Meditation Techniques


#1

Namaste All,

I’ve been considering posting this for a while (a couple of months perhaps) but…

I’ve been considering various meditation techniques and was wondering who does what, with any pros and cons you care to mention.

Feel free to provide as little or as much info or feedback as you like, and i’ll be happy to provide more if you want it.:stuck_out_tongue:


#2

Hello Core789,

Yes, please do share some more information with us. Where do you live (apart from Gaia:))? What is your experience with meditation so far (how long, what techniques, what school) and where do you want to go?

Are you sure that you want to know about techniques? There are so many of them. I think The Buddha already mentioned about 40 of which at least 20 are suited for reaching “higher states of concentration”. And they all boil down to the same thing - having a point of focus and letting go of what else comes up. Over and over again.

Moreover, most techniques are fairly simple. Take mindfulness of breath by way of example. Just sit with a straight spine and follow your breath. Do this for 25 minutes, twice daily. The problem is generally not the technique, but how to apply it skillfully. And where to find the discipline to do this for years on end.

So it helps to find a teacher and a support group (“sangha”) for assistance. And it is really convenient to have these nearby. So look around in your hometown or close to it.

Unfortunately, (at least in my country), there are few teachers who are capable of teaching yoga meditation. So yoga students (like myself), usually have to resort to some sort of buddhism. But then again, Buddha was a yogi, too. You could try zen buddhism or vipassana or (less common) some form of tibetan buddhism. I joined the zen path many years ago. I like the fact that there are good teachings and a clear lineage. I also like the initial technique - mindfulness of breath. It comes without the “labelling of thoughts” used by vipassana people. I found that to be rather artificial, as artificial as their distinction between “concentration” and “insight” meditation. My mind just does not feel that way, it’s more like a continuum . As for zazen, I don’t like all the Japanese paraphernalia that comes with it (discipline, rituals, robes, eating out of bowls). Fortunately, my teacher takes these aspects rather lightly.

Why not pick up Jack Kornfield’s book “A Path with Heart” and take it from there? Find some support in the form of a teacher and group close to you.

Namast


#3

Meditation is really a spontanious state, but practicing meditation is what I think you refer too.

With regards to learning meditation. There are many techniques, and various stages in most of the techniques. Some are best learned before others. Some pranayama techniques can be used as meditation. In fact the ashtanaga vinyasa yoga system combines asana, bhanda, pranayama into one flowing practice that is a meditation in motion, and it is AMAZing once you become famialiar with it.

However one thing I know from personal experience is that learning from a good teacher is invaluable. Books might give you the technique, but timings, attitude and other less tangiable aspects do not come accross from books. It is these less tangiable aspects that are vital in gaining a good start and appreciation to the art of practicing meditational techniques.

Also, being guided to start with really helps with the memory and getting the vibe/rythm of practice. Also getting the sitting position right can take years of yoga practice alone.

However, if no teachers are readily available, then a good book to start with might be Meditation from the Tantras (Bihar School of Yoga Publications). This is one of the key texts we use on my yoga teacher training course.

The key tip with meditation (assuming it’s a seated meditation) is to become comfortable in a seated posture, allow the body and mind to become still. And then to start working with the chosen technique. Meditation relies upon (amongst other things) concentration and awareness.

I suggest trying 5-10 minutes to start with and becoming comfortable with that, no need to rush lengthending the practice.

Antar Mouna is a good practice, especially stage 1 for a beginner or some one who wants to start again.

The other thing I wanted to say was, if you can practice a bit of asana, some pranayama and then sit for meditation you will find it more beneficial.


#4

If you are so inclined, you should take a look at the Jabala Darsana Upanishad, which can be found here. This contains detailed descriptions of the meditation practices that are mentioned in the Asta Anga portion of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.


#5

This is really useful topic for those who are completely new to Meditation.

I met many people who are doing Meditation since long but not aware about its pros and cons. It is highly recommended that one should follow Meditating under experienced teacher.


#6

Me thinkst we are being spammed by fightclubfitness in this thread and this one


#7

Hi,

Thanks for all your contributions.

Hi Bija

However, if no teachers are readily available, then a good book to start with might be Meditation from the Tantras (Bihar School of Yoga Publications). This is one of the key texts we use on my yoga teacher training course.

This is the book i have been looking at. In fact all the yoga i currently practice comes from their books- they are real treasure chests ,full of techniques and packed full of spiritual practices- hundreds of them.

I really like the look of their kundalini kriya yoga programme in ’ Kundalini Tantra’ but it advises seeking out a guru in the second stage, just to be on the safe side.

Perhaps my best option would be seeking out a suitable ashram or journeying through India. That would be ideal.

Thankyou all once again.:cool:


#8

You’re welcome.

Don’t dabble, but apply yourself! Meditate as if your life depended upon it. Why not choose one technique and stick to it for months or years? You can do it right now, right where you are. Namast


#9

The some of the best meditation methods,

Walking meditation:
Take a walk in a peaceful environment. Breathe in the air. Notice the sounds and smells!

Guided meditation:
Wear your headphones and listen to a recorded meditation talk you through the process of relaxing your body and clearing your mind.

High tech meditation:
Put on your headphones and a binaural beats track. Sit back and let the technology do the rest.

Candle meditation:
Light a candle, sit down at safe distance and focus on the candle flame. Let all other thoughts flush down from your mind. Keep focused on the flickering flame.

Mirror gazing:
Simply gaze into your reflected image. Focus on the wall just behind your head. Let all other thoughts fall out of your mind.

