Skip navigation

Category Archives: meditation techniques

meditating frog

Body Asleep, Mind Awake

When starting out it’s important to realize exactly what the meditative state is. To be in meditation is to be in a state where the mind is completely alert. Yes, the body is inactive-it’s as though your body is asleep, and your mind is awake.

Your mind will seem impossible to control, with hundreds of thoughts jetting across it. And by habit you’ll chase after them, attach yourself to them. This will only result in another thought, and another and another. The key, is to be able to watch these thoughts appear. If you can do that–just watch your thoughts appear, then you put space between you and your thoughts. It will be slightly easier to not follow them.

What if a specific thought is blocking your meditation? Just don’t react to it; don’t place your attention on it. If you are able to do this, you will let it pass through your mind without affecting you. (At least for the time during meditation. Afterward, it will probably come back, but you will have more strength to stay in your center, to keep from getting pulled by the thought). So by placing your attention on a thought, you allow the thought to grow. Another thought will result. Instead, bring your mind back to your object of meditation.

Think of it this way, thoughts are like clouds and your mind is like the sky. Let the thoughts pass through without affecting you, just like the sky remains the same after clouds move across it. Of course this takes practice just like everything else. But you won’t regret it. Soon it will be clear that You are not your Thoughts. That when you let your thoughts go–You, are still here! So you cannot be your thoughts, can you?

how to meditate, relaxation techniques

Thoughts Are Like Clouds. Mind Is Like Sky.

Thoughts are obstacles to your meditation practice. And because your Mind allows thoughts to happen, it is also an obstacle. Part of the problem. Once you quiet your mind with daily meditation, you will also see that you aren’t your Mind. You’re not your Mind! You are the Consciousness–the ground–that allows your mind to occur, to happen.

I’ve written about a meditation technique named Gazing before. The key to this practice is to gaze at a meditation object, letting vision flow over the object in a slow, clockwise spiral. Your goal is to see the Real Nature of the object, to feel its energy directly. For this practice, unlearn everything about this object. Forget all that you’ve been told about it. Look at it as though you just don’t know what it is. And don’t have any thoughts or memories about the object. This is the Gazing meditation.

How to Meditate using Internal Gazing: As a technique used to enter the meditative state, Gazing at an external meditation object is very effective. After your practice is good using an object, begin meditating without the object, seeing it in your mind’s eye, in detail. This is Internal Gazing.

So now your focus is to see the same object in your mind without having it actually in front of you. After a time of practicing this, you will be able to see it easily with your mind’s eye. You will notice all the details of it. And after more practice you’ll see the essence of the object, its energy. You will see inside it, even the tiniest details; you’ll develop a true understanding of it. The practice of Internal Gazing develops your focus, concentration, and improves your ability to see with your mind’s eye–this improves creativity.

So now the question is, when to meditate, isn’t it? Don’t worry about that, just start by doing it as often as you can–wherever you find spare minutes. Start with 2 to 3 minutes at a time. Soon you’ll be able to enter meditation at will, and quickly. But first learn to calm your mind. Start by watching your thoughts; just observe them appear. Where do they come from? Meditate on this for a time, twice a day, 2-3 minutes at a time and the practice of Internal Gazing will follow naturally.

Tweet this post


Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Share this post on Stumbleupon!

Subscribe in a reader

So you want to know

how to meditate

Learn How to Meditate if you Want A Bigger Brain

Learn How to Meditate if you Want A Bigger Brain

How to meditate

is something many people want to learn, but before you learn how—you’re probably also asking: why meditate? The best answer I’ve heard is, to make your brain bigger. Make your brain bigger? Really? Researchers at UCLA have studied meditators’ brains using high resolution MRI scanning.

What they found was that certain regions of meditators’ brains were larger than non-meditators’ brains. Their MRI studies showed that the areas responsible for regulating emotions were actually larger in persons who meditate.

The regions of considerable interest were the hippocampus; the thalamus; some areas in the orbito-frontal cortex; and the inferior temporal gyrus.

