Meditation aims to arrive at a natural state of mind that comes when we are free of stress, when our thoughts are cheerful and our mind without disturbance.
Meditation or Dhyana is the seventh yogic discipline. It has four stages – relaxation of the mind, concentration of thought, elevation of the soul, and expansion of the spirit. These ideally culminate in peaceful or heightened experiences of universal consciousness. Each of these states depends upon a release of restricting influences, and an expansion into a more secure state and condition until one is capable of feeling whole and untroubled.
Relaxation– attitude of surrender – humility – preparedness -non striving
Concentration – power of the mind to tune it and to focus
Elevation of the soul – aspiration which allows emotional uplift or contentment
Expansion of the spirit – meditative mood of freedom and flight into the seas of Universal Consciousness and towards the Life Source
When sitting down to meditate, it is important to place the body with an upright spine in a position of comfort and to retain stillness and with closed eyes throughout.
Relaxation of the mind is a state of non-striving with one’s thoughts encouraging feelings of stillness, contentment and a peaceful mood.
Next we employ deliberate concentration upon a pleasing quality, or idea which serves to anchor our thoughts.
After some minutes the mind will tire, then is the time to let all effort of mind cease and to encourage a growing feeling of calm or lightness that is encouraged by rhythmic breathing.
The next stage is just waiting, observing how we feel, keeping our body still. We will naturally slip into a smooth state of consciousness of some kind. There is no right or wrong here – we just must be willing to ‘let go’ and remain sensitive and aware of our own inner world.
A wonderfully relaxed state of mind follows mental effort and attunement. We know that beautiful states of consciousness may sometimes be spontaneous and naturally overtake us in daily life when we are feeling relaxed and contented, or when moved by strong emotion and even sometimes following trauma of some kind. However, in the methods used in Yoga, heightened states are consciously initiated by meditation. Here we deliberately choose to tune in to some desired quality through use of our mind, confident that there are deeper and finer aspects of consciousness within us to explore.
Experiences in meditation offer us new life interest as well as spiritual rewards. Our most beautiful meditative experiences become etched in our consciousness and will be indelibly retained in our memory. We may try to recapture the mood of a previous meditation and sometimes succeed, but usually each meditation is unique.
Meditation has a harmonizing influence not only upon ourselves but on others around us.Use this simple introduction to practise meditation today!