Table of Contents
- 25 Meditation quotes for clarity of mind
- Why Meditate?
- Purpose of Meditation
- Types of Simple Meditation
- Mindfulness & Wellness Meditation
- Meditation Prayers
- Meditation Positions and Posture
- Art of meditation in daily life
- Mindfulness in daily life
- Meditation Journal & its Importance
- Best Books on Meditation
- FAQs on Meditation
25 Meditation quotes for clarity of mind
Thoughts and Meditation
- “Meditation is your ability to stabilize your mind on one thought, on your chosen thought, eventually becoming one with it.”
- “Thought is a form of energy and it must either be channelized or be given an outlet. Good meditation helps you harness and channelize your thought energy.”
- “Just like the sea is not sea without waves, the mind is not mind without thoughts. There is no mind without thoughts.”
- “There are two important aspects of a nagging thought that ruins our peace. First is the thought itself and second is our overactive imagination.”
Meditative Mind"The oneness attained in meditation gives birth to superconsciousness and super knowledge." Click To Tweet "The act of controlling the mind is concentration. The art of maintaining such control is meditation." Click To Tweet “Meditation is silence and presence of mind” ~ A Million Thoughts Click To Tweet “When your mind is at once silent and present, you are in deep meditation.” ~ A Million Thoughts Click To Tweet
- “In supreme quietude, when you continue your meditation with awareness, you inevitably experience transcendental bliss.”
- “Samadhi is not about seeing a flash of light or a one-off-fleeting-moment of feeling one with the cosmos.”
- “The world outside you may be unaware of your internal state, but bliss in the form of physical sensations and inexplicable joy keeps trickling down within you. This is the state of Samadhi.”
Meditation and Spiritual Awakening
- To improve the quality of your meditation, each time you find your mind adrift, you must bring it back to the point, or thought, of meditation.
- When we accept the cyclical nature of our life and thoughts, we ease up a bit.
- Concentrative Meditation sharpens your concentration and builds your brain muscle.
- Overactive imagination is like a spiritual disorder. When we start to imagine stuff, the thought starts to inflate like a balloon and takes up our entire mind.
- The greatest sign that you are one with the source is when you are comfortable in your own company, at peace within, it means you have mostly turned inwards, you have understood and absorbed the essence of spirituality.
- Awareness is the first step in any corrective step. With increasing awareness, you start questioning your thoughts and emotions too. Why am I feeling this way? Why am I thinking like this about this person?
Purpose of Meditation“Control of the mind automatically checks all thought flow and vice versa; for, the mind and thoughts are inseparable.” Click To Tweet
- “Lingering thoughts and feelings usually come in waves. Where an average person is constantly tossed about, a good meditator learns to surf these waves.”
- “What can be attained by going in can’t be accomplished from the surface. It pays to turn inward. To meditate. Lovingly. Kindly.”
- “Think of a mound of sand, every grain you add to it, will increase the size of the pile. Every moment of quality meditation is that grain of sand.”
- “If before intense meditation each negative thought and emotion felt like a bullet piercing through an unsuspecting bird, now it’ll feel more like a gentle flower thrown at a carefree elephant.”
Have you ever observed a distracted puppy in a park or a toddler in a candy store? Isn’t it amazing how they run from one object to another, within seconds? It’s a cute visual, right? Cute, until you try to tame and pacify them, then it’s another story altogether. Well, unfortunately for us, our mind is exactly like the puppy (or happy toddler). Our human mind gets about 60,000 thoughts a day and it is constantly drifting off from one thought to another. It’s normal. So much so, that we can even end up taking our empty cup to the bathroom instead of the kitchen sink, until we realise where we were supposed to go!
All that said, distraction is still acceptable most of the time. However, trouble arises when our thoughts take us down a negative spiral and we lose control of our emotions and actions. It’s no less than a puppy being so distracted that it falls straight into a mud puddle. Isn’t this the story of our life on most days? We start the day on a good note but before we know it, even a lion would be scared of our wrath and negativity. Truth be told, my friend, that common scenario is due to an untamed mind, taking us for a ride, as per its will.
