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
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
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
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
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. :)