Introduction To Insight Meditation

Amaravati Buddhist Centre, U.K. (1988)


The aim of this booklet is to serve as an introduction to the practice of Insight Meditation as taught within the tradition of Theravada Buddhism. You need not be familiar with the teachings of the Buddha to make use of it, although such knowledge can help to clarify any personal understanding you may develop through meditation.

The purpose of Insight Meditation is not to create a system of beliefs, but rather to give guidance on how to see clearly into the nature of the mind. In this way one gains first-hand understanding of the way things are, without reliance on opinions or theories — a direct experience, which has its own vitality. It also gives rise to the sense of deep calm that comes from knowing something for oneself, beyond any doubt.

Insight Meditation is a key factor in the path that the Buddha offered for the welfare of human beings; the only criterion is that one has to put it into practice These pages, therefore, describe a series of meditation exercises, and practical advice on how to use them. It works best if the reader follows the guide progressively, giving each sequence of instructions a good work-out before proceeding further.

The term “Insight Meditation” (samatha-vipassana) refers to practices for the mind that develop calm (samatha) through sustained attention, and insight (vipassana) through reflection. A fundamental technique for sustaining attention is focusing awareness on the body; traditionally, this is practised while sitting or walking. The guide begins with some advice on this.

Reflection occurs quite naturally afterwards, when one is “comfortable” within the context of the meditation exercise. There will be a sense of ease and interest, and one begins to look around and become acquainted with the mind that is meditating. This “looking around” is called contemplation, a personal and direct seeing that can only be suggested by any technique. A few ideas and guidance on this come in a later section.

(It should be noted that knowledge of terms in Pali — the canonical language of Theravada Buddhism — is not necessary to begin the practice of meditation. It can be useful, however, to provide reference points to the large source of guidance in the Theravada Canon, as well as to the teaching of many contemporary masters who still find such words more precise than their English equivalents.)

1. Sustaining Attention

SITTING

Time and Place

Focusing the mind on the body can be readily accomplished while sitting. You need to find a time and a place which affords you calm and freedom from disturbance.

A quiet room with not much in it to distract the mind is ideal; a setting with light and space has a brightening and clearing effect, while a cluttered and gloomy room has just the opposite. Timing is also important, particularly as most people’s days are quite structured with routines. It is not especially productive to meditate when you have something else to do, or when you’re pressed for time. It’s better to set aside a period — say, in the early morning or in the evening after work — when you can really give your full attention to the practice. Begin with fifteen minutes or so. Practise sincerely with the limitations of time and available energy, and avoid becoming mechanical about the routine. Meditation practice, supported by genuine willingness to investigate and make peace with oneself, will develop naturally in terms of duration and skill.

Awareness of the body

The development of calm is aided by stability, and by a steady but peaceful effort. If you can’t feel settled, there’s no peacefulness; if there’s no sense of application, you tend to day-dream. One of the most effective postures for the cultivation of the proper combination of stillness and energy is sitting.

Use a posture that will keep your back straight without strain. A simple upright chair may be helpful, or you may be able to use one of the lotus postures (See the ” Notes on Posture“). These look awkward at first, but in time they can provide a unique balance of gentle firmness that gladdens the mind without tiring the body.

If the chin is tilted very slightly down this will help, but do not allow the head to loll forward as this encourages drowsiness. Place the hands on your lap, palms upwards, one gently resting on the other with the thumb-tips touching. Take your time, and get the right balance.

Now, collect your attention, and begin to move it slowly down your body. Notice the sensations. Relax any tensions, particularly in the face, neck and hands. Allow the eyelids to close or half close.

Investigate how you are feeling. Expectant or tense? Then relax your attention a little. With this, the mind will probably calm down, and you may find some thoughts drifting in — reflections, daydreams, memories, or doubts about whether you are doing it right Instead of following or contending with these thought patterns, bring more attention to the body, which is a useful anchor for a wandering mind.

