you're...

Q I Suddenly Burst into Tears While I Was Meditating It Upset Me

It's completely natural for intense feelings and emotions to arise both during and after a meditation period. Meditation allows us to let off steam in the best, most positive, and least destructive way possible. Here's an analogy to help you understand what I mean Now, lets add meditation to this scenario. Imagine meditation as a kind of catalyst, raising the internal temperature of the cauldron to critical mass, until the lid can no longer withstand the pressure, and as they used to say at sea, Thar she blows How do you cope with the emotional volcanoes that arise during meditation In exactly the same way you deal with anything and everything else that arises in meditation. You allow allow allow.You catch and release.You take a deep breath and return to your meditation technique. In sum, you do whatever works for you in that moment. The release of deep emotions during meditation offers you a superb opportunity to put into practice what you've learned over the past...

How to Meditate in Everyday Life

Picking up tips for extending meditation to ordinary activities Noticing how you react to situations and adjusting your life accordingly Sharing the benefits of meditation with your partner and family Discovering the secret pleasures of meditative sex elsewhere in this book, I compare meditation to a laboratory in which you experiment with paying attention to your experience and discovering how to cultivate qualities like peace, love, and happiness. Well, the discoveries you make in the controlled environment of a lab have only limited value until you can apply them to real-life situations and problems and the skills, insights, and peaceful feelings you have on your meditation cushion won't get you far unless you do the same. In fact, that's the whole point of meditation to help you live a happier, fuller, more stress-free life As you become more adept at being mindful during formal meditation, you naturally get better at paying mindful attention to everything you encounter, both on...

Instruction on Meditation for the Yogis

Individuals who have come to meditate would like to know what Vipassana Meditation is. This is the first lecture on the Basic Exercises or Basic Principles of Mindfulness Meditation by the most Reverend Sayadaw of Saddhammaransi Yeiktha (Meditation Centre) for those yogis who have come to practise Vipassana Meditation at Saddhammaransi Yeiktha (meditation centre). Those who have already started meditating would like to observe and attain a higher standard of concentration very quickly. To be able to acquire the highest goal quickly, you must listen and practise according to the 'Practice Exercises Of Mindfulness Meditation'. There are three kinds of 'Practice Exercises Of Mindfulness Meditation'. They are 1. Meditating while in the sitting position 2. Meditating while walking and 3. Meditating while performing daily activities.

How to Add a Second Daily Meditation Period

The next option for deepening your meditation practice is to add a second daily 8 minute meditation period.The addition of a second 8 minute meditation period immediately doubles your meditation time to sixteen minutes a day This may sound overwhelming, but the feet that its divided into two equal portions makes it easy and doable. People who meditate usually do it twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. I recommend this. Should you decide on other times of the day, allow at least six hours between meditation periods. You may also increase your second meditation period in increments, as described in the previous section. For example If you do it like this, you will eventually reach the point where you are meditating for twenty minutes, twice a day, for a total of forty minutes This is a major meditation practice, one that will lead you to more advanced levels of practice. In fact, if you do reach this point in your practice, give some serious consideration...

Q Eight Weeks of Meditation and I Still Cant Stop Thinking Whats Wrong

The notion that meditation will, at some point, cause the complete cessation of thinking is what I call The Great Meditation Misconception. It's a misbelief held by almost every beginning meditator and plenty of advanced ones too. Allow me to say this again There is no way you will ever stop your mind from thinking. That is its job to think, analyze, criticize, and judge 365 24 7. You have already heard me say that in 8 Minute Meditation, our goal is not to suppress thinking but surpass it.The following scenario illustrates what I mean Lets apply this scenario to thoughts and meditation.Think of Aunt Fran as none other than good old Roving Mind, the nonstop, chattering voice that constantly wants to engage you in ridiculous, useless, and unhelpful thinking. Imagine the toaster oven as a meditation anchor point, like your breath. What you're doing when you meditate is exactly what you're doing in the Wal-Mart allowing Aunt Fran Roving Mind to chatter away, while you keep your attention...

Q Im Afraid Meditation Will Make Me Too Laid Back and That Ill Lose My Edge at Work School and Sports

A simple, daily meditation practice won't dull your competitive edge. On the contrary, it will hone it. Mention the word meditation, and people envision shaved-headed monks, lolling about at some remote monastery, doing Nevertheless, this connotation of meditation with indolence does not inspire confidence among those of us who may be pulling an all-nighter to get that appeal brief filed,going the extra mile to train for the Boston Marathon, or preparing for the SAT. In fact, the truth is just the opposite The practice of meditation doesn't dull your edge it sharpens it. As you know, I began to meditate in my second year of law school, which is not exactly an environment known for encouraging laziness and sloth. I followed that up with more than ten years as a lawyer, producer,and writer in the entertainment business, where getting a green light on a project is the equivalent of turning a Carnival cruise ship around with a sailboat. Throughout all of this, meditation played a vital...

Meditation Makes You Happier and Boosts Your Immune System

For thousands of years, monks and yogis in caves and monasteries have been claiming that meditation gives you a more positive outlook on life and most regular practitioners would agree. But only recently have scientists been able to prove it. In a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine (Davidson et al., 2003), researchers using state-of-the-art brain mapping and MRI technology were able to determine that the regular practice of mindfulness meditation activates the left prefrontal cortex of the brain the area associated with positive emotions. Employees of a biotech company who were taught the technique over an eight-week period had significantly greater left-prefrontal activation than a control group, not only immediately after their training but also four months later. In other words, they became happier as they meditated and they stayed that way Even more surprising, the meditators had stronger immune systems than the controls, as measured by the antibodies produced in response...

The Reasons Why Meditation On The True Nature Of Mind Is Essential

The essence of Buddhist doctrine reveals that only by understanding the mind through meditation can one achieve insight into ultimate reality. Stating the reason why meditation on the true nature of mind is essential, I shall deal with the two stages of meditation (a) a concise elucidation of common meditative absorption sam dhi , and (b) an extensive elucidation of mah mudr the uncommon meditation. In this section, I shall show 2. The deficiencies arising from not meditating on the true nature of mind 3. The benefits arising from meditation All things encompassing the phenomena of existence and enlightenment samsara and nirvana are of the mind. The Dasabhumika-sutra states The Deficiencies Arising from Not Meditating on the True Nature of Mind So the dharma is ineffective unless meditated upon. So the dharma is ineffective unless meditated upon. So the dharma is ineffective unless meditated upon. So the dharma is ineffective unless meditated upon. So the dharma is ineffective unless...

