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Friday, February 22, 2008

Meditation - Getting Started with Meditation

Meditation is one of the Five Principles of Yoga. It is the practice by which there is constant observation of the mind. It requires you to focus your mind at one point and stilling the mind in order to perceive the self. Through the practice of Meditation you will achieve a greater sense of purpose and strength of will. It also helps you achieve a clearer mind, improve your concentration, and discover the wisdom and tranquility within you.

In the long tradition of Meditation, there is a great variety of different techniques - some using the power of sound and others using visual symbols of breathing. But all have a common aim: to focus the scattered rays of the mind on a single point so as to lead the you to a state of self-realization. The most common used practice is japa - repeating a mantra. However for beginners, we would like to introduce two other methods:

Yoni Mudra

Yoni Mudra is an exercise in pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses. The blocking of your ears, eyes, nose and mouth brings you to a retreat inside yourself. During the day, the mind is constantly bombarded with information or stimuli from the five senses. Only when the senses are brought under control and the mind is no longer pulled constantly outward, can you hope to be able to concentrate.

Yoni MudraThe Yoni Mudra Technique:

Close your ears with your thumbs. Cover you eyes with your index fingers, then close your nostrils with your middle fingers and press your lips together with your remaining fingers. Release the middle fingers gently to inhale and exhale while you Meditate.

Category Concentration

Category Concentration As a Beginner, you may have some hard time keeping your attention focused on one object in the beginner of your practice. To train yourself to pay attention, you can try narrowing your field of concentration to a category of objects first, where your mind still has a little of freedom of movement. Practicing Category Concentration Exercise will hone your mind down to a finer focus and teach you the principle of one-pointed concentration.

The Category Concentration Technique:

With eyes closed, imagine a garden with a different flower in each corner. Start by exploring the qualities of one flower. Then, when your mind grows restless, shift your focus to the flower in the next corner and so on. You should visualize each one clearly. By focusing on several objects, your mind is still given some freedom of movement. Gradually, you can train yourm mind to rest for longer periods of time on a single object.

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