Starting to Meditate
Making Your First Choice
For those who are interested in meditating there are many options now available. There are so many opportunities that some people do not know where to begin. Those of us at The AwakeningNetwork think we have something of value to offer many people. Our impression is that everyone could benefit from learning what is available within this network. We do not think, however, that the way we approach meditation and life will appeal to everyone, nor that everyone needs to learn (does not know) what we teach.
Come and meditate with us at any time, if you want to learn in person. Contact us by other means, if you want, or need to learn through the other means available. All you need do is make contact with us, for information on how to contact the Network in various countries and for what is available.
To make a choice about where, with whom and with what sort of meditation to start, we suggest that everyone is best to approach this area with the same common sense as they would any other area of their lives. We offer the following guidelines to you for this purpose.
First, the range of choice is great, so when making enquiries you might benefit from giving a little thought to what it is that you want out of meditation before you make contact. Thinking about this in advance can help you evaluate what you are shown and told more readily than if you are still unclear. At the same time, if you are attracted to meditation, but do not yet know what you want out of it, we recommend that you explore the options from that point of view.
A short list of what is available for helping in day-to-day life includes meditations: for relaxation, for bodily, emotional and mental balance, for dealing with unresolved feelings, incidents from the past, and current trauma, for pain management, for promoting health and well-being, for goal-setting and making the most of your personal assets, for making commitments and keeping them, for conflict resolution, for promoting intimacy, and for encouraging bonding between mother, fathers and infants. Then there is a further range of meditations and approaches available for those who have spiritual interests and aspirations. These can be undertaken in live-in environments (short-term, or long-term), through regular contact as a visitor, and through home practice of what is taught by the practitioners from whom you learn. These and other options are all available in the Biame Network.
Second, investigate what is available. If you do not know of anyone meditating who can suggest someone to you, look in the Yellow Pages, or go to your local telephone directory, under Meditation or Yoga. (By the way, it is a mistake to think that all forms of meditation listed under Yoga are "Eastern", as many are not.) Another option is to talk to others who meditate about what they do, why they do it, the experiences they have had, and the results they have noticed. You can stay alert to articles and items in the various news media, too.
Third, regardless of your source of information, telephone, visit, write, or make contact in some other way with the place. When you do, start by asking what they teach and how they go about it. Find out as much as you can and, in the process, notice if they are the sort of people from whom you think you can learn. Sometimes it is relevant to realise that the person to whom you are speaking may not be a good exponent of the meditation about which you are enquiring. This person may still be in the early stages of learning. It is alright to ask a lot of questions and to make your own evaluation. It is your life, after all. Are they approachable and open to questions? Do they deal directly and honestly with you? Do they make sense to you? Do you have the impression that you will learn what you need to learn, or change what you need to change in their program(s)? Before you finish, find out about costs of introductory sessions, courses, workshops, training materials and other relevant items. Costs vary greatly, too, and the value of what you can learn does not always correspond with the amount you are asked to pay. Some courses are free, while in others you may be asked for a donation.
When doing this, we think that you can expect most people you contact will be friendly and freely provide the information you want.
Fourth, having found someone from whom you think you would like to learn, practise what he or she teaches for sufficient time to discover for yourself if it is of value to you. While there are some meditations that produce rapid (perhaps even immediate) results, many forms of meditation take weeks or months for the results to show. Some even take years. It is a pity to miss the great value of a procedure, because we have not had the patience both to keep practising and to wait for the time necessary for the results to become obvious.
Fifth, we suggest that people wanting specific results for particular purposes as quickly as possible, might be best to find meditation approaches that respond to their specific needs and desires. As already indicated, there is a lot available. If they develop a spiritual interest as a result of experience in these more specific processes, then they can pursue the interest at that point. Eventually, most people come to understand that the results of the spiritual and more specific orientations are much the same where the processes overlap, although they may not initially seem as if they are. It is the time-frame and procedures that are different.
Those interested in spiritual dimensions can find that their endeavours are richly rewarded to an extent and in a manner previously undreamt of by them, and that those rewards will expand for the whole of life. Those who meditate for these purposes tend increasingly to experience as secondary the specific benefits of the particular meditations used. Their realisation of those "higher purposes" remains primary.
The time taken and the orientation to less tangible purposes can be confusing and discouraging to people who do not understand a spiritual orientation. The practitioner and the teacher may be approaching things in incompatible ways. Some practitioners may start with a desire for quick results , while their teachers are interested in the realisation of Being and in the evolution of expanded consciousness. When the results do not materialise quickly enough from practitioners' points of view, their teachers may enjoin them to keep on with what they are learning, that persistence will bring the results that they want eventually.
