Meditation

General information, impact & techniques

Meditation

What is meditation?

Some people believe that meditation is just an escape from our lives, painful feelings or situations we cannot bear or solve. In reality, we cannot look at meditation and denial of some life situation as something similar. Our experience showed us, that meditation is the exact opposite of the denial.

Meditation means to step out from the noisy confusion of the projected world and of ourselves for the simple and quiet clarity of the here and now. Meditation is to stop and face up to reality. In meditation, we explore our minds openly and honestly without denying anything.

Meditation is when the meditator has their entire, or part of their attention directed inward to the thoughts, feelings, and the flow of energy monitoring and control. The meditator can search for the origin of thoughts, feelings and energy flows seen. Do you want to meditate and you don’t know how? Find instructions and guidance here!

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Why should I meditate?

Meditation

Alert and focused – these things are rare. Instead of being in the here and now. We can be distracted by our own worries and thoughts Meditation can counter these things. The benefit of meditation to our well-being has been demonstrated many times. Nevertheless, many believe meditation is not for them. Perhaps they know too little about this method.

The need to finally turn off to think about other things to leave the everyday rat race, to shake off the stress of space and perhaps to develop new ideas and goals – many of us can relate to this.

It is imperative that we feel equally at home in both states:

"Demands for a life of exertion and effort, to include periods of rest, relief and relaxation."

Usually we get the necessary balance in more detail, by simply sleeping, dozing off, dancing, or pursuing a hobby. But we are not always, able to let go of the tension in this way. And then what? Then we have to look for other ways. Meditation might be such a way, because it is first and foremost a method of relaxation.

And for all scientifically proven methods of relaxation: who controls them, not only learns serenity, but also alternative modes of action to respond to stress. The stress can be in everyday life, we can deal with stress better and learn to tolerate chronic pain.

Especially chronic stress, if we can not think of any possible solutions for the stress-causing situation and fail with all of the counter-strategies, it is helpful to pause to calm yourself and to look carefully at alternative ways of coping. The mediation techniques at hand will help you do just that.

How should I meditate?

Meditation

Whether practicing a program like Bensonmethode, yoga, Tai Chi or Zen meditation - all methods, are a mental workout that has it all: "The meditating man deals with his mental states and processes, he exerts the conscious design of his own consciousness. "

Meditation calms mind and body and the effect is that we have a more benevolent attitude towards ourselves. But how can this state be achieved? Just concentrating on your breath has proven itself. :

"With a mindful breathing, we can exercise our inner need better and change towards the direction of peace and serenity."

This can also help to greatly diminish physical reactions to stress such as heart palpitations, and feelings that are experienced as upsetting. That is the reason why after we meditate we feel not only physically relaxed but also mentally and emotionally "calmed down". The effect of meditation is not a mystical miracle. It is impossible to be relaxed and fearful at the same time. Since you are only focusing on your breath, this allows you to seperate yourself from your other thoughts.

Find detailed instructions how to meditate here!
What is Meditation
Do you need to understand your life and find your balance?

This interruption of thinking, that happens in the concentrated introspection, gives us even more opportunities than the short-term exit out of the stress: we get the chance to see our own situation from a different perspective - and possibly reinterpret it. If we feel stressed depends mainly on our assessment. Chronic, harmful stress, uncontrollable stress-response occurs only when we get stuck in a situation perceived as awkward and cannot get out of it with routine reactions. As we pause to recognize this, we may have the option to reinterpret what causes us stress as a "challenge" and thus it can be seen as a problem that must be tackled. For example, we could see a separation not as a disaster but as a chance to put things into new paths, a dismissal could provide the opportunity to consider again what kind of work you actually want to do. Perhaps, new ways of dealing with a chronic illness can show up as well.

Therefore, a basic meditation practice is to look at your own thoughts “without judging them and let them go its own ways”. This may sound banal, but by watching our own thoughts from the outside and learning to see ourselves “thinking”, we gain fundamental new insights. Even this “view-in-distance” can help you to stop identifying with your own thoughts and it also contains the idea that we, theoretically, could think something different. Exactly that is the reason to ignore the rise of feelings, an itch on the foot, burning legs, while in meditation - we should sense it and let it go. Those who can do that, have already laid the foundation for the exit from the rat race..

