Learn to Meditate by Samaya Adelin - HTML preview

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Learn to Meditate – Session 1

 

Meditation & Posture

 

 

 Key ingredients for a Great Meditation Posture

 

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Tree like, strong & grounded base

 

Cushions supporting your bum, back,

& knees if they are up too high.

 

Back is straight yet supple and comfortable

 

Allowing the weightiness of your body

to drop into your sit

 

Posture that maintains alertness and receptivity

 

Comfort is a friend!

 

 

 

For a Conducive Meditation Session...

 

  • Either sit on the floor cross legged & supported by cushions,

 

  • or on a chair with soft padding and back support.

 

 

Feet should touch the ground fully

 

when sitted on a chair to stay grounded.

 

 

Avoid lying down as your body thinks its getting ready to sleep and its easy to trigger off just that!   ZZZzzzzz....

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When cross legged you can either choose                                                                     the full lotus position

 

 

with your hands resting in the middle                                                and on top of each other ….

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- yet this lady might need a cushion under each knee -

 

Or … you can choose the subtle variation of

your hands resting gently on each knee.

 

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 - Again more cushions under the knees for those who want to -

 

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Beanbags are great for      and adjust around your

meditation as they hug shape in a perfect,

your whole body   luxurious way :)

 

 

 

Adjustments

 

Feel free to adjust and move your body before starting your practice, it's the best way to work out what works best for you.

 

It can often take some time to find what position suits us the most and it is normal for the body to rebel on 20 minutes of sitting still,  especially at the beginning of your practice.

 

Don't let that put you off, just be patient with a period of adjustment until you find what posture your body prefers.

 

 

 

Simplicity

 

Having said that, on each week we encourage you to aim and lessen your movements as you progress into meditation practice,

 

as continuous external movement can also be a way of resisting to concentrate and go deeper into our practice.

 

              

 

                

              And by the way … nobody expects you to do this !

 

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                                                     Image by Beni Ishaque Luthor

                                                                                               

 

 

Creating Conducive Conditions for Practice

 

 

 

“ Meditation is not about shutting off

the hustle & bustle of life, but making peace with it “

 

YET we think It's helpful that...

 

whilst learning and until you get a good grounding of the practice,

you create a conducive environment that is going to help you make the most of your meditation sit.

 

Besides... by minimising external distractions, it is easier to spot the internal ones! No?

 

 

 

Things to do that will help your focus...

  • Switch off your phone.
  • Notify others in your home that you will be unavailable for the next 30 minutes or so, so that you don't get distracted.
  • Set up a personable space-altar of inspiration that supports your intentions in meditating, i.e a candle, a flower or an image to support your connection.
  • Keep a notebook near by in case you need to make notes or write down any reflections once you come out of your sit.
  • Have a glass of water for before or after your sit.
  • Keep an extra layer of clothing by you, for warmth and cosiness or for changes in temperature.

                                          Perfect!

 Body Scan

img7.jpg                                     When scanning...

            We always start from our head at the  top and finish with our feet.

We simply place our awareness, focus and attention to the different  parts of the body...

feeling any physical sensations, textures & energies, simply                                         acknowledging what is there  presently.

   * Body scans offer us the perfect        opportunity to slow down gradually and      gather ourselves, before we start our      practice.

 

  • Body scans are like a warm up exercise and a great ice     breaker in meditation. As the mind starts to bring its attention on the external, we are slowly gathering ourselves  by gradually focusing on our internal experience ...
  • A body scan can help us stay grounded through the meditation that is to follow.
  • It is like paying our respects to our body and preparing ourselves for the practice and the magic to begin.

 

Attitude in Meditation practice

To help you understand what we actually do in meditation, I like to use the analogy of the ocean and its waves.

                                         Picture this.....

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You are standing by the shore, facing the big wide ocean …

In its totality, the big ocean is a metaphor for your big, expanded and relaxed mind. The mind you access in deep meditation.

The small waves are your small mind with all the chatter and thoughts, at times pleasant, at others not so much.

 

As a meditator, you are standing by the shore relishing and enjoying the big wide ocean (your big mind),

whilst witnessing the smaller waves (the small mind) expressing themselves and eventually surrendering into the big mind...

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                                    image by Beni Ishaque Luthor

Just like the small waves dissolve into the big ocean, so our mind's noise also has a natural capacity to surrender itself to a bigger, wider space of higher consciousness....   

             a place where noise simply ceases to exist...

 

In our busy modern lives

we somehow unlearned that surrender...

 

The aim of meditation is to help us remember that vital function of surrender...

 

  So in other words we're aiming to not attach to

 the small mind chatter and all it carries with it in your life...

 

 

As you see the waves break in front of you without touching your feet, similarly you observe and notice your thoughts by letting them wash away..

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Simply surrendering your every thought to a bigger space within your being, without getting hooked into their story...