Apparently, persons who meditate daily do tend to have an easier time remaining in positive emotional states.  They are less susceptible to negative emotions like anger, fear, worry–all emotions that constrict your awareness.

This study and its findings were published in Neuroscience; a sophisticated, 3-dimensional MRI was used to image the participants’ brains.  And the average times for the participants’ daily meditation were between ten and ninety minutes.

If you think having a bigger brain is a good thing, then here’s a quick meditation you can do to get started.

How to Meditate Using your Sense of Hearing

This can be done wherever you happen to be. It is a practice that will expand your awareness by focusing on sounds in your environment. For this particular meditation you don’t have to be sitting—it is a quick meditation you can do when there’s not much time.

Close your eyes. Listen to the sound of your own breathing for about three deep breathing cycles. First do a forced exhale to expel stagnant air. Then use your diaphragm (not just your chest muscles) to pull air in to fill your entire lungs.

After you’ve done this about seven times, move your attention from your breathing to the sounds occurring in the space immediately around you. Listen to the sounds as they are happening. Then place your attention further away to listen to the sounds happening in the greater area around you. Depending on where you live, you may hear traffic, the sound of the wind, the ocean, or the calls of birds in the trees around you.

After you’ve focused on these sounds for a time. Move your attention further out. Now listen for the most distant sounds in the landscape that surrounds you. These could be a distant train, or a fog horn. Focus on these far away sounds for a time, until you are ready to come back.

When you are ready, bring your attention to the sounds in the area immediately surrounding you. After a moment of this, focus all you attention on your own breath. You are back at the Center. The silent Center where You always Are, yet tend to forget that you are.

Tweet this post!


Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Share on Stumbleupon

Subscribe in a reader

So you want to know

how to meditate

Tweet this post on twitter

  • Watch the next Video: How to Meditate (part 3)
  • ___________________________________________________________________________

    Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

    Subscribe in a reader

    how to meditate?

    How to Meditate: Use Your Mind's EyeMany people may think meditation is a state where the mind is dull, sleepy, or somehow not as alert as in everyday life (a.k.a. physical reality). Yes, the body is held relatively immobile during meditation, but that doesn’t mean your awareness is also immobile or inactive in any way. This could not be more false.

    When you first begin to meditate, your mind will be all over the place. Thought after thought will cross your mind. You will follow a thought, which will take you to another thought and so on. To develop your meditation, place your focus deliberately. You must sustain the effort to not become distracted by following every thought that comes your way.

    When a thought interrupts your meditation, don’t reject it, don’t react to it at all, ignore it completely. Let it go, let it pass out of your mind. If you emphasize the thought by placing your attention on it, another thought will inevitably result. Instead, place your attention elsewhere, like on your object of meditation, which could be anything: your own breath, a plant, a crystal, a tree–anything that you identify with but that will not bring you any memories.

    When you meditate, see the Thoughts in your Mind as clouds–and your True Nature, like the Sky. Let the clouds pass. And You remain as the clear Sky. The key thing here is to realize that: You are not your Thoughts. Your Thoughts are not You. Let your thoughts go and you’ll see that You are still here–so you are not your thoughts, are you?

    In meditation, thoughts get in the way. They are obstacles. We know the Mind allows thoughts to happen. So then, in meditation, the mind is an obstacle–yes, this is true–Mind gets in the way.

    The important point here is that You are not your Mind either. You are much more than just your Mind, which is why you are trying to quiet the Mind to progress in your meditation. The Mind is very active when you first begin to meditate. In fact, one of the most difficult things to accomplish is to calm it down. But once you do quiet your mind (and everyone is capable of doing this), it will be possible to see that you are not your Mind–that in fact, you are the Consciousness that allows your Mind to arise, or happen.

    I’ve written about the meditation technique called Gazing before. It is a method where you gaze at an object you have chosen specifically for your meditation. What you do is allow your vision to flow over the object in a slow clockwise spiral. Your goal is to see the True Nature of the object, to sense its energy directly. Forget everything you’ve learned about it or have been told about it. Gaze upon the object as though for the first time. Imagine that you don’t even really know what it is.