But this is where meditation comes to our rescue!
As we meditate, it helps us rise above our thoughts and mind. We then familiarise ourselves with our mind, and understand ourselves better, so that we gain the ability to rise above negativity. If you want a visual, imagine a professional surfer riding gigantic waves with ease. These waves are our thoughts, and through meditation, we can become the surfer.
We are then able to discover our most natural state – a state of pristine awareness and clarity of mind. In fact, one of the greatest realisations we can have as humans is the knowledge that we are not our thoughts, that thoughts are empty. We have been bestowed with the ability to choose which thoughts to pursue and which ones to drop, before they turn into emotions or desires. An ability which can be sharpened through meditation. Underneath our mind, in a state of focus or thoughtlessness, lies an infinite ocean of possibilities towards our highest potential.
Purpose of Meditation
The purpose of meditation is simple: it helps us discover ourselves, understand our true nature, observe our thoughts and contemplate on our mental tendencies. Through this understanding, we discover our own truth, because we are all different, yet with the ultimate goal of becoming the best version of ourselves.
Depending on our circumstances, goals and challenges, we can take up meditation for any given reason. Have you found your purpose to meditate yet? Fear not, here’s something which could help you gain some clarity. We meditate for any, or all, of the following reasons:
1. To become aware of our mind
Have you noticed how it’s harder to get an overall view of the ocean if you are swimming in it? In this case, when we create a distance and stand further away, it enables us to see the beautiful ocean all at once, we can observe the waves, the tide and even some dolphins swimming if we’re lucky. Well, the exact same concept applies to the human mind. When we create a distance between us and our thoughts, we see the bigger picture of our mind. If for example someone says something offensive or hurtful to us, the nature of the mind is to accept it and build on it with our overactive imagination. And before we know it, we start believing our negative thoughts and spiral into misery. However, if we were aware of our thoughts and decided to dismiss the hurtful comment at the right time, the likelihood of avoiding misery would have been higher. And meditation helps us gain that awareness.
Well, the human mind is always talking. But it is not possible to listen to your mind if you are talking as well. In fact, in order to listen to your mind, you must be quiet and meditation is the act of taking a pause to focus our minds and become aware. As we increase our meditation practice, awareness overflows into our daily activities, and eventually into our entire life, helping us realise when we are prone to negativity or overwhelming emotions and undesirable actions.
2. To surf through life with ease
The purpose of meditation is to firstly become aware of your mind, thoughts, and mental tendencies, and for some of us that’s enough. But meditation can also help us rise above our mental afflictions, to become a better version of ourselves. An increased awareness and concentrative focus, sharpened through meditation, provides us with clarity of thoughts. We gain the knowledge that we are not our thoughts. We can choose which thoughts to pursue and which ones to drop, before they turn into emotions or desires.
As we carefully choose where to invest our energy, we gradually heal from past hurts and traumas and develop self-love, along with other virtues such as compassion, forgiveness and empathy. This is possible because when you understand the nature of the mind, you develop the ability to direct your mind towards more pleasant thoughts, at will.
Meditating with this purpose in mind, essentially leads us to a state of equanimity and we ease our way through life. Then situations, challenges and emotions fail to derail us or if they do, we return to a state of ease very quickly.
3. To attain an ultimate state of bliss (Samadhi)
If you have heard about meditation before, this purpose may not surprise you. One of the main reasons why some people practice very intense meditation is to attain samadhi, also known as the ultimate state of bliss.
Very strong sensations, unmistakable physical sensations, emerge throughout one’s body. These sensations are so profound that nothing external seems interesting any longer. The world outside you may be unaware of your internal state, but bliss in the form of physical sensations and inexplicable joy keeps trickling down within you, all the time. That is the state of Samadhi. Anyone willing to work for it, can experience it. Then, anger, lust, hatred, and other negative emotions simply cannot even emerge, let alone cause any ripple in your unbroken state of bliss.
