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Meditation - A Unique How To Guide

Meditation is an ancient practice that trains our mind to induce a state of trance that promotes relaxation and healing, reduces stress and bestows the opportunity to manifest some kind of benefit in one's life.

We all have the ability to introvert our focus or attention in a way that detaches our consciousness from the environment and our physical body while remaining awake but mentally passive. In this state, our subconscious is free to throw up all kinds of thoughts, ideas and images to enlighten us. It's like we are dreaming but can clearly remember everything that has transpired.

In this article, I'm going to provide guidance on how to become connected to your subconscious and gain access to the same power that controls each cell in your body. You don’t have to be a yogi, you just need to want healing or more calm in your life.

Misconceptions


Most people are under the erroneous belief that thoughts can be controlled through mental efforts. If you have tried this (the common directive in most meditation guides or classes) you will have realised pretty quick that your thoughts often come and go independent of your will.


No matter how much you attempt to focus your attention on one object or line of thought, it isn’t long before your awareness drifts off onto something else that you may or may not recall. This can quickly make you feel like a failure at meditation.

The first thing you need to know about yourself, and meditation, is that thought control is not under the dominion of the will. This misconception is easy to form given the two are so closely related, but the main ‘switch’ is in fact not located in the mind but in the body.


The manifestation of thought, sensations and emotions are in fact controlled through the manipulation of the diaphragmatic muscles.

This is the set of muscles located in the lower abdomen, about an inch below the navel; the same place from which we derive our physical and moral strength.

Just think back to moments when we are bracing ourselves to withstand a blow, or intense cold, or some painful event - we tighten up in this area. We instinctively summon strength in this manner. What most people fail to notice is that at such moments our thought activity also stops completely.


You can prove it to yourself. Stop reading right now and take a deep breath. Push out the lower abdomen and hold it. Keep holding your breath, ignoring for a moment any initial thoughts that arise and just stare straight ahead. Hold your breath for as long as you can and you will find thoughts are dissolved on their own. It is what the idea of ‘holding your breath and counting to ten’ to negate emotions is derived from, although people usually fail to tighten their lower abdomen and instead draw breath from their chest - exacerbating the emotion.


ONE WAY TO TRY MEDITATING

But first, posture.

This meditation can be done anywhere but ideally, find yourself a quiet place, free from distractions.

Proper posture has two aims:

  • It automatically promotes correct breathing.

  • It prevents the body from distracting or calling attention outward to the body or external environment.

There are 3 things required to ensure correct posture.

  • The focal point is the small of your back. It must be slightly tucked in at the waist level to create a slight S shape. You will find this automatically forces you to breathe from your lower abdomen, NOT from your upper chest.

  • Care must be taken to ensure that the only tension point in the body is at the lower abdomen, an inch below the navel. Every other part of the body must be relaxed, especially the shoulders (which beginners tend to pull up at the direction to keep their back straight).

  • When meditation is done in a seated position the feet must be flat on the ground, hands must be resting palm down on the lap, the head is to be tilted slightly downward.

Nb. You can also meditate with your legs crossed (sitting your bottom toward the front on a small cushion) or in a kneeling position if you prefer (using a pillow between your legs to help sustain comfort). Laying down is also OK but is advised only for more experienced meditators as it is quite easy to fall asleep since we have been programmed for so long to do so in such a position.

TO START

Meditation is easiest done either before eating or 3-4 hours after a meal.

  • Begin the proper posture. Allow the deep diaphragmatic breathing (instructions below) to begin without any difficulty. Some beginners can become fatigued quickly from this posture as they are now using muscles that they have neglected for a long time. You might find it comfortable to tuck a small pillow or roll a small towel between the small of the back and the backrest of the chair.

  • Close your eyes.

  • Place the tongue on the gum at the line where it meets the teeth. It keeps the tongue from wandering in the mouth producing excess saliva which will cause distraction. Keep your tongue relaxed.

Breathing

  • Always through the nostril & smoothly.