Meditation without Meditation

R What is sitting meditation R Then why don'tyou teach us sitting meditation Buddhist Vipassana meditation (insight meditation) involves four methods. First, kaya-nupassana, meditation on the body. For example, the in-breath and out-breath, walking, sitting and standing. Second, vedana-nupassana, contemplation on sensations and feelings. Third, citta-nupassana, contemplation on the mind. And fourth, dhamma-nupassana, contemplation on mental and intellectual objects. R You mean all this time I have been meditating on the last three What else Yes, you have been meditating on the last three. R You mean in all the struggling I have done watching my feelings and confusions, struggling with the discussions in the group and with my readings, I have been meditating all the time and never even knew I was meditating This is a good way of putting it. Yes, you have been meditating without knowing that you were meditating. This is called meditation without meditation. R But why are we so stuck...

Meditation Sitting Groups

The practice of meditation in America is growing and spreading rapidly across the continent as well as around the world. In a recent survey, over ten million Americans said that they meditate. One indication of this growth is the proliferation of meditation sitting groups. At these gatherings, usually held once a week, meditators convene to meditate, support, and help each other. Sitting groups provide something of great value a standing date with meditation that you look forward to keeping. I have regularly attended a weekly meditation group at my friend Ann's house for more than ten years, and it has reinforced my own daily meditation practice enormously. Sitting groups also provide you the opportunity to meet and meditate with other like-minded people in your community who also seem to bring the most delicious baked goods When you're ready to find your meditation sitting group, here are some suggestions Consult your local merchants and bulletin boards. Next time you're at your yoga...

Just One Dish Meditation

To get the feel of the Meditation in Action Template, I'm going to have you wash a single dish. To rephrase the age-old Passover Seder question, Why is this dish different from all other dishes The answer is, it's not, but the way you wash it will be. Do the Just One Dish Meditation when you can be alone. That way you can avoid strange looks from your family, who may wonder why Mommy or Daddy is pretending to be a robot. JUST ONE DISH MEDITATION INSTRUCTIONS Slowly turn on the water. Listen to the sounds the water makes. Do this just like you did in Naked Sound Meditation. Thoughts such as This is so stupid or I might as well throw in all the other dishes may arise.When they do, simply apply what you've learned in your sitting meditation practice Allow the thoughts. Catch and release them.Watch them rise and fade away.Then, return to washing the dish. So how was it People describe their experience of Just One Dish as eye-opening, sensual, and even exhilarating. If the Meditation in...

Meditators Have Lower Blood Pressure

Everyone knows that meditation reduces stress, calms the body, and relaxes the mind. Numerous studies have corroborated this finding. But how does this overall relaxation translate into key physiological markers, such as blood pressure In a pioneering study published in the British medical journal Lancet (Patel, 1973), 20 hypertension patients were taught yoga, breath meditation, muscle relaxation, and meditation concentration. At the end of 12 months their systolic blood pressure had fallen from 159.1 to 138.7 an average of over 20 points In another study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (Stone and DeLeo, 1976), 14 subjects with moderate hypertension were taught a Buddhist meditation that involved counting their breaths for set periods each day for six months. At the end of this time, their systolic blood pressure had dropped an average of 15 points. These and similar studies show that regular meditation can be an effective adjunct (or even alternative) to blood...

How You Develop the Four Protective meditations

The four meditation subjects of lovingkindness, recollection-of-the-Buddha, repulsiveness meditation and recollection-of-death are called the 'Four Protections', or the 'Four Protective Meditations'. This is because they protect the meditator from various dangers. It is, for this reason, worthwhile to learn and develop them before proceeding to Vipassana meditation. I have already described how to develop loving-kindness, so I would now like to talk about how to develop the other three protective meditations, beginning with the recollection-of-the-Buddha.

Living Meditation In Action

Incorporating the Meditation in Action Template into your life can transform your experience of it. Here are a few examples of how you can do it Walking. The natural act of walking is a great opportunity for Meditation in Action. Go outside and take a mindful, unhurried walk around the block. Or practice Meditation in Action when you walk from your parking space to your office entrance. Notice how walking really feels. Remember, you don't have to move like a stilted robot. Just walk at a slower pace. At the supermarket. Make this Meditation in Action with a shopping cart. As you slowly glide your cart down the aisle, notice the feel of the handle and hear the squeak as the wheels scoot over the linoleum floor. If you stop at the bakery section, smell the faint aroma of baking pies. Lift a loaf of bread. Feel the firmness of the crust, with just the faintest give. Exercising. Instead of mindlessly daydreaming on your StairMaster, treadmill, or exercise bicycle, apply your Meditation in...

Six healing meditations

As I mention at the beginning of this chapter, you don't have to do any special exercises to enjoy the health benefits of meditation just develop a consistent practice based on the instructions provided elsewhere in this book (and on the CD as well). But if you're struggling with a chronic health problem (or just want to improve your overall state of health), you may want to experiment with one or more of the meditations that follow. You can add them to your regular practice or do them exclusively for a period of time. With one exception, they use guided imagery to help you relax your body, reduce your stress, ease your suffering, enhance your sense of self-mastery, and mobilize your healing resources. (To find out more about how to use meditation to facilitate healing, read Healing into Life and Death by Stephen Levine or The Healing Power of Mind by Tulku Thondup.) Because this meditation relaxes the body quickly and easily, you can use it by itself to help facilitate healing, or...

What Should I Do about the Restlessness or Discomfort I When I Try to Meditate

To begin with, you may find it comforting to realize that you're not alone. Everyone experiences agitation or discomfort in his or her meditation from time to time or even often. In fact, meditation acts like a mirror that reflects you back to you. Believe it or not, that's one of its virtues. When you stop your busy life for a few minutes and sit quietly, you may suddenly notice all the nervous energy and frenzied thinking that have been stressing you out all along. Welcome to the world of meditation Initially, meditation involves focusing your attention on some object (like your breathing or a word or phrase known as a mantra) and gently bringing your attention back like a mischievous puppy whenever it wanders off. (For basic meditation instructions, see Chapter 6, or listen to Track 4 on the CD.) Gradually, you may notice that your restlessness and discomfort begin to settle down by themselves. What Should I Do if I Keep Falling Asleep while I Meditate Like restlessness, sleepiness...

Can Meditation Actually Improve My Health

Researchers have published hundreds of studies investigating the health benefits of meditation, and the results consistently indicate that people who meditate regularly have better health than those who don't. (For ten of the most persuasive studies, see Chapter 19. For a summary of the health benefits of meditation, see Chapter 2.) By bringing your mind and body into harmony and increasing your overall level of peace, relaxation, and well-being, regular meditation facilitates the release of life-enhancing chemicals into the bloodstream and bolsters the immune response. You can also practice specific techniques developed over the centuries by the great meditators of the past (and adapted for contemporary Westerners) that are especially designed to stimulate the healing process. (To find out more about meditation and healing, check out Chapter 16.)

