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meditation

Meditation as a personal journey

Meditation is a very personal journey from the path we find meditation on to the journey of personal discovery meditation brings, for each of us has our life story of ups and downs of love and Anger, of loneliness and elation, all squished together over many years to create a tapestry of memories, events and experiences that shape our very existence into behavioural patterns we continually present to the world as Me, I and the Ego

My personal journey with meditation started a long time ago and really took many years before I understood fully what I was doing. For the first few years I suffered with my posture finding the pressure in my knees to much to sit for any period of time. I later found and understand the correct sitting posture helping me to sit for longer periods of time. But if meditation was only about sitting for great lengths of time then chickens would all be enlightened.

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To practice meditation is to be aware, aware of the present moment, to become an observer of the mind in every moment is true meditation, in the observance of mind can we truly uncover the mysteries of the entire universe, the interconnectedness and impermanence of all things and the unconditional love that comes from being present and aware.

To start to meditate is one of life’s greatest challenges and one that can seem incredible scary. My first ever experience of meditation was in a Buddhist meditation centre along with maybe 250 others, with a strict code of silence being observed . The first morning I followed everyone else into the meditation hall and found a cushion and tried to sit. The bell chimed and everyone closed there eyes. I had been given a few simple instructions, breath in be aware your breathing in, simple. I closed my eyes and breathed in, counted one and lost my thoughts, my mind traveled somewhere I cannot say, I do remember think wow this meditation lark is easy and opened my eyes to check the time. 30 seconds had passed, arghh half a minute, I’ve got half an hour of this, calm down, breathing in be aware count one, my mind wanders, collect my thoughts, wow how long was that, 1 minute, what! Calm and I repeated this for a whole thirty minutes.

Not a good start and I’m amazed I kept going. However this can be a common problem when starting to meditate, if you are experiencing anything like this then your not alone.what we need to do is find that pure magic that comes with meditation, we need to feel addicted to meditation, we need to find pleasure.

Like everything, patience and being kind to yourself go an incredibly long way in helping you overcome this initial stage. It’s like any exercise we do to strengthen our muscles the first few times are tough and are muscles ache and seem to scream Stop! Slowly over time we build those muscles and it becomes a little easier, we start to see our progress which in turn spurs us on to ever more success. The exact same is true for meditation only we are training our mind in the powers of concentration.

It has taken many years practicing in countless meditation centres across Europe and Asia and as a Buddhist monk during rains retreats to finally becoming solid in my meditation practice. I now love meditation so much, that given the time I can sit for hours in pure bliss, it has become the first thing I now want to do as I rise from sleep, I used to go for a cup of coffee to kick start my day, I now meditate.

I am not fully enlightened or claim to be, I am on the path to enlightenment and have dedicated my entire life to this endeavour. I have years and years of experience from meeting true enlightened masters to actual real meditation experience. I can help you!

The whole of this website is slowly growing to enable me to help all those who sincerely want to practice meditation. Instead of trying so desperately hard by yourself let this website and myself help and guide you along the path, use my many years of mistakes and lessons learnt as your short cut to your meditation success.

Slowly over time I will be filling the pages of this website with helpful tips and tricks I’ve personally been taught or learnt while meditating. As well as articles on my own meditation journey glimpsing into the contemplative subjects I endeavour to uncover the answers too, and personal reflections into my life and past traumas overcome.

It would be amazing if you could join myself and Marley on our journey 4enlightenment, but we understand if we’re not your flavoured tea! Maybe your not ready!

If you want to know more about Marley and me, Dhamma Tapasa CLICK HEAR

Please feel free to contact me regarding any problems your having with meditation or ideas to make this website more appealing please feel free to use the information found on our contact page CLICK HEAR 

if you have enjoyed this article then please share with your friends and family because after all

SHARING IS CARING

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

Body Scan Meditation

Body scan meditation

This meditation is usually done lying down but if you find you keep falling asleep it can equally be done siting crossed legged on the floor or in a straight backed chair.

Find yourself a comfortable place, somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, lay flat on your back with a cushion under your knees, this help keep your back flat against the floor. Your head needs to be comfortable so a small pillow or folded towel will do the trick, but if you are using a yoga mat try without a pillow.

Start by taking a few long deep breaths, gradually start to feel yourself unwind and relax, slowly, starting from the very top of the head notice any sensation that may arise. it could be itching, aching, tiredness, pain or stiffness, or any number of different sensations. Just notice, don’t interfere, don’t scratch or itch or fidget, just notice and be ok with it.