„The measurements of brain waves with the electroencephalography (EEG) and views from the interior of our Brain by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows us constant action in our head. By meditating the mind is also very active, but the pattern of activation and our mental state are fundamentally different. Instead of following the monkey who wants to be occupied, and to produce appropriate ideas, it looks calm calm.

"By exercising to look at things from a different perspective, we are no longer completely identified with all the feelings and thoughts. This distance creates a growing confidence that even dissolves the biggest inner dramas, if we manage not to respond to our thoughts."

Meditating not only strenghtens trust and confidence of being able to control your feelings. With focused introspection, we will also become more sensitive to everything we do. The beautiful colorful autumn foliage, the bright blue sky - these impressions we often don’t notice in everyday life.

Literature:
  • Steve Hagen: Meditation – beginnt jetzt genau hier! Windpferd, Obersdorf 2010
  • Ulrich Ott: Meditation für Skeptiker. Ein Neurowissenschaftler erklärt den Weg zum Selbst. O. W. Barth, Frankfurt 2010

Meditation

SHATSAMPATTI – the six treasures

In our mind are six very special hidden skills that will help us to certify the spiritual influence and overcome the internal barriers.

Through meditation and observance of ethical principles, we can clean our mind, consciousness, intellect and ego to overcome false and poor adhesion and convert its destructive energy into good.

These treasures are:Shama, Dama, Shraddha, Titiksha, Uparati, Samadhana.

Shama is inner peace and serenity. This we achieve by withdrawing the mind and senses from the transmission of the external world and centering it in the inner self..

meditation qualities

Dama means self-control. When we restrain the senses, thoughts and feelings by mind (Buddhi), so that they do not run away like wild horses, we can avoid ill-considered actions and spare ourselves the resulting problems and suffering.

Shradda is trust. Trust is something very fundamental in spiritual and secular realtions in every respect. Where faith is lacking, doubts arise and gradually destroy love.

Whom should I trust? First of all, yourself. Many people have lost their confidence.

Furthermore have faith in your path and your mission, so that nothing can distract you or even lead you astray. The path to perfection requires absolute confidence.

Once you've chosen a path, do not be discouraged by difficulties. Truly believe in what you want to achieve and say to yourself, with inner certainty, "I will make it". Do not think: "I'll try it. " If so you're only paralyzing yourself. Bravely take the chance which fate gave you and put the result of your efforts in God's hands.

Third, believe in your master and God with absolute trust. If you always doubt, you can not see the truth, even if it would be right in front your eyes.

Uparati means to stand above things to depend on nothing and to fear nothing. If you are facing everything you encounter with a positive attitude, nothing can really harm you, because you can also draw valuable lessons from accidents. Fears and problems always arise when one fears to lose something. A rich man who surrounds himself with guards, locks and bars, is actually a prisoner of his property.

Titiksha is equanimity and inner strength. Everyone knows that in life we are confronted with obstacles and difficulties over and over again. When was existence ever entirely free of problems? Don’t lose your nerves, even if the situation seems hopeless. Remember that nothing lasts forever. Only the self is immutable and eternal. Everything else is impermanent and transitory, beacuse the time proceeds inexorably. The body is changing every second, as well as the thoughts, feelings and situations. Never despair, even if you are doing badly. Pray to God for Titiksha, inner strength, courage and fortitude..

Samadhana, the last of the six known treasures, means the inner awarness and goal-orientation. Never lose sight of the goal. If you encounter problems and resistance, sit down quietly, close your eyes and think about the situation. When an outburst of anger and rage threatens to overwhelm you, do not act immediately. Hold your distance and only observe the feelings.

Mahaprabhuji said: "In high seas one should not be diving for pearls." Wait until the internal waves have smoothed back and ask yourself very gently and calmly the following questions.

