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meditation

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation doesn’t have to involved bending your legs into those funny positions you see in the photos, it can easily be done from a straight back chair or even a meditation stool. The most important factor to consider will be first and foremost your own comfort.

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There are generally Three ways to Meditate within the sitting position. These are sitting crossed legged on the floor, sitting in a chair or using a Meditation Stool.

Sitting Crossed Legged

If you do sitting meditation on the floor, it is recommended to use either the full lotus or the half lotus position, this however, can be a little tricky for some to manage, so if you are struggling with this, you could use the method I use to sit, which is called the Thailand/Burmese cross legged style.To do this method, as you sit cross legged normally, the way you did at school, but instead of putting your legs on top of each other, all kind of crumpled under you, try to sit with both of your legs on the floor.

Start by placing your bottom on a Meditation Cushion, now start with your left leg first, place it in a crossed legged position, and then move the right leg into position but not on top of your left leg, just in front of it. Placing a Meditation Cushion under our bottoms allows our bodies to become slightly raised, creating a natural arch in our lower backs and allows our knees to touch the floor becoming anchor points which will create stability while we meditate.goal of Buddhism, meditation posture and positions, the real facts of life, change your mindset, inner contentment, Theravada Buddhism, personal development through mindfulness, science based mindfulness, words of wisdom, what meditation does for the brain, commit to sit, changing thought patterns, developing minds,

This also has the added advantage of helping to eliminate the pressure to the knees and ankles that sitting with your legs on top of each other can create.

Meditating in a Chair

If this all sounds a bit hard for you then meditating in a straight back chair is an excellent alternative. If possible try to find a chair that your legs bend at the knees, at a nice 90 degree angle, and your feet rest flat on the floor. As you take your position keep a straight spine, not pulled too tight, but relaxed and upright. Gently relax your shoulders and relax your arms.

Using a Meditation Stool

A Meditation Stool is also another excellent alternative, used with a Meditation Mat and usually made from wood you would use the Meditation Stool like you would a Meditation Cushion, only with your legs in a kneeling position.

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While your kneeling on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, gently lower your bottom towards the floor, place the stool under your bottom and over you legs. All the weight and pressure is taken off the knees, allowing for a more relaxed meditation. The other advantage of a meditation stool is the angle of the seat, this is angled just so as to keep your spine naturally straight.

Now let’s Meditate

Breathing Meditation otherwise known as Samadhi Meditation is the fundamental basis of most mindfulness and meditation trainings. Breathing Meditation is simple being at ‘oneness with the object of meditation‘ and can be one of the simplest and easiest of all the 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, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

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Sitting, using either a Meditation Stool, a straight backed chair or sitting crossed legged on the floor. Begin by taking a few long deep breaths to gently relax yourself.

As we do this take time to get yourself comfortable in your position.

Keep gently breathing and relax your shoulders and arms, placing your hands loosely on your lap. You can place your hands on your knees if so desired, this can help open up the chest allowing us to breath more freely.

When you feel comfortable, you are ready to begin.

Breathing In, really be aware you are Breathing In.

Breathing Out, really be aware you are Breathing Out.

Count One

Focus your attention either at the tip of your nose, and experience the air passing through your nostrils, or at the abdomen and witness the rise and fall. Try to do this for a count of Ten, and then repeat.

Is that it?

If you are thinking this all sounds a bit and easy, I urge you to give this ago. Meditation will be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you have ever tried, but a word of caution, to experience the rewards that meditation offers we must actually Do, not just read, actually Do It.

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The most common problem we all face with meditation is our wandering mind. Our minds produce thoughts, that’s what they do, so don’t scold yourself or be harsh with your inner dialogue, when ever you discover your mind has wandered off the Meditation object, the breath, gently and kindly bring it back.

Slowly over time we accumulate the muscle power in our minds to stay focused on our breath for long and longer periods, and as our mind wanders we stay with the mind and watch were it goes, watching but never interfering or commenting, just observing, this allows us to see clearly with our own mind the realities of our own making.

