Due to the nature of the world, our interconnectedness and the ripple effect, the fact that you want to learn to meditate, and meditate, and become a better individual, directly makes the world a better place for all of us. So, on behalf of the world, I thank you.
The following practice outlined here is very simple, although it may be uncomfortable at first, that’s okay. Just like when you first start going to the gym, it may be harder at first, but as time goes by, you get into the flow. Meditation is similar in many ways. You will feel the difference and effects of meditation right away. You will also feel it when you do not meditate. However, the benefits are so great that hopefully you will want to continue and get back to meditation.
The method outlined, following, equips you with a solid foundation, and prepares you for the next steps of very specific and powerful meditations like no other if you decide to pursue Meditation Based Life Coaching.
In all cases, these basic meditation principles and techniques are a requirement and will provide a perfect basis for even more specific meditation techniques that you may be interested in as you continue and reap the benefits.
Choosing your space:
Find a nice spot, a quiet, peaceful spot in your home; whether it be your living room or bedroom or somewhere else. That space should be nice and where you find yourself comfortable spending time in.
Decide how you are going to sit:
The most important aspect of your posture is having your back straight. So whether you choose to sit on a chair, or on the floor (preferably on a yoga mat, with a zafu- a meditation cushion).
Some people choose to lie down on their bed, but this is not advisable since you are very prone to sleep.
Remember, the aim of your posture is to be comfortable; yet, not too comfortable that you end up sleeping instead of meditating!
Keeping your back straight:
You must find a way to keep your back straight.
I say that you must find that way, because you do not want to be exerting any force or energy in keeping your back straight. You should find the posture where your back is straight naturally.
There is a specific way to keep your back straight, because, it is not just about you straightening your back. Keeping your back straight, if not done properly, takes a lot of energy and effort- energy that should be harnessed and directed at your own volition in your meditation.
Optimally, what you want to do is to use the materials around you (cushions/pillows if you don’t have a zafu yet) and place them below your butt where you are sitting. Place it right at the edge. What will happen, if done correct, is that your back will become elevated, and the cushion will be providing the support for your straight back.
Your back should now be straight, and your posture should be effortless.
This will allow you to spend much time meditating, and concentrating where you want to concentrate and minimizing the feelings of fatigue, or the need to keep re-adjusting your posture.
Sitting in the lotus position with your back straight is ideal because you are in a position where you are very aware, and is a difficult position to fall asleep in, as opposed to on a chair, where you could place yourself in a position in which you get a little too comfortable and end up falling asleep.
So remember, you want to find a position that is comfortable enough that you can stay still, yet not too comfortable that you can easily fall asleep in.
If you choose to sit on a chair, then make sure your back is straight. You can place your hands on your lap and place your feet firmly on the ground.
A cushion is also used for support as is displayed in figure 4 and 5.
The breath is something very special to us. The breath is a dear friend of ours. The breath was with us on the day we were born, and will be with us until the moment we die. The breath is with us when we are awake, as well as when we are asleep. Yet, as of now, we have not been placing any attention on our breath. This is the breath that also connects our inner world to the outer world. It deserves some attention!
As far as the breath goes: you will place your attention on the breath as it enters your body, as well as when it leaves in the form of inhaling and exhaling respectively!
That point is right below your nostrils, above your upper lip.
However, before you begin:
Relax and take a deep breath through your nose. Really deep, fill up your diaphragm completely with air first, then make sure you fill up your lungs also. Hold the breath for a couple of seconds, then release completely. Completely release your breath, so much so that you tuck your tummy in and you let every last breath of air out. Feels good, right?
It gets better.
Do that just a couple of times, just to bring your attention unto yourself rapidly.
Now, place your attention on that point as pictured in figure 6. That point that’s right below your nose. The point right above our upper lip. Take notice of that area. Be a witness to it, inspect it.
Spend a few minutes, feeling if you can feel your breath as it caresses that area. Don’t worry if you can’t feel it, for you have never taken notice of this area before, and this is your first time perhaps. So, tune your mind, make it laser sharp to that area to detect the breath as it goes in and out of your nostrils, leaving a subtle sensation on that area.
Once you feel the breath
Keep a sharp focus on it. If you lose touch with the breath then just keep focusing on that area now, focus on it, because you will feel something. There is always something going on there. There is always something going on all through your body, but for the nature and time of this meditation, you will just focus on what is going on in that particular area above your upper lip and just below your nostrils.
You may feel a little tingling, or a small sensation there, or a little sensation there, just make sure to keep your focus on that area. Even if you can’t feel the breath at this time. Just have your attention there, and notice something (tingling, itching etc).
We are not controlling the breath, we are just taking witness to it.
That’s it, that’s all there is to it. Take it easy on yourself while meditating, share your experience with other meditators, yet do not judge, neither their experience, nor your own, for we each have our own unique experiences.
Keep At It
So, practice this for around a week. Increase the time you spend on meditation gradually. Just like you can over-work yourself when you go to the gym, you can over meditate.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Frequently Asked Questions
My mind keeps wandering, what should I do?
Nothing, take a mental note of it… “my mind has wandered” and come back to your breath.
If it wanders again, take a mental note when you notice that it has “my mind has wandered again” and come back to observing your breath.
Do I need to sit cross-legged?
Although it is advisable that you do so, due to the harmony and free-flow of energy that this posture easily accommodates, there are many postures that you could adopt that may be more suitable for you. Keeping your back straight is the most important aspect, especially if you want to awaken your Kundalini energy at a later stage.
What is the difference between meditation and hypnosis?
Meditation is being aware of the present moment. You are not judging feelings, emotions, thoughts, and sensations. You are just being aware and taking notice of them. There is no yesterday, today, nor tomorrow. Just –now- moment after moment. You may be completely thoughtless.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, hypnosis is “a special psychological state with certain physiological attributes, resembling sleep only superficially and marked by a functioning of the individual at a level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state.” Although this may sound like a meditative ‘state’, usually with hypnotherapy, the connotation is that there is an external influence hypnotizing you into doing something. While there is also “self-hypnosis” where as the name suggests, you are the one hypnotizing yourself.
The meditation taught in How to Meditate: BMC is a very healthy meditation where you may experience many different ‘states’ or even no state at all, which is positive. You will notice many things, either consciously or subconsciously the nature of reality, yourself, and have a deeper understanding of yourself. This will help you in countless ways.
If you would like to make specific changes within your life, and trigger a quick transformation towards something that you already want, this is also possible with meditation. Since you are entering a deep phase, and in essence accessing consciousness, you are able to effectively plant a seed of your desire into your subconscious. So, when you are conscious state again, you impulsively act upon your desires.
What are the different meditation techniques?
There are many different types of meditation techniques, it does not matter that I list them all here, however, this meditation is the best because it deals with something that is real, and is always there. Some meditation techniques use other, external influences for a point of concentration, such as a picture of a Guru, or a candle flame. However, when you use the breath as your focal point, you are preparing yourself for independence. Let’s say, you feel like meditating at an airport, or in a waiting room etc. since you have been practicing this technique of meditation, it is possible for you to meditate anywhere, and at any time. This is just one example of why this meditation technique excels most others. I am not the inventor of this technique, this is a technique taught by Buddha.
Is there any religious implication or affiliation with meditation?
None whatsoever. Meditation is for those that want more peace within their life, and if you have peace and want truth, then the truth shall be revealed to you, and if you want to obliterate your desires, then that is possible with meditation. If you have desires and you want to magnify them and help yourself to attain them and make them reality, then that too is possible with meditation.
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