Link to this Article: http://www.llewellyn.com/encyclopedia/article/1944
This article was written by Donald Michael Kraig on January 06, 2004
posted under Meditation
Meditation is one of the most popular ways of relaxing and becoming more in tune with yourself, your God and your environment. Yet, there is more bad information about meditation than there is good. This is a shame, because it is such a valuable technique. There are three stages to true meditation:
1. Relaxation: in this stage you consciously order your body to relax.
2. Contemplation: in this stage you focus your mindís attention on any object, picture, sound, activity, etc. This stage is difficult to accomplish for any length of time when you are beginning to learn the process, as the mind tends to wander.
3. True Meditation: in this stage you "erase" what you are contemplating from your conscious mind. In so doing you also "erase," or rather, turn off, your conscious mind which was deeply involved in stage two. When this is done your higher self, your link to the divine can come through via your now freed subconscious mind. The result is a wonderful state of bliss known as Samadhi, Nirvana, or Cosmic Consciousness. It is a sensation of being at one with the universe, and there is nothing else like it.
Meditation is not mysterious or difficult, but may be a bit time-consuming to learn. There are many books which tell how to learn to meditate, and audio tapes which can help with the process. The relaxation technique is taught in numerous systems and books. Briefly, you simply "talk" to each part of your body and tell it to relax. In stage two, you contemplate something and put all of your concentration into that act. Some good choices of things to contemplate include cards from the Major Arcana of the Tarot , the Tatwa symbols (simple geometric shapes representing the relationships of the mystical elements such as Air, Earth and Fire), or various Hindu figures known as mandalas. A famous concentration technique involves chanting the sound "omíí (pronounce ah-oh-m) and focusing on the sound and the vibrations the sound causes in the body. In fact, almost anything can be used as a center of attention.
Stage three is the most difficult to reach. Or rather, it takes the most time to reach and most people give up before achieving mastery of this stage. All of the techniques involved in meditation are actually very simple. To reach this state you must "erase" the image, object or sound you have been contemplating. When you do so, the little voice within your head, the voice which is always conscious, is silenced. Usually, upon erasing what you have contemplated, there is a second of silence followed by that inner voice saying something like, "Am I doing this right?" The goal is to stretch out the period of silence so it can eventually become an hour or longer.
The power of the three stages is incredible. It can lower your blood pressure, let you think more clearly, improve your ESP, and give you a remarkable feeling of peace and what has been called at-one-ness with the universe. lt is an admirable practice and is worthy of your attention and daily use. But again, there is the possibility of psychic fraud in this field.
Some people try to imply that meditation is only stage one, relaxation, or stage two, contemplation. But this is a Western idea. True meditation, is based on Asian techniques. True meditation is not just contemplation. Contemplation is a stage in the process of meditation.
The error that meditation is only relaxation usually comes when someone looks at just the physical indications of meditation. The lowering of the pulse, the blood pressure and the respiration rate all result from relaxation. As one "debunker" stated, the same results can be duplicated by relaxing for a few minutes with your feet up. He is absolutely correct as far as he goes. But True Meditation does not only involve the physical body, it involves the mind. The mind is the non-physical aspect of the brain.
It should be added, too, that it is advisable to stay away from any organization or group which claims that theirs is the only true and good system of meditation. This is nonsense. There are many methods of meditation and you should seek the one which is best for you. Nothing works for everybody. Find what is best for you and use it.
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