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Meditation - what's that all about then?

July 9, 2017

 

Yoga Like Water:  May Class Assignment

 

What is Meditation 

  • Meditation is a process of training the mind 

  • It's a way to understand the nature of your mind, to learn to focus and make your mind your own

  • It enables you to find what is helpful for *your* mind, to turn your mind into an ally

  • Meditation is being fully present in the current moment

 

Why Mediate?

  • Its a great, simple way to achieve peace of mind and de-stress and you’ll find you better manage stressful situations

  • Meditation helps us cultivate beneficial states of mind and more easily choose to maintain a positive mental state when things don't go as we expect them or when bad things happen

  • Through meditation we can see the true nature of things

  • We can achieve a complete understanding and acceptance of ourselves and the world around us

How to Meditate

  • There just about as many techniques as there are people - see Find More on YouTube, Podcasts & Google to start exploring

  • Whatever the method:  First things first:  Get To Know The Nature of Your Mind

  • You can use the simple observation of the breath in and out of the body, every time the mind wanders, simply return the attention to the breath

  • Start small and build up to the type of meditation practice suited to your objectives

🌸Learn to Stay🌸

 

Whatever arises *is* the essence of realisation:

  • You see the nature of *your* mind

    • What is your mind going on and on about?

    • Do you numb out?  

Simply commit to just come back, to stay:

  • Stay with the itching

    • Stay with the discomfort

    • Stay with the difficultly of how hard it can be to be fully present without distraction

    • Stay with the hum of restlessness, of your ego clinging, seeking something to grasp

Attitude is key, you are warm and friendly to yourself, confident, non-judgemental, supportive.

 

Common Stumbling Blocks and Solutions:

    • You need an “astonishingly alert” mind - this requires energy!

    • You don’t have to be static - if your mind is super active or if you have difficulty staying awake during meditation it can help to exercise first or try a moving meditation - running and swimming for example are great

    • It’s a common misconception to think the aim of meditation is to stop all thought and to be frustrated when this doesn’t happen

    • Instead simply focus on detaching from and observing your thoughts, creating more and more space between the you the observer and your thoughts.  

    • You quickly start to see you are not your thoughts - your mind is like a naughty monkey, jumping from branch to branch!

 

The Tibetan System:

Describes beautifully four levels of meditation

  1. When you start out, be like the Tiger:  He's friendly to himself and merciful to others, he completely embodies unconditional confidence and is never dishevelled and mindless. There is great strength in the gentleness that he embodies, building strength and precision.

  2. Once you have mastered the ability to keep focussed concentration on the breath you’re ready to be the Lion:  The Lion embodies joy and you see him in Tibetan art jumping joyfully in a beautiful meadow.  This is the stage where you experience the joy that the fitness & freedom your ability to concentrate your mind brings .  In this stage you deepen your practice.  You sit for longer periods and learn techniques such as Gratitude, Loving Kindness, Insight meditation and more.

  3. Stage 3 is represented by the Garuda - a mythical eagle like creature with arms and wings, instantly able to fly in any direction.  You are no longer learning how to meditate, you’ve mastered the technique, and are competent and accomplished.  We can now challenge ourselves, expanding our insight.

  4. Finally stage 4, the Dragon: shown always in Tibetan art flying among the clouds in the sky with mysterious effect.  He embodies wisdom, intelligence, foresight and omniscience   This is where you are meditating for the benefit of others, to benefit those you love, your community, for the world.

 

Each stage includes those before it, the qualities are cumulative and inclusive - you never leave that friendly, confident Tiger behind 🌸

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