Be gently to yourself, be kind, and be ok with whatever you feel. Maybe you feel no sensation at all and that’s ok to, there is no rule as to what you will feel. Just notice then slowly move down to your forehead, your eyebrows, cheek bones, ears, lips, chin, neck and shoulders, keep moving down through your body checking for sensations. You don’t have to start the way I described either, be inventive and move around your body to each new sensation that arises.

Do this for 10 or 20 minutes everyday and you will soon see a remarkable difference in your stress levels.

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meditation

1 Minute Breathing Meditation

1 Minute Breathing Meditation

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Breathing Meditation

One of the simplest ways to unwind and relax and bring ourselves back to the present moment is by following the breath. And this simple 1 Minute Breathing Meditation can do just that.

Sitting, standing or even lying down find a comfortable position trying to keep a straight spine, start by gently relaxing your shoulders and your neck muscles and softly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing.

Breathing in, be aware you’re breathing in, 

Breathing out, be aware you’re breathing out. 

Count one.

Repeat this for five or ten counts then start again.

While breathing in and out either concentrate on the rise and fall of the abdomen or in the chest. You can also concentrate on the tip of the nose as the air passes in and out.

“Being aware is meditation.”

Tips and tricks

When your mind wanders, be kind to yourself, and bring your awareness back to the breath and start counting again. The most important thing is to be patient and compassionate to yourself. Also try and keep your breathing as natural as possible. If counting isn’t your thing then try noting the breath saying silently to yourself

“I’m Breathing in, I’m Breathing out”

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1 Minute Breathing Meditation
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meditation

Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is one of the nicest ways to meditate, the body naturally walks and to experience being both aware of the body’s movements at the same time as being present in the immediate environment can keep us centred and relaxed. The recommended setup for walking meditation is a level, straight path of 20-30 paces, free from debris and somewhere quiet and secluded. The practice is to walk from one end to the other being mindful of each movement, when you reach the end you stand still for a few moments, turn and repeat the exercise to the other end. Walk at a pace that feels comfortable for you, this could be a calm or composed walk or a walk with ease or vigour, feel what is comfortable and as your mind settles your pace will slow accordingly.

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Walking meditation

Although many people may not have access to the the kind of level path that we recommend for walking meditation, it is still advisable to cultivate this as best as possible within a room, in this instance circumnavigating the room either clockwise or anti-clockwise would be suitable. The ideal location would be a straight path of 20-30 paces in a forest, park, beach or grassland, somewhere you feel safe and secure. The attitude of mindfulness to walking doesn’t have to be confined to just your meditation sessions and once the methods explained hear have been practiced it is possible to be mindful while walking in busy streets or places where there is a lot of footfall. 

The first step begins with composing are attention while standing at one end of your chosen path. Bring your attention to your breath and become present in the moment, spend at least half a minute relaxing and watching the breath. Stand in such a way you can very clearly feel the soles of your feet spread over the ground and rooted to that particular point. Breathing in be aware you are breathing in. Breathing out be aware you are breathing out. Once your calm and you feeling more relaxed and centred, slowly begin, first by gently raising your foot from the ground.

Raising one of your feet try to walk as slowly as you can but at your own body’s comfort. I want you to really feel each and every movement, explore the sensations in your body. Explore the tensing and relaxing of each muscle as it’s being used. Keep everything simple, walk from one end to the other, keeping in touch with your body sensations. 
The minds tendency may be to go into thinking or to get involved with what you see, in either case be gentle and kind towards yourself and bring the attention back to the body as you move each muscle.

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Walking Meditation infographic

When you are walking you can gather your arms either behind your back or in front of you, gently resting the palm of your hand on the opposite wrist. Recognise the repetitive pattern that goes with walking, feel the sensations as your feet press into the soil, then feel the release of pressure as you raise that foot again. Feel the sensations in your hips and lower back, feel each muscle tense as it moves when required, then relax when not.

Walking mindfully slows the minds rhythm, eventually settling into the physical sensations, the mind becomes calmer and clear. This calmness brings with it a regenerative energy that makes walking meditation feel tireless.

The difficulties that can arise form walking meditation can be a general agitation as the minds wanderings are bought into check and back to the exercise, typical with all meditation. If you feel this agitation start to build, pause and take some deep breaths, always be kind towards yourself, don’t scold, breathing in be aware your breathing in, breathing out be aware your breathing out. Do this for a few moments then resume. You may find yourself standing at one end of your chosen path and go stomping up the other end with little or no regard to mindfulness, or the practice at hand. Once again pause, long deep breaths and return to breathing in and breathing out, after a few moments, feel yourself relax, and start again. 

