A man asked Gautama Buddha – I want happiness

A man asked Gautama Buddha, “I want happiness.” Buddha said, “First remove “I,” that’s Ego, then remove “want,” that’s Desire. See now you are left with only “Happiness.”

A man asked Gautama Buddha, "I want happiness."

 

Desire is very common to all. Some desires are quite healthy, useful, and appropriate; some are not. One function of meditation practice is to help us distinguish between these. And differentiating helps support the beautiful aspiration for liberation and compassion.

Your ego is your conscious mind, the part of your identity that you consider your “self.”  When we engage in ego-driven activity, we’re trying to reinforce this sense of self. The sense-of-self  is not a thing, instead it is a process. Enlightenment occurs when the usually automatized reflexivity of consciousness ceases, which is experienced as a letting-go and falling into the emptiness and being wiped out of existence.  Stop trying to grab onto anything and the enlightenment will occur.

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Preparation for Good Meditation

Good meditation is associated with good lifestyle. I am giving below some of the important lifestyle practices for good meditation. Preparation for good meditation is also deeply associated with self respect and dignity. Your life is all about you. Don’t allow too much people to get to you. Love all, but don’t except too much from people. Grow your inner strength.

Mantra Chanting

Do 5 minutes chanting. Through repetition of word, the mind becomes focused and we become fully present in the moment. Chanting attunes our energy systems and this enables us deepen our presence to ourselves and others. Om chanting is the easiest of all meditations.

Limiting the intake of fats

Obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension are some of the major causes of cardiac illness. Keep your heart healthy by limiting the intake of fats. Exercise regularly and most importantly, stay happy. Meditation and breathing exercises are also good, as they improve blood circulation.

Get enough sleep

Sleep for at least six to eight hours daily; it’s a must for overall health. Don’t compromise on your sleep unless in case of an emergency. Sound sleep keeps you fresh and energetic throughout the day.

Avoid chemicals in any form

Wash fruits, vegetables and grains thoroughly before consuming them. Most of these contain harmful chemicals — from pesticides —that affect your long-term health. Similarly, avoid strong chemical treatments on hair and skin, like colouring. Opt for organic food stuffs. In fact, try to use make-up without harmful chemicals like lead, nickel and sulphur.

Increase physical activity

Indulge in some physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily, since exercise is the best way to stay healthy. It need not necessarily be rigorous workouts at the gym. Even something as simple as walking or dancing (choose the exercise you like) will do. Simple measures like taking the stairs instead of the elevator also helps.

Drink lots of water

Drinking seven liters of water a day is healthy. Make sure you keep drinking water throughout the day; it helps to reduce weight as well. Beginning your day with a glass of warm water mixed with lime and honey, cleans your system. Also, a glass of water before your meals improves digestion and stops you from overeating.

Maintain your dignity

In life you have your good days and bad days. Sometimes, you have lower level of ego sometimes it is balanced. Self respect is the key point of meditation. When you have self respect, you will not be depressed by criticism. When you maintain a balance throughout the day, your meditation will be good.

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50 Great Meditation Quotes

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” ~ Voltaire

Delight in mediation and solitude. Compose yourself, be happy. You are a seeker. ~ Buddha

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ~ Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” ~ T.S. Eliot

“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divinity within you.” ~ Amit Ray

Meditation brings wisdom – lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. ~ Buddha

 “The soil in which the meditative mind can begin is the soil of everyday life, the strife, the pain, and the fleeting joy. It must begin there, and bring order, and from there move endlessly. But if you are concerned only with making order, then that very order will bring about its own limitation, and the mind will be its prisoner. In all this movement you must somehow begin from the other end, from the other shore, and not always be concerned with this shore or how to cross the river. You must take a plunge into the water, not knowing how to swim. And the beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are, where you are going, what the end is.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Above all, be at ease, be as natural and spacious as possible. Slip quietly out of the noose of your habitual anxious self, release all grasping, and relax into your true nature. Think of your ordinary emotional, thought-ridden self as a block of ice or a slab of butter left out in the sun. If you are feeling hard and cold, let this aggression melt away in the sunlight of your meditation. Let peace work on you and enable you to gather your scattered mind into the mindfulness of Calm Abiding, and awaken in you the awareness and insight of Clear Seeing. And you will find all your negativity disarmed, your aggression dissolved, and your confusion evaporating slowly like mist into the vast and stainless sky of your absolute nature.” ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