Cultivate a spirit of inquiry in your meditation attitude. Take your time. Move your attention, for example, systematically from the crown of the head down over the whole body. Notice the different sensations — such as warmth, pulsing, numbness, and sensitivity — in the joints of each finger, the moisture of the palms, and the pulse in the wrist. Even areas that may have no particular sensation, such as the forearms or the earlobes, can be “swept over” in an attentive way. Notice how even the lack of sensation is something the mind can be aware of. This constant and sustained investigation is called mindfulness (sati) and is one of the primary tools of Insight Meditation.

Mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati)

Instead of “body sweeping”, or after a preliminary period of this practice, mindfulness can be developed through attention on the breath.

First, follow the sensation of your ordinary breath as it flows in through the nostrils and fills the chest and abdomen. Then try maintaining your attention at one point, either at the diaphragm or — a more refined location — at the nostrils. Breath has a tranquillising quality, steady and relaxing if you don’t force it; this is helped by an upright posture. Your mind may wander, but keep patiently returning to the breath.

It is not necessary to develop concentration to the point of excluding everything else except the breath. Rather than to create a trance, the purpose here is to allow you to notice the workings of the mind, and to bring a measure of peaceful clarity into it. The entire process — gathering your attention, noticing the breath, noticing that the mind has wandered, and re-establishing your attention — develops mindfulness, patience and insightful understanding. So don’t be put off by apparent “failure” — simply begin again. Continuing in this way allows the mind eventually to calm down.

If you get very restless or agitated, just relax. Practise being at peace with yourself, listening to — without necessarily believing in — the voices of the mind.

If you feet drowsy, then put more care and attention into your body and posture. Refining your attention or pursuing tranquillity at such times will only make matters worse

WALKING AND STANDING

Many meditation exercises, such as the above “mindfulness of breathing”, are practised while sitting. However, walking is commonly alternated with sitting as a form for meditation. Apart from giving you different things to notice, it’s a skilful way to energise the practice if the calming effect of sitting is making you dull.

If you have access to some open land, measure off about 25-30 paces’ length of level ground (or a clearly defined pathway between two trees), as your meditation path. Stand at one end of the path, and compose your mind on the sensations of the body. First, let the attention rest on the feeling of the body standing upright, with the arms hanging naturally and the hands lightly clasped in front or behind. Allow the eyes to gaze at a point about three metres in front of you at ground level, thus avoiding visual distraction. Now, walk gently, at a deliberate but “normal” pace, to the end of the path. Stop. Focus on the body standing for the period of a couple of breaths. Turn, and walk back again. While walking, be aware of the general flow of physical sensations, or more closely direct your attention to the feet. The exercise for the mind is to keep bringing its attention back to the sensation of the feet touching the ground, the spaces between each step, and the feelings of stopping and starting.

Of course, the mind will wander. So it is important to cultivate patience, and the resolve to begin again. Adjust the pace to suit your state of mind — vigorous when drowsy or trapped in obsessive thought, firm but gentle when restless and impatient. At the end of the path, stop; breathe in and out; “let go” of any restlessness, worry, calm, bliss, memories or opinions about yourself. The “inner chatter” may stop momentarily, or fade out. Begin again. In this way you continually refresh the mind, and allow it to settle at its own rate.

In more confined spaces, alter the length of the path to suit what is available. Alternatively, you can circumambulate a room, pausing after each circumambulation for a few moments of standing. This period of standing can be extended to several minutes, using “body sweeping”.

Walking brings energy and fluidity into the practice, so keep your pace steady and just let changing conditions pass through the mind. Rather than expecting the mind to be as still as it might be while sitting, contemplate the flow of phenomena. It is remarkable how many times we can become engrossed in a train of thought — arriving at the end of the path and “coming to” with a start — but it is natural for our untrained minds to become absorbed in thoughts and moods. So instead of giving in to impatience, learn how to let go, and begin again. A sense of ease and calm may then arise, allowing the mind to become open and clear in a natural, unforced way.

LYING DOWN

Reclining at the end of a day, spend a few minutes meditating while lying on one side. Keep the body quite straight and bend one arm up so that the hand acts as a support for the head. Sweep through the body, resting its stresses; or collect your attention on the breath, consciously putting aside memories of the day just past and expectations of tomorrow. In a few minutes, with your mind clear, you’ll be able to rest well.