Sixth, if you want to test things out in private, you can use the increasing range of audio and video material that is available. Much of this is very helpful. A value of this type of method is that you can practise in private; a disadvantage is that it is normal to have questions and, occasionally, to need help as you progress. Having someone available at those times is helpful. So in the absence of a live teacher, we recommend that you make contact with the producers of the system that you are using, should you have questions. When using any of the Network's materials, you are welcome to contact people in the network to answer any questions, or to seek help with any matter to do with your meditation practice and how it relates to your life.
You can find out what is available from the Network by going to the Public Shop, or following any of the links on the left hand menu.
Last and perhaps the most important of all, we recommend that you test everything that you are told for yourself. Do not simply take things on trust. You are responsible for your life. It is your decision what you do and what you do not do. It is your responsibility to test the value of what you are learning for yourself. No-one else can do it for you.
If what you are taught is true, you will find that it works, provided that you test it properly. If what you are taught has value to you, it will show up in your life. To notice these results, you need to continue to notice what you experience, whether that agrees with what you are taught or not. What you experience is the ground on which you stand to live your life.
With meditation, as with any procedure in our lives, what we experience and the results we get are what matter. Someone might be nice, convincing, charismatic, caring, persuasive, or fun; someone might even say or imply that he or she knows what is good for us, while we feel uncertain, or do see as clearly; but we need to keep testing for ourselves. We recommend that you always test for truth and value. In that way, you can find out if our experiences do actually confirm the claims others make, or if they do not. If the claims are confirmed, this may be enough reason to continue; if not, then we think that you would be best to stop and look elsewhere for what you want.
We, in the Biame Network, value meditation as a means of enhancing self-mastery and personal capacity, and we recommend that you avoid "giving away" to anyone else your power or your responsibility for yourself.
Meditation in the Biame Network
A wide range of meditations is available within the Biame Network. For those interested in spiritual meditations, Mantra Meditation is primary. We regard it as so powerful and capable of helping us to realise such fundamental awakening, change and fulfillment, that we would always start with this, if someone is open to it. You can begin meditating with many other approaches, however. There are many hundreds of other meditations that we can divide into two general areas for the sake of presentation: meditations to assist in practical daily living and spiritually oriented meditations. So if you are interested in meditation from any point of view, it is worth your while to investigate what is offered in this site.
To repeat here what appears above: A short list of what is available for helping in day-to-day life includes meditations: for relaxation, for bodily, emotional and mental balance, for dealing with unresolved feelings, incidents from the past, and current trauma, for pain management, for promoting health and well-being, for goal-setting and making the most of your personal assets, for making commitments and keeping them, for conflict resolution, for promoting intimacy, and for encouraging bonding between mother, fathers and infants. Then there is a further range of meditations and approaches available for those who have spiritual interests and aspirations. These include meditations using sound, light, feelings, fragrances and tastes, meditations that open and balance energy centres, meditations that encourage transcendent states of consciousness and "inner" awakening, and meditations that enable us to realise the Oneness from which we spring, in which we live and to which we return.
Learning and practising all of these meditations can be undertaken in live-in environments (short-term, or long-term) in Melbourne, through regular contact as a visitor to the various groups and classes in the Network network, and through home practice of what is taught by the teachers from whom you learn.
To get some idea of the range of topics, you will see in Training > Training Materials menu, two workshop lists with descriptions. These give by no means a complete list of what is taught, but they do give a pointer to what is possible. One of the lists is of workshops on Practical Daily Living and the other is on Meditation. There are over sixty different workshops outlined in the Meditation list and over fifty in the Practical Daily Living list. Each workshop contains multiple meditations. In addition to these, there are hundreds of other meditations, not written down systematically at this stage, to which practitioners are introduced when they have the need and they are ready. In the same place, you can find the courses that are taught. We are adding to these continually.
Staying practical, grounded and connected to the world and worldly life is fundamental in the approach we take in the Network. This is important for several reasons. First, it helps the meditator stay balanced, integrated and sensible as the results of his or her meditations bring about changes. Second, meditators continue to need to live in the world and to discharge their worldly responsibilities to families, friends, work places and to pre-existing commitments. Third, we regard service to others, so that we each contribute our own uniqueness to the world is fundamental in each of us finding our true purpose in life. Fostering our connections with and our involvement in the day-to-day events of our lives, gives us more opportunity to find ways of expressing the uniqueness each of us has. Fourth, spiritual awakening and fulfillment depend on our staying connected enough to the world and others in it for the energies released in that process to flow out of our systems into something bigger than we are as physical beings. Our worldly connections are necessary to make this flow possible and to encourage it when we need to do so.