“The act of meditation is being spacious.” ~ Sogyal Rinpoche

“Meditation practice is like piano scales, basketball drills, ballroom dance class. Practice requires discipline; it can be tedious; it is necessary. After you have practiced enough, you become more skilled at the art form itself. You do not practice to become a great scale player or drill champion. You practice to become a musician or athlete. Likewise, one does not practice meditation to become a great meditator. We meditate to wake up and live, to become skilled at the art of living.” ~ Elizabeth Lesser, The Seeker’s Guide

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day” ~ Deepack Chopra

“Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.”  ~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

 “Meditation needs no results. Meditation can have itself as an end, I meditate without words and on nothingness. What tangles my life is writing.” ~ Hélène Cixous, Coming to Writing and Other Essays

 Meditation is a tool to shake yourself awake. A way to discover what you love. A practice to return yourself to your body when the mind medleys threaten to usurp your sanity.” ~ Geneen Roth, Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

 “When even one virtue becomes our nature, the mind becomes clean and tranquil. Then there is no need to practice meditation; we will automatically be meditating always. (151)”  ~ Swami Satchidananda, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

 Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home.”  ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

 “Meditation is an essential travel partner on your journey of personal transformation. Meditation connects you with your soul,and this connection gives you access to your intuition, your heartfelt desires, your integrity, and the inspiration to create a life you love.” ~ Sarah McLean

 “Every soul innately yearns for stillness, for a space, a garden where we can till, sow, reap, and rest, and by doing so come to a deeper sense of self and our place in the universe. Silence is not an absence but a presence. Not an emptiness but repletion A filling up.” ~ Anne Leclaire

 “The art of meditation is a way of getting into touch with reality, and the reason for it is that most civilized people are out of touch with reality because they confuse the world as it with the world as they think about it and talk about it and describe it. For on the one hand there is the real world and on the other there is a whole system of symbols about that world which we have in our minds. These are very very useful symbols, all civilization depends on them, but like all good things they have their disadvantages, and the principle disadvantage of symbols is that we confuse them with reality, just as we confuse money with actual wealth.” ~ Alan Wilson Watts

 “Because the development of inner calm & energy happens completely within & isn’t dependent on another person or a particular situation, we begin to feel a resourcefulness and independence that is quite beautiful—and a huge relief.” ~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

 “Meditation is a microcosm, a model, a mirror. The skills we practice when we sit are transferable to the rest of our lives.” ~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

“The difference between magic and meditation methods is the difference between drugs and diet—medicines will do swiftly what diet can only effect slowly, and in critical cases there is no time to wait for the slow processes of dietetics, so it must be either medicines or nothing. Nevertheless, drugs are no substitute for right diet and wholesome regime, and although magic enables a speedy and potent result to be attained, is is only by means of right understanding and right ethics that the position which has been won can be held.” ~ Dion Fortune, Esoteric Orders and Their Work and The Training and Work of the Initiate

“Meditation is a powerful and full study as can effectually taste and employ themselves.” ~ Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“The seeker after stillness should be told that the stillness is always there. Indeed it is in every man. But he has to learn, first, to let it in and, second, how to do so. The first beginning of this is to remember. The second is to recognize the inward pull. For the rest, the stillness itself will guide and lead him to itself.” ~ Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

“Suffering is due to our disconnection with the inner soul. Meditation is establishing that connection.” ~ Amit Ray

“Meditation is like going to the bottom of the sea, where everything is calm and tranquil. On the surface of the sea there may be a multitude of waves but the sea is not affected below. In its deepest depths, the sea is all silence. When we start meditating, first we try to reach our own inner existence, our true existence- that is to say, the bottom of the sea. Then when the waves come from the outside world, we are not affected. Fear, doubt, worry and all the earthly turmoils just wash away, because inside us is solid peace. Thoughts cannot touch us, because our mind is all peace, all silence, all oneness. Like fish in the sea, they jump and swim but leave no mark. When we are in our highest meditation, we feel that we are the sea, and the animals in the sea cannot affect us. We feel that we are the sky, and all the birds flying past cannot affect us. Our mind is the sky and our heart is the infinite sea. This is meditation.” ~ Sri Chinmoy

