The aim of Meditation is to sustain concentration on one point of focus.
Meditation is a very simple practice that can be enjoyed by virtually anyone that has a little time, plenty of patience and above all a curious disposition. Below are a few guidelines to help the beginner. Nothing is set in stone so feel free to experiment and discover what works best for you:
- Find somewhere quiet and comfortable to sit – use plenty of cushions.
- A darkened room will help you observe visual phenomena.
- Keeping your back upright generally works better than lying down.
- Wear loose clothing.
- Opt for a slightly cool room and a warm blanket.
- Washing your face and cleaning your teeth will help freshen you up.
If you find you have lost concentration and have become absorbed by a train of thoughts simply return to the meditation. Do this in a gentle manner – this is quite natural and should not be seen as a failure! Don’t think you have to somehow turn your thoughts off. Just let them coexist with whatever your are witnessing but choose your meditation as the primary point of focus.
It may be useful to start each Meditation session by focussing on your breath for 5/10 minutes. This is an excellent way to relax your body. Gently rest your attention on some aspect of your breathing and become conscious of the rhythm – dont try to control it in any way. Simplicity is the key so it is not advisable to include music during the practice.
The Mantras we use have been given to us during Meditation and are therefore very special.
They should be said internally and not synchronized to the breath.
The Mantra itself is like a telephone number and can be switched on and switched off. What matters is the Energy connected with the syllables. You may come across Mantras that were used in past projects – these would only have been active at that time.
Techniques to help saying a Mantra
Saying a Mantra without distractions from the mind can be quite a challenge for two reasons:
Firstly, the mind will try to weave thoughts around the syllables of the Mantra. This means you will have both at the same time!
Secondly the mind will completely take you away from the Mantra and off on a train of thoughts.
The first problem can sometimes be cured by simply speeding up the tempo of saying the syllables which will leave less time for the unwanted thoughts to appear. This, however, will not solve the second problem.
Below are two methods that work well in both cases. The trick is to give yourself other things to do that don’t give rise to trains of thought.
Simple Visualization Method
Start by visualising 3 screens (left, centre, right) with a syllable written on each one in bold capital letters.
Then focus on the left-hand screen and say the first syllable. Move your eyes or head slightly and while facing the central screen say the second syllable . Finally turn to the last screen and complete the Mantra.
Then simply keep repeating.
Introducing the visualization and movement of the eyes/head seem to occupy the mind without generating thoughts!
The Grid Method
If used correctly, this method should allow you to say 100 Mantras without any interruption from your mind.
Start by visualising a 3 by 3 grid which is made up of 9 squares. Then say the Mantra and direct it at the top left square. Repeat the Mantra and direct it to the middle square on the top row. Keep going until all 9 squares have been addressed. Reinforce what you are doing by allowing your eyes or head to move as you scan the grid.
Then create another grid and repeat.
Additionally, you can count completed grids using your fingers. Simply grasp each finger in turn on one hand, then switch to the other. This will give you 10 grids amounting to 90 Mantras. You could then say a grid without the use of fingers and then finish the 100 with one final Mantra completely unaided!
This will take approximately 5 minutes.
Aligning is the process of resonating with the Mantra. This is achieved by being totally focussed and concentrated. It is important to say the syllables with energy and intent by sounding them clearly in your mind. Don’t rush, imagine you are sharing the Mantra with someone and they need to know exactly how to pronounce it. Always leave small spaces between the syllables; never slur or blend them together.
After saying the Mantra simply let go and observe. Be vigilant: what can you hear, what can you see and what do you feel? You might sense movement: this is good – just let yourself be taken. You can’t make this happen – but you can get in the way!