Just like that, notice the thoughts that arise and choose to let them go.

To do that, simply chose to identify with the big ocean, the expanded mind, instead of the small waves, the everyday mind.

And allow the small mind to wash away & surrender to                  the big mind..     

                THIS is the aim of Meditation

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The 3 stages of Mindfulness Meditation

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Stage 1

 

After taking a couple of deep breaths, we allow our normal breathing to take over and take us into our practice. Whilst breathing, we mark each of our out-breaths with a number starting from 1 all the way to up 10, one number at a time and consecutively. When we reach 10 we start again from 1.

 

Stage 2

 

At this stage we drop the counting and simply deepen our

concentration by noticing the breath as it comes in and out of our body. We simply let our breath be the anchor of our awareness.

 

We develop an interest in the breath itself, whilst still retaining our awareness and focus on it. We feel the textures, energies and sensations in our body whilst we are breathing.

 

Stage 3

 

At this stage, we continue our natural breathing, yet we're taking our concentration and awareness of the breath even deeper by making note of a physical point in our body, internal or external, where our breath is felt. It could be the tip of our nose, back of the throat etc.

 

We allow that spot to be the focus and object of our attention for the rest of this session, letting everything around the breath, simply fall away.

 

 

 

 

 Remember....

 

At stage 1 of the practice

 

If you find yourself forgetting where you are in the counting

simply start from number 1 again,

 

If you find yourself having exceeded number 10

simply start from number 1 again.

 

 

    As a basic rule and at ALL stages of the practice

 

ANYTIME you get distracted by ANYTHING whilst meditating, simply notice it, accept it and without dismissing it,

bring your awareness back to your breath.

 

This is not intended to punish or discourage you!

 

 

It simply acts as an effective reminder that the aim of practice is for your awareness to stay focused and absorbed into your breath, and the counting of numbers is there to remind you that and bring you back into track.

   

 

If in any doubt at any time at what to do in meditation....

 

 

FOLLOW THE BREATH!

 

 

Be Intrigued by it

 

Absorbed in it

 

Love & Enjoy it

 

 

 

Play task for the week

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  Build or maintain a regular and    consistent  meditation practice and   keep a  key highlights diary to record   reflections & observations on your    practice if and as they come up...

 

  It's up to you how long you          meditate for ...

                                                                                                            

 

           Why do I say that?                                                                                        

 

  Well, if I was to ask you to meditate    for 20 minutes and you don't then you   are just going to spend your mental energy judging yourself on not doing as you were suggested.

 

         And that is not the point....

 

            Remember, you are your own boss here.

 

However as a guideline, between 15 - 20  minutes is a good start for week 1 if you're a beginner and need a structure to work with.

 

       Also know.... better to do some meditation than do none.

 

                    The first week we like to keep things simple...

 

You are mainly aiming to enjoy your sits and practice your attentional muscle of shifting your awareness from distractions to the breath.

 

 What to Notice...

 

  • General concentration levels
  • Depth of breathing
  • General emotional and mental quality in each sit.
  • How connected you feel within your body.
  • Be aware of sensations, energies, physical nuances.
  • Coming out of your practice take 2 or more minutes to ground yourself.       

                                                                                                                            And don't forget to have FUN whilst at it!

Learn to Meditate – Session 2         

 

Meditation & the Mind

 

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                                           image by Beni Ishaque Luthor

 

 

This session's AIMS:

 

  • To engage and meditate on the mind's activities

 

  • Identify the abstract mental activity taking place

 

  • From abstract mental activity to specific mental activity

 

  • Understanding impressional descriptions

 

  • From impressions to stories and storylines

 

  • From small mind to Big Mind

 

  • Observing the 'ocean' – not getting wet

                    

                      

                         THE  M I N D                                                            

When Meditating...

We treat our mind like an unfriendly force, or an unruly child that we wish to discipline. JUST for the purpose of meditation.

 

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Helpful qualities: The mind is     useful and helps us make  decisions, be discerning and  make progress in life.

   We 're lucky to have the capacity                                  to think and act logically.

 

 

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Unhelpful qualities: The  mind   can often distract us with its chatter  and as a result we often stop being   present in the moment. 

Also we tend to believe all bunch of  stuff the mind tells us, not all of which  is true.

 

Aim of Meditation: to quiet down the chatter, silence the mind and access a calmer, wider space that lies underneath.               

      Then all the mind's helpful qualities can really shine through!

Meditation is NOT a time to be used for thinking or for making plans.

Meditation can eventually help us access the mind's helpful qualities and eliminate the unhelpful ones.

 

Dealing with Mental Distractions ....

Mental distractions in meditation can be things like …

 

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   Thoughts from the day                                                                    

    Memories

                                  Replays of the day's events                                                   

 A conversation we had with someone                                                        

 A shopping list we need to compile                                                                                                   and the list goes on....

 

  Lies the Mind can tell us...