“Meditation is a mysterious method of self-restoration. It involves “shutting” out the outside world, and by that means sensing the universal “presence” which is, incidentally, absolute perfect peace. It is basically an existential “time-out”—a way to “come up for a breath of air” out of the noisy clutter of the world. But don’t be afraid, there is nothing arcane or supernatural or creepy about the notion of taking a time-out. Ball players do it. Kids do it, when prompted by their parents. Heck, even your computer does it (and sometimes not when you want it to). So, why not you? A meditation can be as simple as taking a series of easy breaths, and slowly, gently counting to ten in your mind.” ~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

“We must experience the Truth in a direct, practical and real way; this is only possible in the stillness and silence of the mind, and this is achieved by means of meditation.” ~ Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic: A Practical Guide to Gnostic Psychology and Meditation

“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.” ~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.
~ Buddha

Each human being was given two possibilities: action and contemplation. Both lead to the same place. ~ Paulo Coelho

If we want to save the world, we must have a plan. But no plan will work unless we meditate. ~ Dalai Lama

Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It is meditation. ~ Jonathan Haidt

Meditation is to be aware of what is going on in your body, in your feelings, in your mind, and in the world. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Here is my wish for you and every other child, woman, and man on the face of the earth: Spend one week saying only kind, caring things to yourself. Say thank you at least ten times an hour, direct five toward yourself and five to the world at large. Compliment yourself (and others) each time an effort is made. Notice all the wonderful qualities and characteristics about yourself and those around you. One week. You will never go back. And your whole life will be a glorious meditation. ~ Cheri Huber

When you have the constant focus of going within and then acting, your life will unfold in magical ways.  ~ Elizabeth Joy

 Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing about who that is. It is about coming to realize that you are on a path whether you like it or not, namely the path that is your life. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

 Meditation is the action of silence. ~ Krishnamurti

 In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart. ~ Lao Tzu

Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God. ~ Diana Robinson

The kind of spirituality I value is one in which you get great joy out of contributing to life, not just sitting and meditating, although meditation is certainly valuable. But from meditation, from the resulting consciousness, I would like to see people in action creating the world they want to live in. ~ Marshall Rosenberg

 If I do not go within, I go without. ~ Neale Donald Walsch

 Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. ~ Alan Watts

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Hormonal Imbalance and Meditation

Meditation is a method of calming the mind and focusing the attention inwards. Instead of centering on the outside world you focus on your, feelings, sensations, thoughts, breath, mantra, images, etc., and hook up with the self on a deeper level. There are hundreds of natural ways, through which you can remove the hormonal imbalance.

Practicing meditation leads to improve immune system, fit cardiovascular system and balanced physiology. As we age, production of some hormones declines. The hormone, or endocrine, system is so intricately linked with the nervous system and our cognitive functioning and psychology that the interconnected web of chemical messaging that goes on is nothing short of mind boggling.

Meditation offers a deep absorbing capacity into human consciousness, psychology, and experience. It offers relationship between intellectual states and body physiology; emotional and cognitive processing; and the biologically linked religious experience.

Hormones-and-meditation

Meditation increases gamma wave in the brain.The gamma brain waves are known as “feeling of blessings”. Dr. Amit Ray in the book “Om Chanting and Meditation” suggested the application of Om mantra for developing gamma waves.

Breathing exercises like Ujjayi pranayama, and Khechari mudra is the easiest way of balancing the hormones in the body.

There are many things that can disrupt the harmony of the hormone system. Stress greatly affects hormone balance. Indeed, the stress reaction is an evolutionary, protective hormonal response. In our contemporary world, this still functions, but rather than running from tigers, we run from the clock. By switching into chronic stress mode, elements of our hormone system get altered resulting in many possible imbalances, including adrenal depletion, thyroid over or under function.

Easy ways of eliminating hormonal imbalance

NATURE – has been proven to reduce blood pressure when we experience it, either vicariously or actually. Blood pressure is controlled in part by hormones, and effects many elements of the hormonal system (particularly stress). To use: Open your awareness to the natural forces around you. From ants and birds, to trees and wind. Take some time to recognise the natural world around you.

YOGA – is the ancient rishi practice passed from wizened Himalayan yogi to the Western world. Yoga balances the body/or mind complex and I would question if anything better exists to help balance hormonal function! To use: Find a qualified practitioner who’s classes you enjoy. Attend two to three classes a week to learn the correct alignments and get the most from the practices. Find yourself a yoga book you love reading and drink deep!