CULTIVATING THE HEART

Cultivating good-will (metta) gives another dimension to the practice of Insight. Meditation naturally teaches patience and tolerance, or at least it shows the importance of these qualities. So you may well wish to develop a more friendly and caring attitude towards yourself and other people. In meditation, you can cultivate good-will very realistically.

Focus attention on the breath, which you will now be using as the means of spreading kindness and good-will. Begin with yourself, with your body. Visualise the breath as a light, or see your awareness as being a warm ray, and gradually sweep it over your body. Lightly focus your attention on the centre of the chest, around the heart region. As you breathe in, direct patient kindness towards yourself, perhaps with the thought, “May I be well”, or “Peace”. As you breathe out, let the mood of that thought, or the awareness of light, spread outwards from the heart, through the body, through the mind, and beyond yourself. “May others be well.”

If you are experiencing negative states of mind, breathe in the qualities of tolerance and forgiveness. Visualising the breath as having a healing colour may be helpful. On the out-breath, let go — of any stress, worry or negativity — and extend the sense of release through the body, the mind, and beyond, as before.

This practice can form all or part of a period of meditation — you have to judge for yourself what is appropriate. The calming effect of meditating with a kindly attitude is good for beginning a sitting, but there will no doubt be times to use this approach for long periods, to go deeply into the heart.

Always begin with what you are aware of, even if it seems trivial or confused. Let your mind rest calmly on that — whether it’s boredom, an aching knee, or the frustration of not feeling particularly kindly. Allow these to be; practise being at peace with them. Recognise and gently put aside any tendencies towards laziness, doubt or guilt.

Peacefulness can develop into a very nourishing kindness towards yourself, if you first of all fully accept the presence of what you dislike. Keep the attention steady, and open the heart to whatever you experience. This does not imply approval of negative states, but allows them a space wherein they can come and go.

Generating good-will toward the world beyond yourself follows much the same pattern. A simple way to spread kindness is to work in stages. Start with yourself, joining the sense of loving acceptance to the movement of the breath. “May I be well.” Then, reflect on people you love and respect, and wish them well, one by one. Move on to friendly acquaintances, then to those towards whom you feel indifferent. “May they be well.” Finally, bring to mind those people you fear or dislike, and continue to send out wishes of good-will.

This meditation can expand, in a movement of compassion, to include all people in the world, in their many circumstances. And remember, you don’t have to feel that you love everyone in order to wish them well

Kindness and compassion originate from the same source of good will, and they broaden the mind beyond the purely personal perspective. If you’re not always trying to make things go the way you want them to; if you’re more accepting and receptive to yourself and others as they are, compassion arises by itself. Compassion is the natural sensitivity of the heart.

2. Reflection

CHOICELESS AWARENESS

Meditation can also proceed without a meditation object, in a state of pure contemplation, or “choiceless awareness”.

After calming the mind by one of the methods described above, consciously put aside the meditation object. Observe the flow of mental images and sensations just as they arise, without engaging in criticism or praise. Notice any aversion and fascination; contemplate any uncertainty, happiness, restlessness or tranquillity as it arises. You can return to a meditation object (such as the breath). whenever the sense of clarity diminishes, or if you begin to feel overwhelmed by impressions. When a sense of steadiness returns, you can relinquish the object again.

This practice of “bare attention” is well-suited for contemplating the mental process. Along with observing the mind’s particular “ingredients”, we can turn our attention to the nature of the container. As for the contents of the mind, Buddhist teaching points especially to three simple, fundamental characteristics.

First, there is changeability (anicca) – the ceaseless beginning and ending all things go through, the constant movement of the content of the mind. This mind-stuff may be pleasant or unpleasant, but it is never at rest.

There is also a persistent, often subtle, sense of dissatisfaction (dukkha). Unpleasant sensations easily evoke that sense, but even a lovely experience creates a tug in the heart when it ends. So at the best of moments there is still an inconclusive quality in what the mind experiences, a somewhat unsatisfied feeling.

As the constant arising and passing of experiences and moods become familiar, it also becomes clear that — since there is no permanence in them — none of them really belong to you. And, when this mind-stuff is silent — revealing a bright spaciousness of mind — there are no purely personal characteristics to be found This can be difficult to comprehend, but in reality there is no “me” and no “mine”– the characteristic of “no-self”, or impersonality (anatta).

