I am currently reading through the pamphlet Guide to Meditation by Roy Davis. I had originally downloaded this book on my Kindle… I want to say… almost three years ago. It was either free or under five dollars. I can’t remember off hand and I am too lazy to look it up! In it he states that “Meditation correctly practiced, is simply the process of removing attention from conditions and circumstances which… fragment and cloud our perceptions.” Simply put it enables us to easily experience other levels of our consciousness. Practice makes perfect and with a daily routine we are more likely to open ourselves up to “physiological and psychological rest” in addition to being spiritually awakened.I will say that I have made several attempts at putting myself on a meditation routine. I mediate maybe two times a week at most. I will also mediate at random times like when I am feeling my anxiety rising. When I feel like this I stop what I am doing, close my eyes, and focus on my breath. Often times this is enough to calm me down. Just from my limited experience with meditation it has made me wonder what other great things it can do for me in the long haul.
However, part of my problem is I expect immediate results from myself. If I start to try and lose weight I immediately become disappointed when I wake up the next day looking the same. Yea I know this sounds extreme but I like instant gratification haha. So it goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, that when I start to mediate I expected to reap all the positive benefits from it in one sitting. David mentions how when you go to meditate that we must leave the anxiety of it behind. The need to be worrying about the outcomes of meditation is kind of counterproductive to the process. That has been my issue with keeping to a schedule. Imagine how much further along I would have been in my spiritual journey should I have practiced every day for the past three years?
Some of his tips for beginning are almost all common sense.
Tip 1- Consider your meditation practice to be the most important activity of your day (I would say put it to a routine such as brushing your teeth… unless you don’t do that every day)
Tip 2- Schedule your meditations at a time when you can give your total attention (For example, I want to take time out during the mornings. Now that I work primarily evenings my mornings are no longer rushed so I can use this time to meditate before I start my day).
Tip 3- Mediate minimally once a day
Tip 4- Find a private spot and make it your personal sanctuary (You are more likely to get into the headspace when you condition yourself to think of a certain area as your meditation zone!)
Davis then goes into the stages of the meditation practice.
1. Sitting– The most ideal posture is to sit upright (I have often time meditated lying down. To me that felt the most relaxing but sometimes I fall asleep)
2. Beginning– The book says to begin with a prayer to however you visualize God to be. However, ultimately it is up to you how you want to begin your practice. Another way could be the use of mantras. Focusing on chosen words or short phrases can help pull your attention away from external distractions.
3. Internalization of attention– means you take your attention away from external distractions and focus inward. (This is usually where I begin but I think I want to try the prayer step.)
4. Concentration– It is the undisturbed flow of attention to the point of focus
5. Pure meditation– Uninterrupted flowing of attention to the object being contemplated
6. Peak experience– When awareness is partially or completely removed from identification with mental processes and transformation, superconsciousness is experienced.
Was this at all useful? I may need to reread this chapter… especially the part about the superconsciousness. The book states that the superconsciousness is natural to our souls and that there we are already free. I am not sure I fully understand what this means but I want to learn.
Most beginners do not experience “spontaneous awakenings” because our awareness is still too involved with our physical senses, emotions, and thoughts. This is the stage I am stuck in.
Does anyone else meditate and have tips for this novice?