Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 173 - 5 steps for proper and effective meditation


Have you ever tried to meditate? What does it even mean and what is it's purpose? Let's first look at the definition of the word:





Meditation:

1. The act of meditating.
2. Continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation.
3. Transcendental meditation:
  • A technique, based on ancient Hindu writings, by which one seeks to achieve a relaxed state through regular periods of meditation during which a mantra is repeated.
4. Devout religious contemplation or spiritual introspection.

From what we can get from an online dictionary, it would seem that meditation either involves some sorts of thinking or repeating of a mantra. Wait, what is a mantra?

Mantra:
1. Hinduism A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as an invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing mystical potentialities.
2. A commonly repeated word or phrase.

Still confused about the real purpose of meditation? Let me help you with that.

Step 1: Understand the purpose of meditation:

The one and only purpose of real, self-supporting meditation is to achieve a state of stability within oneself, where one is not distracted by one's thoughts, feeling or emotions. In such a state one is present within every moment of hereness. One is simply being with oneself in awareness of one's every breath. This is the best way to remove all stress and anxiety, by not participating in ones thoughts, feelings and emotions. But most of the times, this is hard to do. Thus we need other tools with which we can support ourselves to achieve this state of self-enjoyment within practical self-direction. Yes, self-direction, because the fact that we do not participate in our thoughts, feelings and emotions does not mean that we sit somewhere in the corner, doing nothing or repeating a mantra. That is not really practical in everyday life, is it? It simply means that we are able to effectively direct ourselves in the physical while enjoying ourselves, without being under emotional stress or some other kind of distraction within our minds.

Step 2: Learn and apply the tool of self-aware breathing:

In order to meditate effectively, one has to use the proper tools. The first one is self-aware breathing. This simply means that we focus our attention on our breathing, where we breathe slowly and comfortably. If we are very anxious or nervous, we can help ourselves with counting. While we count from 1 to 3 we breathe in, then we hold our breath while again counting from 1 to 3. Then we breathe out while we count from 1 to 3 and wait again until we count from 1 to 3. The point here is to breathe in a comfortable, stable manner and be aware of it. If you don't find it comfortable to hold for 3 seconds between each in-breath and out-breath, then you can simply remove those two pauses.

This is how we help ourselves in the moment to become more relaxed, but we are not yet dealing with the cause of our stress. We have only prepared ourselves to be able to find and remove the cause.

Step 3: Learn and apply the tool of writing in self-honesty:

Now that we are aware of our breathing, we can start observing the cause of our stress / anxiety / nervousness. We do this by writing and applying self-honesty.

In self-honesty, we do not hide or try to hide anything that we know about ourselves from ourselves. We do this by not judging ourselves. We accept ourselves the way we are in the moment and we look at our thoughts, what we are thinking about, as well as what kind of emotions and feeling we are experiencing. These thoughts, feelings and emotions are the primary cause of our stress, anxiety and nervousness. When we think we separate ourselves from ourselves: instead of being here with ourselves in every breath, we "go" into our minds and believe that we are our thoughts, feelings and emotions and so we create stress for ourselves, by creating feelings and emotions. The only way for us to relax and start enjoying ourselves again in every breath, where we can be effective and self-directive as a living being, is to stop these thoughts, feelings and emotions. The only way we can do this is to write them out for ourselves in detail, to see what we are actually thinking and experiencing within us through feelings and emotions.

Step 4: Learn the tools of self-responsibility and self-forgiveness:

Now that we have written out our thoughts, feeling and emotions - the way that we experience ourselves - we can stop this experience by taking self-responsibility for our experience of ourselves (our thoughts, feelings and emotions) and applying self-forgiveness for every thought, feeling and emotion that we had created within ourselves and started to identify with. We do this by writing down the realization of how we have been participating in a specific mind pattern and then we write out a commitment, where we decide how we are going to change in practice, so that we do not cause the same experience again for ourselves of being "lost", distracted and separated from ourselves in our minds, feelings and emotions.

Here is a sample of how to write down an effective self-forgiveness statement, together with the realization and self-correction statement:

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to ...
When and as I see myself... (Trigger-Point/Pattern), I stop and breathe.
(Self-realization statement about the Pattern)
I commit myself to... (Correction)

Example:
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define and judge my ears as ugly when I see myself in the mirror.
When and as I see myself judging my ears as ugly when I see myself in the mirror, I stop and breathe.
I realize that I do not have to compare my ears and that this judgment of my ears and myself based on comparison does not help me in any way and so I don't have to think about it at all.
I commit myself to no more compare and judge my ears as ugly when I see myself in the mirror, instead I breathe and accept my ears the way they are as perfectly fine.

Step 5: Commit to apply practical self-correction:

In order to really stop all the stress in our life that we are creating for ourselves through participating in our thoughts, feelings and emotions, we have to also practically apply the realization and the commitment that we previously wrote down. This should not be too hard as we already wrote down the plan of how exactly we are going to change. All there is left for us to do is to simply start living the change in practice.

If you'll take these 5 steps seriously and apply them in your life every day, you'll become a true master of meditation and remove all the stress you ever created for yourself from your life. And so you will give yourself the chance and opportunity to become an effective and self-directive human being that enjoys self in every moment.

To learn more about how to effectively apply self forgiveness and mentioned tools I suggest you check out others posts in this blog and also check out other blogs where people use these tools HERE. I also suggest that you try out the free and simple online course DIP Lite, where you will learn how to apply these tools in a fun way.