This supreme bliss, though, is known only to a quiet mind (os.me) which is attained through a disciplined meditation practice (1). If Samadhi or enlightenment, is our ultimate goal, then intense meditation is required. Om Swami, who has attained the ultimate state of meditation, Samadhi, irreversible transformation and enlightenment, states that a big part of his spiritual journey involved prolonged periods of intense meditation, and an overall total of more than 15,000 hours of meditation.
Perspective on meditation to attain Samadhi
Om Swami also shares that between the ages of 12 and 30, over a period of 18 years, he did roughly 8,000 hours of meditation. That’s 8000 hrs spread over 6570 days. These 8000 hours consisted mainly of ordinary and pro meditation. He further went on to meditate intensely, for about 8 hours a day before reaching a stage of peak meditation whereby he would meditate for 22 hours a day over a period of 150 days. After meditating for a total of more than 15,000 hours, he shares that “a mere few hundred hours too can infuse plenty of blissful experiences but a few thousand hours will catapult you to another dimension altogether. And every meditator at all levels, experiences some or all of the following side effects of meditation.” And when it comes to meditation, according to the expert himself, whose brain scan proves the effect of his achievements: “good enough is not good enough. It has to be right. And, when it is right, it’s an attainment like no other.” All in all, the more quality meditation we invest in, the more blissful the results. And the good news is that there are many types of meditation, one can try.
So, now that we covered the importance of meditation, you may have a few questions. How should I meditate? Which method is best for me? My mind doesn’t stay still when I meditate; how do I stop it from wandering off? When it comes to meditation, these are the three most common questions one asks.
Types of Simple Meditation
When we lay emphasis on what we ought not to think, we naturally feel uneasy, restless, and distracted. So, meditation is the art of constantly concentrating on an object instead of avoiding undesirable thoughts.
With regards to the various types of meditation, there seems to be more methods out there than the number of stars in the universe. Alright, that’s an unreasonable exaggeration but you get the drift, I suppose. In essence though there are only five main categories of meditation, namely, concentrative, contemplative, mindful or wellness meditation. Other types of meditation can be classified under these main categories, as elaborated further.
Concentration Meditation (or Concentrative meditation)
Concentration meditation is the art of staying on one thought. Each time your mind wanders off, bring it back to the point of focus. Over time you will develop razor-sharp awareness; so that you will become aware of each emerging thought before it turns into a distraction. No intellectual examination is performed while practicing this meditation. It is predominantly designed to help you settle your mind and attain the stillness of the body.
As elaborated by Om Swami, in concentrative meditation, you usually pick an object of focus. These can vary: it can either be the sound of your breath, the visualisation of an object (an idol), an image (visualisation), a sound or a location in the body. You then maintain one-pointed meditation on the object of your choice.
Concentrative meditation sharpens your concentration and builds your brain muscle. As you continue to practice it, you will experience an inexplicable calmness, bliss will engulf you, a definitive quietude will dawn on you.
Ideally, any aspirant would greatly benefit from starting off with a type of concentrative meditation as they start practising meditation. If we take the case of an archer, for instance, at the beginning stages, they always start shooting at a still object. Gradually, as their practice improves, they may venture into shooting at moving objects. Similarly, if the mind is trained to concentrate on one thought or object over a considerable amount of time, it will then be ready to focus on moving thoughts or thoughtlessness. Hence, it is always recommended to begin with concentrative meditation. And the good news is that there are several types of concentrative meditation (concentration and concentrative meditation are used interchangeably in this article).
1. Breathing meditation – Meditation on our breath
In breathing meditation, also called breath meditation, the object of focus is your breath.
Sitting in a cross-legged posture, ideally on a cushion, with a straight back, close your eyes and simply listen to your inhalation and exhalation, also paying attention to the pause between the two. As the mind drifts,constantly bring your attention back to your breath.
(Note: On the other hand, breathwork (elaborated further below) consists of breathing practices, such as deep or gentle breathing which can be used to stabilise our energies, overcome anxiety and restlessness while practising mindfulness.)
