Introduction to Meditation (Yoga Practice)

Kavita's introduction to meditation will not only help you get started with proper posture and preparation but will also help you ... all » understand why we meditate. Kavita skillfully explains the workings of the mind and brain; "The mind is a tool, and a tool you can't turn on and off is a not a tool that works for you, it's a tool that you work for".

What is meditation - most of you have heard of it, some of you may have even tried it - but for many of us it is an alluring part of Eastern spiritual practice, though it is not solely a spiritual endeavour. The word meditation often conjures images of an Indian sage in a loincloth or a vision of the Buddha seated in serene contemplation; the image is one of stillness and composure. Yogis, Zen Masters, Taoists have all meditated for millennia. Early Christian monastic practice included the lectio divina ; this is the practice of reading the Bible very slowly and deliberately, pondering and contemplating the true meaning of the teachings of Christ. Meditation is mentioned over 20 times in the Bible.

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How to Meditate?

There are two types of meditation - active and passive.

Active meditation relates to activities of everyday life such as walking, working, eating, etc. This in fact is the aim of Yoga, to experience a meditative state in everyday life which has the effect of increasing performance manifold as the work is done with more efficiency and energy.

To achieve active meditation, passive meditation is required which involves taking time out to be seated and perform Meditation Techniques or practices. This is called passive as it involves withdrawing ourselves in calm, sitting postures to achieve a meditative state that can help us in our active life.

The aim of all passive meditation techniques is to still the mind from wavering and distracting thoughts and gradually make it one pointed.

So to just give you a starting point the following method can be followed:

-Choose a time when you are not likely to be disturbed.

-Settle down in a place which has fresh air. If you so desire, having some incense around you will relax you. You may sit in any of the meditative poses depending on your comfort level, and to stay in that pose for a desired duration of time.

-Begin by learning to focus on something non-threatening. This will relax you, break your stress response.

-Concentrate on a subject that appeals to you- it could be a flower, a word, or the flame of a candle.

-Notice how your thoughts wander. Don't attempt to control them. Observe them with detachment.

Within a few weeks, you will notice a marked difference in your capacity to focus. This is the stepping stone to awareness.

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