Suggested Meditations

Each of us has our own path, and yet there are certain powerful meditation techniques that have helped millions of seekers in their spiritual development. The meditations listed here are highly effective, and will all be a part of The Gathering. You are invited to incorporate them in to your spiritual practice in preparation for the event.

Yoga: Benefits of a Regular Practice

Although it's difficult to definitively measure the number of people doing yoga these days, it is estimated by the North American Studio Alliance that one out of every seven people in North America practiced yoga in 2010.  Yet how many people have a devotional, steady, regular practice?  The daily practice of yoga, abhyasa, may or may not include pranayama and meditation.  When one makes this commitment to the body and mind, it can be said a person has integrated Eastern teachings into their lives and will transform their lives by creating a sense of equanimity in their emotions and reactions to the sufferings and sweetness of life.

The benefits of yoga are many.  The general benefits include stress and pain relief, as well as increased flexibility.  These benefits are likely the main reasons why many North Americans begin practicing.  Relief from pain or tension is felt through fine-tuning the body — proper alignment and execution of the postures is meant to elongate and expand muscles, tendons and fascia.

Daily yoga practice will increase strength to a person doing a Vinyasa-type practice, or any type of practice that involves Surya Namaskar (sun salutations), postures with depth and longer holds, as well as weight-bearing postures, like standing poses, balances and inversions.  This more vigorous type of practice brings the added benefit of improved circulation, experienced directly through the contracting and releasing technique of many postures, as well as lowered blood pressure and decreased heart rate. » Read more

Active Meditations

The Eastern mystic Osho (1931–1990) said that the mind of modern humans is often too restless to allow us to meditate easily.  So he worked with his disciples to develop what he called “active meditations” which first exercise the mind and body, and then allow inner silence to happen on its own.

The principle, Osho said, is that the mind is like restless children:  if you try to get them to sit still they can't, but if you make them run around the house a few times then they will be still naturally. » Read more

Merkaba Meditation

The Merkaba meditation is said to originate from the Ancient Egyptians, and was a closely-held secret for thousands of years.  Only those who had reached an advanced level of spiritual development were allowed to begin practising it.

The Merkaba star tetrahedron (photo: The Playful Geometer on Flickr)Now the Merkaba has become publicly available, and anyone who feels ready can learn it on their own.  If possible though, it is highly recommended to practise it with the help of an experienced teacher in a group setting.  And it is best to combine it with a grounding practice like Dynamic Meditation. » Read more

Vipassana

Vipassana is a meditation technique invented by Gautama Buddha about 2500 years ago.  In its basic form, it involves gently focusing the attention on the breathing, either at the nose or in the belly, while allowing the thoughts to pass by.

If the attention gets captured by the thoughts, then whenever that is noticed, the attention is gently brought back to the breathing, with gratitude towards the part of the mind that noticed.

Gradually the thoughts become like clouds passing in the sky, and eventually only the sky remains.  The empty sky, or the state of no-mind, is a very blissful state to experience.

Each spiritual tradition teaches a different variation and position for vipassana.  Whatever form and posture you choose to meditate in, it is suggested that you keep your practice the same, and create a specific place and time where you meditate every day. » Read more

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