Investigate fully and notice how these qualities pertain to all things, physical and mental. No matter if your experiences are joyful or barely endurable, this contemplation will lead to a calm and balanced perspective on your life.

CONTEMPLATING YOUR PRACTICE

These meditation exercises all serve to establish awareness of things as they are. By bringing your mind fully onto experiences, you will notice more clearly the state of the mind itself — for example, whether you are being lazy or over-eager in your practice. With a little honest appraisal, it becomes evident that the quality of the meditation practice depends, not on the exercise being used, but on what you are putting into it. Reflecting in this way, you will gain deeper insight into your personality and habits.

There are some useful points to bear in mind whenever you meditate. Consider whether you are beginning afresh each time — or even better, with each breath or footstep. If you don’t practise with an open mind, you may find yourself trying to recreate a past insight, or unwilling to learn from your mistakes. Is there the right balance of energy whereby you are doing all that you can without being over-forceful? Are you keeping in touch with what is actually happening in your mind, or using a technique in a dull, mechanical way? As for concentration, it’s good to check whether you are putting aside concerns that are not immediate, or letting yourself meander in thoughts and moods. Or, are you trying to repress feelings without acknowledging them and responding wisely?

Proper concentration is that which unifies the heart and mind. Reflecting in this way encourages you to develop a skilful approach. And of course, reflection will show you more than how to meditate: it will give you the clarity to understand yourself.

Remember, until you’ve developed some skill and case with meditation, it’s best to use a meditation object, such as the breath, as a focus for awareness and as an antidote for the overwhelming nature of the mind’s distractions. Even so, whatever your length of experience with the practice, it is always helpful to return to awareness of the breath or body. Developing this ability to begin again leads to stability and case. With a balanced practice, you realise more and more the way the body and mind are, and see how to live with greater freedom and harmony. This is the purpose and the fruit of Insight Meditation.

LIVING INSIGHTFULLY

With the practice of Insight Meditation you will see your attitudes more clearly, and come to know which are helpful and which create difficulties. An open attitude can make even unpleasant experiences insightful — for instance, understanding the way that the mind reacts against pain or sickness. When you approach such experiences in this way, you can often unwind the stress and resistance to pain, and alleviate it to a great degree. On the other hand, an impatient streak will have different results: becoming annoyed with others if they disturb your meditation; being disappointed if your practice doesn’t seem to be progressing fast enough; falling into unpleasant moods over insignificant matters. Meditation teaches us that peace of mind — or its absence — essentially depends on whether or not we contemplate the events of life in a spirit of reflection and open-mindedness.

By looking into your intentions and attitudes in the quiet of meditation, you can investigate the relationship between desire and dissatisfaction. See the causes of discontent: wanting what you don’t have; rejecting what you dislike; being unable to keep what you want. This is especially oppressive when the subject of the discontent and desire is yourself. No-one finds it easy to be at peace with personal weakness, especially when so much social emphasis is placed on feeling good, getting ahead and having the best. Such expectations indeed make it difficult to accept oneself as one is.

However, with the practice of insight meditation, you discover a space in which to stand back a little from what you think you are, from what you think you have. Contemplating these perceptions, it becomes clearer that you don’t have any thing as “me” or “mine”; there are simply experiences, which come and go through the mind. So if, for example, you’re looking into an irritating habit, rather than becoming depressed by it, you don’t reinforce it and the habit passes away. It may come back again, but this time it’s weaker, and you know what to do. Through cultivating peaceful attention, mental content calms down and may even fade out, leaving the mind clear and refreshed. Such is the ongoing path of insight.

To be able to go to a still centre of awareness within the changing flow of daily life is the sign of a mature practice, for insight deepens immeasurably when it is able to spread to all experience. Try to use the perspective of insight no matter what you are doing — routine housework, driving the car, having a cup of tea. Collect the awareness, rest it steadily on what you are doing, and rouse a sense of inquiry into the nature of the mind in the mist of activity. Using the practice to centre on physical sensations, mental states, or eye-, ear- or nose-consciousness can develop an ongoing contemplation that turns mundane tasks into foundations for insight.