If you cannot attend meditation sessions or classes in person, there is another alternative. Twelve meditations are available on cassette; some are available on CD. They are guided meditations, with instructions given regularly throughout the procedure. Several of them are also available (on cassette) in French.
Much more information than is presented here on the value of these meditations and how to use them, is available on each of these meditations in the MEDITATIONS Department in the Public Shop.
FOR PRACTICAL DAILY APPLICATION AND SPIRITUAL PURPOSES
Complete Health Meditation: encouraging complete health, recovering complete health after accidents or illness, preparation for and recovery from operations & medical procedures, promting youthfulness & vigour.
Creative Release Meditation: goal-setting, clarifying goals, securing success, inner alignment, release of inhibitions, strengthening of capacities, influencing the future, building confidence, better performance, getting what we want.
Grounding Meditation: staying calm and balanced under pressure, centring in the "I AM"-here-&-now, integrating thoughts and feelings, releasing the past, dealing calmly with the future, handling anxiety & panic "attacks", releases discomfort.
I AM That Meditation: claiming any quality, e.g., power, strength, creativity, aliveness, beauty, happiness, competence, & clarity; method of claiming our own contribution to any situation; releases the hold of others.
Intimacy Meditation encouraging openness with others, reviving intimate links in relationships, discovering others through the senses, increases relaxed acceptance of others, opens awareness of & sensitivity to feelings & thoughts in others.
Loving Bond Meditation: developing the pre-birth, or post-birth bond between mother (father) & baby, helps deal with threatened miscarriages, recharging pregnant or breast-feeding mothers, developing sensitivity to the needs of babies.
Relaxation Meditation: relaxation, stress release, pain managment, confidence, acceptance, openness, availability, poise, balance, getting to sleep, preparation for & recovery from medical procedures, encouraging healing, and deep recharging.
Unifying Meditation: producing harmony and clarity, conflict resolution between people, groups and others; producing balance and inner unity; release from repeated patterns with others; release from old, unhelpful "inner" imbalances.
FOR SPIRITUAL PURPOSES
Earth to Beyond Meditation: two meditations - The Seven Centres Meditation for activating and integrating the seven major energy centres (chakras) in the body; Oneness In All That Is Meditation for awakening of awareness of the many dimensions between the physical world and the Beyond.
Mantra Meditation: initiation into Mantra Meditation; extensive explanation of the meditation and possible outcomes; promotion of the Samadhi State, Enlightenment, and Full Realisation.
Purifying Meditation: three breathing meditations, particularly for those who spend much time with other people - Alive Breathing Meditation for clearing, purifying, charging and brightening; Lotus Breathing Meditation for clearing and charging the body and for promoting Full Awakening; Fire Body Meditation for purifying, intensifying and distilling the energy system.
Sublime Meditation: two meditations - Spiral Breathing Meditation for clearing, intensifying and distilling energies and for accelerated spiritual opening; Dissolving Into Light & Bliss Meditation for enhancing the blissful connection to Life, re-centring in Love, Light, Ease and Sweet Fragrance for those in need
CASSETTES IN FRENCH
Three of the recorded meditations are available on cassette, in French. They are MEDITATION DE RELAXATION (Relaxation Meditation), MEDITATION D'ENRACINEMENT (Grounding Meditation), and MEDITATION DE PLEINE SANTE (Complete Health Meditation)
Course Notes are available from the Network for a course called "Beginning Meditation". The goals of the course are that all participants by the end of the course will: understand the need of all people to find some way of quenching their spiritual thirst, if they are to find fulfilment in their lives; have experienced meditation so that they understand the great richness available to them through it; have practised regularly several basic meditations that will make an immediate difference to them; know through their own experience meditations that relate both to their spiritual needs and to ways of internally integrating the fulfillment of those needs on a daily basis; and have enough experience to decide to continue and expand their practice of meditation, so it is of life-long benefit.
Note: This course is pitched more at the level of people who have already had some exposure to meditation. Beginners can do it, although they are likely to find it a challenge. A new, three level course is being developed. The first level will be basic and easily managed by raw beginners. The second level will be for people with some experience who are wanting to expand their meditational practice. The third level will be for advanced practitioners who are wanting to take their practice into greatly expanded and much more demanding areas of awakening. You can see the notes currently available in the COURSE NOTES Department in the Public Shop
For obtaining the details of any meditation and other courses to be run in various parts of the network, refer to the Regular Programs in the About Biame Network Director