Wednesday, April 13, 2016
I think it is time to address elementary meditation as practice. I have personally stumbled into it all mostly by trial and error after years of desultory effort and real progress gained.
I have broken practice down into three fifteen minute components, to be worked in sequence and plausibly followed by an extended fifteen minutes if appropriate. I tend to do this if it has gone well.
The first step however that i find useful is to first spend fifteen minutes in contemplative meditation. This should both calm the mind and establish clear focus. Listening to fifteen minutes of spiritual music is excellent or reading a favorite piece of scripture also works. All this creates a mental break from your day to day activities that you have just come off.
In my case i have spent much of my waking life in intellect contemplation since i was a young boy often inspired by books or even scripture and never really quit. That others need to consciously do this is almost unthinkable to me but observation suggests that conscious intent is a very good start for everyone and needs to asked for here. Most reading this are doing such meditation generally but are unconscious of it.
Once this is done, you will then be naturally in the mood for actual passive meditation.
The next fifteen minutes acts as a warm up to the third component. By this it is meant that you act to quell your mind of distracting thoughts. This unfortunately is what actually takes weeks to get right. It is also necessary to spend fifteen minutes at it as i do whether i want to or not.
Practice consists of centering your eye focus on your inner eye or just in front of your nose while closing your eyes. You can shield your eyes as well although a low lighting is enough. As thoughts introduce themselves you set them aside and repeat a mantra to cleanse the mind. This mantra can be as simple as saying 'I am' or sohung in Sanskrit. Repetitive prayers can be used as well if that is what you are comfortable with. I mention that in case you ever wondered why folks pray the rosary.
The other thing is intent and expectation. While you do this you need to intend to see light and perhaps hear sound as well although i have not been so lucky. That is why you are meditating. It is the first connection to the world of the spiritual. I now see fields of pastel colors across the full spectrum, sometimes interlaced with wires of gold. Pinks through purple have been predominant. Early on though, i got spasmodic colors and erratic shapes rather that actual sheets of color. This is were you must be patient.
Obviously if you have an excellent light show, you will want to extend it to another fifteen minutes. Usually you have calmed down so deeply that you also want to extend the session. Go for it.
What we are doing here is establishing practice that is sufficient to produce real results enough to justify maintaining the practice. This session of three fifteen minute blocks will comfortably allow your brain to adjust itself to allow success every time out as a matter of course. Obviously all the benefits of meditation track as well.
In my own particular case, after all these years of locking down the practice well enough to be satisfied, i finally got a glimpse of the Inner Sun. That was an impossibility but it still existed and i was able to look directly into it and it was as real as the noon day sun itself without the damage. It was a wow moment that validated the extensive Tradition around meditation.
By the way it is not uncommon to also see your teacher long before you actually meet him in person. You will ultimately need such a teacher in order to manage you progress.
This should be sufficient for you to master elementary meditation and allow your brain to respond fully..