Practical Tips and Common Questions

Where and When to meditate, and for how long?
You can meditate anywhere, anytime, even while you are engaged in other activities. Setting aside time when you can sit and devote all your attention to your meditation brings additional benefits and speeds up the Awakening process. It is a good idea to make a habit of meditating on a daily basis even if this means only making a small amount of time (say 5 minutes) available for this. Establishing a daily habit is very helpful. As the benefits of regular meditation become more evident, you can feel encouraged to continue to make time available and to extend it when it is practical to do so.

Meditation can be done in any position. The traditional posture is to sit cross-legged on the floor with your back straight and unsupported. The primary consideration is to keep your back and neck as straight as is comfortable, whatever posture you use. The energy currents flowing up your spine flow much more easily when your back and neck are straight. It is important to be comfortable during your meditation. Being in a position that allows you to move in some way is also beneficial.

Physical movement during your meditation is important. Meditation releases vitality and aliveness throughout the human system and physical movement encourages the flow of this vitality both through the body and out into the physical world. Movement also helps the release from you of feelings and thoughts that you previously held in. Allow your body to move in any way that it feels inclined. Specific movement regimes such as yoga, Tibetan exercises and Qigong are ideal in conjunction with your meditation practice. These aid the releasing, distilling and purifying processes of meditation.

You are grounded when you are physically aware of your bodily sensations and, at the same time, physically aware of what is happening around you. When grounded, your are in the "here and now". Whatever type of meditation you do, being well grounded is fundamental in getting the best results. (Remember, the deeper tree roots are, the higher the branches can grow.) An audio recording called 'Grounding Meditation' which gives more information about grounding and takes you step-by-step through the process, is available from the Guild.

When meditating, whatever you are experiencing is a part of your meditation. Some of this is very pleasant. However, meditation can also intensify discomfort or other feelings that you may prefer not to experience. This intensification is part of the digesting and releasing process. Accepting all that you experience quickens the process and help ease any discomfort. A practical way of doing this is to say "I accept" to whatever you are experiencing.

Inner awakening is the result of repeated effort with your meditation. Regular repetition of your mediation, as with anything else we do, promotes ongoing learning and growth. Persistence is essential to get the most results.

Should the mind be 'blank' during meditation?
It is a common and mistaken belief that we should "empty our minds" of thoughts when meditating. While meditating, everything that we think, feel and experience is part of the process. So relax and simply notice whatever is there, and keep guiding your attention to the meditation you are doing. For example, if you are doing Mantra Meditation, add the repetition of the Mantra to whatever is there. Avoid trying to remove or suppress what you are noticing.

Guiding your meditation to what you want
The principle "What we concentrate on, is what we get" is very important during meditation. By concentrating on the qualities and outcomes that we want while we are meditating, we can make the experience of meditation itself much more rewarding and pleasurable. This also promotes those qualities and outcomes in our daily lives.

What type of experiences typically accompany meditation?
Whatever you experience during meditation will be normal for you. This can mean all sorts of things, depending on your nature and what is happening in your life at the time. Some typical experiences are: an increased sense of security and identity, feeling happier, healthier, more alive and alert, looking and sounding younger, having better health and increased feelings of love and joy. You may also have many different sensations, some pleasant, some not.

Meditating with others
It is beneficial to meditate with others. The meditation field that is produced surrounds all in a group and contributes to the meditations of everyone in the group. We energetically give each other a hand and make our own journeys easier and more rapid when we share the experience.

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P.O. Box 271, Seymour, Victoria 3661, Australia
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