How to Meditate - Simplest Meditation Technique
At our Meditation Center in Baner, Pune we get a lot of queries about using meditation as a stress management technique. Meditation is a fantastic way to manage stress. Here we describe what meditation is and how to get you started with meditation.
Meditation is nothing but the training of the mind. It describes the process of getting to a state of mind where there is a stopping of the thought chain (meditative state). The mind is free of all scattered, random, discursive and any other kind of thinking. As such, there are only two ways of getting the mind to stop all active thinking. One way is to wholly focus the mind on one single thing such that there is no space for anything else to show up or the second way is to completely let go of ANY effort related to active thinking so that you experience the meditative state in the blank spaces between thoughts. These blank spaces, these meditative silences are the foundations that form the basis of effective stress management techniques.
In this blog we go over the simplest method of meditation techniques describing different ways to get the mind in a one pointed state.
Mantra chanting is the easiest technique of focusing the mind. Of all our sense organs, the sense of sound is the closest to the mind. The mind gets attracted to sound easily. Choose a mantra or any other word that has meaning for you.
Some Religious Mantras
- Hari Om
- Hum-Sa or So-Hum (Meaning: I am that)
- Om Namah Shivay
Here is a list of non-religious mantras
- .......Any other word you may choose......
Initially you can start by repeating the mantra loudly on every exhalation. Do not be in a hurry, remember to inhale completely between two chants.. Do not be shy, chant with surrender, giving your best to the chant. You need not be extra loud or fast or chant in an extra sweet voice, just chant in a relaxed manner, simply for the sake of chanting and nothing else. If you have never chanted before, you may feel self-conscious initially; ignore the hesitation and continue with your practice. In a matter of 3-4 days you will get over your discomfort and start to enjoy the chant. To begin with, chant loudly for at least 30-40 times and you will automatically feel the chant becoming internal, after which you may continue to chant mentally. When you find yourself getting distracted, try chanting loudly again. Initially, you will find yourself constantly sliding between the chant and your thoughts. Do not be discouraged by this, keep persevering and you will see much improvement in a month's time. You can even start by having a simple 5 min pure mantra chanting practice in the morning and then increase the time gradually to 10-20 minutes.
Over a Period of Time
With practice over a period of time (a month or more), you get so absorbed in the mantra that you naturally move into a thoughtless state of meditation. Mind is blank yet totally alert and awake; a wonderful state beyond words. However, you may also experience days when the mind simply refuses to be silent. Do not despair. The mind and the mantra have an agenda and rhythm of their own, respect it and persevere with your practice. Remember, higher the overall number of times you chant the mantra, higher the chances of the mantra getting embedded in your subconscious mind and the easier it gets to quiet the mind with each subsequent chant. You may also continue mantra chanting in an informal way during your day. When you are driving or travelling or simply waiting, try chanting the mantra mentally instead of active thinking or reaching for your phone.
Mantra chanting, even though it sounds religious can be looked at a great stress management technique. At our meditation center in Baner, Pune; mantra chanting is the most preferred and easiest technique for reaching that silent, meditative state.
Note:To those who have had no prior experience with yoga or meditation, mantra chanting may sound completely foreign and strange. From our experience at our Meditation Center in Baner, Pune, for beginners, mantra chanting is a much easier way of quietening the mind than the other methods. Once you start chanting, you get over the strangeness very quickly.