MEDITATION – is the art of cultivating mindfulness and increasing awareness. By cultivating calm, we help to balance the mind-body complex and consequently support hormonal balance. To use: Meditation must be practiced to be effective. It is with regular practice only that the results will occur. With practice, meditation can become more fulfilling. Find a good teacher to help you.

COCONUTS – are actually from the grass family, the fruits of which are profoundly great for us. In terms of hormonal health, fresh coconut meat provides the building blocks for various sex hormones, including the anti-ageing hormone DHEA. To use: Eat young green coconuts straight from the nut, or include in smoothies.

UJJAY BREATH Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. The “ocean sound” is created by moving the glottis as air passes in and out. As the throat passage is narrowed so, too, is the airway, the passage of air through which creates a “rushing” sound.

Hormonal Imbalance and Meditation

There are various types of meditation. Popular among them are mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, yoga and vipassana meditation. Meditation techniques vary from silent, guided, sound making, with music etc. However, they can be classified into two broad groups; concentration meditation and open monitoring meditation.

During concentration meditation the yogi focus their attention on a single object. In mindfulness meditation practice, every aspect of experience is welcomed and respected. Mindfulness meditation is also known as insight meditation. The purpose is to increase insight into the true nature of reality.

With concentration practice, you give the attention to a target that keeps you anchored in the present moment. The target can be a physical object, a mantra, prayer, image, or just the breath. You give the mind something steady to focus on and this becomes the object of concentration.

Whatever is used as the object for the concentration, the aim is to keep the mind focused on the selected object as much as you can.

Experiencing the divinity through meditation is the central part of spiritual life. Hormones are chemical messengers secreted by the brain cells or the glands. Endocrine glands are responsible for releasing hormones within the body.

Hormones Meditation and Science

Scientific studies conformed that, when we are in deep meditation and in divine love with God, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins are the key hormones generated in the body. Divine love is the most lifting of all human emotions. The main hormones associated with meditations are as follows:

Dopamine stimulates ‘reward circuit’ by triggering an intense sprint of happiness.

Oxytocin is a powerful hormone released during deep meditation. It develops feelings of attachment towards the object of attention.

Vasopressin is another vital hormone in the long-term commitment towards the object of meditation. Vasopressin is released at the later part of the meditation.

Serotonin is known as the well-being chemical. It is important for the feeling of happiness. The pleasant experiences of serotonin have a calming influence throughout the body.

Endorphins are responsible for developing high-feelings of euphoria. If there is pain in the body due to long sitting posture, endorphins are released which gives a pleasant feelings.

Meditation benefits us in many ways. It makes our body strong and healthy. It makes our mind balanced.

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Eight Stages of Anapanasati Meditation

Vipassana meditation is part of Ananpanasati Meditation. Use of the breath is the central to Ananpanasati Meditation. Observing freely where the mind wanders is vipassana. Developing focus on breath is ananpanasati. The word derives from a verb, sarati, meaning “to remember” – remember your breath.

Ananpanasati was originally taught by Gautama Buddha. A smaller area of awareness = greater resistance to our minds and sharper awareness into the subtler realities.

Sri Amit Ray expressed that developing inner peace and inner beauty is the first step of Ananpanasati Meditation. Inner beauty comes from love and compassion and inner peace comes from  let go, positive thoughts and by activating the awareness muscles of the mind.

ananpana sati

Eight Stages of Anapanasati Meditation

There are eight stages of meditation through which a meditator usually progresses, more or less in order, though it is quite possible to sometimes fall back to an earlier stage.

[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out long.’

[2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in short’; or breathing out short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out short.’

[3] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing all bodies.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing all bodies.’

[4] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming the body fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming the body fabricator.’

[5] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing rapture.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing rapture.’

[6] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing pleasure.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing pleasure.’

[7] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing the mind fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing the mind fabricator.’

[8] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming the mind fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming the mind fabricator.

Here, ‘experiencing all bodies’ (sabba kaya), simply means experiencing both the breath & the (internal) physical (external) body together.

Here,  ‘bodily fabrications’ means any ‘tension’ felt anywhere in the body subtle or gross.