Centred more and more in awareness, the mind becomes free to respond skilfully to the moment, and there is greater harmony in life. This is the way that meditation does “social work”– by bringing awareness into your life, it brings peace into the world. When you can abide peacefully with the great variety of feelings that arise in consciousness, you are able to live more open[y with the world, and with yourself as you are.

3. Further Suggestions

PERSONAL CONDUCT

As our insight deepens, we see more clearly the results of our actions — the peace that good intention, sincerity and clear-mindedness promote, and the trouble that confusion and carelessness create. It is this greater sensitivity, observing in particular the distress we cause ourselves and others, that often inspires us to want to live more wisely. For true peace of mind, it is indispensable that formal meditation be combined with a commitment to responsibility, and with care for oneself and others.

There is really nothing mysterious about the path of Insight. In the words of the Buddha, the way is simple: “Do good, refrain from doing evil, and purify the mind“. It is a long-observed tradition, then, for people who engage in spiritual practice to place great importance on proper conduct. Many meditators undertake realistic moral vows — such as refraining from harming living beings, from stealing, from careless use of sexuality, from using intoxicants (alcohol and drugs), and from gossip and other graceless speech habits — to help their own inner clarity, and perhaps gently encourage that of others.

COMPANY AND ROUTINE

Meditating with a few friends at regular times can be a great support towards constancy of practice and development of wisdom. The solitary meditator eventually faces diminishing will-power, as there’s often something else to do that seems more important (or more interesting) than watching the breath. Regular group meditation for an agreed-upon duration keeps the participants going, regardless of their flux of moods. (The investigation of these shifts of disposition often yields important insights, but on our own we can find it difficult to persevere with them.) As well as seeing the personal benefits, you can reflect that your efforts are helping others to keep practising.

NOTES ON POSTURE

The ideal is an upright, alert posture. Slumping only increases the pressure on the legs and discomfort in the back. It is important to attend to your posture with wisdom, not insensitive will-power Posture will improve in time, but you need to work with the body, not use force against it.

Check your posture:

  • Are the hips leaning back? This will cause a slump.
  • The small of the back should have its natural, unforced curve so that the abdomen is forward and “open”.
  • Imagine that someone is gently pushing between the shoulder blades, while keeping the muscles relaxed. This will give you an idea of whether you unconsciously “hunch” your shoulders (and hence close your chest).
  • Note, and gently release, any tension in the neck/shoulder region.

 

If your posture feels tense or stack:

  • Allow the spine to straighten by imagining the crown of the head as suspended from above. This also lets the chin tuck in slightly.
  • Keep the arms light and held back against the abdomen. If they are forward, they pull you out of balance.
  • Use a small firm cushion underneath and toward the back of the buttocks to support the angle of the hips.

 

For the legs:

  • Practise some stretching exercises (like touching the toes with both legs stretched out, while sitting).
  • If you have a lot of pain during a period of sitting, change posture, sit on a small stool or chair, or stand up for a while.
  • If you usually (or wish to) sit on or near the floor, experiment with cushions of different size and firmness, or try out one of the special meditation stools that are available.

 

For drowsiness:

  • Try meditating with your eyes open.
  • “Sweep” your attention systematically around your body.
  • Focus on the whole body and on physical sensations, rather than on a subtle object like the breath.
  • Stand up and walk mindfully for a while in the open air.

 

For tension or headaches:

  • You may be trying too hard — this is not unusual — so lighten your concentration. For instance, you might move your attention to the sensation of the breath at the abdomen.
  • Generate the energy of good-will (see the section on “Cultivating the Heart“), and direct it towards the area of tension.
  • Visualising and spreading light through the body can be helpful in alleviating its aches and pains. Try actually focusing a benevolent light on an area of difficulty

 

 


This is not a comprehensive or exclusive guide, but a suggested outline for practice. Meditators are strongly recommended to seek a trustworthy and experienced “spiritual friend” or teacher for ongoing advice.