Technique in Walking Meditation

While meditation is usually associated with the sitting posture, Insight meditation (Vipassana) exercises can be practised while walking. Walking in Insight meditation is essentially about the awareness of movement as you note the component parts of the steps. Alternating walking meditation with sitting meditation helps to keep the meditation practice in balance. Walking meditation is also a skilful way to energise the practice if the calming effect of sitting is making you dull or you are becoming over concentrated. Actually, it can be the preferred mode in Insight meditation as it is meditation in action.

Witt Meditation Make Me Too Relaxed or Spaced Out to Succeed at Work or School

Many people still associate meditation with impractical alternative lifestyles and fear they may get morphed into a hippie or a navel-gazing yogi if they dare to sit quietly for a few minutes. The truth is, meditation actually teaches you how to focus your mind and minimize distractions so you can get things done more effectively. Besides, when you're tense, you can't do anything particularly well and meditation helps you relax your body and reduce your stress so you can make better (and more enjoyable) use of your time. Discovering some great tips for making meditation easier Finding ways to integrate meditation into everyday life Checking to make sure that meditation is right for you As I explain in more detail in Chapter 1, most meditation practices are a blend of concentration and receptive awareness. With concentration, you discover how to stabilize your attention on a particular object, such as your breath or some other bodily sensation. Eventually, you can extend this...

The Salient Differences between Tranquillity and Insight Meditation

It is important that a meditator has a clear understanding of tranquillity (samatha) meditation and insight (vipassana) meditation. In the Dasuttara suttanta (the last discourse of the Digha Nikaya), Sariputta says there are the two states which are true dhammas, real phenomena which have to be developed. In Pali it is dve dhamma bhavetabba, which is translated as the two dhammas to be developed. They are samatho ca vipassana ca calm and insight. This development is called cultivation, bhavana, for which we often use the term meditation. When we try to teach meditation to beginners, the first thing we must make them understand is mindfulness. Only then can we proceed to differentiate between the tranquillity and insight aspect of the practice.

Distinction Between Analytical Meditation And Concentrative Meditation

Some consider the meditation of the learned teachers to be solely analytical and that of the mendicant seekers to be exclusively that of concentration. Others think Buddhist scholars only study and investigate through reliance on doctrinal texts, whereas seekers practice tranquil absorption through the sole reliance on practical instructions. This is not so. Scholars need the fixed attentiveness of tranquil absorption, which concentrates on the subject of meditation, while seekers need analytical meditation in order to purify their view of distortion and scepticism. Otherwise the vision of inherent reality attained solely through analytical investigation reduces that vision to an intellectual exercise, whereas the vision achieved only through fixed attentiveness is a mere experience of the mind. Without both fixed attentiveness and analytical investigation the essence of meditation will be difficult to realize. tigation are designated according to their greater or lesser degree....

Practical Vipassana Meditation Exercises

The following is a talk given by the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw Agga Maha Pandita U Sobhana to his disciples on their induction into vipassana meditation at the Sasana Yeiktha Meditation Centre, Yangon, Myanmar. It was translated from the Burmese by U Nyi Nyi. The practice of vipassana or insight meditation is the effort made by the meditators to understand correctly the nature of the psycho-physical phenomena taking place in their own bodies. Physical phenomena are the things or objects that one clearly perceives around one. The whole of one's body that one clearly perceives constitutes a group of material qualities (rupa). Physical or mental phenomena are acts of consciousness or awareness (nama). These (nama-rupa) are clearly perceived to be happening whenever they are seen, heard, smelt, tasted, touched, or thought of. We must make ourselves aware of them by observing them and noting thus seeing, seeing, hearing, hearing, smelling, smelling, tasting, tasting, touching, touching or...

Imaging a Meditating Brain A Commentary

A 15O-H2O PET study of meditation and the resting state of normal consciousness. Human Brain Mapping 1999 7 98-105. This technique measures cerebral blood flow. The descriptions do not make clear how the 45-minute tape corresponds to the minutes allotted for each of the eight PET scans and for each of the four meditative stages. Yoga Nidra meditation does not mean sleep. It refers to a fully conscious state of relaxation. 3. H. Herzog, V. Lele, T. Kuwert, et al. Changed pattern of regional glucose metabolism during Yoga meditative relaxation. Neuropsychobiology 1990-1991 23 182-187. This technique measures cerebral metabolism. The average metabolic increases in several frontal regions during meditation, (when expressed in percent) were +0.5 (inferior), +2.74 (intermediate), and +0.07 (superior). The average metabolic decreases in three posterior regions during meditation were 1.52 (temporo-occipital), 9.95 (occipital), and 6.3 (superior parietal)....

Concentration and Meditation

For many people the act of concentration is synonymous with meditation. That is probably the reason why so many good Buddhists are more or less satisfied with the notion that when they are doing something in a concentrated fashion such as reading, working, playing golf they are already meditating. They are partly right and partly wrong. Actually, concentration is only a part of meditation. The essence of meditation is to reach a higher form of understanding, panna, to stretch the mind beyond the boundaries of the intellect into the realm of the intuitive, of insight-wisdom. In most cases, meditative disciplines require collecting the mind to a one-pointed state in the initial stages. The first method used is to train the mind to concentrate on one single object. If one considers the pure act of concentration one uses in one's work or hobby, one sees that the objective of such a feat is quite different from that of meditation. In our work or hobby we are merely concerned with...

The Personal Mini Retreat Spending Quality Time with Meditation

If you went to a retreat at a meditation center, you might spend many hours each day alternating between sitting and walking meditation periods. On your mini-retreat, you will meditate and walk, but for shorter periods and many fewer hours. Here's how to plan and conduct your mini-retreat Prepare a short, simple schedule, alternating amounts of time for sitting meditation and walking meditation (using the Meditation in Action Template in the next section). In the beginning, keep time periods short. 1 15-1 30 Walk (using the Meditation in Action Template). 1 30-1 45 Sit. 1 45-2 00 Meditation in Action Just one Dish Meditation. 2 00-2 30 Listen to meditation teaching tape. 2 15-2 30 Walk. 2 30-2 45 Sit. 2 45-3 00 Lovingkindness Meditation. As you can see, you can fit a lot of meditation into just two hours.The mini-retreat is also a great opportunity for you to push your personal meditation envelope (with kindness, of course ). For instance, you might decide that you're going to sit for...

Q What If I Meditate and Feel Physical Pain

You stop meditation immediately It's not unusual to feel slight physical discomfort while meditating with your back unsupported.This should decrease as you continue your daily meditation practice. And remember what I said in the posture instructions If you need to lean back on your chair for support, do so. Chances are slim that sitting on a chair for 8 minutes will cause you to experience pain. But if it ever does, immediately stop meditating and do whatever is necessary to remedy the situation.

