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Thread: Methods of Meditation?

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    Methods of Meditation?

    Namaste,

    I was wondering about methods of meditation?

    I just got a mālā, and have of course been using that for japa. Is it possible to pray this during meditation as well? I'm usually saying a mantra, anyway, and I find that the physical sensation of the beads going through my fingers keeps me from focusing on other bodily sensations to distract me from meditation, so that it becomes a lot easier for me. Is it not possible to go deep in meditation with this method, though? I'm having trouble focusing still, so just want to do anything I can to try to make that better.

    What other methods do you suggest? I used to meditate a lot when I was younger, but am just now trying to get back into it to do it more.

    How long would you suggest starting with? I want to do long enough that there is some visible effect, but not too long that it becomes a burden for me. Sometimes I find that the time I've allotted is too short, and I'm disappointed that it is over, and sometimes I can't wait until it is over. That is usually because I'm having some bodily discomfort.

  2. #2

    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    Namaste Aum,

    You can definitely use a mala during meditation. I do and a lot of others do as well, especially if it helps you keep your focus and concentration.

    Another method I would highly recommend, if you aren't doing it already, is pranayama. It is very effective for meditation and the overall well-being of the body. There is information on here about it and lots on the internet.

    Really just go for as long as you feel comfortable with. It can be 5 minutes, 20 minutes, a couple of hours. It's really up to you and just go with what you are comfortable with. If you're having bodily discomfort and want to go for a longer time then try different positions. Best wishes.

    Jai Sri Ram

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    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramakrishna View Post
    Namaste Aum,

    You can definitely use a mala during meditation. I do and a lot of others do as well, especially if it helps you keep your focus and concentration.

    Another method I would highly recommend, if you aren't doing it already, is pranayama. It is very effective for meditation and the overall well-being of the body. There is information on here about it and lots on the internet.

    Really just go for as long as you feel comfortable with. It can be 5 minutes, 20 minutes, a couple of hours. It's really up to you and just go with what you are comfortable with. If you're having bodily discomfort and want to go for a longer time then try different positions. Best wishes.

    Jai Sri Ram
    Thank you for those suggestions. I am very interested in pranayama, but I'm not sure what count to do it for. Something I had read once had suggested 9 in, 1 hold, 9 out, 1 hold, etc, but I found that I was out of breathe doing it that way. I'm not sure if the count matters initially. I will have to search around here for more information.

    I'm glad to hear that I can use a mālā. It definitely really helps me, so I guess that's all that matters.

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    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    Vannakkam Aum: From what I've read about pranayama is that it is key to breathe in for the same time time period as breathing out, so a count of 6-6 or 7-7 is ine but not 6-9 etc. It should be a deep breath but not a forced deep breath. To check if you are breathing diaphragmaticly, place your hand on your belly. It should rise gently on the in breath. Once this steady breath is established, you can move on to shifting awareness to something else. Bit it is the first step, and not necessarily that easy, as many of us breathe more shallowly than we should. After consistent practise, it becomes natural, just like any other muscle would.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast
     

    Meditation is like swimming. If you stay on the surface level of the water you go here and there and there is no depth, going within. By being attached to the body sensations even with a mālā keeps one on the surface engaged in thoughts, action lists, emotions, etc. . If the mālā is used for japa and prayer, this is fine and good yet do not expect the ride to the bottom on the back of the mālā.


    What are we looking for in meditation? As svāmī lakṣman-jū says, unminding the mind. When we have the mind involved counting the rounds, touching, etc. we are engaging the mind. This keeps us on the surface of the mind and we do not go within ( transcend). We wish not to be cluttered with the mind engaged. We use it as a tool to go beyond it.

    re: time. It is wise to start with 1/2 muhūrta , or ~ 20 min~ to start.
    If this is too much back off to 15 min. If not enough then go to 25 min; if it grows from there youur body will tell you (with time) what is right.

    Last, it is wise to have some instruction so you are not pulled this way or that by opinions.

    praṇām

    words
    • mālā - string of beads , necklace , rosary
    • muhūrta , equaling 48 minutes and there are 30 muhurta in a 24 hr. period.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #6

    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    After consistent practise, it becomes natural, just like any other muscle would.
    Namaste Eastern Mindji,

    Yes, I have heard that after a while it should become natural. After all, breathing diaphragmatically is the natural way to breathe, and that is how babies breath. I have been practicing pranayama consistently for a couple of years now during meditation and just at random times throughout the day, but I still feel like I am naturally breathing the wrong way when I'm not paying attention to it. I suppose it can take many years before it actually becomes natural again. Are you at that point?

