*MEDITATION SCHEDULE FOR 100 DAYS HERE
To live a good life is to achieve maximum health by eating well, exercising regularly, and improving mental well being.
Let us collectively work on improving the world together by first improving ourselves individually. Many people will have the eating well and exercising parts down, but the point of this blog is to explore our mental well being together, with an intent focus on the next 100 days to bring love to ourselves and the world in a time of great need.
In anticipation of beginning our one hundred days of meditation, here are a few of the many types of meditation. These are the ones that I will be exploring and writing about for the next one hundred days, but feel free to suggest any others as well.
Concentrative Meditation In this practice the objective is to cultivate a single-pointed attention on some object, such as a sound, an image, the breath, or a flame. Through the training of consistently returning to the object of focus, the mind develops the capacity to remain calm, stabilized, and grounded. Many Western meditation teachers start beginners with this practice, most commonly focusing on the breath. In some advanced practices, states of bliss may be reached. The most well-known and researched form of the concentrative type in the West is Transcendental Meditation (TM).
Open Awareness The objective of these forms of meditative practices is to open the mind into a panoramic awareness of whatever is happening without a specific focus. Often this awareness is compared to the spacious sky or a river with objects floating by. The capacity to be present with whatever arises is developed through this practice. The Zen sitting practice zazen, or shikantaza, is an example of this form of meditation practiced in the West.
Mindfulness The most popular, widely adapted, and widely researched meditation technique in the West is known as mindfulness meditation, which is a combination of concentration and open awareness. Mindfulness is found in many contemplative traditions, but is most often identified with the Theravadan Buddhist practice of vipassana, or “insight meditation.” The practitioner focuses on an object, such as the breath, bodily sensations, thoughts, feelings, or sounds. The focus is not as narrow as in concentrative meditation, for there is a simultaneous awareness of other phenomena. This mindfulness practice is often extended to daily actions, such as eating, walking, driving, or housework. The contemporary Western adaptation is typically removed from the rigorous contemplative training method of empirical introspection traditionally associated with Buddhism, which has as its objective the development of equanimity and clarity of perception.
Guided Meditation All forms of meditation can be guided, and many are often practiced with recorded or in-person guidance at first, and then later with decreasing need for explicit guidance. In one form, called guided imagery, the practitioner follows auditory guidance from a teacher or recording that elicits certain images, affirmations, states (such as peacefulness), or imagined desired experiences. Guided imagery is popular in the West to facilitate health and well-being and is often used to rehearse successful outcomes of procedures, such as surgery or an athletic performance.
The goal is to reach the state of enlightenment where one can experience calm even when extremely busy.
Seated in a cross-legged position, the meditator internally chants a mantra and focuses on rising above the negativity. Sanskrit words are chanted to help the practitioners focus in lieu of being able to focus on breathing. Mantras are given based on a variety of factors like birth year.
Heart Rhythm Meditation
A downward form of meditation with an emphasis on breathing and chanting the mystic’s mantra “I am a part of everything and everything is a part of me.”
Involves conscious breathing using the lungs’ full capacity, focusing on the heart and aligning breath to the rhythm of the heart.This includes making the inhale and exhale even, i.e. 8 heartbeats in, 8 heartbeatsout
Upward form of meditation focusing on the rising stream of energy, like the snake that is represented in the name. The snake is said to be coiled at the base of the spine, also known as the unconscious, libidinous, instinctive force. This form of meditation requires concentrating on breath as it flows through the energy centres in the body. This is a challenging type for people with unresolved emotional issues and should be approached carefully.
Seated cross legged, focusing on breathing, practicing mantras and mudras (hand positions).
What you think is what you become, so in this form of meditation, the meditator’s focus is placed on one goal. The meditator visualizes positive, relaxing experiences and the body releases chemicals that create the positive feelings in response. This type of meditation increases concentration, relaxation, and improves mindstate.
Affirmation Meditation technique:
Once in a relaxed state, you become more open to suggestions. Postive affirmations are suggested with a focus on any topic of your choice.
Body scanning technique:
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction where breath awareness and body scans are prescribed by medical professionals. Done by focusing on breathing and then scanning your body with your heightened focus, starting from the toes and slowly working your way up to release tension. Can be done seated, laying down or walking. will bring awareness to different parts of your body
Brainwave meditation/Binaural beats technique:
These meditations begin with an instructive voice and switch to relaxing music and sounds with the goal of maintaining a focus on the specific beats being played through the meditator’s headphones.
