Everyone should daily sit to meditate. When you do this, avoid fantasy, emotionalism, strenuous effort, and mental passivity. For constructive results, remain alert, intentional, and attentive to the procedure.
Some benefits of regular meditation practice are:
- Stress symptoms are reduced.
- The immune system is strengthened.
- The nervous system is enlivened.
- Regenerative energies are awakened.
- Biological aging processes are slowed.
- Thought processes are ordered.
- Spiritual growth is quickened.
- Appreciation for living is enhanced.
People who are not consciously interested in spiritual growth should practice daily meditation for the life-enhancing benefits. Spontaneous, progressive spiritual growth will then occur naturally.
Sit in a quiet place. In a comfortable chair, sit with spine and head erect to demonstrate clear intention and to remain alert. It is all right to sit on your bed or the floor with your legs crossed if you prefer this meditation posture and are comfortable.
Pray in your own way. Imagine and feel that the Infinite Presence is within and around you (it is). Release any sense of independent selfhood. Contemplate wholeness. If you don't pray, at least open your mind and your being to the Infinite.
Use a meditation technique. Use any technique you know to be helpful. A simple procedure is to mentally "listen" to a pleasant word or word-phrase. When you breathe in, listen to the word or first word of your phrase. When you breathe out, listen to the word or the second word of your phrase. A single word can be "peace," "light," or "God." A word-phrase can be "I am peace," "I am light," or "OM God." Give your attention to the process, ignoring any shifting moods or thought processes. When you are relaxed and somewhat internalized, ignore the breathing cycle and listen to the inner, mental sound.
Let meditation flow spontaneously. When mental peace is experienced, discard the practice of technique and rest in the tranquil silence. Your innate inclination to have awareness restored to wholeness will direct the meditation process. Surrender to it. Meditation will unfold spontaneously. Sit for at least twenty minutes for relaxation and absorption in superconscious peacefulness.
Conclude the session. Meditate more than twenty minutes if you are inclined to do so. When you conclude your practice session, maintain awareness of yourself as a spiritual being as you attend to your chosen and necessary duties, routines, and relationships.
असतो मा सद्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर्मा ऽमृतं गमय
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।।
Asato mā sadgamaya
Tamaso mā jyotirgamaya
Mṛtyormā 'mṛtam gamaya
Om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ
Lead me from Unreal to Real
Lead me from Darkness to Light
Lead me from Death to Immortality
Om Peace Peace Peace
So-Hum Breathing Meditation
The So-Hum Breathing Meditation is the most simple and natural of all meditation techniques as it brings our awareness to the cosmic sound vibration made by each one of us in the course of our natural breathing.
- Sitting in Padmāsana or other comfortable seated posture, establish yourself firmly in Full Yogic Breath and Ujjayi Prānāyāma.
- As you breathe in, listen to the sound being made at the back of the throat. This sound has openness to it and is preceded by an aspiration. It sounds like the syllable "SO". Listen to, and concentrate on, the "SO" in your breath as you inhale.
- Hold the breath in a short retention as described in Ujjayi Prānāyāma.
- As you breathe out, listen again to the sound at the back of the throat. This sound has a nasal quality to it, like humming, so that it sounds like the syllable "HUM". Listen to, and concentrate on, the "HUM" in your breath as you exhale.
- Start again at Step 2) and continue as described for 5-10 minutes or more.