Meditation Advice, Guidance and Tips
By Remez Sasson
"Meditation is sticking to one thought. That single thought keeps away other thoughts; distraction of mind is a sign of its weakness; by constant meditation it gains strength".
- Sri Ramana Maharshi
Meditation is more than just a technique for relaxing the body, as some people might think. It is a method for gaining freedom from constantly nagging thoughts and worries, and for quieting the chatter of the mind.
In its higher forms, meditation leads to inner peace and happiness, and to spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
Meditation plays an important role in various religions and spiritual traditions, and has always been practiced everywhere, from ancient times until the present day. There have always been people, who had the desire to go within, beyond the mind, and to discover who and what they are, and attain a higher spiritual consciousness.
There are many forms, techniques and traditions, which are practiced and followed for various reasons and aims, for relaxation and health, for mental mastery and inner peace, and of course, for attaining spiritual awakening and enlightenment, and for discovering who you really are.
- Meditation calms down the body and the mind, conserves the energy, and improves focus.
- It reduces stress and anxiety.
- It normalizes the blood pressure, and has a healing effect on the body.
- It improves the power of concentration, sharpens the mind and strengthens the intuition.
- Its constant practice reduces the number of restless thoughts in the mind and brings inner peace, happiness and bliss.
In order to obtain results, meditation has to be practiced every day, at least once a day, twice a day is better. A beginner may start with only 10 minutes and even less, and gradually increase the time.
Essentially, there are two forms of meditation. One that requires focusing the mind on a certain activity, such as on the breathing process, or on a physical object, a mental image, a word, a thought or a quality of character.
The other form, requires that you do not focus on anything in particular, but to empty the mind of thoughts, and merge into the inner silence within you, into your Real, Inner Self. This form can only be practiced after one is well trained with the first form.
Below, you will find guidance and several tips to help you improve your ability to meditate, reduce the inner resistance of the mind, and improve your chances of success. Read these suggestions attentively, and apply them to any technique that you choose to practice.
Calm Down the Nonstop Chatter of Your Mind
Discover how to quiet down the nonstop chatter of your mind, stop overthinking, and get rid of the negative thoughts and worries that waste your time and energy.
When the mind is calm, it becomes, sharper, powerful, and more efficient.
Meditation Tips, Advice and Guidance
- It is important to meditate every day. It is better to meditate regularly, even if it is for a few minutes, than only occasionally.
- Keep up a positive attitude. A positive state of mind ensures that you have motivation, enthusiasm and perseverance.
- Do not meditate when you are tired. When tired, it is difficult to focus the attention and fix it on your meditation.
- Meditate in a place where you can be alone and undisturbed. Noises and distractions spoils your concentration and disturb your inner peace. Conversations you hear while meditating, street and cars noises, TV, and the radio, disturb your focus and do not allow you to meditate. They will cause your mind to wander away.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your spine erect. You can sit on the floor, on a cushion, or on a chair. Do what you find more convenient. The important thing is to keep your body as comfortable as possible, and with your back straight.
- After sitting down, take a few slow deep breaths. This will calm down your mind and body.
- Relax your body before starting to meditate. Pay attention to your body and calm down each tensed muscle.
- To increase relaxation, you might find it useful, if you think for a few moments, about a pleasant memory or a mental image of a place that makes you feel calm and relaxed.
- Think for a few moments about the benefits of meditation, how it will strengthen your focus, calm down your mind, ease stress and tension, etc.
- Before you start to meditate, tell yourself that all thoughts, ideas and plans will have now to wait until you finish, and that nothing is going to distract your mind.
- Start meditating calmly, but with focused attention. The more focused the attention is, the easier it is to ignore thoughts and other distractions.
- Strive to stay calm, both mentally and physically, and do not tense your body. If you feel that tenseness increasing within your body, stop for a moment and relax your body.
- Patience and self discipline should be always cultivated. These skills would enable you to continue with your practice, despite difficulties and inconvenience.
- 10 minutes of practice are quite enough for a beginner. In time, as you gain experience and expertise, you may increase the time.
- Start with a simple technique. Below are two examples. try them both, and decide which one you like more.
a) Focus your attention on your incoming and outgoing breath.
For a few minutes, focus your attention on your breath. Breathe normally, while focusing on the act of breathing in and breathing out. Be careful not to strain your breath and your body.
b) Focusing on an inspiring quote.
Choose an inspiring quote from any spiritual teacher, and repeat it in your mind, trying to find its deep meaning, beyond the written words.
"Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom."