While a man is dreaming, he does not know that he dreams; nor can he interpret a dream till the dream is done.  It is only when he wakes, that he knows it was a dream.  Not till the great awakening can he know that all this was one great dream…
Am I Shuang Zi dreaming I was a butterfly or am I a butterfly dreaming of being Zhuang Zi?

-- Zhuang Zi on Taoism

Gold Bowl 125x125  

Suggested Reading:

  Meditation Made Easy: An Introduction to the Basics of the Ancient Art of Meditation

  Meditation Without Myth: What I Wish They'd Taught Me In Church About Prayer, Meditation, and the Quest for Peace

  Meditation: The First and Last Freedom : A Practical Guide to Meditation

  A Beginner's Guide To Meditation: How To Start Enjoying The Benefits Of Meditation Immediately (Beginner's Guide Series) (Cd/spoken Word)

I, Buddah, who wept with all my brothers’ tears, whose heart was broken by a whole world’s woe, laugh and am glad, for there is liberty! Ye who suffer! Know ye suffer from yourself.
From Adeline Yen Mah, in Watching the Tree

Suggested Music:

  Music For Meditation - Pachelbel's Canon

Music For Meditation - Mozart's Music For The Night

Music For Meditation - Guitar Favorites

Chakra Meditation Music  

The Importance of Meditation

Our world is noisy, busy, chaotic, and not conducive to spiritual attunement. The traffic most of us have to go through at the beginning and at the end of our working day is enough to bring us to the boiling point of impatience and frustration. However, it is possible to reach a place inside of us that can connect us to our source and thus diminish the effects of this daily struggle for punctuality. Meditation is the way to do it.

We are besieged by radio and television. The news brings us only the tragic or the violent events that have taken place in the world, although there is more good than bad news around us. ” Experts” tell us to be afraid of diseases, violent crimes, white-collar crimes, stolen identities, this food, that food, this scam, that danger. In spite of it all, it is possible to find that place inside us where nothing bad can happen. Meditation is the way.

Much has been written about the art of meditation, the science of meditation, the practice of meditation. No wonder so many people are confused and intimidated, feeling that they are never going to be able to meditate effectively. But although it is possible to meditate at different levels using different techniques, any kind of meditation is better than none. The practice does not need to be taken as seriously as a science. It simply needs to take place.

Meditation can be described in a few words as “the quieting of the mind.” For anyone who has at least attempted to stop all thought, it is clear that quieting the mind is extremely difficult. But practice can bring about good results in meditation. You may already practice and have your own way of doing it. But I will suggest a simple way which, done consistently, will bring the desired results. One minute of daily meditation is better than no meditation at all. How long should you meditate? As frequently and as long as you feel you can. Time will tell you what is best for you.

Simple Meditation

For best results avoid beginning your meditation on a full stomach, but drink a glass of water a few minutes before you begin.

Find a quiet spot at home. For those who live in noisy cities, ear plugs may be necessary. You may sit or lay down. Shut off the ringer on your phone. Loosen your clothes so nothing binds you. Try to surround yourself with silence, but if that is not possible, bring a ticking clock close to your ear, or softly play classical or new age music.

Lay or sit down and find a comfortable posture that you may maintain for several minutes. Avoid crossing your arms or legs. Pretend you are a rag doll. Take seven deep, slow breaths and close your eyes. Make sure you are not forcing your eyes shut. Loosen your jaw, and mentally check your body for contracted or tense muscles. Some people report enhanced effects to their meditation when they “curl” their tongue upward against the roof of the mouth.

Keep your attention on the ticking of a clock, or mentally count up to 21 over and over again. Try to think of nothing but the ticking or the counting. With regular practice, you will be able to clear your mind of thoughts, and wonderful things will begin to happen. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get results right away. It is normal at first to resist the surrender that ensues once the mind is devoid of thought.

Some people report losing track of time while meditating, some see lights in front of their closed eyes. You may see a vortex that changes colors, from red to blue to purple. Some people report having the impression of going somewhere, of seeing scenes from another place as in a dream, of hearing choruses, bells, or simply receiving messages in blocks of thought. When you see a vortex, or lights, you know you are beginning to make contact with your source.

When you “return” from your meditation, do not get up rapidly. Stay in your seat and think of your experience.

You may want to read about other meditation methods. Transcendental meditation is one of the most effective methods of meditation and requires a period of training. Kriya yoga also offers a proven method. The Zen method is excellent, and you may find it to be the best way for you to achieve a state of no thought.

What Meditation Does

When we stop thought, we have access to the creative energy of our life source. Some mystics say that silence is the voice of God. But when they say “silence” they mean the silence of our thoughts, not just of the world around us.

Through the practice of meditation we may bring down our blood pressure, heart rate, and we may elevate our immune system. You may also find another world that you reach by looking in. Nothing “out there” can match the richness you may find inside.

The great teacher, Krishnamurti, said that meditation is not an escape from this world, it is not an activity meant to isolate us. It is instead, a way to understand the world and its ways. Meditation is to wander outside of this world, and in that way perceiving it as someone who is not of this world. Then the world acquires its real meaning, (not the meaning we have been assigning to it from our ego) and the beauty of the earth and the sky is eternal.



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Updated 11/19/2009
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