The word meditation is sometimes used to mean contemplate; meditating on a question or problem; meditating to connect or achieve a higher state of mind. Do not focus with these or other thoughts while meditating. Rather, there is a commitment of unconditional no minded-ness without any object of idea.
Meditation brings back our mind to ourselves. It allows the experiencing, the tasting and going beyond all habitual patterns that tends to cloud our minds. Our lives are constantly lived in an intense and anxious struggle; in a swirl of speed and aggression – competing, grasping, possessing and achieving. We are forever burdening ourselves with extraneous activities and preoccupation. Meditation brings a complete break away from our daily stress. A state of mind free of all cares and concerns. No competition. No desire, nor to possess no grasping, no hunger to achieve. Develop an ambition less state of mind. Neither in acceptance, rejection, neither hope nor fear. Just slowly release all emotions and those concepts that have imprisoned you. Move into simplicity. Do not assume a mere meditation posture the bliss of something that is going to happen. Practice mindfulness. Allow the mind to be open, receptive, be present, relaxing and not trying, demanding, nor controlling. Just be.
Meditation is another traditional way to manipulate Ch’i. Taoists and Buddhists have developed many kinds of meditation techniques that lead to different levels of awareness. When your mind is calmed and your body is relaxed, you will feel your Ch’i traveling down from your hands to your knees an then to the bottom of your feet. This sensation is a surge of warmth that seems to travel with your breathing. It goes down to your feet during exhalation or inhalation. Initially, it may not reach the bottom of your feet; but with practice, it will. This is one way you discharge various strains and stress in your body through the acupuncture point at the ball your feet.
At the completion of meditation, you feel that your body and mind have been refreshed. You look a younger with pink cheeks. This fresh and light feeling can be achieved only after a few week of practice. Other known benefits: increased awareness and consciousness and over-all feeling of well-being, restfulness and calmness.
What should we do with the mind when we meditate? Do nothing. Just leave it as it is. Keep it simple. Letting clarity be nature. Let it happen. The nature of mind will naturally find its way to bliss and clarity. There is no effort to control. No attempt to be peaceful. Even let go of the idea that you are meditating. Be relaxed; don't even hold onto an idea of relaxation.
When you begin to meditate, you have running thoughts. It even seems to get worse than better. That is a good sign. It shows that you are becoming aware of just how noisy your thoughts are. Be patient. In time, your thoughts will be less disrupting. The mind will become still like a pond with only the occasional ripple of waves. There will always exist thoughts and emotions. Meditation provides space. Personal space - allow quiet time to honor yourself. Choose a specific time that is peaceful, days that will allow you to spend time for yourself, and a place that provides an environment to propagate quietness. This is your personal time.
When you find yourself thinking, let that thought rise and settle. Don't grasp at it, nor indulge, nor cling to it. Neither follow your thoughts nor invite them. Focus on not to think about thoughts but rather allow them to flow through the mind. Keep your mind free of afterthoughts. Don't chase after the moon.
- You experience many on-going thoughts, i.e. why am I doing this;
I wonder how long is it now; this is painful; etc.
- If your mind wonders, then re-focus on you breath.
- Focus on the sound of your breath.
- Listen to your breath.
- Feel your breath.
- Follow your breath as it moves through your body.
Don’t worry how to breathe.
- Just breathe.
- Your mind does tend to wonder.
- Allow all thoughts to pass thought.
- Continue to refocus on your breath.
- Follow your breath as you breathe.
Physical Results of Meditation:
- Tingling at the hands, Ch'i stimulation
- Leg shaking
- Moving yourself into the "NOW".
When I was first introduced to the Chinese approach of meditation, there were no words are spoken nor instructions how to properly breathe by our master, Professor Peng-si Yu. After continuous dedication of hours and hours meditating you begin to realize that your body and its rhythm along with your breathing begin to slowdown. This feeling of refinement graduals happens over several months. There is no forced effort but rather your commitment and focus. The Standing Meditation with its slow breathing provides a different challenge. Breathing becomes the main focus. The pains induced by the standing posture posses the personal challenges of "letting go." After 15 to 20 minutes into your meditation, your breathing becomes quieter and refined. This leads to the subtle and gentle body vibration that leads to the calming of the mind. This Chinese approach of meditation mainly focuses on the inner feelings, centering, grounding and the moving of the Ch'i to the Tan Tien (dan tian) region, approximately 2.54 cm below the navel.
I have been very fortunate to be able to compare both the Chinese and Tibetan approach to of meditation. The main difference lies in the area of "attitude." - the attitude towards breath and one's experience. To the Tibetans, breath is an expression and experience of life and to felt simultaneously. Each breath is a new breath and a new experience. We must be willing to: "experience the experience." The standing position is forces us to face our fears that fear towards pain. The Tibetans embrace the pain. This is an inclusive as well as a reactionary response. There is no separation. It is "total-ness" and all involving. The unity and fusion of the three, the BodyMindSpirit, are as One.
Methods of Meditation
If your mind is able to settle naturally in own accord, then you are inspired simply to rest in its pure awareness. You don’t need any method on how to meditate. Meditation provides a means to work within yourself from moment to moment leading towards your inner awakening. It is a mental process to lessen our distractions and transforming enlightenment. Meditation is not something you can just do. It is something that happens spontaneously. Our mind is like a candle of flame unstable flickering constantly changing, fanned by violent winds of our thoughts and emotions. The flame will only burn steady when we calm the air surrounding it.