How to Meditate

The word Sanskrit in Devanagari script
The word Sanskrit in Devanagari script. Isn't it beautiful? Image via Wikipedia

What is meditation? A silly question in this day and age, you might say. But it really isn’t when you think about it. Meditation is simply an effective way to resolve stress and gain self-realization.

So many people think of meditation as a complicated discipline they would never be able to master. Or as a duty they are not willing to commit to. So they miss out on an opportunity to change their life.

I am not a crusader, so please don’t think my intention with this article is to change your life. I’m really just sounding off about something that excites me.

There are millions of ways to meditate. I want to share a meditation with you that I got from the book, “Eat Pray Love.” This meditation has enabled me to reach heights (or depths, I’m not sure) of self acceptance I’ve never experienced before.

Another profound effect I’ve experienced is a feeling of being one with all things, which really opened up my heart to new depths (heights?) of loving, which led to less worry and a deep feeling of security, as in no matter what, I am safe and secure.

Which led to less resistance to vicissitudes (look it up) which left more room in my psyche for loving my life.

Wow. No wonder I want to share it with you.

It’s really simple. You’ll be working with your breath and the Sanskrit word, hamsa.

Sit somewhere with your back straight. I have never been comfortable with the legs-crossed-sitting-on-the-floor position, but if you are, do that. I sit in a chair with both feet flat on the floor, hands in my lap. The main thing is that your back is straight and you are comfortable. Lying down works for some people but I always fall asleep, and that’s not meditation. But it could be a good way to help you fall asleep when you are wound up.

Now the breathing part; when you inhale, push your belly out so your diaphragm can make room for the breath to get to the bottom of your lungs and fill them up. Think of your lungs as balloons inflating. On the exhale, just relax. You don’t have to push the breath out.

You may have to practice this for a while, but don’t let it stop you from doing the meditation. Breathe any old way till you get it right.

And you don’t have to breathe deeply. Just normally in and out through the nose. This is important.

Now two more things; focus on your breathing, and on the inhale mentally say “ham,” as in “hahm.” On the exhale, mentally say “sa,” as in “sahhh,” a kind of long sigh.

Just do that for a while, imagining you are saying “hamsa” as above in rhythm with your breathing. Two minutes may seem like an hour for you, but don’t worry. Spend as much time as you are comfortable with, and don’t force yourself.

When your mind wanders, just calmly bring it back to your breathing. Don’t kick yourself.

You can meditate every day or whenever you feel the need. I like to meditate in the morning, but some days I don’t meditate. That’s usually because I’m caught up in haste and tell myself I don’t have time, or I’m just too lazy. So far, the sky has not fallen on me.

Here are some websites you can go to for more information about this technique.

1. Yinyoga.com describes the process in detail, giving the meaning of the word and showing that you can use the word backwards or forwards.

2. Swamij.com provides a video and audio demo using the word in reverse first, with different ways to use the breath.

3. The master Paramahamsa Nithyananda talks about the meditation on youtube. Kind of hard to understand him, but he gives an excellent example of intention.

Breathe and meditate with people all over the world here.

Has anyone else tried this technique from the book? I would love comments on your experience with this process. Also, I always love questions.

Meanwhile, live your purpose every day.

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