Daily Meditation Practice

The image most often associated with meditation is that of a sitting Buddha fixed in a crossed-legged posture. While such a representation is undoubtedly inspirational and aesthetically pleasing, it unfortunately suggests to the uninitiated that meditation is a static, 'statue-like' pursuit practised only in meditation halls. If meditation is to have any relevance to everyday life it has to be done at home. This does not just mean your residence but wherever your attention happens to reside. To meditate at home requires a 'hands-on', dynamic approach that is not restricted to any particular time, place or posture. It should be integrated into the ordinary activities of life and become the basis for a meditative lifestyle in the home and everyday life. Yet it has to be acknowledged that integrating meditation into daily life is not easy. Therefore you need to purposefully set yourself up to do it good intention is not enough. There has to be commitment. So consider your priorities what...

Q I Really Need to Use the Restroom Should I Stop Meditating

The short answer to this question is Go before you meditate. However, if the urge to go does arise, try the 44l Have to Pee Right Now Meditation. Here's how This meditation technique can be very useful,allowing you to see how your mind amps up what may only be slight physical discomfort. Also watch how your mind creates thoughts about your discomfort, such as feeling guilty for not peeing before you sat down. Or angry with a family member who made you too busy to pee. Or afraid you'll have an accident. Simply observe all of these thoughts, feelings, and body sensations as they arise and pass. Before you know it, your meditation timer will sound and you'll be done. And also remember, as I've just said, if you experience real pain, stop meditating immediately.

Signs of Right Meditation

Practicing meditation correctly means that we will grasp at things much less and that our clarity will increase. There is no specific way to apprehend either clarity or emptiness. We should just continue in a relaxed state without grasping. But our awareness (rig-pa) is very present and bright, and we remain this way. Thoughts arise spontaneously and they liberate spontaneously. And the thoughts become less and less, and our awareness is stable and clear. When we are practicing, there is no special feeling to be explained. But when this immediate sense of presence is very bright, we call that Vipashyana. These are all signs that we are practicing the right meditation. Also being unable to explain it is a sign that it is the right meditation. When we are practicing meditation and our drowsiness disappears, that is also a sign. If, when we are meditating, we suddenly think My master is so kind I am practicing so well and I am satisfied , that also is a good sign. If we have been...

Meditating with anger

After practicing meditation regularly for several years in my twenties, I prided myself on being consistently calm and even-tempered and never getting angry. Then one day, my girlfriend at the time confessed that she'd had an affair with another man Without hesitating, I picked up a cup from the table and threw it against the wall. I remember being startled by the sudden intensity of my emotions. One moment I seemed perfectly peaceful, and the next moment I was flying into a rage. My anger may have been appropriate to the circumstances, but I certainly hadn't expressed it skillfully. Humbled, I headed back to the meditation cushion for some deeper investigation after breaking up with my girlfriend, of course. When you meditate with your anger, you might begin by noticing where and how you experience it in your body. Where do you find yourself tensing and contracting What happens to your breathing Where do you notice a buildup of energy How does it affect softer emotions As you...

Joining or forming a meditation group

Now that meditation has become a more mainstream pursuit, it's becoming easier to find meditation classes at readily accessible venues like local churches or synagogues, community centers, adult-education programs, and community colleges. The problem is, you may not be drawn to the technique they're teaching, or you may already know how to meditate and simply want the support of other warm bodies. You could ask friends who meditate or check local bulletin boards or the classifieds for ads announcing the formation of leaderless groups. Or you could take the initiative and form such a group yourself Participants don't have to practice the same technique or hold the same spiritual or religious beliefs they just have to be willing to sit quietly in the same room together doing whatever they do. You could begin with a reading from the world's spiritual literature, if everyone seems amenable, and you might end with discussion or a Quaker-style silence in which people offer whatever the...

Cant Sit on the Floor and Cross My Legs Can I Meditate in a Chair or Lying Down Instead

In fact, traditional meditation postures include sitting, standing, walking, lying down, and moving in particular patterns (for example, t'ai chi or Sufi dancing). Basically, any position that you can comfortably sustain is appropriate for meditation. (To find a posture that works for you, check out Chapter 7.) Of course, lying down has its downside (so to speak) You're more likely to fall asleep. So, you may have to make a special effort (without getting tense about it, that is) to stay alert and focused. Also, you're better off lying on a mat or carpet, rather than on your bed for obvious reasons More important than whether you sit, lie, or stand for meditation is what you do with your back. Slumping forward or tilting to the side, so your body fights against gravity, may eventually prove painful and make it difficult to sustain your practice over weeks and months. Instead, you can get into the habit of extending your spine (as explained in Chapter 7), which...

Can I Meditate while Im Driving My Car or Sitting at My Computer

Although you can't practice formal meditation while you're engaged in ordinary activities, you can practice doing things meditatively. (For more on how to meditate in everyday life, see Chapter 15.) During your daily periods of silent meditation, you discover how to stay present as much as possible amidst the welter of distracting thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Then, when you slip behind the wheel of your car or sit down in front of your computer, you can apply at least some of the same mindful, attentive presence to negotiate rush-hour traffic or prepare a report. You'll find that you accomplish the activity with less effort and strain and enjoy yourself more. Do I Have to Give Up My Religious Beliefs in order to Meditate Definitely not. You can apply the basic principles and techniques of meditation (as taught in this book and on the accompanying CD) to any spiritual or religious tradition or orientation. In fact, many people find that meditation methods with Eastern roots...

Dynamics of Meditation

M What really scares me about meditation is the idea of becoming completely without thought, completely mindless. Thynn Let me clarify your usage of mindless and completely without thought. Mindless in your context would mean that the mind is totally absent, without any consciousness, a vacuum. This is not possible. Without consciousness we would be dead. Completely without thought means consciousness exists, but no thoughts are present. This is possible in meditation, but only under certain conditions. In some forms of sitting meditation it is possible to reach a state where the mind is absolutely quiet, one-pointed and absorbed in itself. This is called jhanic samadhi. In this meditative state, the person cannot function. It is only a temporary state, which one comes out of. But we have been talking about another way of meditating, a way that sidesteps the problems of jhanic samadhi. If you practice mindfulness in everyday life as you have experienced just now, you do not go through...

Q Even After 8 Weeks of Meditation I Still Feel Strange When I Do It

As I've said, it's natural to feel awkward about the process of meditation, especially in the early stages of practice. It's also normal to feel that you're doing something countercultural when you meditate. After all, your decision to devote even 8 minutes a day of your busy life to something that may not be considered Here's a way of looking at meditation that can help you accept these feelings of awkwardness and strangeness Treat your meditation practice in the same way you would a new romantic relationship. Here's what I mean It's the same with meditation It seems new and strange at first, but part of that feeling may be due to the excitement of discovering something that has great potential for your happiness. Stick around and give it a chance.Trust me, it will work out.