 

May all beings be at peace;
May all beings be freed from suffering
 


Note: This booklet was originally published in 1988 by Amaravati Buddhist Centre, UK, for free distribution. It was subsequently reprinted by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia in 1997. Contact addresses:

  1. Amaravati Buddhist Centre
    Great Gaddesden. Hemel Hempstead
    Hertfordshire. HP1-3PZ. U.K.
  2. Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre
    18 Nanson Way
    Nollamara. WA 6020. AUSTRALIA

Special thanks to Phat-Tan Nguyen (Quebec, Canada) for his kind assistance in scanning the original document.

What is Yoga?

Yoga

Article by Chrissy MacDonald

Yoga means “union.” Yoga is a positive way of life that teaches relaxation, positive thinking, truthfulness, proper diet and healthy living.Hatha Yoga combines breathing with physical postures, or asanas, which are done slowly and mindfully. As the breath is coordinated with the postures and the body is moved and stretched in wonderful ways, you come to realize a state of mental and physical health and well-being.

Physical Benefits of Yoga

Regular practice of yoga has many wonderful physical benefits. Yoga can improve muscle tone, digestion and the immune system. It can help increase oxygen intake so the lungs operate more efficiently. Body alignment and balance can improve. Yoga gives you energy and helps you relax and stay relaxed. Yoga helps to improve all systems of the body including the glands and nerves. Yoga can even help slow down the effects of aging. Many health concerns such as arthritis, headaches and digestion problems can improve with a regular yoga practice.

Yoga is great for athletes. A regular practice of Yoga helps develop focus, concentration, strength and flexibility. Many hockey players and basketball players include Yoga into their fitness program. The Edmonton Oilers NHL Team and Ottawa Senators NHL Team have included yoga into their programs as well as tennis player Maria Sharapova.

Anyone can practice YogaThe beauty of Yoga is that you can do it at your own pace and always receive the benefits regardless of your individual level of flexibility and strength.There is a yoga pose for everyone and all poses can be modified to fit a person’s body. Sometimes props are used to help a person do a pose and after regular practice they may no longer be needed.

Yoga is invigorating

Yoga can make you feel alive and energetic. You’re moving your body the way it was meant to move – bending and stretching, increasing strength with wonderful moves that don’t wear you out. One of my Yoga students who had arthritis once told me Yoga made him feel like a kid again. Y oga will make your body feel alive and put you in touch with your true self.

Joy and Contentment

Yoga is a wonderful way to feel joy and contentment. This is one of the most wonderful benefits that I discovered many years ago. I was practicing in my living room every morning learning the poses and I experienced a sense of peace, or equilibrium that seemed to help me get through life’s challenges. It’s contentment no matter what happens.

Peace and Stillness

Regular Yoga practice can help you to slow down and discover the peace and stillness in your heart. Everything seems to fall into place when we listen to our heart, when we take time to listen to the silence.

About the Author

Chrissy MacDonald is a Yoga Teacher and author of the E-Booklet: Simply Fit – A Six Week Plan for Healthy Living and Permanent Weight Control available at http://www.calicopages.com

The Art Of Buddhist Meditation

Article by Sandra M Markcrow

The objective of Buddhist Meditation is to remove from our minds our desires and cravings. To seek the truth, not just from an intellectual point of view but to pursue a holistic concept of life and death. To remove the veil of delusion and ignorance thus allowing us to truly see the nature of all things. The experience of having incredible visions, seeing spectacular light shows or feeling ecstasy during the meditation is considered common by Buddhist meditators. It is not the object of the meditation and should not be considered as being the outcome of a successful meditation session.

Buddhist’s incorporate meditative states in all aspects of their lives. One can meditate by observing how his or her body moves during the day or observe how our mood changes from one moment to the next. Buddhist meditation is the act of mindfulness, paying attention to our subtle natures, being an observer. Looking at ourselves from one moment to the next from an objective point of view without being critical. By practicing daily mindfulness, we come to understand the true nature of ourselves.

Practicing mindfulness, one comes to realize that often our states of being are not due to internal bodily functions but are affected by external influences. The external factors should be considered as existing as a stand alone phenomena of their own, separate to our true identity. By practicing mindfulness of our bodies and mind, we begin to break down the illusion of ourselves and come to understand the true nature of the self. By paying attention, we begin to break the cycle of desire and craving also.

