What is meditation ?
Meditation is” The Art of doing NOTHING” !
Meditation is therefore very easily explained however is incredibly difficult to master unless you are committed 100%.
Why do we Fail at Meditation?
TWO reasons. The first being, our 21st century culture holds great value in owning a home, going to university , making a small business thrive etc etc, however it doesn’t value doing nothing.
The second reason from my perspective is a lot of good folk don’t beleive they deserve a really happy joyful life
OR that it is unobtainable given their traumatic life experiences.
It’s up to us.
In order to jump our cultural hurdles and eliminate negative out looks we must convince ourselves that the act of doing nothing is extremely valuable to us .
No one can do this for us. It’s personal as most important things are.
The way I achieved that mind set was to research thoroughly. I found scientific articles that convinced me that the path to happiness and longevity is via doing nothing aka meditation.
My 5 favorite
There are many roads to stillness aka meditation.
I have settled on 5 easy techniques, directly and indirectly from PATANJALI’S Yoga Sutras.
These 5 techniques are not new. I did not invent them. I make no claim to them.However I have studied and practiced them thoroughly and taught them for over 2 decades thus they have with~stood the test of time in my humble opinion.
1/ PRANAYAMA ~Breathwork
Pranayama is the precursor to meditation. Prana is a sanskrit word for ‘life force’ also known as chi. Yama is a Sanksrit word meaning “expansion,” “extension” or “breadth.”
Breathing isn’t rocket science, We’ve all been doing it day and night for our entire lives.
The question is to what extent does shallow or erratic breathing lead to oxygen deprivation of vital organs and eventually disease. Pranayama is often referred to as controlled breathing. I Like to call it ”loving breath”.
When practicing pranayama yogis are extending or expanding (ayama) the vital life force (prana) throughout the body. Pranayama will result in an alpha theta meditation if the mind is able to completely surrender .
Benefits of regular pranayama
~~: sooths nervous system~ manages pain by reducing inflammation~can create a sense of joy~balances brain chemistry ~ balance hormones ~ promotes concentration ~ promotes healing ~creates easy problem solving ~ strengthen lungs ~ manage asthma~remove impurities from lungs~ strengthen immune system~oxygenate the blood ~ function of vital organs are improved ~ detox lymphatic system.
2/ LISTENING~Sun Ai
Our world is full of interesting sounds. By simply listening to music, prayer, birds, traffic, mantra, air conditioning units etc etc we can easily stop thinking and enjoy stillness. Listen to anything with intensity as a distraction to your mind. This can take years of practice so its a good idea to find music that u absolutely adore and practice listening to that.For this reason I play really beautiful meditation sound in my yoga room. I feel like a spiritual DJ some times . Listening withdraws the senses from the outer world allowing us to focus only on the tiniest of sounds. listening to mantra prayer or nature sounds is excellent practice and will lead to a quiet mind.
3/ FEELING ~Pratyahara.
Withdraw the senses from the outer world. Focus on the smallest of physical sensations like the temperature of the air as it enters and then leaves the nostrils. Focus on your heart as it beats maybe furiously at first then it begins to slow. By observing our natural rhythms we learn to be patient with the body. We learn to be more gentle and aware of ourselves. .
4/COUNTING as MANTRA
The meaning of Mantra is to control ones own mind.
Prayer has been used for millennia as mantra to prevent us from worry and anxiety born from over thinking.
I’ve used prayer as mantra for many years . It needs little explanation .
What is fascinating are the results is I get from just counting.
I consider counting very similar to mantra.
Certainly it’s not prayer nor affirmation so has poor cymatic value but it does still the mind and it can slow the physiology very nicely.
I count to 8 (infinity ) or 9 (a Divine number) slowly over n over to prevent me from over thinking or rushing in general. The number 8 represents infinity and feels very good when I repeat it slowly for a while. The number 9 is more potent according to ancient yoga philosophy.
Pythagorus agreed with the idea that 9 is a Divine number. Mala beads (yoga prayer beads) have 108 beads. 9 x 12(1+2=3) 3 being the holy trinity)=108. This math is where my counting fascination began. I beleive numbers create alchemical shifts . Counting to 108 or repeating anything 108 times is potent work .
Any creative visualization, fantasy or day dream is useful. Imagine this ~ You are doing a yoga class on a massive yacht on the French Riviera.You smell french Vegetarian Cuisine being cooked by the gorgeous chef, all the yogies are your age.. all on the same page.. you have so much in common with them…u feel as thought you have met your tribe…. its just awesome.
IF you truly desire to learn to meditate deeply please come to one of my yoga camps where meditation will be the focus .
LOVE N LIGHT