Breathing meditation:
This is one of the simplest meditation techniques and focusing on your breathing is quick and easy.


#10

[QUOTE=Willem;30200]You’re welcome.

Don’t dabble, but apply yourself! Meditate as if your life depended upon it. Why not choose one technique and stick to it for months or years? You can do it right now, right where you are. Namast?.[/QUOTE]

I was meditating for the past year.

What about you,Willem?

How devoted was your sadhana?


#11

It’s better to mater into one technique and then follows other techniques.


#12

I was doing ayp deep meditation- i had bags of inner silence but i found it possibly over-stimulating for some nadi chanells, and not for other more dormant ones…So i stopped it after reviewing the whole system(ayp) and more or less switched to Satyananda yoga.So yes i want a complete sadhana and have been on the hunt for a meditation technique, preferable an effective one.I hardly call myself a beginner then, a devoted student yes.

I’m either going to perhaps try spinal breathing with so-ham mantra, and ajapa japa, and others perhaps.They are powerful techniques but i am going to combine them with other yogas.In a sense i alittle experimentation.

I also like the look of the meditational apporaches i found in ‘Meditaitons on the Tantra’ book. This is a real gem of a book- and i like the look of chidakasha dharana and have tried experiementing with trataka/yogic gazing techniques etc…I have an interest in networking with other practitioners and teachers of the Satyananda tradition to share techniques.

But i can tell i don’t have the deep well of inner silence i had when i did meditate( and i have come to believe that can be a big help in an over-all balanced & complete sadhana) although i have it residually and philopshically. And any system of yoga is’nt necessarily the best fit for any given individual-just like a well-tailored suit. Because i have had blockages in some channels the results with the technique i was using may have not always been optimal.So one has to review whatever practices one is employing every so often. And my question here was because i was looking for inspiration.It was primarily aimed that folk that use a method and can relate that back from experience.I would encourage anyone new to meditative yoga approaches or meditation to go to the aypsite.org and try out the practices there and read the MainLessons. I learnt alot just from doinng that.

Anyone can dole out advice, preferably well-meaning. It’s quite another to enagage in some kind of formal practice. I’m all in favour of practice.Yoga is about practice rather than navel-gazing or even philosophy for that matter.That is why i am interested in practical techniques.


#13

Hello Core789,

I was just offering some words of encouragement. I hope that you would also read the lines in that way. Sorry for any misunderstanding. Blessings to you.


#14

Hi Willem,

Your encouragement is appreciated.

From what i have discerned you have always struck me as a genuine guy whose intentions and advice is always sincere,heart-felt and meaningful.

I for one apprecaite the time and energy you invest here.

Cheers,Love & Namaste

(p.s - hi willem-sorry if i came across a bit defensive. i’m glad we have been hashing out this topic in more depth :wink: )


#15

I was mainly looking for some[U] inspiration[/U] here regards the many meditation techniques and methods available.

And i speculated that perhaps there were practitioners out there that could vouch for a particular method,technique or approach they were currently practicing, that was invariably short practical and reasonably effective.

The technique i was using, indeed the whole system, i just had some doubts about and had since reviewed.

I knew from experience that meditation had enormous value and therefore felt a meditation component was missing from a complete sadhana, in particular my own.

Hence the query.


#16

Thank you Core789. My words were also a bit too direct, so I understand your reaction. Good luck in your quest. Come to think of it, all my teachers tell me that we are already perfect! So why worry :D!


#17

Hi C.,
Styles of meditations are like styles of exercise in that each type can offer certain benefits.

Earlier in my life I would just dabble in meditation as another way of enjoying life and relaxing and giving myself a chance to ponder life along with myself.
Then in my late mid-life or beginning senior years there was a problem with anger issues, depression, redundant negative thought patterns that I wanted to change, so I started some Hindu style mantras with a Japa Mala beads to get my mind under control and to touch base with spiritual life.

Then, in recent times I’ve done more of a Buddhist style or Zen style of just emptying the mind. This is only a few times a week although I can also do it when walking or involved with nature, probably aided by a sattvic like diet along with past yoga, etc.

I mention all this because for me the quest has often been one for understanding life, consciousness, along with attaining a state of happiness. And I suspect that not one thing itself was responsible for my present state of contentment, although my diet of more raw and live foods may be necessary in my case.

Enjoy and appreciate, best regards, Gil.

P.S. I’ve avoided using the ?E? word, enlightenment, but if that is what one seeks then it’s definition should be tackled and discussed. The term usually refers to knowledge gained in the life and life after death issues but often carries with it a state of contentment or bliss for some people. So one could focus on the knowledge aspect or the contentment aspect if one has a particular desire.


#18

i have to admit that my own practice is fairly short, about 10 minutes on average, I haver been using the half lotus for a few years now but have experimented with the dragon because I want to be able to do pranayama properly and doing it in the lotus feels restrictive.
apart from that the only problem i have with the dragon is the pressure on the knees and ankles, but thats to be expected i suppose.


#19

i have found that kundalini yoga relaxes one for a more deeper form of meditation, i have been practising hatha as well but hatha plays a significant role in stretching and giving a proper posture to the body whereas kundalini is more relaxing with eyes closed ,deep inhalation and exhalation.i am no yogi but i feel really better practising kundalini yoga…i feel i am at peace with myself,no matter how small. Also i have seen that kundalini yoga awakens me and gives a lot more focus , my thoughts get distracted while i am doing hatha …


#20

The highest meditation is remembering your real nature, Meditation on the self.
Have you tried?