Meditation is a practice aiming to quiet the mind – to reach a transcendental state of consciousness. Yoga, which involves physical postures, has the same aim. Modern western yoga teaching often misses the main point by focusing too much on poses and not enough on quieting the mind. Unlike yoga, the meditation you’ll learn now is as easy as falling asleep.
To help you transcend you’ll use a mantra. A mantra is a focal mental resonance comprising 1 or 2 meaningless syllables. The basic idea is a calming vibration. The classic Buddhist mantra ōm is a single syllable mantra.
Choose a mantra with 1 or 2 vowel-based sounds, perhaps with a soft consonant, such as ‘m’, ‘n’, or ‘s’, to assist in resonance. If you like a hard consonant, such as ‘d’, ‘g’, or ‘k’, soften it by sanding the sonic kick down.
Think first of vowel sounds you like, perhaps as if they were musical notes, then add lyrical consonants to them. You should be able to draw the syllables out, so that they may stretch as your mind eases off.
As breath is a crucial aspect of our animal being, mantras are typically an in-out breathing representation. As such, 2 syllable mantras are common.
You may at first try a few different mantras to evaluate their quality. Do so during a meditation session, not as an abstract exercise among your other mental tasks.
You cannot choose a wrong mantra: if it resonates with you, it works. Once you find a pleasing mantra, claim it as your own and let it be a centerpiece for your meditation practice. Keep your mantra to yourself, unspoken, using it only as a meditation device.
Here’s how to meditate.
Find a comfy chair or prop yourself up in bed with cushions. The room should be quiet, preferably dimly lit.
Spend a minute or 2 quieting yourself by sensing your body’s rhythms, such as your breath or heartbeat. Breathe through your nostrils, not your mouth.
Begin meditating with the intention of quieting the mind. When thoughts arise, smother them by bringing your mantra to mind, making the mantra your mental focus. You may meditate without a mantra, using your breath as a seat of attention.
Repeat the mantra as if calmly breathing it. Do not concentrate on the mantra. The aim is to clear the mind, not hold it captive. A mantra merely expedites the process by mesmerizing the mind, and so sending the mind to sleep. A mantra is a lilting lullaby for the mind.
In a comfortable repose of both body and mind, following intention, your consciousness communes with the universal field of Ĉonsciousness. You transcend.
Meditate 20 to 30 minutes, time permitting. Even a short session of a few minutes is beneficial. Transcending or falling asleep for a longer period is perfectly natural. Your mind-body takes whatever rest it needs when it can.
Some meditation sessions might feel busy, others serene. Regardless of seeming quality, meditation is always helpful in being restful.
At the end of meditation, lay down or slump in your chair. Spend 3 to 5 minutes relaxing with your eyes closed, allowing yourself to ease back to the waking state.
Do not abruptly end meditation. It may give you a dull headache.
Do not meditate on a full stomach. Meditation slows the bodily system, and so can degrade digestion.
Do not exercise shortly after meditating. Let the calm settle in.
After extensive practice as a meditator, the mantra may become superfluous. Having acclimated to transcending, the sheer desire to do so may suffice.
Begin every day with a meditation session if you can. Meditate twice a day if possible, preferably at the beginning of the day and in the early evening (before dinner). You may meditate more if have time and inclination. If the mind is restless when the body is ready to sleep, a short meditation may sooth the system sufficiently to slumber.
What you just learned is the most effective meditation technique; the classic method taught by gurus since prehistory. Its effortlessness is what makes this meditation so efficacious. You won’t learn a better method anywhere else.
Meditation is easy. Make it a regular habit.
Next, we’ll uncover the primordial deception behind Nature.