Q Its Too Noisy to Meditate No Matter How Many Windows I Close

Noise pollution is epidemic today. Unless your current mailing address is a mountaintop in Nepal,a hearing test booth, or the moon, chances are 100 that unwanted sound and noise surround you. But this doesn't mean you can't meditate. In fact, unwanted noise can lead to a deeper meditative experience because it forces you to get more creative. As I've said, before you sit down to meditate, make your best effort to minimize noise. Close your windows, shut off the radio or TV, subdue children and spouses, and wait for the gardener to finish mowing the lawn. Once you've done all you can do, then just sit down and meditate,accepting the fact that unwanted noise will likely intrude into your space. It's rare to have a completely noise-free meditation session. For instance, you might wait until everyone has gone to bed and the house is silent.You sit down to meditate. And whaa there goes that car alarm. Or your neighbor's cat. Or your baby. When this...

Meditators Live Longer and Age Better

In another of the many studies to emerge from the TM movement, researchers reporting their results in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Alexander et al., 1989) found that older people who practiced meditation had improved cognitive and behavioral abilities and lived longer than those who did not. Seventy-three residents of eight homes for the elderly, with an average age of 81, were randomly assigned to four different groups. One group received no treatment the other three received one of three treatments that were quite similar in structure and expectations The Transcendental Meditation program Mindfulness training in active distinction making (not to be confused with mindfulness meditation) On measures of associative learning, cognitive skills, mental health, aging, and behavioral flexibility, the TM group fared significantly better than the other three. And after three years, the Transcendental Meditation group had a survival rate of 100 percent, compared with 87.5...

Aspects Of Meditation

This reflectiveness of mind or emotional balance is developed as a result of practising concentration and mindfulness meditation. For instance, you can experiment during a retreat and spend one hour doing samatha meditation where you are just concentrating your mind on one object, say the sensation of breathing. Keep bringing it into consciousness and sustain it so that it actually has a continuity of presence in the mind. In this way, you are moving towards what is going on in your own body rather than being pulled out into objects of the senses. If you do not have any refuge within, then you are constantly going out, being absorbed into books, food and all sorts of distractions. But this endless movement of the mind is very exhausting. So instead, the practice becomes one of observing the breath which means that you have to withdraw or not follow the tendency to find something outside of yourself. You have to bring your attention to the breathing of your own body and concentrate the...

Q I Should Be Farther Along in Meditation by Now After Allr Its Been More Than Five Weeks

It's completely understandable to want to see a sign that your hard work is paying off, that you've gotten somewhere. But as I said, wa-a-a-y back in Part I, meditation is an ongoing process, not a goal.There is really no place you need to arrive. The deepening ability to neutrally observe the rising and passing of thoughts, images, and sensations during meditation. Here's another thing you can do to see how far youve come in the past six weeks.Try my Meditation Progress Check.Take a few minutes, close your eyes, and, without any pressure on yourself, ponder this question

Meditation Ranks with Chocolate as a Mood Enhancer

Well, the good news is that meditation boosts the body's natural concentrations of phenyalanine without the added calories. In a study published in Physiology and Behavior (Jevning et al., 1977), researchers measured amino acid levels in 28 subjects, 15 of whom had practiced TM regularly for three to five years. During meditation, phenylalanine levels in the TM group rose an amazing 23 percent, compared with no change during relaxation for the control group. So the next time you're tempted to reach for the chocolate, consider reaching for your meditation cushion instead

Meditation And My Stomach Ulcer

Wat-Man Leung is a Chinese cook in his forties, married and has two girls. He has studied meditation for a year s a half and greatly improved his stomach problem. Here's his cwi account. I was a bus driver in Hong Kong. I ate my meals at irregular intervals between bus runs and I was allowed only a few minutes for each meal-break. That's when I started to have ulcer pain. After I came to the United States, because of heavy work-load, stress S strain and nervous anxiety, and my mother was sick with lung cancer, my stomach ulcer acted up again and the ulcer pain continued for at least two years before I heard about meditation. A doctor a day. There was slight improvement, but the pain continued. Pain persists for hours at a time. An X-ray or the stomach showed nothing. A gastroenterologist did an endoscopy S showed the ulceration. I weighted one hundred & thirty pounds at the time and I am five foot nine so I was underweight. My appetite was poor. A friend recommended my mother to...

How to Practice Meditation

Now we come to the second part of the text. In the above, we have provided a direct introduction and attempted to correct some wrong views. Now once we have discovered and recognized the real nature of Dzogchen, which is the Natural State, how are we to practice it When we are beginners, if we attempt long sessions of practice at first, we will become restless and develop other problems such as headaches, pain in the eyes, and so on. We will grow tired and become fed up with meditation. Therefore, we should begin practicing with many short sessions, taking breaks in between, rather than attempting prolonged sessions. This will keep us in a good condition, and thus we will become familiar with the practice. Later, when we are more familiar with it, we can extend the sessions little by little. In this way, meditation will become more of a habit. But we must judge this for ourselves according to our feelings, because every practitioner is different. What is the time to practice It is...

Lovingkindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation can be brought in to support the practice of awareness to keep the mind open and sweet. It provides a good balance which compliments insight meditation. Loving-kindness was the taught by the Buddha to develop selfless or altruistic love. Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness. It dissipates if we supplant it with thoughts based on loving-kindness. It is a fact of life that many people are troubled by negative mind states yet do little about developing skills to deal with it. Yet even when the mind goes sour it is within most people's capacity to arouse feelings of loving-kindness to sweeten it. Loving-kindness, as a meditation practice, specifically retrains the mind to overcome all forms of negativity. It brings about positive attitudinal changes by systematically developing the quality of 'loving-acceptance'. In this way, it acts as a form of self-psychotherapy, a way of healing the troubled mind to free it from its pain and confusion. Loving-kindness...

Meditating with partners and family members

Like prayer, meditation can draw a family closer. (By family, I'm also referring to partners and spouses.) When you sit together in silence, even for a few minutes, you naturally attune to a deeper level of being, where differences and conflicts don't seem so important. You can also practice specific techniques in which, for example, you practice opening your hearts and sending and receiving love to and from one another (see the sidebar Connecting more deeply Family rituals offer a wonderful opportunity to practice mindfulness together and to connect in a deeper, more heartful way. If you invite your family members to join you as you cook a meal or work in the garden mindfully, they may begin to notice the quality of your attention and follow your lead. Of course, you can always suggest cooking or eating or working in a new and different way (you may prefer to use words like love and care, rather than mindfulness), but your example will have a greater impact than the instructions you...