    Jai Sri Ram

  7. #7

    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aum namah Śivāya View Post
    Namaste,

    I was wondering about methods of meditation?

    I just got a mālā, and have of course been using that for japa. Is it possible to pray this during meditation as well? I'm usually saying a mantra, anyway, and I find that the physical sensation of the beads going through my fingers keeps me from focusing on other bodily sensations to distract me from meditation, so that it becomes a lot easier for me. Is it not possible to go deep in meditation with this method, though? I'm having trouble focusing still, so just want to do anything I can to try to make that better.

    What other methods do you suggest? I used to meditate a lot when I was younger, but am just now trying to get back into it to do it more.

    How long would you suggest starting with? I want to do long enough that there is some visible effect, but not too long that it becomes a burden for me. Sometimes I find that the time I've allotted is too short, and I'm disappointed that it is over, and sometimes I can't wait until it is over. That is usually because I'm having some bodily discomfort.
    one should start from the basic, concentrating on the sound of the mantra you are doing japa of. If you cannot focus on the object of your whole exercise, whats would be the point of doing japa of it? Synchronizing the mantra japa with in breath and out breath helps to keep the concentration. Let mind fly away after 2 rounds, just bring it back and dwell in the moment - on the sound and the rythm. Liberation is hidden in the moment, so what happens before or after (viz your mind running away or you thinking about food) will not matter if you can bring your concentraion back on the moment and dwell in it. When bliss starts to flow from the sound of the mantra, the rythim of your japa and you observing the same - you will automatically be less worried about mind running away. This is the basic.

    Mantra is the verbal form of the truth. The deity's form is the physical form of the truth. Guru is the ultimate form of truth. Hence advanced practioners will meditate on the form of the deity or guru or unity of them (guru-devata-mantra) when doing japa. But don't strain yourself - I find focussing on the sound of the mantra (with the understanding that it is the verbal form of truth, which will automatically lead you to other subtle forms) is helpful enough.

    I am neither an expert nor an experienced meditator. I offer these small suggestions humbly based on what little I have come to understand.
    Last edited by sm78; 15 February 2011 at 12:12 PM.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

  8. #8

    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    I don't think praying goes with practice of japa and meditation. If you can't get over praying, do that after your meditation, puja etc as is the common practice.

    Kapila in Mahabharata, Shanti Parva: Those who perform sacrifices and other rituals without expecting anything, just because it is Dharma to perform them, are freed from all passions, egoism and sins, obtain certain knowledge and hold fast to it, and work for the good of all beings. They are always content, happy, peaceful, sincere and honest, and conduct themselves according to the Vedas.

    One cannot pray without expecting something, so I think it is not the best form of worship.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramakrishna View Post
    Namaste Eastern Mindji,

    Yes, I have heard that after a while it should become natural. After all, breathing diaphragmatically is the natural way to breathe, and that is how babies breath. I have been practicing pranayama consistently for a couple of years now during meditation and just at random times throughout the day, but I still feel like I am naturally breathing the wrong way when I'm not paying attention to it. I suppose it can take many years before it actually becomes natural again. Are you at that point?

    Jai Sri Ram
    Vannakkam RK: No. A few months back I was sitting in the dentist's chair and realised I was hardly breathing at all. I said to my dentist, "I'm not breathing," meaning 'properly' was to be understood. He replied dryly, "Well, I hope you start soon."

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Methods of Meditation?

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast
     

    Meditation is like swimming. If you stay on the surface level of the water you go here and there and there is no depth, going within. By being attached to the body sensations even with a mālā keeps one on the surface engaged in thoughts, action lists, emotions, etc. . If the mālā is used for japa and prayer, this is fine and good yet do not expect the ride to the bottom on the back of the mālā.


    What are we looking for in meditation? As svāmī lakṣman-jū says, unminding the mind. When we have the mind involved counting the rounds, touching, etc. we are engaging the mind. This keeps us on the surface of the mind and we do not go within ( transcend). We wish not to be cluttered with the mind engaged. We use it as a tool to go beyond it.
    Thank you for your response. Is there a particular method of meditation that you would suggest? What is the best thing to focus on, to meet your definition, saying "unminding the mind"?

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