2. Visualization Meditation – Meditation on a form or image.
Concentrative visualization meditation, also known as meditation on a form, is the practice of meditation whereby you concentrate on an image or form.
You start by opening your eyes and visualising a form placed in front of you (image, object or idol). Then, you try to behold that form in your inner eye (your mind). You will notice that the image you are trying to behold in your mental eye will fade away within a few seconds. You will lose the sharpness and the clarity of the form. When the form fades away, simply refresh your visualisation, by opening your eyes to look at the form and then beholding it in your mind again. Gradually, you will be able to behold the image for longer. A good meditator can behold a form for anywhere between 5 minutes to 25 minutes. It is important not to analyse the characteristics of the object, in this form of meditation.
3. Kundalini meditation – Meditation on our Chakras
There are seven energy centres in the human body, also known as chakras and Kundalini meditation is the practice of bringing our attention or chanting a mantra while focusing on one of these chakras.
Kundalini is your primal energy, lying curled up at the base of your spine. It’s a creative force which when awakened, makes you realize how immensely powerful you already are (Kundalini: An Untold Story by Om Swami).
The Kundalini energy rises through each chakra, from the bottom up to the top of the head (crown). Chakras are the energy centers present in the sukshma sharira or subtle anatomy of a human being. A human has seven main chakras. Kundalini meditation consists of meditating on one chakra at a time, and it is recommended to start from the root chakra. The third eye, which you may have heard about, is also one of the higher chakras.
In Kundalini meditation, you can bring your attention or chant a mantra while focusing on a specific chakra location. You could also imagine the colour associated with the chakra. A complete and detailed exposition on this form of meditation can be found in Kundalini: An Untold Story, by Om Swami and in the Kundalini virtual course.
4. Japa Meditation – Meditation on a mantra
Japa meditation, also known as mantra meditation, is the practice of meditating on a mantra.
Japa meditation does not, however , consist of simply chanting a mantra. Instead, you mindfully recall the mantra in your mind, and maintain your mental focus on each word of the mantra, at every chant. If you only chant the mantra mentally, it is very easy for your mind to drift off, so, here, the key is to remain aware of your mental recollection of the mantra, constantly. You can use chanting beads to do japa meditation, or you could simply use a timer. Daily mantra meditation can bring profound changes in you.
5. Focus meditation – Meditation on an object of focus, e.g. sound or image
Focus meditation is also a form of concentrative meditation. You could either meditate on a form, music or any object. The purpose here is to build your concentration.
In this practice, you simply maintain your one-pointed concentration and bring your wandering mind back to the object of focus. If you’re meditating on a music track, the goal is to listen attentively to every instrument, word, pause and tune for the entire duration. Or if the mind drifts off, simply bring your attention back to the music (or object of focus), as usual.
6. Formless meditation – Meditation on thoughtlessness (state of no thoughts)
In this practice there is no object of focus.
Instead you focus on the space between two thoughts, and gradually this space increases. It can be tricky to practice this form of meditation, as a novice may not be aware of the mind drifting away if there is no anchor (object of focus). Therefore, it is recommended to meditate effectively on an object before trying formless meditation. The ultimate goal of formless meditation is to attain a state of thoughtlessness.
As the mind gains the ability to concentrate on one thought or object for some time, an individual may decide to try contemplative meditation. The reason why it is recommended to practise concentrative meditation beforehand, is that if the mind is not tamed, it may drift off without us realising, as our awareness has not yet been sharpened. However, you may still want to try contemplative meditation as it can be a very enlightening experience.
1. Spiritual Meditation (Contemplative meditation)
Spiritual meditation can be defined as the act of contemplating on oneself, one’s actions and spiritual qualities one may wish to develop. It is the best meditation to discover oneself.
In essence, a spiritual person is someone who understands and knows him/herself. They constantly contemplate and work on becoming a better, kinder, more compassionate, and loving person. So, in this spiritual practice of contemplative meditation, you contemplate on one thought for a long period of time. And this is also of two types, the affirmative contemplative meditation and the other is called the negative contemplative meditation. It is a method of self-enquiry whereby you ask yourself “Who am I?” until you move beyond the labels and reach the source of who you really are. Ramana Maharshi, who gained enlightenment, also practised this type of meditation whereby he contemplated on the concept of “Who am I?”.