Meditation Improves Your Overall Health

If you wanted to prove that people who meditate are healthier overall than those who don't, how would you design your experiment Well, one ingenious researcher at Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, set out to measure whether Transcendental Meditation practitioners spent less time in hospitals and doctors' offices than a nonmeditating control group. The study, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (Orme-Johnson, 1987), compared how often 2,000 regular participants in the TM program used medical insurance with how often a group of 600,000 non-meditators of the same insurance carrier used their insurance over a five-year period. The two groups were quite similar in terms of benefits, deductible, coinsurance payments, and distribution by gender. Yet the TM group used medical insurance less often in all categories for example, 50 percent fewer inpatient days and 47 percent fewer outpatient visits for children (ages 0 to 18), 51 percent fewer inpatient days and...

How Can I Find the Time to Meditate in My Busy Schedule

Ah yes, the perennial issue time Well, the great thing about meditation is that it doesn't really take all that much time. As soon as you pick up the basics (by reading this book, of course), you can begin by practicing for five or ten minutes each day. Mornings are generally best, at least to start. You may want to sandwich a little quiet time between brushing your teeth and taking a shower. Or if you're an early bird, you can enjoy the precious moments of stillness before the rest of the family wakes up. Whatever time slot works best for you, the most important thing is to meditate regularly every day if possible, give or take a day here or there (and some time to sleep late on Sundays). The reason for this recommendation is not to turn you into an automaton, but rather to give you an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful benefits of meditation, such as reduced stress and greater focus. Like lifting weights or practicing a musical instrument, meditation doesn't really have an impact...

Ten Favorite All Purpose Meditations

Getting basic instruction in mindfulness, mantra, and lovingkindness meditations Using meditation for healing, grounding, and inner peace M ere are ten of my all-time favorite meditations, drawn from the pages of V rn this book. I've chosen them not only because I enjoy them, but also because they provide a range of different practices for you to sample, from elaborate visualizations to basic mindfulness techniques. (For more on mind-fulness, see Chapter 6.) Feel free to experiment with these meditations straight off the page, if you're so inclined. With regular practice, they offer a taste of the meditative experience. If you start hungering for the whole meal well, then go ahead and thumb through the rest of the book.

Catandmouse meditation

To learn how to meditate with effortless effort, combining just the right balance of alertness and relaxation, spend some time watching cats. As soon as their prey has escaped, however, cats don't appear to become attached to the memory of what might have been. Instead, they settle down once again and resume their meditation. You would never associate cats with making an effort they're simply being themselves wholeheartedly, engrossed in the present moment, open to whatever occurs. Apply this same quality of energy and earnestness to your meditation, and you'll get the knack in no time. In Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs, people recite the following prayer Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. In meditation, you develop the power to control or change what you can not the events or circumstances of your life, but how you relate to them and the peace of mind to accept what you can't....

Compassion Meditation Karuna Bhavana

If you have developed lovingkindness meditation as described above then it should not be difficult for you to develop compassion as a meditation subject. If you want to develop compassion you should firstly select a being who is suffering, who is of the same sex as yourself and who is living, and reflecting on his suffering you should arouse compassion for that being. Then you should develop the white kasina up to the fourth jhana and then when your light of concentration is bright and strong you should discern with that light that being who is suffering that you have selected. When you can see that being with your light of concentration you should firstly develop lovingkindness meditation based on that person and enter into jhana. Then after arising from that lovingkindness jhana while keeping that suffering person as an object you should develop compassion thinking, May this person be freed from suffering (ayam sappuriso dukkha muccatu). You should repeat this many times, again and...

Meditation How is that practiced

ANSWER Once you are familiar with Mindfulness of Breathing and are practicing it regularly you can start practicing Loving Kindness Meditation. It should be done two or three times each week after you have done Mindfulness of Breathing. First, you turn your attention to yourself and say to yourself words like May I be well and happy. May I be peaceful and calm. May I be protected from dangers. May my mind be free from hatred. May my heart be filled with love. May I be well and happy. Then one by one you think of a loved person, a neutral person, that is, someone you neither like nor dislike, and finally a disliked person, wishing each of them well as you do so.

Question Is meditation important

No matter how much we may wish to be good, if we cannot change the desires that make us act the way we do, change will be difficult. For example, a person may realize that he is impatient with his wife and he may promise himself From now on I am not going to be so impatient. But an hour later he may be shouting at his wife simply because, not being aware of himself, impatience has arisen without him knowing. Meditation helps to develop the awareness and the energy needed to transform ingrained mental habit patterns.

Warm Ups Tune the Mind and Body for Meditation

A holistic warm up workout should have a profound effect on your meditation, especially if you have been following all the principles of intertwine, momentum, sensory orientation and consistency. Also pay attention to the possibility of seeing light in the forehead, when your eyes are closed, as well as inner sounds, pulsations and frequencies. In advanced students, a perception of inner light and sound in the forehead or other areas of the body become more pronounced. Such students may benefit from light and sound meditations followed by techniques which allow one to gradually transcend light and sound. Deep meditation requires tuning your mental radio as swami Satchitananda says. Not only that, but it requires tuning your entire being toward an inward state of mind and, eventually, to an

The Family That Meditates Together Partners Children and Other Loved Ones

If you're a budding meditator, family life poses a twofold challenge. On the one hand, you may feel inclined to invite, encourage, or even coerce your loved ones to meditate with you. On the other, you may find that the people closest to you disturb your fragile, newfound peace of mind in ways that no one else can. You can definitely find ways of incorporating the formal practice of meditation into your closest relationships, as long as your loved ones are responsive to your efforts. But whether or not they have any interest in meditation,

Sympathetic Joy Meditation Mudita Bhavana

To develop sympathetic joy meditation you should firstly select a person of the same sex who is alive and happy and who you are very fond of and friendly with. Select a happy person who if you see makes you happy and glad. Then you should develop the white kasina up to the fourth jhana and then when your light of concentration is bright and strong you should discern with that light that being who you have selected. When you can see that being with your light of concentration you should firstly develop lovingkindness meditation based on that person and enter into jhana. Then after arising from that lovingkindness jhana you should develop compassion jhana, and then having arisen from that you should take that person as an object and develop sympathetic joy thinking May this being not be separated from the prosperity he has attained. Develop this again and again until you attain the third jhana.

The Four Guardian Meditations

However, it is understandable that there are people who have powerful defilements that will make them give up pure vipassana without even giving it a fair trial. The four guardian meditations, therefore, help to give faith to people who are very much in need of some peace and joy before taking up the more arduous task of vipassana. Besides, we cannot deny that pure samatha meditation does help one to attain quick and strong concentration. It will also help us in our worldly enterprises if it is done properly. Hence, the four guardian meditations are often recommended prior to the practice of vipassana. They are Burmese recommendation is two minutes for each of the guardian meditations making it eight minutes in all) before vipassana practice.

