21’st Century Meditation

Is it Real or Memorex????

Over the years I have participated in meditation and as a result have had conversations with others about this wonderful subject. And I am constantly baffled that these seemingly intelligent folks have such a rigid view as to what meditation really is and how to do it. As you can see from my pal, the common concept of meditation is to be sitting in a semi-rigid way and focus on something (extra points if your tongue goes like his does). And I really don't want to have to argue about who is  correct and who might just be a bit to rigid in their definitions.

I first learned about meditation about 35 years ago and it was, at that time, a very difficult exercise. Since that time I have found a number of different methods and learned a few techniques that can simplify it for many people. First thing to remember is there is no right or wrong in meditation and you cannot fail.

The basics of any meditation involve relaxing. While I do not believe in any rules, I find that starting with a basic position and routine will aid anyone in their quest for a meditative state. Start by sitting in a relatively comfortable chair (I will leave that relative thing up to you) with your feet flat on the floor and the usual position of your hands will be up to you. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath (in through your nose and out through your mouth). One breathing technique to learn is to expand your stomach instead of raising your shoulders and expanding your chest. As you pay attention to your breathing, begin to relax your body starting with the toes on one foot. Notice you you can relax your foot by focusing on the relaxation of it. Work your way up that leg and into your hip. Next go to the other foot and repeat the process until you reach the other hip. Take a minute or so for each leg. Now go up your spine and relax each part as you work your way over the top of your head and down to your pelvis. Again, take your time and make this part last at least another minute or more.

Now that you are in a relaxed state, focus on your breathing more and concentrate on expanding your stomach as you breathe. Form the picture of an object on the bridge of your nose (yes, keep your eyes closed the whole time). Your object can be as simple as a “glowing thing” at the beginning.

Now, I want to describe the two different basic concepts I have learned for meditation. One is to quiet yourself and to focus on one thing and the other is quite the opposite, open your senses up to your surroundings and listen and recognize all the sounds around you.

Go and start your meditation. If you like music in the background, then use it. If you like quiet, then have quiet. As you start the process you will find your own path.

Don't get caught in rigid dogma of any kind. I believe that meditation brings enjoyment and pleasure into our mind and allows us to de-stress and relax. However you see it, give it a go and see if your life improves.