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Meditation - a path to your inner self

Not doing anything, just being yourself

Introduction

Nowadays, most people are very busy with their everyday life. The various aspects of life - work, relationships, family, housekeeping etc. - make quite a claim on us. A cocktail of important and irrelevant thoughts buzz through our minds and rush to the fore without being asked. Our mind is non-stop in action. For many people, it does not even stop after knocking off work. A disastrous consequence is that you are unable to focus on fundamental things of life. One positive or creative idea will be overwhelmed by hundreds of other non-productive thoughts.

More and more people of our stress society long for calmness, relaxation and serenity. Different paths and various techniques of meditations help to calm down and to accept and enjoy life with all its prosperities. When the mind is calm and focused in the present, it is neither reacting to memories from the past nor being preoccupied with plans for the future.
The calmness, clarity , peace and inner wealth inside of you radiates to the outside. By radiating this energy you attract situations that present you exactly the same.


What is meditation?

It is not easy to find a generic explanation what mediation really is. The term is too complex and the variety of methods unmanageable. The word meditation can be derived from its roots in Latin 'medi' meaning middle or 'the centre'. By examining the root, you will find a kinship to the words 'medicus', doctor and 'medicine'. Hence meditation (being in the centre) and healing are considered being connected with each other.

There is evidence by medical science that meditation has an impact on healing the body/ mind system: All meditation techniques increase the alpha wave activity in human brains in a significant and measurable way. Only in a highly relaxed state brain waves changes from the busy beta waves to the blissful alpha waves. The value of meditation to alleviate suffering and promote healing has been known and practised for thousands of years.

In principle a moment of meditation can be any single moment. Any time when you experience the wholeness of being consciously, you experience a moment of meditation. Meditation can be defined as any activity that keeps the attention pleasantly anchored in the present moment. It unites you with your inner being - with everything that is - in its beauty, uniqueness, depth, freedom and love. If you look back to moments in your life full of happiness, ecstatic joy and crowned with success, you will get a much closer definition of what meditation is. These experiences have had their origins in moments of great feelings, outbursts of creativity and creative inspiration, in moments of insight and melting. The surrender to the totality of the presence is a moment of meditation. In this state you feel "arrived". You feel reverence for existence, deep gratefulness and inner peace. You feel being part of a much bigger creation.

Meditation is nothing to achieve or effort to be put on. The treasure-seeking from an outside source guides you to a dead end. Looking for a partner who makes your life happy, a job, where you can free yourself, a new environment, with the hope that everything will be better, remain illusions. What happens is, that you give your energy, your life force away. Whatever you do is done through and by your mind. Releasing yourself from the clutches of your mind is called meditation. You can simply find it in your nature, it is your very being.



Various techniques of meditation

Many different cultures have developed a variety of meditation forms. To mention a few of them: the Sufi dance, the fasting and nirvana-facing yogis, orthodox monks immersed in singing mantras, or the drum rhythms uniting the native Americans. The essence of all authentic meditation techniques is the same: conscious awareness free from any evaluation.

In general two types of meditation can be distinguished: samatha (peace of mind) and vipassana (insight).

The first type is about deeply concentrating on the object of meditation and to eliminate all other thoughts to get to a state of calmness and surrender to existence. Typical examples of samatha meditation are visualisation techniques or observing a particular object. This type of meditation guides you to a state of full awareness, where all thoughts and emotions are disappeared. In this state you will encounter the real you.

Vipassana is one of the most ancient techniques of meditation, rediscovered by Gautama Buddha. Vipassana is the simple training of awareness. By consciously watching your breath going in and out your nose your mind will calm down. You then start to expand your awareness of other physical and mental experiences. By doing so you get deep insight about yourself, your patterns and your believe system.

Many meditations require sitting in silence, which is difficult for most people in our nowadays society, as build-up tensions in your physical and mental system are considered to be first dissolved. A great alternative are movement meditations, such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong, or active meditations created by the Indian master and mystic named Osho (Bhagwan). The most popular ones are Dynamic and Kundalini meditation. They both involve beginning stages of activities (i.e. shake, dance, breath) followed by a period of stillness. They are designed to enable us to consciously express and experience repressed emotions and to transform habitual patterns. You can get out of debilitating patterns and you learn to focus your attention to the very present moment. The meditator becomes an adventurer.

"... the adventure into the unknown, the greatest adventure the human mind can be take. Meditation is just to be, not doing anything - no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are and it is a sheer delight... " Osho

As there is no right meditation technique for everybody, you need to find what works best for you. Great opportunities are the so called meditation camps, where you get an introduction to a variety of different meditation techniques by experienced meditation teachers.


Recommended books

Meditation for beginners by Jack Kornfield
In his very open nature Jack Kornfield guides you to an increasing state of relaxation, inner clarity and serenity. It is a step-by-step instruction in various techniques teaching you the essentials for creating a daily meditation practice. This book also includes CDs with guided meditations.

Meditation - the first and last freedom by Osho
An overview of the best meditation techniques today with active and silent meditations. In this book Osho is responsive to many problems of most meditators nowadays.

Everyday Osho: Daily meditations for strength, hope and serenity by Osho
This book represents the author's unique ability to synthesise a wide range of religious traditions with the insights of modern psychology. It contains meditation providing the reader with a daily theme, a meditation on that theme, and a daily goal. It is an inspirational book for everyone who has embarked upon the spiritual path.

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