    As a technique used to enter the meditative state, Gazing is very effective. After you reach a certain point where your meditation is good with an object, it is time to start meditating without the object–this is called Internal Gazing, where you are using your Mind’s eye to visualize the same object you have been meditating with and gazing at during your meditation practice.

    So, when practicing internal gazing, your focus will be to see the same object with your mind’s eye. You will meditate on the object, but it will not be in front of you. Your goal is to see all the details of the object in your mind. To try and see the essence of the object, to sense its energy. See the tiniest details. You are developing a deeper understanding of it. Internal gazing develops your focus, concentration, and improves your ability to see with your mind’s eye, which will improve your creativity a great deal.

    But life is fast. So, when to meditate? The trick is to meditate as often as you can–wherever you are. You can even meditate in traffic. You don’t need a block of time. You only need a minute or two. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to enter meditation at will. To get to that point, learn to calm your mind. The benefits of a calm mind are countless. So try a quick 60 second meditation now, visualize your object of meditation with your Mind’s eye, and enter the Moment–even if it’s only for a couple of minutes.

    Tweet this post on twitter


    Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

    Subscribe in a reader

    So you want to know

    how to meditate?

    So maybe you’re asking the question, “what exactly is meditation?” Or, maybe you’ve stumbled upon this article because you want to know how to meditate. Either way–you’re here–which is good. Now, when you meditate, you are making a place for your Self. You can come back to this place anytime.

    At first, you’ll probably return to your meditation because you’re tired of the mayhem swirling around you. Meditation methods are not like doorways—they are doorways. And by going through them you re-enter this recognizable place. You are in the Silent Awareness between Thoughts.

    This is your Center. When you are here, you should fear nothing. Nothing. You are inaccessible here. Another peculiar sensation you may notice is that you feel as though Time has stopped. (This is because It has. It doesn’t exist in this place.) You see, the everyday world doesn’t belong here. You do not even perceive it when you are here. You are observing Consciousness itself. Observing your Self. And You, are neither the observed, nor the observer–You are the Act of Observing itself!

    When in meditation, where are you? You are in the Now, if you could call where you are a “Where”—because it’s not of course. You see, Consciousness has no physical location. Yes, your body has a location, but You are not your body. You are Consciousness.

    Now, if you want to learn how to meditate using Clouds, here’s what you do, first know that you can practice this technique wherever you can watch clouds. A spot with a great big Sky over it is the best, but sometimes there is only a window, (like at work), so you’ll have to make use of whatever you have available. This meditation technique is very doable with just a limited view of the Sky.

    It can be done sitting, standing or even in your car. Just be silent and watch the Clouds. Realize that despite everything you experience in a day, despite everything you experience in a night, the Clouds are always above, always moving. Watch as they move above You now. Understand what it means that they are never the same. Not one Cloud moment is repeated in all of eternity.

    In our minds, we’re so used to the thought that a Cloud is a cloud. Let me dismantle this idea for you. Just ask yourself: If it is always changing, always moving—is it really the same Cloud? Or, have I just, with my mind, made it into one Cloud, when it actually it is millions upon millions of moving water droplets that are constantly changing their individual positions (and relationship to one another) in space. They are never in the same spot.

    Watch the Clouds. Now think about this: your Thoughts are very similar to Clouds. They move through your Mind exactly like Clouds move through the Sky. Your Mind is the Sky.

    Try watching the Clouds for 30 seconds without removing your attention at all. As your cloud meditation improves, you will find that you can gaze at clouds for longer periods of time. When you gaze at the clouds, don’t just stare—your vision should flow over them in a slow, clockwise spiral.

    If you become distracted by a thought, just be aware enough not to follow that thought. Let it pass through you mind. Then bring your mind back to the clouds. See how a wholly different cloud is created and recreated each Moment. And realize that this very same phenomenon occurs everywhere in Nature. Everywhere. Including in You.

