«Sometimes you need to shut your eyes for a while in order to open them again».
Meditation, this word is quite well-known today. Many people have already seen that there are different lessons and techniques for teaching meditation. Someone visits those lessons and some of us are already meditating or believe that we are really meditating.
So, what it is the meditation? How to start it? How to implement this practice properly? Fortunately, nowadays we have got a lot of information about that. But the main difficulty is the choice. And, of course, we have to filter all the articles, books, videos, classes quite carefully in order to feel and understand the essence of the meditation: the taste of it, its ability to cure, to discover, to relax and to transform, i.e. – everything that meditation can give to everyone.
Since the mid-twentieth century some scientific researchers have begun to study the process of the meditation in terms of relaxation, cleansing and rebooting the mind through mental and physical exercises. Scientists were able to prove a direct link of meditation practices with improvement of the health. The results of researches have proved the advantage of regular exercise. In addition to general relaxation, the meditation practice normalizes blood pressure, improves mental activity, harmonizes works of all the systems of the body and provides a surge of strength as well.
Meditation is known as a part of the spiritual practice of Vedic culture. It is established that the first texts appeared long ago B.C. Later in China, techniques of meditation were being changed under the influence of Buddhism. And those techniques were also leading towards the human spiritual harmony.
We heard much about the monks who knew the Zen (enlightenment). They were able to reveal the ancient recipes of the spiritual harmony for their adherents. So, meditation finally became available and popular as a way of self-discovery, healing harmonization and spiritual growth.
Probably, there is no meditation for starters because it relates to Dhyana – to the seventh level of yoga itself. That’s why we must not only observe our self-control, i.e. our feelings, emotions, living beings around us. We must recognize the unity of yoga itself: soul, mind, and body. And this means already OBSERVATION. It means observation of our own thoughts, emotions, actions, behavior and words that we say too.
We can realize observation process differently, e.g. lying, sitting, or in motion. The only thing is needed just be calm in your mind. The easiest, effective and affordable way to influence on your own mood is music. The right choice of music for meditation practices is one of the important conditions to achieve good results because properly chosen melody is able to penetrate deeply into your soul. It should be the positive influence of only a quiet, soft melody without any words. That kind of music makes you breathe in its rhythm, close your eyes, relax your muscles and it helps fully concentrate on your sensations. Favorable vibrations of meditative melodies start to resonate and to interact with your body and mind.
The best way is to choose the so – called nature sounds, e.g. "ocean breath", which can create a favorable atmosphere for your relaxation. The most important thing is here that the sounds you hear must be associated with only pleasant remembrances and feelings in your mind but not with sadness, depression, irritation or fear.
There are a lot of meditation techniques for starters in this case. Perhaps the most simple, enjoyable and effective way is to pay attention to your breathing cycle. While processing you must constantly return your attention only to the inhale – exhale, observe how the air enters the nostrils and fills your lungs. You should imagine the process of life, how oxygen fills the whole body through every cell of it.
Also, you are sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine, you can monitor incoming thoughts without developing the inner dialogue, just observing them as passing clouds in the sky.
A novice practitioner uses tactile relaxation to rid himself of stress symptoms and tension. Beads are commonly used. Practitioner picks up beads and holds the subject of relaxation in his hands, mentally studying its form, temperature, etc. Then, he counts those beads by fingers of one hand and of the other, directing all his attention on the process, doing it very slowly and with the same tempo. And he pronounces or sings a mantra or prays in his mind.
One of the exercises of meditation is a focusing on any object or phenomenon. It can be contemplating the flame of the fire or of the candle, watching rolling waves on the seashore, the movement of clouds, the rainbow after the storm, the sunset or sunrise. You should use every surroundings beauty and enjoy it consciously because the practice of meditative contemplation can restore your emotional balance, can calm and nourish your vital energy.
Of course, everyone chooses a place for meditation or a way of meditation by himself, but there are a few basic rules for meditation that must be by everyone:
1. Correct posture is the basis for meditation. The spine and neck should be straight. Try not to slouch! Hands place on your knees, palms up, or use a mudra. The tongue is directed towards the upper palate. Eyes are closed. This is the main basis to quiet you mind.
2. We need to keep our attention on the meditation object in order not to fall asleep after our mind is pacified. The most accessible object for that is our breath.
3. Meditation should be gradually increased. An experienced practitioner can calm himself and enter into the process of meditation rather quickly, but the starters or emotional people need more time for that. Therefore, it is necessary to start from 10 – 15 minutes and then to increase the time up to 45 – 60 minutes. This is a common recommendation. Gradually we will learn the process of meditation without a designated time. It will be a careful observation of objective reality and of any process or people in our lives.
4. You can meditate anywhere and at any time. It is not necessary to sit alone with your closed eyes. The meditation is possible while walking, travelling, working or practicing.
5. Our mind becomes conscious during meditation. It may seem that it influences even more our emotionality, anxiety, irritability. Very important on that level is going on, without stopping, exploring further the traps of your mind, i.e. yourself. It will take, of course, some time for solving important issues, thoughts and experiences. Please, be patient!
And yet, meditation is not limited by specific methods, techniques or exercises. Also, it is impossible to say that meditation surely leads to a higher consciousness because, in fact, it is a long way to your own growth, expansion and comprehension.
Finally, we should say, that today most people consider the meditation to be a mere fable because they cannot realize their own spiritual potential. Unfortunately, unlearned people did not get used to trust themselves and listen to their inner voice. A constant immersion into the daily vanity does not allow them to remember about their divine principle.
Therefore, it is easier to start with a deep muscle relaxation, relieving all stresses of your body. Relaxation of muscle tone, of bone structure, all that is completely reachable in the process of a regular practice. But to become really succeed in it you need some more time. And the next level of your practice will be the stabilization of inner experiences, states of mental anxiety. So, you can come to the meditation through the relaxing, directing your attention "outside", to inward, gradually reaching a real state of peace, conservation and enhancement of energy.
Krishnamurti said, "Meditation cannot be learned. This is the growth: growth in your entire life, your entire life itself. You must grow toward the meditation."
Thus, the main aim of the practice is to find, accept and love yourself. This will be followed by the adoption of everything that surrounds us: friends, colleagues, boss, passers-by, situations, every day different things... We can study how to observe the realities of life carefully, how to change our mood, and, first of all, the manifestation of ourselves in every situation happening around . All the answers will come finally from the depths of your souls and your own wisdom will tip you how to do in a given situation.