Choose your seat.
Be here Now.
A Return Home
Meditation at its core can be seen as a call to return Home, a return to our Self. A return to our true nature. Meditation means to listen within or to listen to the still voice within ; letting go of identification with the body-mind to allow Self-realization to arise.
Meditation is nothing we can actively ‘do’, it is a natural occurrence of lasting peace and serenity. But what we can ‘do’ are practices, which may reveal to us our resistance to that natural state.
Meditation will arise when the conditions of the bodymind are right. Therefore, we need to prepare the ground of complete stillness and silence. Meditation is a process of paying attention and the practice of letting go — letting go of tendencies and obscurations to the state of awareness, to limitless joy and freedom.
Meditation practice allows us to see the panorama of our life, to see where we stand and where we want to go. As the stories buried deep down in your bodies start to emerge, we open up space for them so they don't have the same hold over us. Our mind is the origin, our life is the outcome.
True meditation is returning to the space within the heart. It consists of withdrawing and immersing the mind in the inner heart space, in which the mind gets lost and loses itself like a drop within the sea. This requires that we sink deep inside ourselves, merging everything within the core of our being. We must trace all our thoughts to their origin in the heart. Then we can abide in peaceful, blissful thought free awareness.
_Dr David Frawley, The Space within the Heart.
From Dhāranā to Dhyāna
In meditation, you want to develop the ability to sit still in silence long enough to be able to concentrate the mind so that it becomes balanced, steady and able to concentrate on one object, which is called Dharana in sanskrit.
Any object we can focus the mind on will be useful to bring about the concentration required in order to effortlessly move toward meditation. Often, we use the breath to focus on, or a mantra, a word, a candle flame, a sensation of the body, a chakras, a sound..
The practice of Dharana concentration, helps us to let go of the restless, agitated mind and all of our thoughts coming in an endless stream. As our nervous system regulates, we watch our world becoming clearer, as your vibration increases, we watch as doors open.
When this concentration is intense enough, and sustained for long enough, then concentration — Dharana becomes contemplation — Dhyana or Meditation. And then, Meditation leads to absorption, Samadhi, the state of Yoga.
Dhyana, is the unbroken flow of awareness toward an object. This is the ability of awakening to the mystery of being here and entering the quiet immensity of our own presence. When the relentless fluctuations of the mind cease, we establish ourselves in our own nature and are able to recognize our true essence. We get to know our mind, pay attention to what’s going on in our inner world, completely, even in all its dark corners that often cause fear, anxiety, insecurity and depression on the inside – and conflicts on the outside.
Obstacles & Obscurity
Reaching this widened perspective of Life itself comes with time.
Through the power of your observation and acceptance of what is, you are giving your bodymind the greatest gift of processing information, dissolving old belief patterns, old imprints and any obstacles.
At the start of meditation practice, we most likely come face to face with internal experiences that are far from peace and bliss and might find ourselves way too far from this natural capacity to become contemplative and our relationship with the present moment. Sometimes, we may simply fall asleep within a few minutes or our mind may appear to be restless and always sending raging thoughts. Deep-rooted memories or complexes, phobias, fears and worries may come back to the surface. Confusion, insecurity, darkness, chaos. But this is all part of the process and inevitable.
Through meditation, we allow all mental impurities to surface. In the safe place of our practice , they are carefully attended to, and then dissolve in the light of pure observation.
Consistent, continuous practice with faith in its efficacy is the key to the burning of impurities.
Another major obstacle to meditation can be the body and its constant calling for attention. through discomfort, the urge to scratch or move a certain body part, pain, itching sensations. And this can become really overwhelming as we sometimes spend the whole meditation running away from annoying sensations. But through a consistent practice of āsanas, our body will become strong enough and we will eventually get to the point where our seat becomes comfortable, joyful and steady. But it does take time and practice to get there. When the body has become comfortable and can be still the mind will follow. If we maintain our chosen focus, we will free ourselves from any of these painful sensations. Tension and pain are simple forms of thoughts. If we allow them to come and go, they will but if you hold on and identify with them, they will remain. After some time, the experience of meditation becomes graceful.
The many paths leading to silence..
There is a large variety of techniques. Patanjali wrote ‘yathābhimata-dhyānād vā’ in his sutra I.39 meaning that ‘Also through meditation in whatever way or on whatever object agreeable the mind-field attains stability’.
We all have different inclinations according to our past experiences and we all have our preferences when it comes to meditation techniques. We may be drawn to meditate on different objects. The best we can do is to try out different ways and find the technique that works better for each one of us and stick with it for a while.
In Jivamukti, we use breath awareness for its universality and the words ‘Let Go’. This method is instructed in three steps: Choose your seat; Be still; and Focus. The Mantra ‘Let Go’ provides the focus.
Sooner or later, seconds will turn into minutes, then minutes into hours, and concentration will strengthen and eventually turn into Meditation.
Sit with what is here and now, whatever is here and now.
Allow yourself to become vulnerable and exposed.
Moment by moment and breath by breath.
Read the article ‘The Jivamukti Meditation Curriculum’ to learn more about this method.
Words by Eva Lucie Daniela
Photography Valeria Andrievskaia