Mindfulness & Wellness Meditation
1. Zen Meditation
Zen is when the mind is aware of its own presence.
An attentive mind, without exerting, in a natural state, free of mental, religious, and intellectual constructs, is the basis of Zen. It’s an incredibly empowering and calming feeling — to be aware of your mind and understand it. Effortless attention is the only way to be in the present moment.
Zen meditation can be practised during your daily activities. You can simply pause for a few moments. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself, “What am I thinking right now?” Look around and become aware of everything around you. The room, color of the walls, paintings, doors, windows etc. Let your mind win. Let it take the rope. Battle no more. Instead, be mindful of its play. Just sit and watch how it generates thoughts. Become a spectator. It’ll slow down and then still itself.
Wall gazing is also a type of meditation and you can read more about Zen meditation in Mind full to Mindful By Om Swami.
2. Breathwork Meditation
Breathwork, also known as regulation of the breath, is the practice of breathing exercises, namely deep breathing, gentle breathing, vase breathing, pranayama (alternating between right and left nostril) and bumblebee breathing, amongst others.
From the yogic aspect, our body is made of ten vital energies which control all involuntary and voluntary physical actions, reactions, as well as our habits. When done correctly, breathwork stabilises the ten energies and infuses extraordinary calmness and will power in us. This practice brings about an experience of inner peace and composure. Bringing us back in the present moment, through breathwork, we gain more self-control and effectively rise above daily stress.
3. Trataka Meditation
Trāṭaka is a yogic exercise, which is the practice of stilling the gaze, on an object.
The ability to still your gaze is critical in attaining true meditative state as it eventually helps one rise above the awareness of your body by sitting in one posture, in absolute stillness, for prolonged periods.
Here is the practice of Trataka in a nutshell:
1. Sit in a comfortable posture, preferably cross-legged.
2. Light a candle, at a distance of about three feet, in front of you.
3. Ensure the candle or any other object of focus is at your eye-level.
4. Watch it unblinking for a minimum of ten minutes. Gradually, increase the duration.
5. During the actual practice, try to be aware of your wandering thoughts and gently bring your mind back to the object.
If you don’t blink, your eyes will become very teary. That’s perfectly fine as it’s part of the Trataka practice.
4. Visualization meditation – Permanent Yogic Healing Method
Although it is primarily a form of concentrative meditation, a form of visualization meditation can also be used for emotional healing from trauma, painful incidents or abuse.
It is a very effective form of erasing psychic imprints permanently:
“The longer you are able to hold onto your visualization during your session of meditation, the quicker the healing. Visualization is like performing surgery; the patient (mind) needs to be perfectly still (posture) while the surgeon (you) concentrates and does the procedure (visualization).”
When this permanent visualisation method of yogic healing is followed daily over a period of a month, something remarkable happens – the recollection of the person or incident will no longer aggravate or irritate you. In fact you will experience peace when you recall the imprint you just tried to erase.
5. Witness Meditation – Observing the mind, as a witness.
In witness (or observant) meditation, the practitioner observes his/her mind without reacting to the thoughts and does not attempt to focus on something else.
Thoughts arise in the mind effortlessly, and if we stop, we’ll notice that we can observe our mind and detect these thoughts, without getting entangled and pursuing them. If the mind does drift away, then the breath can be used as an anchor to come back to the present moment and we then resume being a witness to our thoughts again
As humans, we have the ability to reflect on specific feelings of love, peace and compassion. Spiritually, we can also spread these vibes across the world and towards anyone we can think of.
1. Meditation Prayer on Compassion
Compassion is perhaps one of the core spiritual virtues someone can develop in life. Short meditation prayers on compassion, if practised, on anyone or anything for that matter, can bring about a change in us.
Try this short meditation and experience a change in your feelings:
1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
2. Think of someone you love. Ideally, think about an innocent child, yours, or any child. Or you can think of anyone else too.
