What is Heaven? A silent and empty mind. — Mooji
Meditation is much like writing, both require focus and attentiveness in order to progress. When you’re writing your first story, it is incomparable to the works of a veteran writer, and the same concept applies to meditation — the more time we spend practicing it, the easier it becomes to still the mind, and experience deep peace from within.
In the big picture of things, all meditation techniques lead to the same result; self-realization, enlightenment. In the smaller picture, the present moment experience, we have a choice of different meditation styles that can be used to cultivate different experiences and effects, such as sustained peace in this particular case.
What is the definition of sustained peace?
During a deep meditation, we experience ourselves as an awareness that remains consistently still. This stillness keeps our mind aware, yet completely calm. The meditation becomes distraction-less; there’s only knowing, the knowing of present moment awareness.
This allows our central nervous system to experience deep bliss, which in turns calms it down, and with this newfound calamity we can become more attentive to our breath, and how it brings life within our bodies. The experience of a deep meditation leaves a lasting effect on your mind and being, from which you’re able to tell the difference between a distraction and complete serenity.
Enter fully your own inner ocean of Being. You keep coming up to breathe the stale air of the mind. Therefore, I keep holding your head under the waters of the Self so that you may drown. Fear not. You will not drown into death —you will drown into eternal life.
So the more you experience this state of deep inner comfort, the easier it becomes to return back to it. That’s what you call sustained peace. We’re not being ignorant or avoidant of the fact that difficult emotions still exist within ourselves, but we’re capable of letting go of them much quicker and with grace.
What are the prerequisites for a deep meditation?
Meditation is best done when you’re feeling up for the task to give yourself some time to just be, this is because when we’re caught up in everyday activities, it can be difficult to concentrate and the meditation can feel unsatisfying. To prepare for a meditation, and in particular deep meditations, it’s helpful to create an atmosphere — externally and internally — of tranquility and peace, even before we close our eyes.
Here is what helps me to find that transition space of bliss before each meditation:
- Grounding — jumping into a meditation shortly after writing an essay will leave you distracted for the better part of the meditation. Before shutting of your eyes, allow yourself to take a couple of deep breaths, and just feel yourself exist in the environment that you’re in. Shake your body a little bit to find that place of deep comfort.
- Comfort — you don’t want to spend 10 minutes in meditation only to realize that the way you aligned your cushion is uncomfortable for your butt, or worse; your legs start to go numb early. Find a meditation posture in which you feel absolutely comfortable and at ease.
- Attitude — drop all expectations, if your meditation doesn’t prove to be “deep” according to your own standards, don’t hold a grudge and let the experience flow. The same goes for doing within the meditation, just feel relax and feel comfortable. Forget about any stale and stiff energy, know that you’re about to dance with life.
In esoteric traditions, you’ll find suggestions like burning a candle, lighting up incense, using essentials oils, and other similar commodities to lighten up the energy within your meditation space. Remind yourself that meditation is achieving tranquility with as little effort as possible.
If you have any questions, please ask. If not, continue reading as we explore the individual meditation techniques for allowing yourself to experience deep peace.
Focusing on an object
You’ve sat by a fire before, chances are that you’ve looked at those burning pieces of wood and how they turn into a mesmerizing light show, and you’ve completely lost yourself in this fire, it is so captivating that your mind becomes still and all you can focus on is the fire. That is very similar to how a meditation on an object works.
Take for example your emotional states, such as anger. When you’re angry, your whole being is distracted and focused only on a single emotion. You go from shouting to blaming, to defending your reasoning behind anger. That’s your object that you’re focused on; anger. Yet, when it comes to focusing only on love, we find it so difficult.
Challenges appear and we don’t really know how to move forward.
Meditating on an object is much like looking into the fire, it’s much like holding a particular emotional state, and following the trail that it has paved for us. When you focus only on a single thing, your mind becomes still like water, it forgets everything else and you experience a unique sensation of bliss.
