“The most important thing that is going to happen to you in tonights meditation has already happened. It happened when you decided to come here and meditate.” Swami Ken
There are lots of different meditation techniques, but without the ability to place your focus where you want it, and when you want it there, none of them will be effective for you.
If you practice counting and watching your breath, and you can hold your focus there for 25 breaths or more, then you are ready to try other meditation techniques, and you will be able to get the benefits.
Meditation, if you practice every day, will become a very personal thing for you. Just like with anything else, what works for me may not work for you at all.
Here are just a couple of popular meditation techniques, and I suggest that you experiment and try them all, and then stick with what resonates with you.
Transcendental Meditation or TM Maharishi Mahesh Yogi derived TM from the ancient Vedic tradition of India. A desciple is given a mantra, or a phrase of words to repeat over and over during meditation. People who practice TM typically do it twice a day for twenty minutes each time. You may very well not have a guru to give you a mantra, so you can choose your own. Mine is a phrase from Jesus, “Behold! the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” But you can just find a short meaningful phrase or an affirmation that you want to work with. The point is the focus.
Vipassana Meditation is an ancient practice taught by Buddha’s. The word Vipassana means, “Insight into the true nature of reality.” This technique is to simply watch the breath. Keep focus on the breath just like in our original exercise. You can, however, not “breath the body,” but you can just watch the body breath.
Guided Meditation is typically when someone leads you verbally on a “mind journey.” There are so many different guided meditations out there today, that you will have no trouble finding one. I enjoy and recommend guided meditations. Just choose one and try it.
Listening to the OM is simply listening to the sound of silence. When you really get quieted down, it is typical to hear frequency sounds. I often do this and sometimes will Om with the tone if it is within my range. At times they will all be on one side, sometimes they are on both sides, and at times they seem at the top of my head. They sometimes will get louder or quieter and sometimes they will move.
Other types of meditations can include placing your focus on a spot on a wall, a candle flame, focus on a particular chakra(energy center in the body), some people focus on listening to meditation or relaxing music, or chanting a mantra out loud, while some people like to “study a phrase,” or a spiritual lesson.
In the next and last blog of this series, we will take a look at some of the benefits of meditation, and talk about long-term practice.
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