Meditation is not new. It has always been an integral part of religious and spiritual observances throughout the world’s history but with the decline in formal religions and the increasing need for a way to inject spiritual principles back into our materialistic lifestyles, it is achieving great popularity.
The classical techniques used in yoga are reliable in helping us become familiar with higher spheres of consciousness that we may not have previously have been aware of. The concepts behind yoga philosophy are universal and teach us in ways that can be applied by everyone.
Meditation offers us a means of healing mental and physical ills through improved access to our own psychological capabilities.
It offers us a natural sedative when we have need of releasing emotional or mental stress. It is a direct mental tonic to counter depression and anxiety as we find a route to our own inner safe-house of the soul.
Its methods are based upon the spiritual truth that each of us must develop by our own efforts but reminds us that we have limitless inner resources to encourage us. These must be self discovered and utilized if we are to live a life as we would wish.
Yoga teachings have evolved through investigation into the laws of nature and in an attitude of great respect that allows us to desire to comply with those laws as the best way towards human achievement. That is why a yoga exponent will be eating natural foods, exercising without aggression or competition, breathing to strengthen the natural energy pumping system of the lungs, seeking a healthy expression of emotions through loving kindness and contentment, sharpening the intellect through concentrated study and looking towards the ideals previously achieved by others to serve as inspiration for personal effort.
Following the natural transmission of energies that occurs in a flow from greater to lesser the yogis instituted a system that would allow wisdom to flow from the more spiritually charged Guru to the pupil or Chela who would be directly tutored in a one to one situation.
This system has been modified to allow yoga to be taught in general classwork to which students can apply to join to learn the techniques and details of this ancient method, whether applied to Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga or any other of the Margas.
Meditation begins as a simple and natural state of consciousness when the body is still, eyes are closed and yet the senses are very aware.
Children are very familiar with the early stages of meditation as they correspond with the common awareness and feelings they have upon going into a peaceful sleep. However, as they are guided in class to try to hold for a brief interval, thoughts of beauty, prayer or happy times, they consciously experience and benefit by increasing inner awareness.