Primordial Sound Meditation:
This is a silent practice using a mantra. The mantra is the vibrational sound created by the universe at the timespace of your birth, calculated with Vedic mathematical formulae
Technique: Repeat your personal mantra silently to enter deeper levels of awareness away from your intelligence centre. Generally practiced sitting down comfortably.
Practiced to improve posture, respiration and the ability to relax by using movement, breath and intention to circulate energy through the body and energy centers. Using knowledge of medicine, philosophy and martial arts, this practice is about cultivating and balancing qi or “life energy.”
Moving meditation of coordinated slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing and a calm state of mind.
The aim is to forget all judgmental thoughts, ideas and images. This style is great for group meditation and sober meditation style. The emphasis is on the personal expression of insight, which is why the Buddhist Sutras are shared in interaction with teachers.
Zen meditation is generally practiced seated with legs crossed, but you can also be standing. The key is to keep your back straight, mouth closed, eyes lowered and your gaze resting two to three feet in front of you. Focus your attention on your breath, even counting it as you breathe in slowly through your nose and out slowly through your nose. The trick is to be aware of what passes through us without dwelling on anything in particular.
Meaning “insight/clear seeing” in Pali, this is a traditional style of mindfulness of breathing. This style is good for grounding self into body and to understand how your mind works. No rituals attached.
Using mindfulness of breathing to stabilize the mind and then see clearly our bodily sensations and mental phenomena. Notice your abdomen moving in and out or feel the air pass through your nostrils and onto your upper lip. You will eventually achieve clarity of senses and emotions and the goal is to notice them and then return to concentration on breathing, leaving everything else in the background. Concentrating on your breathing is the primary focus and the secondary focus is anything else that comes to mind. If these secondary objects cause you to desire or feel aversion, you must make note of what they are in general, like remembering or wanting, without specifying what is pulling you. You will then return to the primary focus, observing secondary objects without attachment.
This process is about unconditional kindness and friendliness.
Start by sending loving-kindness to oneself, then send it to a friend or loved one, then to someone neutral in your life, then a difficult person and then out to the universe.
Meaning yogic sleep, this is a restful practice. The meditator aims to enter into the state of consciousness between waking and sleeping.
The meditator is laying down, bolstered with whatever materials to help achieve maximum comfort, and becomes systematically more aware of the inner world through following a set of verbal instructions.
This is a modern non-duality movement about the subjective feeling of existence. ‘Who is aware of these thoughts’ is the key question.
One must reject any verbal answers that come to you and ue your questions as a tool to focus your attention on the feeling of “I,” thus revealing yourself as pure consciousness with no limitation. Postures and environment should be engaging.
Monotheistic Religious Meditation
In monotheistic traditions, the goal of contemplative practices is, one may say, moral purification and deeper understanding of the Bible; or a closer intimacy with God/Christ, for the more mystic stream of the tradition. Techniques include:
Contemplative prayer technique:
Usually involves the silent repetition of sacred words or sentences, with focus and devotion
Contemplative reading technique:
Or simply “contemplation”, which involves thinking deeply about the teachings and events in the Bible.
“Sitting with God” technique:
A silent meditation, usually preceded by contemplation or reading, in which we focus all our mind, heart and soul on the presence of God
There are many more, and many versions of each of these types, with much overlap in between. The focus is generally on the breathing, on experiencing sensory input and learning to let it go.
Here are some other splinters of meditation that I will focus on:
the OM mantra [Yogic]
the 6th chakra (the space between the eyebrows, or “third eye”) [Yogic]
the 7th chakra (the fontanelle) [Yogic]
an infinite expanse of light in the heart center [Yogic]
the visual form of my body [Yogic]
the lightness of cotton [Yogic]
the relationship between my body and the space around it [Yogic]
the moments of time and its sequence [Yogic]
the void of the five senses, in the heart [Tantric]
the void of your body, extending in all directions simultaneously [Tantric]
listening to the internal sound of the body [Tantric]
the idea of the whole universe dissolving into pure consciousness [Tantric]
the feeling of me existing everywhere, without limits [Tantric]
the perception of the whole universe being like a dream [Tantric]
Thank you for joining me and I look forward to connecting with you in the psychic sphere starting tomorrow. Pick any style that suits you and I will as well.
Many blessings to you all!