3. Now, imagine how you would react if this person made a mistake. Choose to react with compassion, bearing in mind that they didn’t know any better and are doing the best they can.
4. Allow yourself to be overwhelmed with this feeling of compassion.
5. Now imagine any person towards whom you may have negative feelings or bitterness.
6. Exercise the same compassion which you just experienced for the person you love. Tell yourself that whatever they are doing, they may not know any better, and everyone is doing the best they can.
7. Allow this feeling of love and compassion to fill your heart for a few minutes, with a genuine desire to be at peace. Pray for the ability to exercise compassion and for the wellbeing of everyone who crosses your path, henceforth.
2. Meditation Prayer on Peace
Sometimes we may feel an urge to send peace and love out to the world, or perhaps to be at peace with our own self. The peace meditation prayer can help.
1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
2. Bring your attention to the centre of your chest and gradually imagine a warm and gentle light there.
3. Allow the light to grow, as you fill your heart with the feeling of love.
4. Imagine the light spreading to your heart, and throughout your entire body, emanating love and peace to every cell.
5. As the light keeps spreading, imagine it covering your entire house, across your entire city and engulfing every person along the way, with love and peace.
6. Allow yourself to imagine the light spreading across the entire country and planet, with you as the centre, as the sun. Emanate love, wellbeing and peace to the whole planet.
7. Remain in that state of being the light, in warmth, love and peace for a few minutes. Pray for your wellbeing and that of everyone around you, before getting up again.
Meditation Positions and Posture
During meditation, it is ideal to keep our back, neck, and head straight. Correct posture plays a significant part in the right meditation. A steady, comfortable, and right posture helps you gain control over the five primary energies and the act of concentrative meditation stills the five secondary energies. Manipulation and channelization of the energies will help you maintain one posture for as long as you want.
Stillness of the body and mind comes with great practice. The best meditation posture to reap the maximum benefit from your meditation practice is as follows:
1. Sit in a comfortable posture, preferably crossed legged.
2. Keep your back and head straight. Neck, slightly bent, just only.
3. Abandon all body movements.
4. Yoke your focus on any object.
If you simply wish to relax, you may lie down and keep a straight back while practising meditation. However, for those who wish to go further and attain higher states of consciousness, Om Swami also expounds on the importance of posture in meditation.
Yoga poses such as the cat-cow pose, the downward-facing dog and the extended triangle pose can help in strengthening your back muscles. These along with a full body yoga workout would aid in maintaining a meditation posture for longer periods.
Art of meditation in daily life
Starting your day with a short session of meditation is very effective to attain clarity of mind and prepare you to have a productive day ahead.
Simply sit down, as you wake up in bed, or after your shower, and concentrate on your breath, listening to your inhalation and exhalation for about 5 to 10 minutes. If you believe in God, you may meditate on the form of your deity or your guru (spiritual mentor). If you have time and have built your concentration gradually, you can increase the length of your sessions.
5 Minute Meditation
It is a common misconception that meditation sessions should be lengthy and last for an hour or more. Surprisingly, it is better to begin with short and crisp meditation sessions of 5 to 7 minutes.
They can be very effective to refresh the mind and build concentration, rather than sitting down for an hour whereby the mind isn’t present or lazy. You can hold two to three sessions of 5-minute meditation per day, and it can be spread out such that you have a session in the morning, one at lunchtime and one before sleeping. And this meditation can be of any type, although ideally concentrative meditation is the best method to tame the mind initially.
It is recommended to meditate for at least 5 minutes before heading off to bed every night.
Meditation on your breath is very effective in helping you reduce the restlessness of the mind, relax, and get ready for a good night’s sleep. Simply listen to your inhalation and exhalation as stated above. Alternatively, you can also try the Yoga Nidra meditation in the Black Lotus App.
Mindfulness in daily life
It is also possible to lead our lives in a state of mindfulness, whereby we remain in the present moment while performing our daily activities, some of which are listed below. Mindfulness is a form of meditation, which is practiced through inclusivity into our common activities.