Walking meditation is a simple and beautiful meditation that is very easy to pick up and understand, it has the ability to centre us and keep us focused and relaxed. You can do this meditation for as little as ten minutes and feel the benefits, it is best to try and build on that and work up to half and hour and maybe even an hour.

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loving kindness meditation

Loving kindness meditation or Metta Bhavana meditation

Loving kindness or Metta Bhavana meditation 

There are a few methods and ways to practice loving kindness, the method I describe below I find works wonderfully for me. It is one of visualisation, I was a Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand and after many years of meditation practice and guidance I find this is the most suitable way for my western mind.

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Loving kindness Metta meditation infographic

This method however is just one of the three ways to practice which will achieve loving kindness in the heart. Reflecting and auditory are the other two methods used to create the feeling of loving kindness. Reflect on the positive qualities of yourself or a loved one will ensure loving kindness to flourish with in the heart. Using a mantra is the auditory approach and an example could simple be the words loving kindness.

The First thing we need to do is find the love from within ourselves. Now I understand that may sound a little scary to some. Visualisation is a great way to achieve love inside, we all have something we love, something that will bring that feeling back when you start to think deeply enough about it. For me this is my adopted stray dog Marley and the crazy fun things he gets up to. If your still finding difficulty thinking of something that your really love this much, then try hitting this link 7 wonders of life, it will help you find something wonderful in your life to feel that loving kindness and to help with the practice. Now that we have our object of focus, it time to relax.

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Loving kindness infographic

Find a comfortable place somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Now sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulder and neck muscles and slowly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing.

Let’s start by calmly watch your breathing, don’t disturb your breathing, just let it be natural. Breathing in, be aware your breathing, breathing out, be aware your breathing out. Count one.

This is a great link to learn how to practice Breath Meditation. Relax and do this for a count of ten.
Now bring your object of love to the forefront of your mind and begin to feel the love you have. really start to explore that feeling, the feeling of love. Don’t worry if you feel a little resistance at first, be kind to yourself and be patient. Try to find where the feeling is coming from, do you notice how the feeling grows the more you explore it. Again don’t panic if you feel resistance to this, it is all ok, it just means a little more patience and kindness towards yourself is needed. Now feel that love start to consume you, feel it’s warmth, is your smile hurting you cheeks yet.

If you are having trouble visualising, please still use loving kindness with yourself, this is not going to be easy for some. Tell yourself it’s ok we can have another go later, always be patient and kind towards yourself and even that is practicing loving kindness.
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Loving kindness informative graphic

Once we have the feeling of love flowing within ourselves, it’s time to send out our love to others. We now use a mantra with our loving kindness, to truly send out our positive vibration to the chosen person. First we start with ourselves. Repeat this ten times to yourself, or out loud that’s entirely up to you.

May I be happy 

May I be free from metal suffering and distress

May I be free of physical pain and suffering

May I be peaceful and at ease

Now we are going to give that love from our heart, that loving kindness to someone other than ourselves.

The Four Types of Persons to develop loving-kindness towards are 

  • A respected, beloved person – such as a spiritual teacher
  • A dearly beloved – which could be a close family member or friend
  • A neutral person – somebody you know, but have no special feelings towards, e.g a person who serves you in a shop
    A hostile person – someone you may be having difficulty with
  • Starting with yourself, then systematically sending loving-kindness from person to person in the above order will have the effect of breaking down the barriers between the four types of people and yourself. This will have the effect of breaking down the divisions within your own mind, the source of much of the conflict we experience
  • May (insert name) be happy
  • May (insert name) be free from suffering and distress 

    May (insert name) be free of physical pain and suffering 

    May (insert name) be peaceful and at ease 
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    Loving kindness graphic

    If you find your mind wanders or you notice your loving kindness looses it ferocity, at this point always be kind and patient with yourself, slowly return to the original object of focus, take a few deep breaths and start again. once you have established the feeling again in your heart, continue with the mantra. 

    For a more in depth analysis of loving kindness and it benefits click hear.