Levels Of Jhanas In Samatha Meditation

In samatha meditation, the difference in terms of experience is in the levels of jhanas. Starting with access, the first, second, and up to the eighth jhanas are absorptions where they are like frozen states of mind. The mind is frozen and one with the object. It goes into deeper and deeper states. Usually people describe it as going into a void because the object is so subtle it seems like being in a deep sleep.

This Weeks Meditation Instructions This Magic Moment

Take your meditation position on your chair, comfortable and alert. A Zen monk, smiling beatifically, perches on his meditation cushion in the difficult cross-legged full lotus position. A cartoon thought balloon floats above his head. And what's inside that balloon Besides being funny, this cartoon expresses the truth that, no matter how seasoned the meditator, it doesn't take much to drag him completely out the moment, no matter how he might appear to the world. Our cartoon monk has most likely been sitting motionless for hours in an uncomfortable posture. His inability to accept his discomfort has sent him into the remembered past (Gee, remember how good sitting in a chair felt ) or the imagined future (Gee, wouldn't a chair be great ). Or both Each one of us is this cartoon monk, dreaming of sitting in a chair that is somewhere else instead of being right here, where we are. One of the great blessings of meditation is that it affords us, perhaps for the first time, a calm place to...

This Weeks Meditation Instructions Private Screening

Take your meditation position on your chair, comfortable and alert. doing its job to concoct some logical, cohesive story about what you saw Private Screening Meditation is designed to help you become more aware of this lock-step habit and help you break it. Here's what I mean Newton Minow, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, once referred to television as the vast wasteland . The same is true of the programming that appears on the TV screen in your mind.This is one of the great gifts of meditation It allows you to eradicate this clutter and create space for what truly is important.

Being Peace with Every Step Extending Meditation in Action

Here's a quote that expresses the spirit of meditation-in-action better than anything I could possibly say. It comes from the book Peace Is Every Step by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. jtiM On a more practical level, you can only reduce stress by getting out of your head (where all the stressful thoughts and emotions vie for your attention) and showing up for what's happening right now. Once you learn how to be present in your meditation, you need to keep being present again and again, moment after moment otherwise, you'll just fall back into your old stressful habits. Besides, mindful awareness of what you're doing and experiencing can confer tremendous benefits, including the following Now, you don't have to be a Buddhist monk to practice mindfulness you can wake up and be mindful in the midst of the most mundane activities. But you can certainly take advantage of some of the techniques and tricks that the great meditation teachers have devised, which I describe in...

Sixteen Meditationscontemplations

W The visualizations in the Meditation Sutra are distinguished into sixteen kinds shifting from earthly scenes to Pure Land scenes at Visualization 3 (1) visualization of the sun, (2) visualization of water, (3) visualization of the ground in the Pure Land , (4) visualization of the trees, (5) visualization of the lake s , (6) unified visualization of the 50 billion storied-pavilions, trees, lakes, and so forth, (7) visualization of the lotus throne of Amitabha Buddha , (8) visualization of the images of the Buddha Amitabha and Bodhisattvas Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, (9) visualization of the Reward body of Amitabha Buddha, i.e., the form in which He appears in the Pure Land , (10) visualization of Avalokitesvara, (11) visualization of Mahasthamaprapta, (12) visualization of one's own rebirth, (13) see below , (14) visualization of the rebirth of the highest grades, (15) visualization of the rebirth of the middle grades and (16) visualization of the rebirth of the lowest...

Meditation On The Repulsiveness Of Corpses asubha

To develop the meditation based on the repulsiveness of a corpse you should begin by reestablishing fourth jhana concentration using either the white kasina or mindfulness of breathing. When the light produced by that concentration is bright and clear and illuminates the area around you then you should take as an object the most repulsive corpse of the same sex as yourself that you have ever seen before. Try to visualise that corpse in your light. Try to see it with the assistance of the light so that it is exactly as you saw it previously. When you are able to see it clearly in this way then view it in the most repulsive way that you can and having calmly, concentrated your mind on it note it as repulsive, repulsive (patikula patikula).

Equanimity Meditation Upekkha Bhavana

To develop equanimity meditation you should firstly develop the white kasina to the fourth jhana and then select a neutral person of the same sex, who is alive and develop lovingkindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy each up to the third jhana towards that person. Then having arisen from the third jhana you should reflect on the disadvantages of the three brahmaviharas being their closeness to affection, like and dislike, elation and joy. Then you should reflect on the fourth jhana based on equanimity as peaceful. Then taking a normally neutral person as an object you should develop equanimity towards him by thinking

Meditating while walking

There are four kinds of noting in walking meditation. Each step is observed closely and carefully as one object of movement, or as two objects of movement, or as three objects of movement, or as six objects of movement. The knowledge or awareness of such mental and physical phenomena is the beginning of having penetrated knowledge of the intrinsic nature of mental and bodily process as it really is. That is the third way of walking mindfulness meditation -lifting, pushing, dropping.

The Method For Developing The Four Elements Meditation

In the pali texts there are two ways, in brief and in detail, for developing the four elements meditation. The brief method which will be explained here is meant for those of quick understanding and the detailed method is meant for those who have difficulty with the brief method. this meditation Then he should advert to his entire material To learn this meditation you must begin by learning to discern each of the twelve qualities or characteristics of the four elements While practising in this way for some meditators the elements will not be balanced and there may be a tendency for some elements to become excessive and unbearable. In particular, hardness, hotness, and pushing can become excessively strong. If this should occur you should pay more attention to the quality opposite of the one that is in excess and continue to develop concentration in that way. You may find that this will balance the elements again and it is for this purpose that twelve characteristics have been taught...

The Use of Sound Collectively in Meditation Forms

Part of the power of the Hierarchy is based on Their ability to do just this very thing. As evolution progresses, and the matter is more fully comprehended, meditation groups will change from their present status, which is that of bands of earnest aspirants seeking illumination, to bands of workers constructively and intelligently working together for certain ends. You have in the Christian Bible the remnant of a tale which has descended to us from Atlantean days. In those days the use of sound on physical 194 and emotional levels was understood and practiced, being utilized for selfish ends in most of the cases. You read that at the sound of trumpets, sounded a certain number of times after a rhythmical circuit of the walls of Jericho those walls collapsed. This was made possible by the occult knowledge of the leaders of the people who - being versed in the science of sound and having studied its destructive and creative effects, - knew just the moment to apply that science and...