    Your Thoughts are Clouds themselves, instead of water droplets, they are made from ideas and concepts, themselves intangible realities! So your deepest, True Nature is an intangible reality. This is the Cloud Meditation Technique. Use it whenever you have clouds to watch.

    Tweet this post on twitter

    Did you find this article helpful? Subscribe below so you get new posts on how to meditate as soon as they’re up.

    Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

    Subscribe in a reader

    So you want to know

    how to meditate?

    So you want to know how to meditate? What do you think about when you hear the word meditation? Monks sitting in full lotus? A calm spot where you are sitting with a cup of tea, the breeze light and warm, the Sun just coming over the horizon. Or, what about floating comfortably in an isolation tank–your mind the only landscape you see? All likely possibilities–but I bet you never thought you’d read the words rush hour traffic and meditation in the same sentence, did you?

    Probably not, but today you will learn how to take your meditation practice to another level. You will learn how to meditate in traffic. Yes, I said it–in traffic.

    What about the infamous road rage? A valid question. First realize that frustration and anger happen to you, they are not produced by you. These are emotions that cloud your mind; your emotions are not you. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you are your anger, your frustration. They are emotions that you can control. When they arise in you, be alert, you must recognize their appearance. This will allow you to observe the emotion. Simply observe it. How is it affecting you? How are you different under anger’s influence? How is it affecting those around you?

    By observing the emotion, you realize that it is not you, and you reject its power over you. It is also important that you realize that you create your own anger and frustration. Keep in mind that when you get angry, it is not someone else or something that makes you get angry–it is you.

    You decide to become angry, frustrated, fearful, worried, then place the blame for your clouded mental state on something which you perceive as external to you. Something or someone made you angry. You think this relieves you of responsibility for your actions when you are angry or frustrated, but this is not true.

    So first, you must banish your tendency to fall into road rage. Try this during your drive: decide that no one can provoke you into anger or frustration. No one. And decide that no matter what happens, you will see the other person’s view of it. Haven’t you ever done something ridiculous on the road? We all have.

    So why single out the person who does something ridiculous on the road just because it happens to be in front of you? Don’t take it personally, that is all. Pretend that you are that person and that you just did that. How would you feel?

    Okay, once you’re able to consistently keep yourself in a balanced state of mind throughout your drive, the next step is to imagine that you and your life are somehow interconnected with the people in the cars that are around you. You don’t have to imagine that all of you are journeying through life together—it’s true! No one is actually separate from everybody else. All the divisions we feel between ourselves and others—we create them, our mind imagines them. They are not real.

    How to meditate in traffic: when you want to meditate during your drive, begin by relaxing your body, now I’m not talking about relaxing to the point where your body is unresponsive. I’m talking about the type of relaxation that actually allows your body to react quicker to things—where your muscles are relaxed, yet ready to contract at a moment’s notice if needed.

    Now, start with the top of your head and feel the relaxation move through you all the way down to your toes. Sense each muscle relaxing as you work your way down. Relax your grip on the wheel. Your arms are not tense, nor your legs.

    You should be fully aware and not the least bit dull, or sleepy. Your goal here is to clear your mind, to relax your body, so that you are aware of everything around you. Now, once you are able to do this reliably each time you try, the next thing is to perform a visualization that will help you realize the interconnectedness of everyone around you.

    How to meditate by using Light meditation: Breathe in and as you do so, imagine that the Universal Energy is filling you up. See this Energy as Light. You are becoming brighter the more you inhale, bringing more and more Universal Energy into your being.

    Now–as you exhale, imagine that this Light is streaming from your midsection, your navel, to one of the persons in the cars surrounding you as you drive. Visualize how it has a calming, beneficial, and healing effect on this person. Think: I wish this person the best, I sincerely hope they learn what they came to learn in this lifetime. Maintain the stream of Light in your mind’s eye. It doesn’t matter that you do not know this person. You actually do. They are You. You are Them. Everything is Interconnected, remember?