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    loving kindness meditation

    Loving kindness Meditation

    loving kindness

    In an all too busy world it is easy to overlook loving kindness and it’s benefits. Life today seems to be harder than ever before, our society seems to offer everything we could possible desire yet it is a fact that there are more and more of us struggling with difficult and upsetting emotional states. Depression, anxiety and mental health are this century’s biggest challenges. The practice of loving kindness is just an inherited quality but loving kindness can be learnt and taught and that is what we are about to discover.Loving kindness, meditation, spirituality, spiritual, Metta, positivity, happiness, mindfulness, compassion

    Loving kindness infographic

    Loving kindness is compassion, happiness, and unconditional love, it isn’t anger or hatred, greed or despair, loving kindness as described by the sacred Buddhist text is the first of the four sublime states, the others are compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. Wikipedia quotes loving kindness, or Metta, as “the cultivation of benevolence” and the Oxford English Dictionary states loving kindness as “tenderness and consideration towards others”.

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    What is loving kindness in Buddhism?

    Loving kindness or Metta Bhavana meditation has been used by the Buddhists for over 2500 years, developed to build the characteristics of compassion, equanimity, happiness, joy and wellbeing. The only way to know, is to practice. It is a practice not just for loving kindness to oneself but should be directed out towards every living being, to our greatest loves and to those we may be having difficulty with. Metta Bhavana practiced regularly helps to build our concentration rapidly in meditation practice, enabling us to progress much quicker along the path. The four sublime states that practicing Metta Bhavana ring are called the Brahmavihara and they are compassion, loving kindness, altruistic joy and equanimity.

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    Lao Tzu quote

    Loving kindness meditation benefits

    The health benefits of the practice of loving kindness and Metta meditation, have been studied in great number from western scientists in the last 30 years and all can agree that stress levels reduce, depression can be eliminated, anger subsides, a sense of calming and wellbeing arise, blood pressure lowers, gives you a sense of satisfaction and of belonging and will Increases happiness and compassion. There are many other positive side effects with no negative reactions or problems. The mental health benefits are equally impressive, nut this is not some quick fix pill to take this still takes time and practice. So how do we practice

    How do you practice Loving kindness?

    There are a few methods and ways to practice loving kindness, the method I describe below I find works wonderfully for me. It is one of visualisation, I was a Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand and after many years of meditation practice and guidance I find this is the most suitable way for my western mind. This method however is just one of the three ways to practice which will achieve loving kindness in the heart. Reflecting and auditory are the other two methods used to create the feeling of loving kindness. Reflect on the positive qualities of yourself or a loved one will ensure loving kindness to flourish with in the heart. Using a mantra is the auditory approach and an example could simple be the words loving kindness.

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    Love quote Herman Hesse

    The First thing we need to do is find the love from within ourselves. Now I understand that may sound a little scary to some. Visualisation is a great way to achieve love inside, we all have something we love, something that will bring that feeling back when you start to think deeply enough about it. For me this is my adopted stray dog Marley and the crazy fun things he gets up to. If your still finding difficulty thinking of something that your really love this much, then try hitting this link 7 wonders of life, it will help you find something wonderful in your life to feel that loving kindness and to help with the practice. Now that we have our object of focus, it time to relax.

    Find a comfortable place somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Now sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulder and neck muscles and slowly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing. Let’s start by calmly watch your breathing, don’t disturb your breathing, just let it be natural. Breathing in, be aware your breathing, breathing out, be aware your breathing out. Count one. This is a great link to learn how to practice Breath Meditation. Relax and do this for s count of ten.

    Now bring your object of love to the forefront of your mind and begin to feel the love you have. really start to explore that feeling, the feeling of love. Don’t worry if you feel a little resistance at first, be kind to yourself and be patient. Try to find where the feeling is coming from, do you notice how the feeling grows the more you explore it. Again don’t panic if you feel resistance to this, it is all ok, it just means a little more patience and kindness towards yourself is needed. Now feel that love start to consume you, feel it’s warmth, is your smile hurting you cheeks yet. If you are having trouble visualising, please still use loving kindness with yourself, this is not going to be easy for some. Tell yourself it’s ok we can have another go later, always be patient and kind towards yourself and even that is practicing loving kindness.

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    Meditating monk

    Once we have the feeling of love flowing within ourselves, it’s time to send out our love to others. We now use a mantra with our loving kindness, to truly send out our positive vibration to the chosen person. First we start with ourselves. Repeat this ten times to yourself, or out loud that’s entirely up to you.

    May I be happy 

    May I be free from metal suffering and distress

    May I be free of physical pain and suffering

    May I be peaceful and at ease

    Now we are going to give that love from our heart, that loving kindness to someone dear to us, this could be a spouse, child or a loved friend. Again repeat ten times.

