Inner Mind



The eventual end result of the practice of meditation is enlightenment and self realization, which is: to become one with God or universal spirit that is the underlying essence of All That Is, and thus to experience oneself as a perfect piece of individual divinity.

However, engaging with the practice of meditation at any level has many immediate percievable and measurable benefits. Simply breathing consciously for ten minutes lowers cholesteral levels, raises immune cell counts, calms the emotions, stimulates that part of the brain that produces new brain cells, reveals your inner mind workings to your conscious brain, and trains your brain to focus on what you want it to do, among many other beneficial effects.

The most difficult thing about meditating is making up your mind to do it :)

The second most difficult thing is to find a place where you will not be disturbed for ten to twenty minutes.

It is usually recommended that the best position for meditating is to sit with a straight back. If this is difficult for you, it is possible to meditate either lying down or walking. The important thing is your intention in doing it.

In my understanding, there are two approaches to basic beginner's meditation. I call them active and passive. Which one is more gratifying for you simply depends on your mind's inclination.

In both approaches, you sit still and watch your breath. Breathe so that your stomach pushes out when you inhale, this engages all of your lungs. Breath is prana, lifeforce, or the carrier of consciousness which links you to your own soul and inner guidance as well as universal mind and spirit. In the passive approach, this is all you do: sit and watch your breath. Watch whatever else comes into your perceptions but don't engage with it. Keep bringing your awareness back to your breath.

In what I call the active approach, you also give your mind a focus in addition to the breath awareness. This could be a visual focus such as the flame of a candle or a plant, an audio focus such as inspirational music or a repeated sound or word or chant , an idea focus such as a desirable quality like love or compassion or harmlessness or an internal focus such as your heart or third eye.

And that is all there is to it. Do this regularily every day and experience the magic of meditation. At the very least, watching yourself without external distractions will let you get to know yourself better. This knowlege can be very empowering for making choices in your life.

That being said, meditation is no instant panacea. It took me about twenty years of on and off daily practice by myself and with groups, some of which sat for up to two hours, to be able to hold my focus where I intended it to be. Our brains are amazing organisms! In an undisciplined state they jump around from thought to thought. When you first start meditating, this is what you expect.

Keep reminding yourself about your intention to watch your breath or to actively focus on your chosen point. Don't give yourself a hard time when you get sidetracked into a thought loop or runaway thoughts. When you catch yourself doing it, just bring your awareness back to your breath. Try to keep the peace with whatever other emotions and thoughts come up. For the purposes of meditating try not to have any judgements or opinions about them. These thoughts and feelings including physical discomfort, self doubt, guilt over what you said or didn't say or things you need to do, etc, simply are part of living in a human body on this planet. Simply observe them.

This is who you are in the thinking of your physical brain in the physical world. Your real self is a perfect piece of individual divinity. Continued practice of meditation will quiet the chattering mind and let this deeper essence come through for your perception. To facilitate this while you are meditating, your intention is to be the impartial observer of your bodymind. You can work with realizations that come from your observations another time, change thought patterns as you choose or deal with emotions you do not want to experience. While you are meditating, just watch what is happening. That is the intention and the practice. Focus on the breath and observe.

If you are meditating today, for the first time ever, I would like to suggest that you focus on counting your breaths. See how many you can count without losing track. If your mind travels away from the breath and you lose count, return to one and start counting all over again. Remember to breathe so that your stomach pushes out when you inhale.

Enjoy the adventure of the process!

Ps: if you are ever starting to wonder whether you are on the right track or if a brain loop is trying to give you a message, ask. Ask for your highest good inner guidance or soul's wisdom or whatever words you are comfortable using to access your deeper mind to inform you. Spirit worlds are not allowed to interfere with your free will. So you need to consciously ask for information you want from within. Your inner guides will be very happy and helpful in answering. :)