Man is judged by his actions. Our selfishness and egotistic natures play a major role in how we are identified by others and how we interact with our environments. By practicing mindful meditation, observing our actions with others and our environments, we begin to breakdown the vicious cycle of selfishness and egotism. Buddhist Meditation is being attentive in all our daily interactions.

Our min ds are often scattered. We move from one thought to the next, often very quickly. By practicing mindfulness, observing your nature increases your ability to concentrate and stay attentive to the given situation you may be facing. With practice, you become a master of your own mind rather than a mind that seems to often work independently of ourselves. The untrained mind could be considered as being a wild animal, just waiting for you to tame it.

Learning to stay detached from any given situation is liberating for the mind. You no longer have expectations of outcomes. You feel the same about life and death, success and failure, praise or blame. There is no fear associated with any of these aspects of life. The feeling about each is neutral. Mindfulness teaches that everything has cause and effect. In Buddhism, it is called Karma and through meditation we can be observers of this cycle. Much is learnt by observing our thought patterns and positive change is possible.

Buddhist meditation in conclusion is the art of observing your mind and body and hence coming to understand the true nature of the self and the true nature of life. Practicing this discipline you will become a master of your own mind and with much practice, release yourself from the cycle of karma. You do not need to sit quietly to practice Buddhist meditation. It is the act of observing your actions, moods and reactions as you participate in your daily life. It is meditation in motion.

About the Author

I have been meditating for 20 years and have learnt many techniques for achieving the greatest success in your meditation journey.If you would like to learn more about Meditation techniques, aids to meditation and share in my knowledge and experience. Please visit my blog at http://astralflyer-zenmeditation.blogspot.com/

Snatam Kaur – Earth’s Prayer – The Official Music Video

www.spiritvoyage.com Snatam Kaur has released her first music video for the song Earth’s Prayer from her new album Ras. Inspired by her deep love and sense of responsibility for the environment, Snatam says, “My intention for this song and this video is that it will help all of us awaken to our role as stewards of the planet.” Directed and photographed by Robin Layton with music produced by Thomas Barquee.

Video Rating: 4 / 5

Meditation: A Course To Pave Your Happiness

Meditation: A Course To Pave Your Happiness

A busy executive took leave to attend a meditation course conducted by a well-known saint. At the end of the course, he told the saint, “Revered Sir, I agree that meditation gives peace of mind. It takes out lots of pressure out of our mind. And you say that I need to do meditation at least one hour daily. Sir, we business executives are very busy people. I am unable to spare one hour for meditation”

The saint replied, “The purpose of meditation is to make your mind pressure-free and pave way for your happiness. If you don’t find time for your happiness, continue to live the miserable life”

Meditation is the best thing that can happen to an individual. Its positive effects are tremendous. It rejuvenates your personality. It totally transforms you. Its ultimate goal is not self improvement, but self-realization, which is a much, much higher level.

Meditation is not done for any resultBut results are ingrained in its vibrations. Don’t have an iota of doubt about it. It makes your body fit. It tunes your mind. It annihilates the demon in you. It establishes divinity within you. Slowly and steadily, it changes your entire thought process for the better. When your thought process is changed, your action process is also changed.

Meditation sets the process to remove all the negative tendencies within you. In this modern materialistic world, we live the life of many pressures. We cry in anguish, we have forgotten the art of crying in joy. We have created numerous scientific appliances to make our life more miserable. Instead of our using the appliances, the appliances do make use of our life.

Meditation is the only alternative to restore the balance in your lifeWhole world including the rich nations of the world has realized that the real road to happiness is through meditation and spiritual exercises. Better late than never

Meditation is the firing of the light missile within youIts range is limitlessIts purpose is dynamic construction, not mindless destruction

The deeper it penetrates, the more beautiful will be your experiences. It will generate more peace of mind

Seeking reverence for meditation, the business executive bowed to the saint and thanked him without a further query.