That is our first deep meditation technique, to focus on a particular object that would help us to find centered attention, and a still mind. And this object can be anything, in third eye meditations you typically use a candle, but in this case it could be the ocea, a raindrop that’s sitting on a flower, or the visual appearance of someone you love.
Ask yourself, what is my meditation object? Take the first thing that comes to your mind/imagination and go with it, because the more time you spend thinking about the object itself, the less fruitful your meditations are going to be.
- Start by getting into your comfortable seated position, and allow yourself to breathe. Take in the moment for what it is, focus your mind on the meditation session that you’re about to experience and let go of all worries. Sit like this for at least 5 minutes to go into your normal meditation practice.
- Once you know that you’re still and that you’re meditating, you can begin to draw attention to your object. Imagine your object of choice right in front of you. See how it looks, whether it moves or not, and feel your attention draw closer to this object.
- If at any point you’re losing grip on your object, continue to breathe and turn your attention back on it. It’s very normal that your mind gets distracted, and the challenge is to let go and bring the attention back to your object.
- As you keep doing this for at least 5 minutes with steady flow, begin to synchronize your breathing as you imagine this object in front of you. Make both your breath and imagination work together, so you can find yourself in a deep and relaxed state. Continue for as long as you like.
The moment in which you will experience a deeper meditation is going to be at the last bit, when you’re syncing your breath together with the object in front of you. Your attention will have fallen only on that particular object, and you instantly notice the intensity of emptiness awareness. In such a deep and meditative state, your nervous system, your mind and body relaxes much quicker.
You can expect to feel this sense of peace continue throughout your day as you mindfully practice breathing consciously. This is the first meditation, and we have two more to go, so don’t be afraid to experiment with others to see what works best for you.
Present moment observation
In mindfulness meditation, the objective is to focus on the breath. With attentive focus on the breath, it’s possible to still the mind and experience deeper levels of awareness. In particular, mindfulness is a great way to destress, to clear toxic emotions, and to gain a fresh perspective on life.
By itself, mindfulness meditation is very efficient, and can be seen recommended as the primary meditation technique from traditions like Buddhism, and Zen. And we can improve on the traditional technique by adding an additional element to it: the observation of the present moment.
We all have senses that function constantly, those senses are; hearing, feeling, smelling, seeing, tasting. We are not limited to using these senses during our meditations to amplify the experience of present moment meditation. Hearing and feeling in particular are two very strong senses that can aid in developing a deeper state of meditation.
There was a time when I thought that meditating in a noisy environment is going to be impossible, but that was yet another obstacle on the path of going deeper within.
After living on a busy street for several months, I learned that the environment that I’m surrounded by plays a little role in the quality of meditation that I’m going to have. Focus has far more weight that irritability, and so you can too use the surrounding noises of your environment to deepen your meditations — whether it’s the wind blowing, birds chirping, or cars passing by. With determination, they can all become meditation objects to use for deepening your meditation experience.
- Start as you usually would. Sit cross-legged, relaxed, and simply let go. Let go of any worries, of any expectations, and any anticipations for the quality of meditation you’re about to experience. Shake your body if necessary to let go of that stale energy.
- You begin your meditation by becoming aware of your body. That means slowly going from your tippy toes, all the way to the top of your head, individually feeling each part and aspect of your body. Follow your breath as you inhale the strength of your legs, your chest, and your arms. Feel your head hanging over your shoulders. All you have to do is to direct attention to a particular part of your body and you will be able to feel it.
- Continue doing this until you’ve completely felt the physical presence of your body. Sit there for a moment and fully feel the weight and scale of your body as you begin to go deeper into your meditation.
- After about 5 minutes, you can continue feeling that connection with your body, but now add another layer of senses through your hearing. Hear as far as your senses allow you to hear. Let go of your emotions if they try to make you feel uncomfortable by the sound of your neighbours cooking dinner. Let the cars beep as loud as they can, and remember that you’re purposefully listening to these sounds. Heard the birds chirping.
