How to Meditate.
Meditation is a spiritual practice found in many religions and mystical traditions. It facilitates spiritual awakening, soul unfoldment, and liberation of consciousness.
Easy and natural, meditation can be defined as turning our attention within to the clear aspect of our own being. In the initial stage of meditation practice, we focus our attention and allow the restless mind to become calm. As the activity of the mental field settles down, we experience inner peace. Surrender to the process allows our experience to deepen until we feel a sense of completion or fulfillment on that occasion.
We can support ourselves in this process by setting aside a space in our environment, a room or a small area of a room, for an altar and meditation chair. Many homes have special rooms for television or a place for entertaining guests—why not devote a part of our living space to devotional life and let it be a constant reminder of that which is important to us?
The honor and respect we afford ourselves through the commitment to daily meditation practice is returned to us in serenity.
Steps to meditation:
Approach your time of meditation with an open mind and a surrendered heart. Think of your time of meditation as being that time when you consciously make yourself available to God—to listen and look within. Surrender any expectation for desired results and allow the particular experience of that day to be exactly as it is without judging it.
Sit upright and in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes and with each inhaling breath, draw your attention within—away from involvement with external sights or sounds. With each exhaling breath, let go of any tension you are holding in your body. Acknowledge God's presence everywhere around you and within you as your very life. Pray in your own words a prayer of attunement, acknowledging the life of God as the life of all beings everywhere.
Let your attention flow to the spiritual eye, the inner point between the eyebrows. Feel as if your natural inhalation and exhalation of breath occurs through this single point. You may want to inwardly hear the word "Om" with inhalation, and "Peace" with exhalation to further focus your attention. If the attention should wander into random thoughts of the past or future, gently bring the focus back to the breath, back to the words "Om...Peace" and be aware in the present moment.
As you become progressively interiorized and thought activity subsides, it is natural to let go of the word formula and simply rest in the inner silence, looking and listening within. Let your yearning to know God be felt within your heart and surrender to the process.
When you feel ready to end your time of meditation, take a moment to let the feelings of peace fill your mind and body. Feel that your are in complete harmony with life in all ways. Let your feelings of love for God, for yourself and beings everywhere come to the surface and be acknowledged. Gently bring your attention back to your mind, your body, and your environment. Enter into your day carrying the portable peace of meditation with you.
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