By Christopher Calder
Meditation is inner astronomy. You discover the stars, the Moon, and the Sun are all inside you.
What is Meditation?
of meditation means not thinking, but rather focusing
consciousness on the cosmic whole, without thought, judgment, or distraction. We can define meditation as the art
consciousness becoming aware of itself on the grand and cosmic scale.
Meditation brings a sense of fullness and completion, and can become a long-term source of tranquility if practiced correctly. The euphoria of drugs quickly lead to misery and self-destruction. The wholesomeness of love, so beautiful and ethereal, is a relatively short-lived and fleeting experience. Meditation is the eternal essence of nature taking on conscious form within the mortal human frame.
Meditation is an adventure of self-discovery. How can you live intelligently without knowing who or what you are? If someone asks you who you are during the day, you may state your name, as if a temporary label actually means something important. Ask yourself who you are when you are in deep sleep, unconscious, and without even a dream to prove that you exist. Ask yourself who you were ten months before you were born, and who you will be after your body dies. Meditation increases awareness of the natural phenomenon that is going on behind your eyes. Self-knowledge has intrinsic value, but it is also important to understand the limits of meditation techniques. Genetics are by far the biggest factor in determining how conscious you become, not methodology. Your entire body and DNA code determines your level of consciousness far more than your after-birth lifestyle.
Classic sitting meditation is a vital part
meditation traditions and has taken many forms, some more effective
others. Some traditional approaches demand that the student sits
for hours on end, as if becoming a frozen human statue is the key to
enlightenment. A more scientific approach does not make the human
our enemy, but rather works with our natural physiology to allow more
meditation with less effort and discomfort. Masochism is not an
path to self-realization. You can sit
cross-legged Asian style on a meditation pillow on the floor, or use the
Chair Method described below.
The Recliner Chair Method
See 1 minute YouTube video instructions on how to sit.
The Recliner Chair Method is the most
healthful method of sitting as it avoids blocking vital blood
circulation in the legs, yet has 100% of the benefits of sitting on the
floor in the full lotus position with back held rigidly straight.
Sit in a recliner chair that is set to a medium reclined
position. Shoes and socks should be removed for best
results. If your feet get cold, drape a towel or over your feet
to keep them warm. The bare soles of your feet should be pressed
against each other and your legs relaxed, knees pointed out to the
sides of the chair. Hands can be locked together, laying
comfortably in your lap, or pressed against the center of your chest,
one on top of the other over the center of your emotional heart.
Energy that is normally washed out through your hands can be channeled
directly into your heart center.
What do you do while sitting?
The most basic approach to meditation is to relax, let go, and do nothing. Surrender to the moment and watch yourself as a silent witness. If thoughts come to mind, observe the thoughts without adding to them by your active participation. Be a passive observer and simply feel your most basic fundamental being. This immense entity has been called 'the ground of being.'
Consciousness is like a glass ball floating in the depth of space. Light and sensory input flows into the field of consciousness from all directions. When you think, you focus your attention on just one area of sensory input, or you create a thought from memory stored within the brain. With choiceless awareness, you are not thinking or remembering, just floating and letting sensory input flow through you from all directions without manipulating that input with the thought process.
Another useful method is to lend special awareness to the breathing process felt in the belly. Just behind and below your navel lies the Hara, which is felt as an ethereal ball of energy. The Hara is a natural balancing point of your consciousness which can be thought of as the center of your being. Subjectively and poetically speaking, the Hara is where man and universe meet. It is the gateway where we merge and become man-universe and universe-man. No one really knows what the Hara actually is, but we can use it to our full advantage. Consciously developing a powerful Hara center is the most important secret of meditation.
When your consciousness is centered in the Hara instead of the head, your thinking process slows down, and you can relax in the expanded world of being. Trying to stop distracting thoughts through will power alone leads to more thoughts and a self-defeating inner struggle. By transferring your center of awareness to the Hara, thoughts gradually disappear on their own without inner conflict. That is why you see Buddha statues with a big belly. It is a message in sculpture that the Hara is the key to meditation. Over time, the Hara point will become more noticeable as your meditation grows stronger. Be warned that overeating and consuming cold drinks tends to make Hara awareness more difficult.
The Sweeping House Method
Begin by placing both hands behind your head. Rest your hands at
the point where the neck and head meet. Then quickly sweep your
hands over the top of your head. Imagine that your hands are
gathering up all of your thoughts as they move across the top of your
skull. When your hands reach just below your forehead, use a
flicking motion to throw your hands away from your face. Feel as
if all of your thoughts are being swept out of your head and thrown out
into empty space. Repeat this between ten and twenty times as
needed. I do it very quickly, but you must find your own optimum
While accomplishing the sweeping motion, feel that your center of consciousness is dropping down from your head to your Hara center in your belly. Immediately after all of the sweeping part of this exercise is complete, place both of your hands, one on top of the other, on your upper forehead. Feel the warm energy of your palms on your forehead. Rest in your Hara center as you continue to meditate.
Yoga exercises (See Yoga vs. Gymnastics on YouTube)
The Cathartic Dancing Meditation Method
Cathartic Dancing Meditation is a cosmic powerhouse that is recommended for students under the age of thirty, in good health, with a normal cardiovascular system. As it is a physically strenuous exercise, one should get a physical examination by a competent physician before experimenting with this technique. As with jogging or mountain climbing, you must practice this method at your own risk.