    May (insert name) be happy

    May (insert name) be free from suffering and distress 

    May (insert name) be free of physical pain and suffering 

    May (insert name) be peaceful and at ease 

    If you find your mind wanders or you notice your loving kindness looses it ferocity, at this point always be kind and patient with yourself, slowly return to the original object of focus, take a few deep breaths and start again. once you have established the feeling again in your heart, continue with the mantra.

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    meditation mindfulness

    Mini Meditations

    Mini Meditations

    Breath meditation

    Breathing meditation is one of the simplest and easiest of all meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up so to with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier. Always be kind and compassionate to yourself and let whatever happens be ok. Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, compassion, loving kindness, mini meditations

    Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulders and your neck muscles and softly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing.

    Breathing in be aware you’re breathing in, 

    breathing out, be aware you are breathing out. 

    Count one.

    Repeat this for five or ten counts then start again. This is the basics of samadhi meditation. Some points to remember, try to keep the breath as natural as possible. If your mind wanders, be kind to yourself, and bring your awareness back to the breath and start counting again. Try this meditation exercise for ten minutes at first and slowly increase the time over a course of a few days. The most important thing is to always be patient and compassionate to yourself.

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    Body scan meditation

    This meditation is usually done lying down but if you find you keep falling asleep it can equally be done siting in a straight backed chair. Find yourself a comfortable place, somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, lay flat on your back with a cushion under your knees this help keep your back flat against the floor. Your head needs to be comfortable, if you are using a yoga mat try without a pillow. Start by taking a few long deep breaths, gradually start to feel yourself unwind and relax, slowly, starting from the very top of the head notice any sensation that may arise. it could be itching, aching, tiredness, pain or stiffness, or any number of different sensations. Just notice, don’t interfere, don’t scratch or itch or fidget, just notice and be ok with it. Be gently to yourself, be kind, and be ok with whatever you feel. Maybe you feel no sensation at all and that’s ok to, there is no rule as to what you will feel. Just notice then slowly move down to your forehead, your eyebrows, cheek bones, ears, lips, chin, neck and shoulders, keep moving down through your body checking for sensations. You don’t have to start the way I described either, be inventive a move around your body to each new sensation that arises. Do this for 10 or 20 minutes everyday and you will soon see a remarkable difference in your stress levels.

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    Mantra meditation 

    A mantra meditation is the repetition or repeated use of a phrase, sentence or saying. In this example we will use the divine Om Mana Padma Um mantra, a Buddhist chant still very much in use today, especially with Tibetans Buddhists. The Dharma Haven Society have a great article on the mantras history and usage. This is the correct pronunciation of the mantra, although the repatriation is more important than pronunciation, OM (ohm) MA (mah) NI (nee) PAD (pahd) ME (may) HUM (hum). It is said the entire buddha’s teachings are within this mantra.

    Now sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulders and your neck muscles and softly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing. On the inward breath repeat in your mind Om Mana out the out breath repeat Padma Hum, On the inward breath repeat in your mind Om Mana out the out breath repeat Padma Hum On the inward breath repeat in your mind Om Mana out the out breath repeat Padma Hum. Try to carry out this exercise for 5 minutes minimum the benefits are worth every second invested.

    Gratitude meditation 

    Gratitude meditation is one of the best ways to overcome past traumas, being grateful for what we have in the moment allows no space for negativity, pessimism, doom or gloom. Finding things in your life to be grateful for may be a little bit harder to do for some, so if you have a little trouble finding things to be grateful for CLICK HEAR, this will help. Some of my personal Seven Wonders I love to meditate with grateful are, my adopted stray dog Marley, sometimes affectionately known as Marley Moo. He really is adorable and the unconditional love he has for me. It will put a smile on my face every time. I also love the great outdoors and enjoy a good long walk, taking in the fresh air is magical.

    This meditation can be practiced at home or at work, so long as you can find a quiet place you won’t be disturbed.

    Have a few ideas in your mind that you are grateful about, then sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulders and your neck muscles and softly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing. 

    I slowly go through my Seven Wonders list spending a nice amount of time feeling all the sensations in my body and across my face. This can be done for just ten minutes and you will feel recharged, full of energy and feeling good about life. Simple yet effective. 

    Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, wellbeing, compassion, generosity, gratitude, self development, self help techniquesTry this simple Seven Wonders exercise to bring instant wellbeing to you day