How to meditate
Whenever it fits your schedule, you should meditate every day for at least 10 minutes. Some people find that beginning the day in a state of peace and silence makes the whole day go better. Some people find the best time is in the evening, where the soothing effects help take them into deep and nourishing sleep. And many people meditate both morning and evening and include some cleansing techniques with the evening meditation.
The meditation is a deceptively simple process and takes the form of sitting quietly to allow the Inner Energy to rise from its seat at the base of the spine to the top of the head – along the central ‘channel’ inside all of us. This Inner Energy energy cleanses the individual’s energy centres and leaves the person in a profoundly peaceful and relaxed state. Again many literary works dealing with Yoga describe this subtle road map; this is knowledge which has been available for thousands of years, not merely a few centuries!
Find a place in your home where you can sit comfortably without being disturbed, preferably somewhere that you can use regularly. It is not necessary to sit on the ground, you can use a chair or sit anywhere as long as you are comfortable. Try and ensure that you minimize the potential for distractions by e.g. turning on the answering machine before you start off. It helps to have a lighted candle in place in front of your position. If you are meditating for the first time you may find it difficult to sit still or take your attention inside as you close your eyes, but do not worry, this will improve with practice.
Once you have settled down, take your attention slowly to the top of the head. At this point we can simply say to ourselves silently ‘please may I go deeper into meditation’ a few times.
After a few moments we may feel tingling, cool or heat on our fingers or a slow ripple of movement along the spine as the Inner Energy starts to rise from the base of the spine to the top of the head. It helps if we try and ignore these sensations to start with, since we are trying to achieve a state of mental silence, where we are not dragged along with our thoughts but simply watch them float into and out of our consciousness.
After a few minutes we may notice that while we are sitting more peacefully, thoughts are still flowing through our minds. This is quite natural and we shouldn’t think that the meditation isn’t working simply because of this continued thinking. Just bring our attention slowly back to the top of the head and try to keep it there. In fact it will take quite a bit of practice before we are likely to notice a significant slowing of the flow of thoughts, but we will experience the benefits of our meditations long before that time.
Once we have been sitting for 10 to 15 minutes or so, we can slowly finish the session. This is a very simple meditation session which you can try for yourself during the day. We should really try and meditate at least once a day and preferably twice – once in the morning to set us up for the day and once in the evening to help us sleep more soundly.