Further Help

We hope you have found this article to be of real benefit to you, and perhaps now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If you do struggle with anything in Meditation then please have a look at our Tips and Tricks Page, dealing with some of the more common problems that may arise.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage Of Meditation, length of time spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

Correct Posture in Meditation

Posture

Getting your posture right so as not to damage your knees, ankles, hips or back, is essential if we are to practice meditation for long periods of time, but even if our goal is meditating for simply five minutes, getting our posture right can make the difference between a pleasant meditation or an unpleasant meditation.

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There are generally four main Positions we Meditate in and they are Sitting Meditation, Standing Meditation, Walking Meditation or Lying Meditation, each position has different postures we may want to use, these are explained below.

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation doesn’t have to involved bending your legs into those funny positions you see in the photos, it can easily be done from a straight back chair or even a meditation stool. The most important factor to consider will be first and foremost your own comfort.

Sitting Crossed Legged

If you do sitting meditation on the floor, it is recommended to use either the full lotus or the half lotus position, this however can be a little tricky for some to manage, so if you are struggling with this, you could use the method I use to sit, which is called the Thailand/Burmese cross legged style.goal of Buddhism, meditation posture and positions, the real facts of life, change your mindset, inner contentment, Theravada Buddhism, personal development through mindfulness, science based mindfulness, words of wisdom, what meditation does for the brain, commit to sit, changing thought patterns, developing minds, To do this method, as you sit cross legged normally, the way you did at school, but instead of putting your legs on top of each other, all kind of crumpled under you, try to sit with both of your legs on the floor.

Start by placing your bottom on a Meditation Cushion, now start with your left leg first, place it in a crossed legged position, and then move the right leg into position but not on top of your left leg, just in front of it. Placing a Meditation Cushion under our bottoms allows our bodies to become slightly raised, creating a natural arch in our lower backs and allows our knees to touch the floor becoming anchor points which will create stability while we meditate.

This also has the added advantage of helping to eliminate the pressure to the knees and ankles that sitting with your legs on top of each other can create.

Meditating in a Chair

If this all sounds a bit hard for you then meditating in a straight back chair is an excellent alternative. If possible try to find a chair that your legs bend at the knees, at a nice 90 degree angle, and your feet rest flat on the floor. As you take your position keep a straight spine, not pulled too tight, but relaxed and upright. Gently relax your shoulders and relax your arms.

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Using a Meditation Stool

A Meditation Stool is also another excellent alternative. Usually made from wood you use them like you would a Meditation Cushion, only with your legs in a kneeling position.

While your kneeling on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, gently lower your bottom towards the floor, place the stool under your bottom and over you legs. All the weight and pressure is taken off the knees, allowing for a more relaxed meditation. The other advantage of a meditation stool is the angle of the seat, this is angled just so as to keep your spine naturally straight.

Other Meditation Positions

Walking Meditation

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Walking Meditation is one of the nicest ways to meditate, and for me personally I find it the most relaxing. First we need to find an area where you are safe to walk with no obstacles in your way or sharpe stones to hurt your feet, and a place you feel safe to do walking meditation. Somewhere like your own home, maybe the forest, somewhere where you will feel you won’t be disturbed.

We can practice Walking Meditation bare foot, so as to feel reconnected to the earth, but equally we can also use sandals or shoes. With your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, keep your head and eyes looking forward but slightly down, about 6-10ft in front of you will do nicely. Take a few deep breaths and feel yourself calming.

Now walk as slowly as you can, but to always be moving. Try to really feel the movements of each muscle as you inch forward. If you have the space try to walk for 20 paces, then slowly turn yourself around to face where you came. Now pause, take a few deep breaths and start to walk back again.

Try walking slower than you think possible, but always moving very slowly, try walking slower than a snail, it’s most enjoyable. If

Standing Meditation

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Standing Meditation is exactly as it sounds, we stand and meditate, the most important factor with Standing Meditation is to keep your eyes open. Shutting our eyes causes us to loose our balance and fall.

With our eyes open we have an opportunity to focus our attention on something, a burning candle, a statue or painting of the Buddha, a vase of flowers, or maybe incense burning. The choice is yours, so long as the feeling you get from looking at your object, is a natural one and in no way bringing emotions out of you.

Now With your back straight and your feet firmly placed on the floor, relax your shoulders and have your arms loosely hanging by your side. Keep your head and eyes looking forward and slightly down, and focusing on your chosen object of meditation.