Therefore, Samadhana generally means to step back and observe. When the internal waves have calmed down, we can dive deep into our self. Only then we can see the truth and reality and understand the meaning of all the difficulties and suffering. By withdrawing the mind from external things, we can connect with the higher consciousness within us which knows the answer to all questions.

What is meditation? Learn to meditate!

Meditation is not a matter of faith


The diverse effects of this relaxation method have now been scientifically proven!

Recently, meditation, and concentrated introspection, have experienced a veritable boom in research: three quarters of all studies that have been published in the last five years. One basis of this research is the still relatively new knowledge, that our brain is still capable of learning in adulthood. Depending on how we use it, it builds up to our actions. A famous example is a study that examined the brains of London taxi drivers. It turned out that the areas for the "spatial memory" were much larger than for other people.

Conclusions such as those were discovered only a few decades ago with the so-called "imaging". High-resolution pictures of brain structure provide, for example, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Not only that, because active neurons have higher oxygen and energy requirements, neuroscientists can even watch where in the brain those cells work. More recently, brain researchers now compare, what happens in the mind of meditators and non-meditators - and indeed have found evidence that points to many of the alleged effects on self-development.

Meditation increases alertness, clarity and awareness: In one study, subjects were asked to simply react to the “right” stimulus among many others, presented in rapid succession. After just three-months of training in Vipassana meditation, the persons who practiced were more successful with this method than others. Also their brains began to act less against the unimportant stimuli.

The fact, that in a short time of meditation, people may find it easier to deal with stress and their immune system is strengthened, suggests another recent study. Here, subjects responded after a six-week training in "compassion-meditation" less nervous when they were deliberately put under pressure - they were asked to give a lecture to an audience. Findings of a blood test pointed to better health of their immune system as well.

Furthermore, researchers found in a brain region, the orbi frontal cortex, consistently more gray cells in meditators than in others. According to scientists, this area handles how we assess situations and react emotionally to them. Another study revealed that the density of nerve cells in this brain region is higher the longer someone practices meditation.

Meditation improves the interpersonal interaction. By only a few minutes of meditating on "loving kindness”, study participants behaved more friendly to strangers and reacted less suspicious afterwards than others who had participated in a neutral Imagination exercise of equal duration.
The neuroscientists Ulrich Ott subsumed in his book - Meditation for Skeptics - the research results: All previous studies, in which meditators were compared with others, show a higher density of gray matter, or an increase in brain areas, that are responsible for the following feelings, thoughts or actions:

- body awareness and movement control - sense regulation and relearning for unpleasant experiences - Emotional assessment of situations and reactions - feelings of presence, joy and connectedness - focusing and maintaining attention - respiratory and circulatory regulation.

Which diseases heals meditation, where can I find reliable empirical results?

Especially for pain disorders, depression and anxiety disorders research results have proven the effect of meditation. Recently, meditation has also been successfully used in the treatment of eating disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Most studies exist for the effect of stress. Here is "Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction" (MBRS), currently the most researched program. An overview study, published in late 2009, showed positive results- after the eight-week training, participants had significantly fewer symptoms.

What do I need to do in order to meditate without religious obligations?

You can look around, where there are groups in your area that have a similar interest in the method without incorporating it into dogmatic thoughts. Groups that practice Zen are often highly interested in the method and practice meditation for self-purification, free from religious content. But not all groups are equal. It is best to check what each group offers. Look at the people and see exactly who you want to rely on in such a process of self development. I would suggest to make this decision based on the people and the feeling that you have around them - regardless of the method. There are, for example, in transcendental meditation, or Sahaja Yoga good people, that don’t have anything to do with the “surroundings” of the movement – which I personally see as very critical. In Buddhism, in Christianity, including yoga, everywhere you can find those self-declared gurus and charlatans - as well as centers with people who are clear, sincere and don’t want others to indoctrinating.