Insomnia Can Be Dealt With By Constant Yoga

Article by Linda Adams

There are people who have absolutely no problem getting to sleep. They pass out soon after their heads touch the pillow. Try as you would, you never could manage to do that. You may have insomnia; that’s when it takes much time and effort for you to fall asleep and when you do and something wakes you up, you are already so wide awake. You can’t sleep anymore. In the morning you get up feeling so very tired. You might as well not have gotten any sleep.

Did you ever think of getting into Yoga for that insomnia? Yoga can relax your body to the point that you get to sleep. Integrate yoga into your daily routine and see how well and how restful the sleep you’ll be getting then. That is surely one good thing, especially if you’re not getting good sleep because of stress.

There are several types of Yoga, all of which you can access online, for more details and information. You’d be surprised at the facts and particulars there are already available. There is also the still-common categorizing of yoga as a spiritual activity. You will need to remind yourself that your sole interest is yoga’s cure or handling of insomnia.

Why don’t you search for a yoga class with a yoga instructor who is willing and capable of giving you, in a nutshell, what yoga practice will call for?. With an intention of integrating yoga into your daily schedule will show you that performing yoga is no different from a scheduled physical activity. The only difference being yoga’s different and longer-lasting effect on your equanimity and calmness. The stances and breathing in Yoga lowers your stress levels and relaxes your joints and muscles knotted by tension and stress. Without stress and tension, you will get to fall asleep so easily.

In case you prefer to do your yoga in the privacy of your home, you could search the net for sites showing pictures or videos of yoga performance and you won’t need to do a lot of reading on Yoga. The directions or illustrations can be downloaded and it would be easy for you to follow and perform by yourself. You could also hire a Yoga instructor to walk you through the poses and stretching exercises, in the familiar and private setting of your home. There are also books you could buy and just execute the positions and exercises illustrated there. These three options allow you to do Yoga at home, in your time and pace and, perhaps, before bedtime.

Don’t forget to check with your doctor first, so you can be safe from getting hurt or intensifying present injuries. These would be cited in books but the greater benefit, in this regard, is from a Yoga instructor who can assess you and your body’s readiness for Yoga.

But before any of all these, remember that the stretching moves and relaxation exercises in yoga will definitely help you get to sleep, that Yoga is not exclusive or limited to a particular age group, and more importantly, integrating Yoga into your daily routine will, generally give you good health and serenity.

Whatever form of Yoga you will use to handle your insomnia, there are always the stretches, deep breathing and visualizations, all leading to relax you body and mind. All of these three actions counter the anxiety-driven, stiff and tensed body, erratic breathing and complicated visualizations.

Yoga has the tendency to “attack” and deal with these and results in your falling into deep restful slumber.

About the Author

Linda Adams enjoys all things health related.

One of the most excellent yoga websites Linda has found is Yoga Fitness Kamloops, which is a exceptional mix of yoga and exercise.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit

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The remarkable benefits of yoga, which include improved flexibility, balance, muscle tone, endurance, and vitality, only hint at the extraordinary power of this deeply spiritual practice. When adhered to and practiced mindfully, yoga can unlock readers’ full creative potential, their capacity for love and compassion, and ability to find success in all areas of their lives. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga brings spirituality back to yoga. It shows how the Seven Spiritual Laws play a crucial role in yoga’s path to enlightenment while providing readers with a wealth of meditation techniques, mantras, breathing exercises, and yoga poses. Whether a newcomer to yoga or an experienced practitioner, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga is a portal to yoga’s deeper spiritual dimension and a beautiful step to a happier, more harmonious, and more abundant life.

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1 Hour 432Hz Schumann Resonance Meditation

The Internet’s largest Esoteric, Spiritual and Metaphysical Database Wear headphones for optimal results The Schumann Resonance is a frequency of sound generated between the symbiotic relationship of our planet and the cosmos. Many regard this frequency as rising in nature and benevolent to spiritual meditations as well as physical healing. The audio on this video will bring you from the traditional Schumann’s resonance all the way down to a 0 hertz frequency in the low delta epsilon range then slowly moves back upwards to a resonance similar to that of an Out Of Body Experience resonance. The base frequency was adjusted to resonate with the 432Hz natural harmonics and to align healing, consciousness and spiritual expansion within your DNA code.

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