As I keep
emphasising throughout this site it is best to learn meditation from a competent teacher, since
it is at heart an oral tradition, where the teacher taking into consideration the specific
needs of the pupil passes on the 'spirit' of the meditation. *
Nevertheless one can
make a start oneself and so the following instructions might be useful.
“When the mind
is left in the primordial, unmodified condition, Knowledge dawns. If that condition is
maintained Knowledge is attained.”
Take your shoes off
and sit on a chair, or cross-legged, leaning neither forward nor backward nor to the sides. The
spine shout be erect and the back of the neck elongated upwards. Chin should be slightly tucked
in, the tip of tongue either resting behind the teeth, or touching the roof of the mouth. The
shoulders must be relaxed, open, slightly pulled back and down but without tension. The open
palms of the hands rest on the thighs relaxed ‘empty’, not holding onto anything, or
alternatively the right hand rests on top of the left palm and the thumbs touch. The soles of
both feet should touch the ground (if seated on chair). If cross legged sit either on the
ground, or a cushion (it could be filled with earth, or sand) and always ensure that there is
no strain on the knee or hip joints**. Eyes should be rested half-open, gazing at a point about
5 to 6 feet in front of you. Alternatively eyes could be closed.
1st practice : Inner
Think neither of the
past nor the future, do not analyse, initiate or engage in conversations or fantasies with
Let the body be as
tranquil as a sleeping babe and the mind in its natural state. When a thought arises try to
chop it down, root and all, and continue meditating. Try by mental alertness to arrest the
thought process so that not even a single idea should arise. Through this practise one
understands the arising and passing away of thoughts and emotions. It leads one to freedom from
the tyranny of thought, resembling one who is at rest sitting by a riverbank watching the river
2nd practice :
In the next practice
be indifferent to the thoughts, allowing them to do as they please. Do not attempt to prevent
them, nor fall under their spell. Be aware also of the flow of breath without interfering with
it, or becoming hypnotised by its rhythm. Eventually thoughts will cease to arise and the mind
will become one-pointed.
‘If the mind is left
relaxed it attains tranquility, just like water which if left undisturbed attains
Both of these
practices, employing the principles of tension and relaxation, should be practised alternately
since they train the mind to be in good condition. One should meditate evenly neither straining
nor being slothful.
Essentially a good
teacher is one who is honest, does what he preaches, has long experience in meditating, is
reliable and kind. He or she will be your fellow traveller friend on a path to
Throughout the world,
the oral tradition of meditation has managed to survive, for literally thousands of years, on a
non-profit basis, by donations made from students and instruction is given free of charge as a
gesture of affection to Knowledge and to help one's fellow man. Of course, nothing in this
world is "free", because the way you actually pay back this debt is not with money, but with
your attention and your time spent whilst doing meditation in earnest.
Finding a meditation
teacher is an entirely different process from something like buying the services of a
professional doctor, artist or instructor. When a pupil is ready to receive instruction in
meditation a competent teacher will appear in his life, because this is necessary in the larger
scheme of things. This event has nothing to do with financial transactions, but with the
skillful ways humans use to become their own masters.
But first the
question is: "Am I ready to meditate?"
Although to meditate
all we need is a quiet moment with ourselves anywhere, and meditation can also occur at any
time it helps to set it up as a regular ritual practice: 20 to 30 minutes in the morning or
evening, or both, and at the same location. Of course do not let it become a boring routine!
Maintain a sense of awe and 'listen' to your intuition. Avoid looking at the clock all the
time, soon the body will naturally come out of meditation by itself.After meditation put your
shoes on and feel the ground under your feet. It's important that one is fully aware of the
body and does not re-enter the everyday world daydreaming.
Since meditation is
done on a daily basis it is very important that you monitor and adjust your posture over a
period of time so that the way you sit will not cause long term health problems to your body.
Prior and after sitting down to meditate do some gentle stretches or loosen stiff limbs by
shaking and massaging them. Don’t wear tight clothing that restricts breathing or blood
circulation. While meditating don’t fidget. Often physical distractions, like itches, tiredness
etc disappear by themselves as suddenly as they first appeared. If they do persist, re-check
© Byron Zeliotis