If we contemplate on it, through the practise of mindful speech, most of our arguments would be eliminated.
Pausing for a few seconds and thinking about what we plan to say before speaking, can help us avoid uttering undesirable words of hurt or lies. And if these words are left unsaid, conflict does not arise, as frequently. Inculcating the practice of speaking slowly and gently can enhance mindful speech. Then, we only utter desirable words, and this leaves less room for regrets.
In the shower
Being aware of our bodily movements and the flow of the water on our skin, while remaining in a state of gratitude during the shower, is a great way of practising mindfulness meditation.
Similarly, as we walk or go for a stroll, being aware of the muscular movements of our legs and the weight we place on each foot at every step, requires utmost mindfulness. It is a great way of staying in the present moment and taming the mind.
Chewing mindfully, by keeping our minds focused on the food, jaw movements, the taste and the act of eating, is mindful eating. Each bite of food usually has a variety of tastes and textures, whether that’s sweet, sour, crunchy or soft, and through mindfulness, we gain the ability to enjoy every bite of our meal, with contentment and gratitude.
We can also drive mindfully by remaining aware of our limb movements and focusing properly on the road ahead, instead of allowing our mind to drift away.
It is possible to practice mindfulness at work too. Contemplating on the tasks at hand and being aware of the most important ones, can increase our focus. Asking ourselves what we should be doing, and then doing it is an effective way to include mindfulness meditation into our work life. With this focus and deep breathing when we feel overwhelmed or distracted, our chances of being more productive increase automatically.
Meditation Journal & its Importance
Meditation sessions can vary from day to day, as the ability to concentrate in one session doesn’t necessarily mean that the next session will be as good. Therefore, it is beneficial to keep a Meditation Journal with the purpose to raise your self -awareness and help you progress in your practice. It will compliment your meditation practice, and you will derive immense benefits following this exercise. Ideally, it is recommended that you fill up your meditation journal at least for 40 consecutive days with discipline just after you finish your daily meditation. You may use this journal, which is free to download here and has been designed by Om Swami. Prior to reaching the peak of his meditation practice, while meditating intensely for more than 18 hours a day, Om Swami also kept a meditation journal. Tested and proven, as they say!
Best Books on Meditation
Meditation has been expounded on and practised by various saints, sages and other experts. There are thousands of books about meditations out there. However, here are some recommended books to help you understand meditation to a deeper extent.
1. A Million Thoughts ~ By Om Swami
Available for purchase on Amazon here
2. Mahamudra: The Moonlight — Quintessence of Mind and Meditation ~By Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
Available for purchase on Amazon here
3. Who am I? The teachings of Ramana Maharshi
Available for purchase on Amazon here
4. Mind full to Mindful ~ By Om Swami
Available for purchase here
FAQs on Meditation
1. Is Meditation a sin?
No, meditation is not a sin.
Meditation is the act of concentrating on one thought and stabilizing your mind on that chosen thought. Through meditation, you become more aware of your thoughts and you familiarize yourself with your mind. Meditation teaches one to harness this energy and direct it in a fruitful way – when done right it helps one realize and achieve their higher self. In fact, meditation can help us rise above the concept of sin, because thoughts are a product of the conditioned mind.
You can learn more about meditation from Om Swami.
2. What type of meditation beads can I use?
There are many types of chanting/meditation beads (beads are also known as mala). The most common ones are tulsi, chandan and rudraksha. If you are chanting out of devotion, you can use any chanting beads. It makes little difference. There are some recommendations with regards to the beads to be used if you are meditating on a specific form of God.
3. How to use meditation beads?
Each time you chant your mantra, you move one bead along the chain. When using meditation beads (malas), we tend to avoid using the index finger. Instead we move to the next bead, one at a time, using the thumb and the middle finger, and it is advised to avoid letting the beads touch the floor.
4. Can you meditate lying down?
Yes, if you wish to meditate for relaxation, or are unable to sit cross-legged on the floor, then you may lie down. It is beneficial to keep your back straight. You may find yourself falling asleep more easily in this posture.