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Meditation and Introspection

We spoke in previous articles about benefits of meditation, we tried to explain, what meditation is and what it is not. We connected meditation with thoughtless awareness and ability to step aside and watch own thoughts. Improvements in this area can be achieved only by practice, no explanation, no instructions can help enough. The most effective help is the guidance of someone, who achieved this. The positive results is in this area about ability to control our mind. We all are unique personalities full of own abilities and also limits. Some people consider quite easy to watch own thoughts, other people with strong will have ability to stop the flow of thoughts for certain period. But there are also people, who cannot (especially at the beginning) sit quietly or they are not able to achieve thoughtless awareness. These people can be demotivated and say for themselves "This simply doesn't work on me."
There is a way, how to achieve results also for these people. The tool is introspection. Introspection is defined as: "the examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional processes". Most people have problems with the control of thoughts, because they are not aware, how their inner world works. If we are for example very stressed, we simply cannot stop thinking. Why? Because our mind considers some life situation as emergency and has to be focused on this situation day and night, because "not to be focused there" could bring life danger!
Know yourself!!! Search for the answers: "Why is this situation so strong?" "Is this stress or fear real?" "Am I really in emergency?" "What will happen to me, if my nightmare comes true?" The answers to these questions can reveal reality and maybe you realise, that some situation is not so dangerous for you and therefore you can be more relaxed. Your mind doesn't have to be so focused on something and your flow of thoughts won't be so intense. Or, there is another extreme, some dream we have. If we want something very much, we thing repeatedly about the situation, we play this movie about desired result again and again. This way, although it goes to positive feelings, is our mind also thinking too much. There is no space for peace there. Our nerves cannot relax and the reality of our life is again covered in smoke of thoughts.
Introspection can give you real treasure: knowledge and peace. This is my own experience. More knowledge about myself is in me, more I am aware of reality, more peace is coming. And as the result of this, my mind is automatically calmer, I have no need to think too much about life and my vision is clear. Thoughtless awareness comes without special effort, because "there is nothing to think about".
Do you need to slow down, understand in more detail your life and who you are? Do you need to increase your self-confidence? Speak with us!

Visions in the Meditation

or How to measure our success in meditation?

Everyone is special, we differ from each other. Our reactions, perception and experiencing of things in certain situation are very different. So, we are very different also in the area of meditation and spiritual development. There are people, who have often visions and see for example light or angels, or they speak with some spirits. Others feel nothing „special“. And they begin to ask: „Why are others able to see things and I see nothing? What is wrong with me?“
The truth is, that it is not really importnat, if someone has visions or not. We can compare the astral plane to internet. There are lots of good and useful things there, but there are also many rubish information or untruths. The astral plane is the same. For example, there is someone, who can speak with archangel Gabriel. We can ask the question, if their conversation was about something important or it was just a „smalltalk“??
meditation info

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Or someone tells you he was speaking with an entity, which explained him, how pyramids were built... Ok, so what??? Are these things relevant to your life right now or not? I don't say that visions are bad, or that they are good. They are as they are. Every vision is just an information, an energy. What will people do with their visions and experiences is their business. There are also certain people, who believe, that, because they have certain visions or contacts with spirits or angels, they are something special, superior to other people, who cannot achieve this. This way, they are creating something what we call „spiritual egoism“. And egoism of any kind can be really a big problem for further development.
Such people can get themselves in ordinary life into difficult situations. For example, archangel Gabriel says to someone not to work as he do right now, because he was born for something bigger. So, it could happen, that he will leave his work and he, in the worst case, has no money for his living and is starving. What advantage is then the ability to speak with archangel Gabriel? If someone leaves his job in order to write some spiritual superbook which helps lots of people? Then it is super. But what if not?

