"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own
common sense." - The Buddha.
This thread is a 2 parter. It will be long, but that is because I'm trying to give you a quality post. This thread is all for YOU. I want to inspire
you. I will try my best.
In the first part I will explain what true spirituality means to me. I feel it is somewhat misunderstood. I want you to discover your inner wisdom,
your inner potential.
As well I would like to give you some meditation tips and techniques that I started with. I remember when I first got into meditation, I bought a book
and I still didn't know what it was or what exactly it did. Traditional methods can hard and may deter you. It's pretty hard to relax and probe your
mind when you can't comfortably sit in a lotus position.
. Only after a few years am I realizing the value in position and posture. So i devised my
own techniques, which I would like to share. But first I want to try and interest you in meditation and spirituality.
PART 1 - The New Age and spiritual misconception
It's interesting how society has a way of putting a twist on things. How many of you cringe when you hear the words "New Age"?
There is indeed a very superficial, commercialized spirituality being marketed. Simple things like horoscopes, which vaguely apply to the 1/12th of
the zodiac population you might fit in, as well as tarot, crystal healing, and palmistry kind of make spirituality look nothing more then..well..
party games. In reality, they are just misunderstood.
You might think.. surely this is not the way of the intelligent, logical, rational mind. In reality, spirituality is a path of truth and wisdom. Those
whom I would call spiritual are some of the wisest, open minded, tolerant (and often humble) people I have met.
Through the search for truth, some may follow traditional means, that is..effective methods handed down by others. Some how along the way this has
been grouped into religion. The true spiritual seeker doesn't believe what they do because a book told them to, they believe it because they searched
for it within their own hearts and minds - digging as deep as they can, persistently.
In our society we criticize religions because it doesn't hold up to our scientific theories - which in fact change repeatedly. I love science
because I like to know how things work, but sometimes I find science can be as dogmatic as religion. Either way.. how can one say they are the voice
of rationality if they follow someone else's belief system? But that's right, we call those solid facts because that is what the "experts" say.
The path of wisdom becomes clearer as we open our minds to new possibilities.
I feel perhaps the biggest human fear of all beyond base survival is the fear of feeling "crazy". We feel we need to firmly plant ourselves in our
accepted reality. But what happens is our position becomes too firm and we start deflecting other concepts, hindering our own growth. "Stay thinking
in that box, and don't you dare think out of it."
This is where that wonderful quality humility
comes in. If we're wrong / make mistakes, we take a fall, but it doesn't stop us. We get back
up and keep trying. We can't let our pride stop us from evolving. This is the humble path of spirituality.
The search for inner wisdom has made me more loving, forgiving, confident, and happy with a sense of peace and purpose I never thought possible.
I spend my time making posts like this not to make me feel elevated to some higher, superficial level of status, but because I want others to feel as
good as I do. That is my harmless agenda. If I can make you smile, it was worth it.
Find yourself, and you will find peace. When you find peace, you will find wisdom. But don't take my word for it, see for yourself!
Now let me share some meditation tips for you beginners, though I feel nothing begins nor ends, but is just realized.
PART 2 - My starter tips and methods
Any amount of time, anywhere:
I used to go to work every day in a bit of a miserable mood. I would eat my breakfast at work in a food court and just close my eyes. I would think
about those who made me happy. I did this for maybe 15 minutes every day and it allowed me to be happy at work. What I did not realize was that after
some time, I didn't need to do it anymore. I was happier. More then that, I noticed my focus / ability to empty my mind had increased.
Simple little exercises like this can go a long way.
As I sat there I would also observe people and a lot of concepts can come if you take the time to observe. You don't have to be sitting down in a
trance to expand your awareness.
Aside from all that I would meditate on my bed. I would lie down as shown:
I would sit down with my legs folded then lean back on my bed. I found that keeping the legs folded was comfortable, yet not such a natural sleep
position so I wouldn't doze off.. but also, I felt it helped circulate my energy. You could use a pillow but I don't recommend it. An arched neck
over time will become uncomfortable. You might feel the urge to swallow/ shift around and it can break your level of "absorbtion". It is also good
to keep a straight spine, if anything I urge you to sit the traditional way if you can, or in a chair with your feet firmly planted. But if you're
new, more then anything your probably battleing physical and mental distractions.
So lying in this position, legs folded, spine reasonably straight, arms at the side with palms up and hands in a natural relaxed position, you can do
one of two things, or combine both. First I want to explain the hands. Here's a picture of how I position them, in a relaxed manner:
Relax the hands, relax the body, then focus attention on the hands.. be aware of them but don't concentrate on them. Just feel them, and keep feeling
them. You might start to feel a tingling, perhaps little electrical sensations. This is a good way for cultivating ones awareness of the body, in this
case the hands. Another good way is through Tai Chi
or Qi Gong
. By cultivating awareness of your body/energy field, in this case -
hands, you may start to become aware of your pulse, your flow of energy, sensations you felt before but didn't give much thought. In time these
feelings can become very strong and you can sense and affect energy fields.
You can even use your hands to sense your chakras
by hovering them above the area. I find this a good way to sense ones chakras, and convince
yourself of their existence. Of course there are other ways... if you want to feel your solar plexus/ sacral / dan tien area... an angry
confrontation with someone can leave you feeling scattered, with an electrical or intense burning sensation in your navel.. though I would not
recommend this. I am stating by putting chakras to their extremes, we can easily become aware of their existence. If you work with sound, you might
feel you are able to feel certain tones as sensations in your body, as well as the emotions and such.
No matter where you are, you can be aware of your body. It's good to make a habit of it.
When walking I let my arms swing naturally and sometimes put my hand in this mudra
By touching the tips of your thumbs to your index finger, while also being aware of the hands while walking, it can give you grounding, a sense of
calmness and oneness with the earth. Take time to explore your body. Perhaps a simple crossing of toes makes you feel relaxed?
When you walk, learn to look at things differently.. do you see solid colors, or do you see fluctuating static? Do you hear nothing, or do you hear
subtle sounds and perhaps a ringing in your ears? Take time to explore these things.
But back to meditating on the bed...Get comfortable, close your eyes. Focus on breathing... breathe in through your nose and out through your
nose/mouth. Breathe deeply so that you don't fall asleep, and importantly, breathe rhythmically. Breathe in deep, and in a pattern if you can. By
counting the seconds in the inhales and exhales, it helps focus and empty your mind. Once you feel you're breathing is natural and you feel
comfortable, you can try focusing your attention to something else, like a simple object in your mind. Chances are your mind WILL wander, a lot. By
focusing on a single object in your mind, over time with consistent meditations, you will find your mind less cluttered and you be able to get in a
deep trance in mere minutes from what seemed like an hour or more.
If you empty the mind and put aside distractions, you might notice your body feels a bit paralyzed. You might notice a higher state of mind you're
not used to. You can go deeper if you want, or if you like.. explore a concept.. ask yourself a question, see what happens.
Beyond that I won't fill your head with expectations, your meditation is your own, i'm just trying to give some tips. If you can rid your mind of
distractions, it can put more energy into one area.
Doing excercises like Tai Chi or Qi Gong in the morning can wake you up in mere minutes from what seems to take a couple hours and a couple coffees.
If it feels uncomfortable, breathe deeper. It will get more comfortable. With practice this can become very relaxing.
In this world there are so many distractions. So much can be learned about ourselves by searching our minds.
I will wrap this up because I've reached my word limit. I hope this will be of some help to someone. It took me many hours and it's all worth it if
it can help just one of you!
[edit on 26-12-2008 by CavemanDD]