Lying Meditation

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Lying Meditation is one of the easiest ways to fall asleep and isn’t really recommended for beginners. The correct way to meditate while lying is to do it on your right shoulder, using your hand as a pillow, resting under your head and slightly bending the legs.

The above method is recommended if we are trying to meditate for longer periods, because this way we are more likely to stay alert, than if you were to meditate flat on your back.

If we are using Lying Meditation as a way to relax and unwind after a busy and stressful day, or indeed to aid falling asleep, then try lying comfortably on your back, on the floor or a bed, with your legs out in front with a small pillow under your knees to allow your back to rest flat. Begin with Breathing or Samadhi Meditation for a deep relaxation.

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Find out more

We hope you have found this to be of real benefit and now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage Of Meditation, length of time spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

How to make Meditation a regular part of our daily lives

Meditation and mindfulness has the ability to change your life and should be taken as seriously as we do our health, fitness and what we consume in our daily diets. For meditation is what a gym membership is for your mind, and with regular practice we become less stressed, more energised and generally contented and happier.

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Everyone who has tried meditation knows the wonderful benefits meditation has to offer, however to the same extent that we all know the Meditation Benefits we also may have realised how difficult it is to keep meditating on a regular basis, even for those of you, like myself, who have had more experience in meditating than others.

I had been meditating for many years as a lay person before I became a Buddhist monk, and even as a Buddhist monk spending hours and hours meditating everyday during the allotted morning and evening sessions, I could on many occasion watch myself avoid meditating during the day, instead searching out some form of distraction. After a while I found four things to be almost essential in keeping me enthused and motivated to meditate, and I would like to share them with you.

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The first important lesson with meditation is to be kind towards yourself at all times. This means that inner dialogue you have with yourself, be kind, don’t scold yourself or be harsh, be kind. Everyone’s mind wanders when we first start to meditate, some of us more frequently than others, every time you notice your mind somewhere else, gently and kindly bring it back to the breath. This also includes the times when you promise to meditate but forget, don’t be harsh, be kind, a chuckle and a smile will work a thousand time better than scolding. When you do remember, if you can, take a seat right there and then and follow the breath for just a few minutes.

The second most important lesson and essential to keeping meditation a part of our daily lives, meditation doesn’t and shouldn’t be just for sitting meditation, meditation can be practiced anywhere and at anytime, your daily commute to work, back of a taxi or meditate while brushing your teeth. This is a great article on the very same subject, entitled how to make meditation part of your daily life

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The idea is to allow meditation into our life, everyday, everywhere, not just forcing ourselves to sit for a gruelling 1hr, this is an outdated Victorian school approach to meditation that doesn’t and won’t work. As Ajahn Chah used to say

If meditation was all about sitting for long periods of time, all chickens would be enlightened

The third piece of essential advice is to practice with others. Meditation is a very personal journey and experience, but meditating with a group of people who meet regularly helps a great deal. However some caution must be exercised, while the regularity of the meditation group is of great benefit, the people can become a great distraction. Try not to spend time in idal gossip on your meditation practice, this leads to feelings of grandeur or inferiority and both won’t be good for your practice.

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Even as a Buddhist monk in a monastery environment where everyone is supposed to be there in the seeking of enlightenment, there were large ego’s competing, superstitions that led to misunderstandings and feelings of pride over others or inferiority, we were always encouraged not to discuss our meditation practice, because every time someone did it led to either disappointment or pride, neither feelings are helpful too becoming calmer and more peaceful.

The fourth idea uses 21st century technology to give us the boost we sometimes need in the form of an App. There are some fantastic apps on the market, both free and paid for, the best Apps, in my opinion, have meditation timers that then record our progress showing us our progression with images of graphs and pie charts based on our statistics. This seems to work very well for western minds who have been schooled in this scientific method.

Equally for those of us that are a little older or prefer not to use technology in this way, then a simple note book or small diary can be used as a meditation schedule book that will serve just as well.

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So if we are determined to make meditation a part of our daily lives and we are starting to use kindness towards ourselves and our inner dialogue, we have joined a group of like minded individuals who meditate regularly. We have the latest app downloaded on our smart phone and ready to go, then we stand a very good chance in succeeding.