For me are important, especially at the beginning, these four indicators (and the number of visions is not one of them):
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1. The degree of reactivity in critical situations
How do I react in situations like lack of money, serious illness, death of close person? Am I calm? Nervous? Depressed? Or deeply touched? It doesn't mean, that one cannot feel fear, sadness or anger. It is about not being destroyed by the situation and lose control over one's life.
2. The ability to feel happy and satisfied with what is.
Am I grateful for what is? How it is with my complaining? Am I enjoying the life?
3. The ability to stay in the thoughtless awareness.
This doesn't mean, that one cannot think. It is about not being involved in compulsive thinking process. It is to be behind it, to be able to stop this buzz and gain back inner peace. This point is very important.
4. The contribution of visions and information from other worlds to everyday life of a person or other people.
Have I experienced something, what is important and relevant for current life or life of others? Does this knowledge help me to be better and stronger person? It could be for example inspiration for my book, song or my work or answer to some question, which moves me forward...
You should meditate 20 minutes a day. If you are too busy to do so, you should meditate one hour.
When someone, for example Neale Donald Walsch, had some "higher" experience and it brought him an inspiration to write a book which helped millions of people, then is this experience wonderful and significant. People can be inspired and create wonderful music, or find a solution to some problem, which helps to improve their life or lives of others. In that case it is very useful and right to follow visions in form of images or sounds and bring them to this material world.
But when someone speaks with certain entity two hours about something insignificant, which he probably already knows and that knowledge brings no additional value, then is this conversation only the way, how to increase one's spiritual ego. People with spiritual ego think, that they are better or "higher" than others, because they are privileged to speak with some "top" entity. Spiritual ego is then the major obstacle in a spiritual journey. In order to continue, it should be in certain point left behind. It doesn't mean, that we should completely abandon or delete our egos. Ego is important part of our human life. But it should be observed and controlled. Ego should serve us, not rule us. One man once asked a buddhist monk: "Could you explain me in one sentence the essence of the Buddha teaching?" The monk answered: „No Ego - no Problem!“
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There is a nice story about meeting of two disciples of different masters. The first disciple explains to his friend: „My Master is so strong, that when he stands on the riverbank and moves his hand, you feel that slap also standing on the other side of a river“.
Then he asks:“And what can do your master?“ He answers: „You know, my Master, when he sleeps, he sleeps. When he eats, he eats.“

This is the real mastery. To be exactly where you are- here and now. In here and now no problem can be created. And this the level, which one can achieve with daily meditation. Get personal powers is not a competition. It is not about who has more visions or how many special powers one has.These will come naturally with the higher level of consciousness.
The mechanism of increasing personal power is simple and effective. If someone wants to know himself, he receives special powers and visions on the path of his spiritual development as a side effect. If someone goes on spiritual path in order to gain supernatural powers and special visions, he won't succeed. It is because second motivator will lead human being to bigger ego and big ego is the basic obstacle of personal spiritual progress.

Here is another story. A disciple asks his master: „What should I do in order to be enlightened?“ The master answers: “The enlightenment is just here and now with you.“ The disciple tries to see it, but when he sees nothing, he again asks his master:“Do you see it, can you achieve it?“ The master answers:“ The enlightenment is here, when the words „I“ „You“ „He“ have no meaning and they don't exist anymore.“
The success in meditation can be seen also through observation of oneself. We can observe, how strong is our ego, what power it has over ourselves and how we are able to control it. We can evaluate, how we react in different situations and how fast we are able to come to our centre, to ourselves.

