What is meditation ?

 Meditation is” The Art and science  of doing nothing.
 Meditation is therefore very easily explained
however is incredibly difficult to master unless you are committed 100%.
There  are many roads to 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.
   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.  .
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.