 We are NOT good enough

 NOT creative enough

 NOT working hard enough

NOT good looking enough

NOT tall enough

NOT clever enough and so on!

The point is for us to develop our discriminating wisdom in knowing what's constructive criticism and what down right judgement.

 

The tone, energy and quality of the thought

will give you a clue!

 

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Constructive Criticism..

    Though not the best presentation I  have given, I did cover some  good  points that I needed to get  across and the client seemed  intrigued by some of the proposals.

 

 

 

 

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     Judgemental Thinking..

 

That was the worst presentation ever!  I totally failed, im such a loser!

 

I should have prepared much more,  but I was too stupid to think clearly.

 

 

 

Feel the difference?

 

See what difference these 2 points of views and approaches

 

can make?

 

It is easy for the mind to give us the harshest interpretation ever, and one of the purposes of meditation is for us to notice where that takes place and soften our edges with our awareness...

 

Again with this week's meditation session, consider anything you might need to set in place or bear in mind so that you meditate with ease and comfort.

 

                                    This is part of your...

 

 

Creating Conducive Conditions for Practice

 

 

Body Scan

We will again start our session with a body scan, always starting from head  all the way down the body and ending with your feet, legs or base.

Body scans can take anything from 5-7 minutes, just take what you need to allow the dust to settle in order to become present in the space ready to start your meditation sit.

 

Meditation Guidelines

 

As usual we follow the 3 stages of mindfulness meditation as covered on week 1, though for the purpose of this week the focus is on the mind and so we are to incorporate the following reminders throughout the 2nd stage of the practice.

 

 

We notice the area around the head and brain

 

as well as the feelings and sensations around it. 

 

Notice the abstract qualities around the head first,

the less specific and more generic aspects.

 

 

 

Look out for any activity throughout the body that offers...

 

    

   A sensation,

                                A feeling,

                                                       A vibration,

                                                                     A texture.

 

These are the more abstract qualities.

 

 

Use your attention & awareness

 

gently and in a relaxed way,

 

letting the impressions wash away as they come by and through you.
 

Allow that quality of your mind to show you an

impressional description of what it embodies.

 

 

Does the Quality of your Mind Feel...

 

Light or Dark ?

 

Warm or Cool ?

 

Calm or Busy ?

 

is there a Colour ?

 

Do you sense a Texture ?

 

 

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Be aware and get in touch with your mind's qualities, whilst

 

continuing to be the witness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then from the abstract qualities,

 

we move into

 

 the more specific qualities.

 

Notice now all thoughts and images forming into your mind and playing out their story.

 

These are storylines

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You are not to buy into the mind's story or get sucked in,

just observe it as usual.

 

Witness your mental activity

without letting it pull you in.

 

 

What NOT to do in Meditation ...

 

We do not get involved in the mind's content,

We do not delve on it as we would do in daydreaming,

We do not try to enjoy it OR not enjoy it,

We do not indulge in it OR not indulge in it..

 

We simply allow it to be and express itself without obstructing it, whilst we remain the witness,

 

 

unattached .. non judgemental .. observing ..
 

 

 

 

How the WITNESS Affects our Day to Day Life

 

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The more we become a witness of our own mind, body, emotions in our daily meditation practice & in a relatively non-attached way,

 

 

the more we are able to bring the same witness

in our day to day life.

 

 

We do that, not in a cold way that is lacking interest and attention,

 

 

but in a full and rich way

 

that becomes a container

 

of the whole spectrum of our constantly changing experience

 

within & without.

 

We are therefore slowly and gradually becoming ONE with that fullness and perspective that encompasses all smaller movements and experiences.

 

 

As we become BIG Mind, we identify more with its spaciousness...

and we naturally begin to lose interest in the chatter & neurosis of the small mind.

 

 

Play task for the week

 

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Please spend some allocated  time each day, anything from 15  mins to an hour if you wish,

either in a break or within a  consistent activity and as part  of your daily life where you just  either make a mental note or    set an intention to notice and enjoy the following:

 

 

 

Day 1: Colour

Day 2: Sounds

Day 3: Textures
Day 4: Light/ dark as a shade and luminosity
Day 5:
Smells
Day 6:
Noticing pleasing qualities in things and people
Day 7:
Witnessing all senses without attachment

 

The intention of noticing is more important than anything else when doing this play task, so don't worry if you do this whilst busy.

 

Simply allow yourself to become aware of these qualities, as mentioned above, at anytime throughout the day as you go along and whilst going about your daily business.

 

Alternatively, if you have time and feel inspired feel free to simply sit and observe when doing no other activities.

 

Either of those is Great!

 

Also do continue with your daily meditation practice whilst writing in your diary should you feel the inspiration or need to do so.

 

Hope you enjoyed this meditation course. To learn & go over more aspects of meditation, you can find us at www.thespiritportal.com and look at our meditation e-course.

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