  • Breathe in slowly, pushing out the lower abdomen

  • While maintaining the tension, breathe out very slowly, contracting the lower abdomen (pulling it in) without releasing the tension.

  • From this point onward, the in breath is done in two stages.

  • At the end of the out breath, the lower abdomen is fully contracted inward and mildly tense. Therefore the first stage of the inhalation is conducted by simply letting go of the abdomen so it falls outward by itself. Breathe in at the same time.

  • Pause slightly, then deliberately push out the stomach, while taking in more air. This form of in breathing is called pot belly breathing.

  • Repeat from 5 – 7b for the duration of the meditation.

Note these steps should be memorized with 100% accuracy to ensure successful meditation. They will become more natural and easy to do.


Brain Waves

There are five main types of brain waves, each with different frequencies. Each type is linked to different states of mind.

The frequency of beta waves is 15-30 cycles per second. They occur when you are awake and most alert. They can increase motivation, energy and focus but can also result in stress.

The frequency of alpha waves is 9-14 cycles per second. They usually dominant when a person is relaxed, has a wandering mind and a sense of peace. Meditation starts at this level and they are effective at healing and dissolving stress.

The frequency of theta waves/cycles is 4-8 cycles per second and they are associated with deep meditation and hypnosis. Your brain engages these waves between consciousness & sleep. Increasing these waves induces a sense of floating, greater self-awareness, advanced learning & advanced creativity.

The frequency of delta waves are 1-3 waves/cycles per second, they are the slowest of the brain waves and occur at very deep sleep or the deepest state of meditation.

In the course of your meditation, you will begin to feel some of the signs of coming ‘trance’. You may feel your eyelids become heavier, your body may feel like lead or particularly light. You might feel like you are floating away, or as if you are detached from your body. It is not uncommon to feel as though you are rocking from side to side, to experience currents of energy, heat, flashes of light, sounds or colours.


You will not experience all of these, nor will you necessarily experience the same one each time, and this hold no specific meaning as such, rather, it is just the result of partial withdrawal from consciousness.

Visualisation.

Although reaching the initial state of withdrawal from consciousness can alone provide various benefits to the mind and body, there is in fact more that can be achieved once this state has been perfected.

Manifestation!


Achieving certain goals or desires in your life, such as transforming yourself from ill health to vitality or finally obtaining your dream job, is all achievable through the practice of visualisation.

And of course, also being proactive.

I am sure you've all heard of this new-age’ practice, and tried it before, perhaps to no avail, BUT what people have failed to do or teach before, is that to ensure efficacy, these visualisations must be done in the state of trance described above, as opposed to simply daydreaming about what you want.

The concept of visualization is based on scientific research, which suggests that the human mind can in fact, not tell the difference between what occurs in reality and what occurs in your imagination. For instance, there are various research papers, which describe two groups of participants, ones who ‘imagine’ they are practising piano or playing basketball and those who actually do go out and practice piano or go out and play basketball. Both groups end up reflecting growth in the same brain areas and developing skills in the same areas, whether they truly went out and did these things or merely imagined them.

So, the key here to note is that during meditation, when your body feels particularly light/floating or heavy & when you find that there are no thoughts drifting into your awareness & your mind is a blank screen - You can then shift your attention from the lower abdomen to any creative visualisation work you may wish to do.

Now is the best time for this because:

  • If we try to visualise an image in the more active beta state we get a fuzzy, grey or impermanent image, but in the alpha and theta stages, you will see that the image will be vivid and will remain in your consciousness without effort.

  • Your breathing at this point will have become more fluid, it will proceed on its own, slowing down, coming to a standstill and resuming all by itself.

Please keep in mind, that the above information has been developed from my own personal experiences and research into an ancient Egyptian system called Kemeticism. There are so many different schools of thought on meditation, so find what works for YOU and have fun with it!


If you would like more 1:1 guidance on ways to cultivate more calm in your life. Book in for our 'Cultivate Calm' package or connect for a free 10 minute naturopathic call.

Source * Metu Neter, Vol 1 - Ra Un Nefer Amen


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