Sometimes there are those little insights that help you a great deal on the way. In this article I want to share a few of those “tricks” that make my meditation sessions a bit more magical. By evaluating and using these tricks you can hopefully unlock some great new perspectives. I hereby invite you to put this article into practice so that your meditation develops well.
Relaxed Attention is obviously very important for any meditator. If your attention is still weak and you have trouble sustaining it for longer periods of time it is a clear sign that you should train it well. Your attention is a natural pleasure-seeker. It gets absorbed in things that feel good and relaxes there. So in order to learn how to sustain it you should look for two qualities within your meditation object.
- It should be interesting
- It should feel good
If your meditation object is the breath for example, you can ask yourself in what ways it is interesting. And if your breath doesn’t appear interesting yet, you can change your viewpoint and make it interesting. You could play around with it for a while and visualize it entering from different body parts, leaving through your pores, healing your organs, upgrading your energetic body etc. The possibilities to make your breath more interesting are truly endless.
One of the best ways to make your breath more interesting is when you find a nice feeling in your body somewhere and connect it with your breath. Let the breath and the feeling mix and spread throughout your entire body gradually. If it doesn’t feel nice it’s not interesting. If it’s not interesting, your attention won’t stay there.
Evaluation and Discernment
Many people tend to experience either an overly energetic and restless mind or a lethargic, foggy state when meditating. In order to avoid falling into the trap of restlessness or dullness your attention should always be accompanied by evaluation and discernment. These two factors will make sure that you stay on track when meditating. Discern whether you are currently comfortable with your meditation object and evaluate what steps you should take in order to move deeper.
If your mind is restless, it is important to calm it down and show it how it can relax deeper. If your mind is foggy and dull you need to lift up its energy. You can do so by contemplating and evaluating your present situation. Using thoughts wisely to motivate yourself while practicing is considered skillful. Gently guide yourself on the path and learn from your mistakes. You can mentally take note of things that don’t work out and see how you can help your attention to relax deeper into the breath.
It is unwise trying not to think prematurely. Most of us are at a level where we need to use our thoughts well in order to transcend the thought-stream. In order to save yourself from drowning in a river you have to rely upon the very water you are drowning in to carry you to the shore. Pretending to be at the shore helps nobody. Discernment makes sure that you fully understand the present situation and evaluation helps you to make the right decision that will lead you deeper down the rabbit hole.
Kindness and Warmth
And of course this article would be incomplete if I would leave out one of the most important factors. If you are receiving yourself with kindness and warmth, you create an internal atmosphere that’s very beneficial. Every meditation session should be carried by kindness. This quality will relax your attention and direct your discernment well so it leads to goodness and joy.
Evaluating a situation in your meditation session with kindness will help you to make the right decisions every time. Kindness and warmth is the power that keeps the whole path well together. It creates a radiance and power that calms and soothes yourself and others. We can only relax with kind people. These people don’t judge you, they don’t belittle you or complain about you. It’s nice being around them. You are free to be yourself and don’t need to pretend because you feel accepted and loved.
If you can give this kindness and warmth to yourself, you will boost your practice! Therefore always accept yourself with a loving smile and allow yourself to be who you are. This alone opens the door to a good meditation session, helps you to relax and makes you feel great.
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