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Mindfulness Meditation in Daily Life

“Mindfulness Mediation” or Vipassana Meditation  is a capacity for heightened present-moment awareness that we all possess to a greater or lesser extent.  “Mindfulness” are particularly effective, because they aim at changing the underlying beliefs and patterns of negative thinking that create the anxiety.  Essentially, you learn how to focus mindfulness on the underlying core emotions and make them the primary object of your meditation.  Generally, it is what is not seen that has most power over you, and mindfulness meditation is directed at exploring the structure of our inner feelings in great detail.

Training this capacity seems to have a quieting effect on brain areas associated with our subjective appraisal of our self. By considering thoughts and feelings as transitory mental events that occur, but are separate from the self, people are able to lessen their hold on their worries and positive mental health outcomes follow. Mindfulness can be as simple as just watching the breathing.
Even the most basic tasks such as washing  the clothes can consume so much emotional energy that it simply becomes easier to give up. So much emotional energy is expended in this endless worrying that we are left feeling completely drained and fatigued, which makes us even less able to cope.
However, what is even more important than the thoughts or beliefs at the core of anxiety conditions are the emotions, the feeling energy that empowers those thoughts and beliefs. This is what we address in Mindfulness Meditation.
When you develop a mindfulness-based relationship with your inner emotions you set up a completely different inner environment that greatly facilitates transformation, resolution and healing of the emotional constructs of anxiety and fear. The simple fact is that reactivity inhibits change, while mindfulness promotes change and healing. You first learn to recognize the impulse to react with fear or panic as it arises, and to respond at a very early stage to the impulse with mindful-attention. This simple action stops the reactivity proliferating into worry and negative thinking, and opens up a brief moment of choice, a space before the reaction takes off. This is the beginning of the de-conditioning process. With practice you can develop and lengthen this space, especially in mindfulness meditation sessions, which become practice grounds for developing new ways of responding to your emotions and the associated external situations.
As you develop this space, what is called the “therapeutic space of mindfulness,” you create an opportunity in which the trapped emotional energy that powers the reactions can unfold, unwind and become much more malleable. This inner freedom allows emotions to change and transform, which eventually leads to their resolution. We all know the importance of “facing our feelings.” Well Mindfulness Meditation provides the method and details of how to do that, and in a way that leads to beneficial change, rather than simply re-experiencing the emotional reactivity. It is a well-established fact that Exposure Therapy, in which you deliberately make controlled contact with your fear or phobia, is an essential part of healing, but the whole point of such therapy is not to simply re-experience the trauma, but to experience it differently. Mindfulness allows you to do this very effectively, and with your mind will rapidly learn new perceptions and new pathways of experiencing that are not based on emotional reactivity but on balanced responsiveness. This in turn naturally leads to more functional and more positive thinking and more useful core beliefs that are empowered by positive emotional energy, rather than the previous negative energy.
How to Do Mindfulness Meditation:
1. The techniques of mindful meditation is not new. You  just find a quiet and cozy place. Sit in a chair or at the floor along with your head, neck and back straight but not stiff.
2. Try and set aside all thoughts of the past and the longer term and stay within the present.
3. Discover your breathing, targeting the feeling of air moving out and in of your body as you breathe. Feel your belly rise and fall, the air enter your nostrils and leave your mouth. Listen in on the way in which each breath changes and is different.
4. Watch every thought come and go, whether or not it’s a worry, fear, anxiety or hope. When thoughts arise to your mind, don’t ignore or suppress them but simply note them, remain calm and use your breathing as an anchor.
5. If you end up getting over excited to your thoughts, observe where your mind went off to, without judging, and easily return for your breathing. Remember to not be hard on yourself if this occurs.

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation:
Mindfulness gives rise to insights which ripen into wisdom, because the more deeply and clearly we are able to observe the reality of our mind body and world, the more we will understand how and why things are as they are.

Here are 10 benefits to practice mindfulness meditation.

  1. Increases grey-matter density in the hippocampus (an area of the brain known to be important for learning and memory) and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection.
  2. Reduces Anxiety Disorders, Including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  3. Reduces Sleep Problems
  4. Improve focus, concentration, and precision.
  5. Improves Relationship Issues
  6. Enhance the quality of communications and relationships.
  7. Deepen peace of mind and sense of flow
  8. Deepen insight and intuitive wisdom.
  9. Awaken more authenticity, heart, soul, and caring in our lives and work.
  10. Increases strengthen faith and self-confidence.

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