Recommendations for advanced practitioners

Learn Meditation

At the beginning, the greatest challenge is to force oneself to meditate regularly. After some time, people notice, that daily meditation feels good and it is like a daily teeth cleaning: refreshing and purifying. To be clean inside means to be in harmony with oneself. We can often experience, that our head wants one thing, our heart another, body asks its own wishes and our personal duty goes completely different direction... This situation means, that we are not one with ourselves. Regular meditaiton unify all these wishes into one direction and there is just one Wholeness, which knows, what to desire, where to go, what is important and what is the meaning of one's life.
Another very important feature of meditation is inner peace. At the beginnig, we should try to know different parts of reality, which causes our problems. They are thouse aituaitons in life, where we say too much “YES“ or "NO“. For example, I can think too much about money, lack of it at present or I can fear that I will have one day money problems...so, I think all the time, how should I prevent this situation, what to do... After the knowledge of problematic area comes, it is very important to let it go.
Of course, there are many things which I can and should do – to find a job, increase my education etc. Sometimes, the situation in our country is not good and not everyone can find a job, you maybe need contacts or good luck. This cannot be solved or influenced and it is important to let it go to the hands of God/ Higher Power. My rational mind says: "You cannot do this". And this thought takes my energy away. Without energy I am not able to be active and do, what I can do and desire.
Meditation can help us to divide this problem into two parts:
- This is something I can do and I have resources for influencing my reality.
- Those things I cannot influence, so I surrender them to Higher Powers.
If I will practice this in my meditation, peace will come. In this peace and thoughtless awareness, I have access to my inner powers, which normally I am not aware of.
Another important thing is to realize, that thoughts are not "real" or mine. There are many invisible thought currents or structures around us. The human mind is like a radio and is able to „catch“ or tune in to any current. The frequency, which „plays“ in our mind is the reflection of our inner state. And our inner mood attracts similar currents.
The most important thing is to recognise, that „I AM NOT THIS THOUGHT. I AM AWARENESS BEHIND IT.“ I am the Observer, who can watch all this and I can choose, where I will give my attention and how will I react. This freedom comes, when I make during meditation the step aside, when I am conscious of reality and I know, I can, as the immortal eternal awareness, react or not react at will.
When someone meditates daily, s/he probably knows, that meditation is different every day. The depth and quality of evening meditation depends mostly on how our day was. If my boss stressed me a lot, or I have a fight with my wife/man/kids..., my evening meditation is not so intense. Its quality improves, when I spend my day in peace and balance.
So, we can improve the depth of our meditation, when we take care, how we spend our day, how we react or not react, how we „guard“ our emotions.
Further step towards deeper meditation is to try to be in meditation whole day. This doesn't mean, that we are not aware of anything, like a „zombie“, but the part of our attention is always inside of us, we ask again and again, what is my mood, or where are my emotions. For example: „Now I am a bit scared from what my boss said to me.“ or „I am angry, because that man didn't do what I wanted him to do. This observation helps to be balanced easier and faster and this way, one can save his energy and nerves for evening meditation and achieving deeper levels. People, who are meditating longer time, already know this.
At the beginning it is not important, what position for meditation we take. Later it becomes more important. For example, to have a back in straight position, slowly relaxing the body (with the purpose „I am not just this body“). Very useful is lotus position or meditation in lying position. The reason for this is, that when consciousness goes very deep and body relaxes, or we move deep into unconsciousness or astral plane, we can lost contact with our body and in these positions our body cannot fall down without control.
It is important to go to this sleeping position, but not to sleep. Meditation is like a sleep, but the difference is, that we are conscious all the time.
At the beginning, we need music to calm down after a busy day. Later, we realize, that we can meditate without music or silence everywhere. To reach the depth in meditation then won't depend on outer circumstances. This can be the test of our meditation skills. Are we able to meditate only in peaceful environment or can we do it also at busy and noisy places? The later means, we've made progress.
Further, the progress depends on ability and degree of:
1. Being calm, alert and happy through the day
2. Doing our duties and activities lightly
3. Reacting acuratelly in critical situations.
You can see your progress in unpleasant situations like lack of money, health problems, losing a job, death of close friend or family member. Meditation can help in these situations to stay deep inside calm and peaceful. Of course, on the surface, we can feel and express feelings of sadness, anger, frustration. But if we are able to accept them and move on, our progress is very significant.
Acceptance of things, which we cannot influence or change, is the step in the right direction and it is a sign, we understood something. Deeper we in meditation go, deeper experience we have and our knowledge turns into wisdom. We move from „I think“ through „I hope“ and „I believe“ into „I know“. Who experienced in meditation something, what we can call „ mystic experience“ already knows, that we are not this body, thoughts and emotions. We are immortal eternal souls, who are moving from one life in to another life. Belief doesn't help us. Only experience has the power. Only knowledge makes us free.

This Song will help you to find joy, balance and inspiration for your day!

This Meditation will lead you to inner peace and place above time and space. Enjoy your life!

Translated from Meditation

Who keeps searching, will find!

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