Detailed Method For Developing Four Elements Meditation By Way Of The 42 Parts Of The Body

In order to see and discern all these rupas in each part of the body firstly develop concentration systematically and then analyse the rupa kalapas in the six sense bases as shown in the charts above. When you are able to do this then discern the part of the body which you wish to contemplate. When you can discern that part then discern the four elements in it. When you see that part as a transparent form then look for the space in it and you will easily see the kalapa particles making up that part of the body. If your meditation is strongly developed then as soon as you look for the four elements in a given part of the body you will easily see the rupa kalapas. When you can see the rupa kalapas then analyse them and discern the different kinds of kalapas present there. With knowledge divide and discern as they really are the kalapas produced by kamma, mind, temperature, and nutriment.

The Base Consisting Of Nothingness

The third immaterial jhana is the base consisting of nothingness and it has as its object the non-existence of the previous consciousness of the base consisting of boundless space which is the object of the base consisting of boundless consciousness. If you wish to develop the base consisting of nothingness you must firstly attain the five masteries of the base consisting of boundless consciousness. Then after that you should reflect on the disadvantages of the base consisting of boundless consciousness by thinking This base consisting of boundless consciousness has the base consisting of boundless space as its near enemy and it is not as peaceful as the base consisting of nothingness. After having thus become dispassionate towards the base consisting of boundless consciousness you should then reflect on the peaceful nature of the base consisting of nothingness. Then you should pay attention to the present non-existence of the consciousness that was present during the attainment of...

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Herein, monks, when the enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is present, the monk knows The enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is in me, or when the enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is absent, he knows The enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is not in me and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of mindfulness comes to be and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of mindfulness comes to be. When the enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects is present, the monk knows The enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects is in me when the enlighten-mentfactor of the investigation of mental objects is absent, he knows The enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects is not in me and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects comes to be and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of the...

Enlightenment Factors and their Therapeutic Effects

Due to the diffusion of cittqja-rupa throughout the body, there arises the excellent body (atipanita rupa). As the Seven Enlightenment Factors (bojjhanga) are also fulfilled at this stage, physiological benefits result from the dhamma practice. It has already been said that the udayabbaya nana has reached maturity at this stage. Likewise, the bojjhanga dhamma has developed and become powerful. According to the books, it is only at this stage that the bojjhanga dhamma is fully accomplished. Bojjhanga is a compound of bodhi (Enlightenment, awakening) and anga (factor), meaning the factors of Enlightenment.

Beyond Sudden States of Enlightenment

When the mind that was in darkness becomes enlightened, it passes away, and with its passing, the thing which we call Enlightenment passes also. Enlightenment exists solely because of delusion and ignorance if they disappear, so will Enlightenment. Over many years, a very few persistent monks and students those who undergo multiple awakenings, both gradual and sudden are led so far beyond all aspirations of the egocentric self that they become fully centered in the universal present moment. As a result, when Zen enlightenment has been completely worked through, it will have passed beyond all the early notions of striving, beyond good works, originalities, uniqueness, and inimitability. By then, sudden brief awakenings will have become matters of fact, transient experiences stripped of institutional religious overtones. The Zen way is self-negating. Its bonfires consume more than the old verities and vanities. Ultimately, they turn to ashes the whole concept of enlightenment itself. No...

The Factors of Enlightenment Bojjhanga

However, even when the match is present if there is no striking surface, it won't ignite. Therefore that which comes in and that which goes out to receive it must accord with each other. The fire (the fetters and the hindrances) will therefore not ignite when mindfulness is up to the mark. This mindfulness is the enlightenment factor of mindfulness (sati-bojjhanga). When the enlightenment factor of mindfulness has been born one can then start to investigate things (dhamma) correctly by selecting and sifting. This means a discrimination of what is wholesome and good, and of what is unwholesome and bad what is detrimental and harmful, and what is harmless what is evil and gross, and what is rare and refined the dark side and the light side. This ability to sift through and discriminate concerning these things is called the enlightenment factor of the investigation of phenomena (dhamma-vicaya-bojjhahga).10 The effort and energy which arise from one's investigation...

Q Ive Been Told That Listening to Music Enhances Meditation Can I Play My Favorite Music When I Meditate

When you meditate, you want to create as level a playing field as possible maybe even tilted a bit in your favor. One way to achieve this is to minimize outside distractions. Playing any type of music while you meditate not only creates unnecessary noise, but also triggers associations and memories of what the song or music means.These conscious and unconscious thoughts practically guarantee that you will be pulled away from your meditation.

Taking meditation to work with you

With tight deadlines, performance reviews, and the threat of downsizing, today's highly competitive work environment places extraordinary pressures on employees and managers alike. Even practitioners of traditionally stable occupations like teaching and medicine are experiencing unprecedented work stress with the advent of larger class sizes and HMOs. But whatever your job situation, you can reduce your stress by following these tips for meditating while you work Each morning before you leave, you can reinforce your resolve to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. If you can, meditate briefly before you head out the door to set the tone of the day. Instead of hanging around the coffee machine and adding caffeine to your long list of stressors, use your breaks to meditate quietly in your office or cubicle. You'll get up feeling more relaxed and refreshed. Practice using a half smile to radiate well-being to yourself and your co-workers. When you have contact with others, do it with a...

Meditation Retreat Centers

Permanent meditation retreat centers in America are scarce. But the good news is that two wonderful permanent retreat centers exist, located on both the east and west coasts IMS, in Barre, Massachusetts, and Spirit Rock, in Marin County, California. These not-for-profit retreat centers teach in theVipassana, or Insight Meditation tradition, which is what informs the meditation techniques you have learned in 8 Minute Meditation. IMS and Spirit Rock are impeccably managed and maintained by a community of meditators and teachers. Prices to attend retreats vary, but every attempt is made to keep them affordable. Scholarships are also available. Teachers' fees for leading retreats are usually separate from room and board and made on a donation basis, which in the Buddhist teaching tradition is called dana. If you aspire to become a serious meditator, a retreat at IMS or Spirit Rock is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. The Insight Meditation Society (IMS), Barre, MA,...

Implications for Meditation and for Kensho

Are such replaying data relevant to a period of open, relaxed meditation, an interval of quiet that seems reasonably close to an actual state of rest This plausible hypothesis remains to be tested. If so, then perhaps actual no-thought mediation periods do offer a meditator the chance to consolidate spontaneously and subconsciously what had just been learned during the course of some experience that had immediately preceded it. For example, such an event could be in the form of information heard during a lecture or encountered while reading. One basic function of Zen meditation is to calm the habit energies that drive these four sources of memory retrieval into endless strings of discursive thoughts. In short, the regular practice of zazen helps to dampen the ordinary leaps of one's monkey mind (see chapter 13). It is rare for kensho to occur while a person is actually seated and engaged in zazen meditation.

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