    Once you’re able to hold this one stream of Light coming from you and going to this other driver, you can practice sending another stream of Light to another driver. Now hold both streams of Light in your mind. Your goal is to include everyone, all the drivers you can see, in your meditation. You will get to the point where in your mind’s eye you will actually see all the streams of Light you are sending out to all the drivers around you.

    Now you know how to meditate in traffic, in theory. Try this meditation technique today (or tomorrow if rush hour is already over). It will change the way you experience driving in traffic–really, it will.

    Tweet this post on twitter


    Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

    Subscribe in a reader

    So you want to know

    how to meditate

    A friend asked me the other day, “so tell me man really–why do you meditate?”

    I grinned and told him how it brings clarity to your mind and relaxes your body, and how it allows me to de-stress without drinking alcohol or smoking a cigarette.  He asked me

    “So what’s the best way to meditate? I mean, how do you do it? What technique do you use?”

    “Well, what do you like to do for exercise?”

    I asked this because everyone is different. There are so many meditation techniques that certain ones may be useful for some people and not as much for others. The point is: there is not one way of meditating. You don’t have to sit on the ground. One thing you do have to remember is that, you should keep your back as straight as possible during your meditation.

    When practicing Gazing, you will be working on your powers of attention, concentration, focus. If you have good meditation, or even if you are just learning how to meditate, this technique can be very useful for you. You will practice gazing at an object. It can be anything you choose. Or better yet–let the object choose you.

    In my case, I chose an avocado plant I had personally raised from seed. I found meditation practice is more enjoyable when the object you’ve chosen to meditate with is also growing–a living, loving being. This adds an extremely interesting dimension to the meditation practice itself.

    At one point during your meditation, the question may occur to you: “Who is doing the meditating here?” And who is to say that the living being in front of you is not meditating on you? Just a thought.

    How to Meditate using Gazing: the object you choose is very important—so choose it carefully. I say this because as you continue to meditate with it, your understanding of the object will evolve, progress, develop.

    The object will change before your very eyes. The interesting thing is that fundamentally, the object has not changed. It is only your understanding, interpretation, vision of it that has changed! Your view is not as limited as it was before. You are teaching yourself how to see the object more directly—how to understand it at a much deeper level than is available in everyday, illusory, physical reality.

    Sit comfortably facing your meditation object. Straighten your spine. Place the object so that it is slightly below eye level. This will usually be the most comfortable gazing position, but feel free to try others.

    Practice this meditation at a time of day when Silence reigns. Sunrise, Sunset are excellent choices. It depends on which time of day you feel more in tune with. Sit near a large window; if you have a meditation spot outdoors, even better. The point is to pick a spot where sunlight will stream through your object. This is important.

    When you gaze, don’t stare at one spot; let your gaze flow over the object in a clockwise spiral. You can even cross your eyes a bit and place your attention on the images created by the overlapping fields of vision from each eye (this is an advanced and very effective technique). If you cannot cross your eyes, then simply focus on every detail of the plant. The depth of a leaf illuminated by Sunlight. An ant climbing. The flutter of a leaf in the Wind.

    Ask your Self: What is this being sitting before me trying to tell me? And why can’t I understand it? Am I somehow preventing, blocking myself from understanding it?

    Continue moving your gaze over the object in a clockwise spiral, noticing every detail. You are looking for the True Nature of the object; ignore every idea and concept that you have been told about the object–it is all second-hand knowledge.

    To gain a fuller understanding of the object, ask yourself: How is the object similar to me? Can I see myself as the object? What would it be like to be the object? I just wish for you to meditate on this and see. Soon the dots will begin to slowly connect. As time passes, they will connect faster. You will see interesting patterns everywhere and meditation will create the sense in you that: It is true, Everything will be alright.

    Tweet this post


    Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

    Subscribe in a reader

    So you want to know

    how to meditate?

  • Get a related article: How to Meditate With the Cloud Gazing Technique
  • Get a random one: How to Meditate Using Neurofeedback
  • Or–Watch a Video on How to Meditate