Meditation really began to gain traction in Western culture during the 1960s. The 60s was a decade of exploration, experimentation and expansion of the mind. When the biggest celebrities of the era The Beatles advocated meditation it quickly became the latest craze. While most crazes die out quickly meditation is most definitely here to stay. A 2007 survey produced by the U.S. government found that over 9% of the population had meditated in the last twelve months. That’s over twenty million people in America alone who mediate in the Western world.
It Integrates Mind, Body & Spirit: meditation combines the physical, mental and sacred characteristics within you. As you direct your attention to the focus point of your meditation, your left and right brain synchronize. The barriers between them dissolve. At the same time, your body relaxes and excess tension melts away. You become more aware of the spiritual aspects within you. Your mind, body, spirit align during zen meditation baltimore.
Before that though I’m sure you have a few questions. The most common questions I am asked are “How often/long should I meditate?” and “What does meditation feel like?”. I’ll answer the last question first. There are a vast number of meditation exercises and the feelings they conjure can vary. Typically though meditation feels deeply relaxing, almost as if you are emptying your mind of any negative thoughts or feelings you’ve picked up throughout the day. I have been meditating for many years now and I often find now that I am so engrossed in my meditation that I have to take a moment to shift my awareness to my body, as it feels like it has disappeared! Of course it hasn’t, and this isn’t something you are likely to experience at first.
Now the deeper part of mindfulness meditation deals with thinking. As you are sitting, now practice allowing thoughts to come and go. Do not try and control the thinking in any way. Just allow the thoughts to come and go. Experience the flow of thoughts coming and going rather than getting caught up in the content of the thoughts.
Clear mind meditation is similar to the basic type. The difference is the fact that you will be required to completely clear your mind. Basic meditation at least allows you to have thoughts passing through your mind. Clear mind meditation is a great way to empty our your mind and relieve stress.
And again, by helping relieve heaviness and worry from our thoughts — which burden and constrain our mind — meditation helps us and our minds see more clearly and creatively. Indeed, meditation — at least, most forms of meditation — incorporate techniques that help “connect” the mind with our other faculties for knowing: the knowing of our emotional and physical bodies, the knowing of our heart, the knowing of our higher self. And this “integration” of knowledge will prove very powerful in our lives.
For day 3 you will need 15 minutes again. From today onwards there will be no distractions, so find a nice quiet time and place to do this. As you do your standing deep breathing exercises start imagining energy flowing through your body. In your minds eye give the energy a nice warm, positive colour. Imagine it originating about an inch below your belly button, right below your hands. For the masculine deep breathing exercise imagine it making a circuit: up your spine, to your head and back down to your hands. Imagine it radiating from this circuit into your fingers and your toes. For the feminine deep breathing exercise, just imagine it radiating outwards into your fingers and toes and out into the world. Feel it being intensified with every bit of energy you draw from the world.
Think of it like this: Image you normally have an energy level of 4, but need to get to an energy level of 8 to have a new insight. Going to weekly practice might raise you a couple of points each time, but since, over the next few days, you are likely to fall back to your usual 4, you’ll never make it to an 8 and have the insight (or key energetic shift). During a weekend gathering, however, your energy experiences will bit by bit accrue until you have moved all the way from 4 to 8 and beyond. That is why if you think back on your past experiences of courses, you will find that afterwards your healing and meditation almost always took on new life.