5. How long should you meditate?
Rather than holding a long session of meditation where you experience great tiredness and a lapse in concentration, it is much better to hold multiple short crisp sessions instead. Rather than doing one session of forty-five minutes, do three sessions of fifteen minutes. They will bring much greater benefits. Over time, as you get better, you can gradually increase the duration. (Read more about the length of meditation sessions).
6. How to meditate on god?
Meditating on God is a form of concentrative meditation. It can be practised either through meditation on an image of God (form), a sound (mantra) or a visual representation of the deity. In the following video, Om Swami expounds on the journey of a meditator, through a beautiful story.
7. Is there a meditation for anger? Can meditation help with anger issues?
Meditation in general can help with anger, as it increases your mindfulness and awareness. It is also possible to free yourself from anger. As Om Swami states:
“My personal method is to mindfully ask myself before responding to anyone in any given scenario if a). I need to respond at all, b). Am I being compassionate? If yes, c). Can I just overlook their actions as ignorant mistakes? (Even if they are deliberate acts, I tend to think they perhaps don’t know any better.) Plus, d). Am I not aware anyway that they are responsible for their deeds? And finally, e). What sort of behavior befits me? These five aspects go through my mind within a couple of seconds. This is the gift of mindfulness.”
Understanding your anger is essential as it can in turn help channelise it successfully.
8. How to meditate for positive energy?
Meditation teaches one to harness this energy and direct it in a fruitful way – when done right it helps one realize and achieve their higher self. Using your energy towards a creative cause will make one feel more positive and fulfilled. Additionally, maintaining a regular practice of meditation, will heighten your awareness of your thoughts and tendencies. Om Swami also elaborates on how to achieve your higher self with meditation practice.
9. What does meditation feel like?
It is erroneous to believe that one becomes calm as soon as they sit to meditate. In fact, there is no joy in concentrative meditation, in the beginning stages of the actual practice. It is perfectly normal to feel that your mind is more talkative and restless than ever. This is because, as you sit down to meditate, stopping all other activities, you become aware of your thoughts in the moment. But as you keep practising and start to experience a quiescent mind, you will almost be addicted to meditation. Eventually, in supreme quietude, when you continue your meditation with awareness, you inevitably experience transcendental bliss.
10. What to think about while meditating?
While meditating, you can pick any one object of focus. It can be the sound of your inhalation and exhalation, it can be the visualisation of an image or object (an idol or any object), or directing your mind towards a music or a mantra. Om Swami elaborates on the various types of meditation.
11. What is the power of meditation?
With the practice of intense meditation, you gain extraordinary awareness and your thoughts gather such momentum that you gain the ability to do anything. In this video, Om Swami speaks about a true event in His life, showing the power of meditation and its manifestation and shares his perspective on the goal of meditation.
12. What is visualization meditation?
Although the main purpose of visualization meditation is to sharpen our concentrative ability, visualization can also be used as a method to heal oneself and to pray for wellbeing. Despite being very different from each other and having different purposes, both types can have a positive impact on us. Depending on your goal with regards to meditation, you may try one of them, or both, as described above, as per your choice.
The two types are:
- Visualization meditation as a form of concentrative meditation.
- Visualization meditation as a Permanent Yogic Healing Method
“What about visualising myself in a dream holiday spot then? Isn’t that visualization meditation” You may ask.
Well, although it is a great method to make us feel good and relaxed, these types of visualizations may not increase our awareness or have any lasting impact on our minds. Ideally a meditation practice which requires the mind to focus on an object or thought can have more impact accompanied with lasting transformation in us.
13. What to think about when meditating?
When meditating, choose an object of focus. It can be the sound of your breath, a musical track, a mantra, an image or even a pebble. As you start to meditate, your mind will naturally drift off and think about a million things. It’s fine. Simply bring your attention back to the object of focus, and think about that (or listen/visualise). Repeat this act of bringing your attention back to your object of focus over and over again. And having done that, congratulations! You are now meditating!