Now there’s just one more little thing I want to share, for all those of you who have read this far, I’m going to tell you secret that will help you progress and keep meditating regularly.

As we progress in meditation and only after a short period of time we develop, quite naturally, something known as the watcher mind. That is to say your mind becomes used to observing and will naturally sit non judgmental and non discriminating just watching your thoughts and there karmic reactions. Meditation now becomes part of your everyday life and quite naturally.

Warning. At this point it doesn’t mean we can rest and stop our practice of sitting meditation on a regular basis, at this moment that the watcher mind develops, all those struggles from before will fade into distant memory, and we gently keep on the path, using our apps, schedules and kindness towards ourselves we keep practicing. Only now it becomes less of a struggle and more of a want and a delight to meditate.

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Problems will arise, it is the nature of seeking happiness, to know suffering, and when they do may I suggest seeking out advice from Buddhist monks trained in the art of meditation, every monastery I’ve ever been to around the world always had someone I could talk too. Failing that approach, our Tips and Tricks Page to help you out with most of common issues faced with meditating. And also visit this website as often as you want, find inspiration form our Weekly motivational Short Stories, or find motivation in our Inspirational quotes and words of wisdom from some of most enlightened. Or alternatively use the Contact Form and I will endeavour to do my best and answer your questions or just be an ear to listen.

I spent a long period of my life as a Monk learning about myself and consciousness, I have spent thousands of hours in meditation learning first hand meditation techniques from enlightened meditation masters. The thousand and thousands of mosquito bites I received on my bald head as a monk, were not in vain. It has taken almost six years after leaving my monastery in North Thailand for my meditation practice and training to come to full bloom, just as my Abbott had predicted, and it is now, at this point in my life I wish to give back, freely, the awesome experience I’ve had exploring our human consciousness with mindfulness and meditation.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

Beginners Meditation

The practice and Benefits of Meditation and mindfulness have been well documented, and by now we are all starting to explore with interest this ancient art form that has the potential to relieve us from our day to day stresses and anxieties.

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To practice of basic or beginners meditation and mindfulness can not only relieve Stress, Anxiety, Depression and worry but it has the potential to bring a deep sense of joy and wellbeing into our lives. With so many meditation websites and endless mindfulness chatter out there where and how do learn the essentials of beginners meditation

Where to begin

The beginners meditation posture and positions are Sitting Meditation, Standing Meditation, Walking Meditation and lying meditation, although the last position isn’t recommended for beginners as the tendency to fall asleep is a common issue.

Each position wether, Sitting, Standing or Walking Meditation uses the same basic beginners instructions. The meditation technique stays the same.

Before we start to meditate however we need to understand what meditation is at it’s most basic level.

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What is Meditation

Meditation is a one pointed concentration and in the most usual instance we focus our one pointed attention on our breathing. Our breath is used as a focus tool because it is always with us, wherever we go.

As we meditate we focus our attention on the in and out breaths that natural occur within our bodies. This is the one pointed attention.

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Now let’s try

First thing to do is take a seat and make yourself comfortable. We don’t need to worry to much on Sitting crosses legged at the moment we can simple use a chair.

Take a few deep breaths to relax your body and mind, slowly close your eyes and begin to observe our breathing, observing the rise and fall of the abdomen or the pass of air through the nostrils.

Breathing In‘ we are truly present in that moment.

Breathing Out‘ we are truly present in that moment.

This is the one pointed concentration. Remember to watch closely to the feelings of the ‘In Breath‘ as it passes through the nose filling the lungs and expanding the abdomen and chest. Now watch in detail how the reverse process takes place on the ‘Out Breath‘. IN BREATH, OUT BREATH

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Most important thing to learn

To start you will find your mind wanders from the breath onto something else, a shopping list, a fantasy or maybe you start to day dream. This is perfectly natural and ok, always be kind to yourself, never scolding, always patient and gently bring your attention back to your breathing. The more you practice the better you become at anything, and this is the same with mindfulness and meditation.

That’s it. You now understand the beginners basics of one pointed concentrated Meditation and Mindfulness.

Further Help

Please use this website to help your progress with meditation we have a Tips and Tricks page dedicated to helping you through the most common Of meditation problems, as well as more advanced meditations such as Vipasana Meditation, Metta Bhavana and Samadhi Meditation.

