- Education and Science
How to be in Meditation
There is so much written about spirituality, meditation, new age. When one is new it appears to be just a fad, a passing fancy. Yet it is here, we are all immersed in it and we are all part of it.
When I was in college, one of my dorm mates in the Women’s Dormitory where I was staying decided to abandon college and become a member of one of the Ananda Marga group.
Everyone was shocked. No one understood. I certainly did not. It is a privilege to be accepted at the University of the Philippines. Everyone, almost everyone, was scholar. The admission was very stringent. To stay even for one semester required absolute discipline. Every family in the Philippines would want at least one of their children educated there. Just like it is here in the US when we think of Harvard or Yale or Princeton.
I understand her now, thirty years later. I do not know where she is now but I am sure she has done a lot of work for everyone.
There are many reasons one embarks on a spiritual path. Almost all the time there is a desire to alleviate pain and suffering. To understand life when logic does not work. That was my path.
It is alright to begin meditation no matter what the reason. In fact it is best to start meditation without a reason because eventually that is where everyone goes. It is only a matter of discipline, and yet something beautiful happens when one is able to go to the depths of meditation. So to be in meditation, and I emphasize that it is not a noun, nor a verb, but a state of being, here are the steps.
Wear loose fitting clothes
Go to a place where you will not be disturbed.
Sit comfortably on a chair first if you are not able to sit in lotus or half lotus position.
If you sit on a chair, your feet should lie flat on the floor and your back should be straight and unsupported by the chair.
The important thing is that your back is straight. To do this, you can use the same technique that we used to do when we were little. Put a book on top of your head when your ears are aligned with your shoulders and if the book does not fall, then you are sitting straight.
Rest your hands on your lap or on your legs.
If you want to place your hands on your lap, then pretend that you are holding an egg on your hands, left hand resting on right hand, thumbs touching. You literally hold the world in your hands when you do this. This requires well formed arm and back muscles. To keep still in this position is not easy if you are just starting out.
If you want to put your hands on your legs,this is easier. Just touch your ring finger and your thumb and lay each hand on each leg.
It is best to have eyes half open but it is alright to close your eyes
Pay attention to to the movement of the air through your nose/nostrils.
IMPORTANT: Do not change the way you breathe and do not follow the air into your lungs.
When a thought occurs, let it go. By letting it go it simply means notice the thought, don’t feed it with further thoughts.
Do not fight the thoughts but do not feed it either. Just bring your attention back to the air that goes in and out of your nostrils.
That is it.
Just do this again and again and again, just like doing yoga or going to the gym. There will be times when you would not want to do it, much like exercise. The discipline required is for you to do it whether you want to or not, and while you are in sitting meditation, the discipline to sit when your mind absolutely tells you to get up and end it. It will come. Allow the thought to occur and then let it go, just like any other thought.
No expectations. No strings attached.
It is the highest form of meditation when you can sit without expecting anything. For while in it, you are being very generous to everyone, far greater than your contributing any material thing.
It is the truth.
© 2009 by Melinda M. Sorensson