Most young and physically healthy students of meditation will benefit from doing Cathartic Dancing Meditation daily for a period of one year. After one year it has usually done its job, and the student can then concentrate on more subtle meditation methods. Cathartic Dancing Meditation changes you from head to toe, and benefits all the other meditation methods you practice. This physically vigorous method is the most powerful kundalini awakening technique I know of.
Cathartic Dancing Meditation has three stages and lasts for forty minutes.
Stage #1 (ten minutes)
Start by standing with your eyes closed and breathe deep and fast
through your nose. If you are only physically
capable of doing deep breathing for five minutes, then reduce the
length of the first stage. Remember that you are doing this
method to help your meditation, not to physically injure
yourself. Allow your body to move freely as you breathe.
You can jump up and down, sway back and forth, or use any physical
motion that helps you pump more oxygen into your lungs. It is
advised that you do not hold your breath while performing this
exercise, as that might cause physical harm by temporarily increasing your blood pressure. Scientific studies are needed to determine if holding your breath is beneficial or harmful.
Stage #2 (twenty minutes) The second stage is a celebration of catharsis and wild spontaneous dancing. Totally let go and act as an ancient human dancing in tribal celebration. Energetic, nonverbal background music is recommended. African tribal drum music works especially well. You may roll on the ground and do strange body movements. Allow your body to move within the limits of not hurting yourself or others. Screaming is encouraged. You must act out any anger you may have in a safe way, such as beating the earth with your hands. All of the suppressed emotions from your subconscious mind are to be released. If at anytime during the second stage you feel that your energy level is starting to decline, you can resume deep and fast breathing to give yourself a boost.
Stage #3 (ten minutes) This stage is complete quiet and relaxation. Flop down on your back, get comfortable, and just let go. Be as if a dead man totally surrendered to the cosmos. Enjoy the tremendous energy you have unleashed in the first two stages, and be a silent witness to it. Observe the feeling of the ocean flowing into the drop. Become the ocean. If practiced correctly, this method is health-giving and fun.
Most Westerners are head oriented and emotionally repressed, so an emotionally cleansing technique like Cathartic Dancing Meditation can be helpful for serious progress to be made quickly. I strongly recommend that the Cathartic Dancing Meditation technique only be used in combination with traditional quiet sitting meditation methods. While active meditation methods can be very helpful, they are not complete systems in themselves, and you need sitting methods that incorporate Hara awareness to keep you in balance.
WARNING Obviously, one must practice Cathartic Dancing Meditation in a safe location and not near the edge of a cliff or on a hard surface where one might fall and break one's skull. A large room or hall with thick carpeting is good. Outdoors in the early morning on a soft and well-tended lawn with group participation is best. Do it on an empty stomach and avoid falling into dangerous objects such as windows. It is allowable to briefly open one's eyes occasionally to maintain your location. Create a safety zone around your dancing and spontaneous body movements. Be courteous to neighbors and delete the screaming if it will annoy others. Like the Human Antenna Method, it is recommended that you not practice Cathartic Dancing Meditation on an every day basis for a period of longer than one year.How long should I meditate, and which methods should I do?
It is my belief that full enlightenment is largely a biological,
DNA driven quality of the brain that cannot be achieved by any amount
of effort. You could call it a genetically acquired physiological
syndrome that has both positive and negative effects. It can make
people very happy and filled with psychic energy, but it has little to
do with intelligence, wisdom, virtue, or past lives. J.
Krishnamurti once stated that he was born empty, while others were born
full. His state of cosmic emptiness was not the result of
methodology, but a gift of nature. Anyone can increase the power
of their consciousness in the same way we increase the size of our
muscles through exercise. Effort-created states of enhanced
consciousness fall short of full enlightenment. The difference is
a matter of psychic power. The downside of full
enlightenment is the potential for delusion, the God complex, poor
reasoning skills, and intellectual disorganization and confusion.
To put it bluntly, most fully enlightened teachers are just too spaced
out to be much good for anything but talk.
When it comes to gurus, take the best and leave the rest. No human being has ever been without major flaws and limitations. Only myths can give us the illusion of perfection. That is why most of society continues to worship mythology rather than accept reality as it is, warts and all. Enlightened humans are vastly expanded human beings, not perfect human beings. Practicing meditation methods will not make us perfect, but can increase the intensely of our lives and feelings of well-being.
The scientific evidence tells us that humans only have one life to live. It is my opinion that the entire universe is “soul” and “God.” None of us are born and none of us die in the greater impersonal sense because we are all part of the same infinite structure that has no beginning and no end. I do not claim to be an authority. I am just trying to be a good neighbor, not a guru. We all have to decide on our own what is truth. Please remember that if any meditation method becomes uncomfortable, drop it and try another method. Be conservative and safe. For some people, no method is the best method.
Christopher Calder email@example.com
Note - Opinions expressed on this page must be viewed as the ideas of an ordinary student of meditation. While I truly believe everything I say, you should not believe anything unless you see it, feel it, and know it for yourself. I make no claims of infallibility. In fact, I absolutely claim fallibility.
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