Our About Us page tells you are experience in Meditation and Mindfulness training and techniques. And if there is anything the team can do please use the Contact Us page and will will reply with a personal response.

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We wish you all the success you deserve with your journey into Mindfulness and Meditation

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

Benefits of Meditation

The Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness

The Benefits of Meditation have been well documented in the last twenty years and with MRI scanners now showing us the actual visible results meditation brings it’s all time we started this wonderful new science of Meditation

With so many websites all claiming the wonders of Mindfulness and Meditation, it has surprised me how little of those websites actually have any scientific based evidence to back up the claims. This article try’s to put this right.

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Scientifically What Are The Benefits of Meditation

Meditation and Mindfulness are a relatively new field to western science and as so between the 1950’s and the early 2000’s around 3,000 studies have been compiled. However in 2007 it was suggested by the NCCIH that most, around 80-90 percent, were flawed in there undertaking and the results are misleading or misguiding. A new set of terms or rules have been implemented and the research began again.

Leading The Way

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) have been leading the way in scientific publications based on Mindfulness and Meditation practices. And the results and evidence they have found is staggering, it is now perfectly accepted that Meditation and Mindfulness trainings and techniques will have a direct impact within our brains, resulting in increased activity within the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex. The Hippocampus region, which is directly responsible for the grey matter produced in our brains, also show signs of significant improvement. The possibilities this may have within the scientific fields of Alzheimer’s and memory retention are only just being realised.

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A study into “Exploring age‐related brain degeneration in meditation practitioners” is a fascinating insight into the possibility of future medical advancements in just this exciting new field.

The growing body of research that has been gathered and processed over the last decade, suggests that meditation practices are associated with substantial psychological as well as physiological benefits.

In some of those meditation studies it has be revealed that meditation and mindfulness training can relieve Chronic Insomnia, improve our Immune System and Lower Blood Pressure as well has having a reduction in Stress, Anxiety and Depression. Around 95 percent of participants having as little as two weeks of mindfulness meditation training report a reduction in levels of Stress, Anxiety and Depression.

Latest Studies

The most comprehensive and recent study, using (MRI) Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanners, entitled ‘The Unique Brain Anatomy of Meditation Practitioners and the Alterations in Cortical Gyrification‘ shows us the real life MRI scans comparing 50 practicing Meditators and 50 non practicing participants. The results our outstanding and for the first time we can actually see the difference between the ventromedialis Cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and the hippocampus region of meditators and non mediators.

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A further study using Magnetic Resonance Image Scanners (MRI) is being conducted with over 78 participants over a period of ten years. The results are already impressive and the journey has only just begun within this exciting new field of science.

West finally meets Eastern psychology

Science finally can show and tell us exactly what the Buddhist monks have been saying for over 2,500 years, that meditation can and will change your life for the better. Only now for the first time we actually have the physical evidence with MRI scans that is so desired by the western minds. Meditation is by no way a ‘quick fix‘ or ‘cure all‘ type of medication, it is a practice or training of the mind, that takes time and patience, the rewards however are worth every effort or minute invested.

Meditation and Mindfulness Training

Meditation can and will have a massive impact in your life, scientifically as well as spiritually. The techniques and trainings that we share within this website can do more than just relieve Stress, anxiety and depression, they have the ability to change your life!

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Mindfulness and Meditation trainings are relatively simple to implement into our daily lives, and this website is dedicated to doing just that, bringing Meditation and Mindfulness trainings to you completely FREE.

If you have never meditated before then first visit our Meditation Page and go through the first few articles, get an idea of the correct posture for your body, the different positions we can meditate, and then move on to actually try meditating.

Breathing or Samadhi Meditation is by far the easiest of mindfulness training to grasp, or perhaps Metta Bhavana Meditation, also known as Loving Kindness Meditation will work wonders, especially for anxiety and depression. 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, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

Using a meditation schedule and making meditation a regular part of our lives will help improve our concentration skills greatly and our levels of stress and anxiety will lower. Depression won’t become a thing of the past, we just learn beautiful techniques to cope better.

I wish you all the success and happiness on your meditation journey and if you need in anyway advice, help or guidance we will be only too will to help. Explore the About Us Page for further details.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa