Meditation has helped me to have a genuine willingness to explore and make peace with myself. I continue to work towards the calmness that comes from awareness and non-attachment and seem to maintain it fairly consistently now.
So if you are interested…
Tips for Achieving Meditative State….
Take your time. Don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t come easily. That is part of the meditation process too.
Become hyper-aware of your body and its placement. For example, start at the top of your head and systematically become aware of each part of your body – do you feel warmth, chill, breeze, aching, etc… – Head, ears, neck, shoulders, etc… be aware that you subdue this awareness of your own body as your most common state of existence. It may help to imagine you are building your body into physical existence, but cannot add a part until you become aware of it and the sensations that it provides. If you lose track and become engaged in mind chatter, when you realize you have become distracted, mindfully stop the chatter and start building the awareness of your body again, from the beginning.
Another technique is to simply use your breath. Allow yourself to become aware of your breath. Become hyper-aware of the muscles that are used, the depth or shallowness of your breath. Follow the sensation of breath as if you were the air itself. Once you feel comfortable with your awareness of your breath, try to focus your attention on a single aspect of it.
Allow your breath to be even and relaxed. It is your natural state. If you become engaged in mind chatter, when you realize you have become distracted, mindfully stop the chatter and return to your breath.
I find this technique to be particularly useful if I am having a lot of mind chatter. It seems to work like a switch for me. I find that if I am making a noise either in my head or very low audibly, it seems to turn the chatter off. Use either a steady tone or an Aum, but no defined words or melodies.
I think this technique is the hardest, but may be the most useful once mastered.
Allow your mind to drift into a black void. Gradually allow all coherent thoughts to cease. Turn off all internal dialogue. As you become aware of how chaotic your mind is with unwanted thoughts and impressions, try to release each one. Even the thought that “Hey, I am quieting my mind…I think this is working” is an intrusion into the void. As all thoughts are released, you simply become aware. Stay in the state of awareness by maintaining absence of thought.
As you become comfortable and more familiar with each practice, you will find that the time to get into a meditative state may become very short, or that you may even be able to maintain a sense of waking meditation all the time. I believe the most useful purpose of meditation is to notice the workings of your mind and then to bring peaceful clarity into it.
The entire process is a journey of self discovery, discipline and ultimately awareness. Each time a person consciously begins meditation, there is an acknowledgment that the state does not currently exist. We all begin at the beginning, one breath or awareness at a time. I don’t believe that “meditation” is turning your mind into nothingness (although sometimes that is a doorway), rather it is an awareness of the universe and the love that is there and allowing your sense of self to dissipate to the point you are able to become enveloped and strengthened by it. At times, you may easily slip into a meditative state and others you may struggle. You may find a combination of techniques work, or you may develop your own…there are no “rules”. However, patience and resolve are important. If you get distracted or irritated, make sure that you practice letting those feelings go and starting again.
As you begin the process of mediation, it might be helpful to have a thought to meditate on once you get there. I suggest that you allow yourself to feel the unconditional love that is freely given by the universe to every creature and in turn allow your kindness and goodwill to add to the already immeasurable amount that is there.
Allow the peacefulness to go straight into your heart and carry it with you until your next meditation.
Love to all,