- Do this meditation with your full attention, do it with grace. Hear the world around you as it continues to move on and on. This particular technique can be extremely beneficial when you’re sitting next to a river, or on the beach and you’ve got waves clashing with the shore. Just allow yourself to listen. There’s a lot of beauty in sound, and in particular in natural environments.
When you’re present and aware, life becomes magical. You can turn your head and look at someone and see what is happening within their present moment, and if you wish you can become a part of it. The same way, you can become a part of the eternal presence that life is. Each moment is unique, and within each moment we are being gifted with the gift of present moment awareness.
The benefits of this meditation are immense. It accelerates our sensory receptors, it calms us down as we begin to integrate with life on a deeper level, and we can enjoy being true to ourselves regardless of our surroundings.
Elevating beyond physical
It’s easy to forget in the midst of life happening here on Earth that above us there is an ever-expanding Universe. Some of us only remember of this fact when the Sun goes down and the stars are once again visible. But the stars are always there, it’s the daylight that blocks the visual appearance of them.
It certainly isn’t an excuse to forget that we’re surrounded by beautiful planets, stars, within this stunning galaxy that we know as the Milky Way.
This last meditation is all about exploring the Universe, way beyond the Moon and the Sun, it’s about using your imagination to go to the edge of the Universe and realize that there’s vast amounts of emptiness that surrounds us, the same kind of emptiness that we strive to find in our meditations in order to let go, to wash away the streams of thoughts that inhabit our minds on daily basis.
- You begin this meditation like any other, by grounding yourself, by becoming relaxed and in the mindset of a meditation session. Follow the previous steps we talked about in preceding meditations, or use your own techniques to enter the state of meditation.
- As you continue to let go of your thoughts and daily worries, keep the momentum going for at least another 5 minutes. Find yourself in that space that you know as meditation.
- Once you are meditating, and you feel comfortable. You can begin this visualization meditation. We call it the elevation beyond physical.
- Start by imagining yourself lift up from your meditation posture/seat, see your etheric body float above your physical body and continue going up. As you keep rising, see the surroundings of the city that you’re meditating in. See the buildings, the people, the land and the forest. Continue going up. Don’t put any pressure on yourself.
- Eventually you will reach the point of going out into the Universe, and all you will be able to see is our beautiful world. Don’t stop here. Now see yourself going beyond the Moon, then the Sun. Go as far as you can. See yourself passing different galaxies, stars, go until you reach the point of complete surrender, the totality of emptiness that resides in this Universe.
- You can imagine yourself seeing the Sun somewhere far in the distance, or perhaps you prefer to know that it’s somewhere there in this Universe, but don’t let go of this feeling, this experience of where you are now in your etheric body. At this stage, you will have gone in a deep state of meditation where the physical body sensations won’t bother you anymore. Remain here for as long as you feel is needed.
It’s a truly wonderful meditation technique, one that you will remember for days to come. I’ve found personally that this meditation in particular really helps me to relax, to see myself beyond my limitations of my physical body, and instead allows me to tap into a Universal consciousness where there is peace and tranquility.
Allowing your experiences to grow
Meditation techniques are so varied and versatile that it’s hard to pinpoint the exact technique that would be suitable for everyone. These techniques we explored above are mostly for letting yourself experience a deeper state of stillness, one that is complimented with your focus and concentration on the particular meditation object.
Your mind is like a tree with all its leaves, practising to be still in a windy place.
You don’t have to force yourself to practice these meditations each day, instead find one that works really well for you and use it whenever it feels appropriate. The goal of meditation is not to excel or to break uncomfortable barriers, it’s about learning how to accept the present moment for what it is.
If you’re having issues with any of these techniques, or you’d like to know something else about each particular meditation, you can scroll down to the comments section and leave me a comment. I’m happy to answer questions, and listen to feedback.