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Basics of Meditation

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

"Meditation is the art of breaking habits to purify the mind and to take care of the day to day affairs" Yogi Bhajan.

Many studies have been carried out on the effects of meditation and they all show that regular meditation can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, and encourages self-awareness, a clear mind, and it even helps lower blood pressure. Being able to disappear into a calm place in your head is a fantastic antidote for highly stressful lives.

In meditation, we simply allow our thoughts to exist, without attaching to them, and without reacting. When we let go, there comes a point where the mind feels very quiet because we are not reacting to our thoughts. if you do react to your thoughts, don't react to your reaction. simply get back to the meditation.

Another common misconception about meditation is that it's going to be blissful. The divine light is in all of us. To excess this light we have to clear the path or window of our mind on a regular basis. That is what meditation is for. But, you know, I have never met a person yet who considers window cleaning or weeding the garden path their favorite activities. So if you find yourself crying, getting angry, reliving a hurtful experience when you were six years old, your not doing anything wrong. This doesn't mean you should wallow in the negativity during meditation. Just keep meditating and be grateful for the opportunity to release the pain. It will eventually disappear. Meditation is mental elbow grease that makes bliss possible.

Brain waves during meditation, brain activity shifts from the normal alert, waking state, characterized by beta waves, to the slower more meditative levels, characterized by alpha, theta, and the lower level of brain activity, delta waves.

Delta vibrations are experienced in very deep sleep or in a meditative state where we are unaware of the world around us. As a result of slowing the mind but remaining conscious, we can access the brain's vast potential and become detached from petty thoughts and worries. This detachment allows us a perspective on self and life that, over time, can help us become calm and mentally strong.

Many meditations involve the use of mantras. A mantra is a repeated sound that alters the mind and consciousness. Chanting a mantra out loud activates positive change, releases hidden potentials, and stimulates the centres of the brain that create the experience of God-consciousness or Universal awareness. When we chant a mantra either silently or out loud, we are focusing on a positive, divine sound that cuts through the negativity of the subconscious mind.

In kundalini yoga mediation times are specified; in some cases, time are open. Common practice times are 3 minutes, 11 minutes, 22 minutes, 31 minutes, 62 minutes and 2 1/2 hours. Positive changes to the glandular system begin after 3 minutes practice. The pituitary and nervous system are stimulated with 11 minutes of practice. The three mental bodies come into balance with 22 minutes of practice. The whole mind and the aura, and the elements associated with the lower five chakras come into balance with 31 minutes of practice. The inner self and outer projection come into balance with 62 minutes of practice. 2 1/2 hours practice holds the benefits throughout the day. This final benefits accrues to all spiritual practice you do through any given day.

The eye focus is specified in most meditations. Where it is not specified, you have a choice.

The most common eye focus is to close the eyes and focus at the brow point, which is centred between the eyes and slightly above them. This stimulates the pituitary and intuition. Another common eye focus is to look down at the tip of the nose without crossing the eyes. This helps control the mind. It is also possible to close the eyes and focus at the top of the head, which stimulates the pineal gland and the crown chakra. Another possible focus is to keep the eyes 1/10th open and focus either at the brow point or the tip of the nose. This stimulates the sixth chakra. It is possible to close the eyes and focus down to the center of the chin. This enhances our connection to our core self. And finally, it is possible to leave the eyes mostly open and stare straight ahead with soft gaze.

Just sharing a few techniques that you may like to try for yourself and have your own experience of meditation.

Just be still for a moment and notice your breath. What’s happening within your body? Are your inhalations and exhalations balanced? Are you using your nose or mouth to breathe? Do your shoulders move? Your chest? Your belly?. Do you hold your breath? Are you breathing fast or slow?

Long Deep BreathingYou can use Long Deep Breathing as a guided meditation for many aspects of self-healing. Choose your own list of qualities to meditate on and consciously receive and accept whatever concept you choose with each inhalation. Then release, or let go of that opposite quality with each exhalation. For example:


Health Disease

Strength Weakness

Energy Fatigue

Faith Fear

Peace Tension

It seems so simple, but believe me, it works! You already have that infinite creative flow of eternal power within you. This is one way to use it. Keep remembering that breath is life, and therefore breath can rejuvenate and regenerate.

Linking the Breath with Mantra - One of the simplest but nevertheless most powerful ways to meditate on the breath is to think the sound “SAT” with every inhalation and think the sound “NAM” with every exhalation. Hear the syllables in your mind. (Suuuuuuuuut… rhymes with “but,” Naaaaaaaam, rhymes with “calm.”) Mentally create these sounds. Take your time. Take 10 long, deep full breaths, meditating on each breath with the infinite sound of SAT NAM. (SAT NAM instantly attunes us to our highest Self.)"

Lastly, I offer you the One-Minute Breath. This was really hard for me at first but I can actually do it now after many years of practice. It is very calming and centering. I highly recommend it. Breathe in for 20 seconds, hold the breath in for 20 seconds, and then breathe out for 20 seconds. I can’t imagine that breathing at this slowed down pace is anyone’s nature so be gentle with yourself while your body is getting used to it. It’s all about slowing down, the breath first and the life follows.

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