Beginner’s guide to meditation!
Frazzled? Freaking out? Feeling lost? Find your zen again with our DIY laywoman’s guide to meditation!
Different kinds of meditation
Many styles of meditation practice exist today. Whichever approach you choose, you will find that each meditation session brings a little more clarity and power into your life. Meditation takes practice, so don’t expect too much too soon. If you find your mind wandering away from your meditation, do not get frustrated. Simply bring your mind gently back to the technique. Trust yourself and believe in what you’re doing.
There are many forms of meditation, such as chakra, yantra, mantra and primordial sound meditation.
About chakra meditation
Chakra meditation involves concentrating on energy centres, called chakras located along a non-physical energy tube called the sushumna. The sushumna in the astral body corresponds to the spinal column in the physical body, starting at the base of the spine and ending at the ‘third eye’, between the eyebrows and a little above.
7 primary chakras are found at different points along the sushumna. Kundalini, also called chi, prana, or raw energy, sits at the base of the spine in the first chakra. During chakra meditation, the kundalini energy is pulled from the first chakra up through the sushumna to the third eye in the area of the forehead where the sushumna ends. In very advanced meditation practice, when a great deal of energy is generated and held in the third eye, the energy can “jump” from the third eye to the seventh chakra. The seventh chakra is called the “crown” chakra or the “thousand petaled lotus of light.” When the energy “jumps” to the crown chakra, a state called samadhi occurs in which one is merged with the worlds of light, and has entered into the first stages of enlightenment.
In chakra meditation, the focus is on 3 of the 7 energy centres, one at a time. Eventually, you will naturally feel the energy centres in your body.
You start with the third chakra, the “navel” or “power” centre, which is approximately 2cm below the navel. By meditating here, the first 3 centres are activated. This energy gives you the ability to accomplish physical things. This is the centre for willpower and strength.
Then you move to the fourth chakra, the “heart” centre. By meditating here, you get the benefits of both the fourth and fifth chakras. This is the centre for balance and happiness.
Finally, you focus on the sixth chakra, the “third eye”. This chakra is in the middle of the forehead between the eyebrows and slightly above them. This is the center for wisdom and psychic seeing.
About yantra meditation
Yantras are ancient geometrical designs. These sacred images are doorways to different worlds of light. Yantra meditation involves focusing on one of these designs. The practice of focusing the mind on something external or internal helps to make the mind quiet and focusing on a yantra will connect you with the bright worlds that the yantra represents, bringing happiness and clarity into your life. In yantra meditation, you begin by concentrating on the centre of the image.
When thoughts come in and out of your mind, refocus on the centre of the yantra. As your mind becomes quieter, extend your awareness out toward the edges of the yantra, so that you are now focusing on the entire design. Eventually, you will be able to visualise your yantra completely with your eyes closed.
About mantra meditation
Mantra meditation is chanting meditation. Mantras are sacred words or phrases which, when repeated in meditation, bring the individual into a higher state of consciousness. The sounds that are produced during mantra meditation are a form of energy, which connect you to worlds of light and spiritual ecstasy. You can chant a mantra out loud, in a whisper, or mentally. The most famous mantra is “Om mani padme hum” which can be translated as “the jewel in the heart of the lotus” or “Enlightenment is within everything”. Chanting a mantra repeatedly for the duration of your meditation session will, over time, develop your powers of concentration to a high degree, and you will experience great inner peace and clarity of mind. The trick is to focus on the sacred sounds and the sacred meaning of the mantra. Each time your mind is diverted from pure concentration, bring it back to your meditation by focusing on the mantra.
About primordial sound meditation
This is a very popular, more mainstream form of mantra meditation. Primordial Sounds are the basic, most essential sounds of nature. These mantras in Primordial Sound meditation differ from other mantra meditation as the mantras are individually tailored for each participant. They are chosen on the basis of Vedic mathematics, which determines a specific sound or vibration of the universe at the time and place of our birth. When we silently repeat Primordial Sounds as part of the mantra, they help to take our awareness away from the frenzy of daily activity of the mind to the stillness of our spirit.
For more Deepak Chopra’s Primordial Sound Medititation site at www.chopra.com/coursePSM.htm
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