Why Try Meditating Outside
Meditating outdoors? Does it really matter where you meditate? I think it can. For some of us, being outside makes for not just a different meditation experience, but a more profound one. There are some good reasons for this.
perhaps meditating in a quiet room with no sounds and nothing to distract is the easiest way, especially for beginners. It's hard enough to quiet your mind without constant input from your surroundings. On the other hand, life is constant input, so if you want the peacefulness that comes from meditation to enter your life beyond your practice, perhaps learning to meditate despite surrounding sounds and movement is just what you need.
There's a high bank on a river where I lived years ago. It was a five-minute walk from the house. There's a level grassy spot at the top, looking down on the water fifty feet below. That is where I would go to sit. Often there was a breeze I could feel on my skin and hear in the surrounding trees. I also heard the water as it strained through some dead trees near the river bank. I smelled the dirt around me, and the odor of fish coming up from the water.
Meditating there wasn't only pleasurable because of the environment, but also different from meditating in the silence of my home. There was more of a sense of experiencing the world without thought, without over-analyzing. Why? Perhaps simply because there was more to experience. There were the sounds, which included birds, and the occasional splashing of some animal in the river. There were things to smell and the feel of the grass.
I usually close my eyes when I meditate, because I am a very visually-oriented person, and find it easier to meditate this way. When I finished my meditation by the river, I would open my eyes, of course, but what I saw was always different from what was there when I started. Of course it was the same, but I was seeing it differently, as if for the first time. While difficult to explain, this is easy to recognize if you have had the experience.
It's wonderful to look around as if seeing for the first time. You are seeing without preconception. I might see a deer on the opposite bank of the river, but the thought "deer" wouldn't cross my mind, meaning it wouldn't cloud my vision with any ideas about what a deer is or should be. The sounds and sensations were also "new." I think this more direct experience of life is a profound demonstration of how much we normally "live" through our thoughts, somewhat detached from reality.
If you haven't already tried it, why not get outside for your next meditation? Sit on a hill or in front of a garden, or try standing in front of a lake or pond when you meditate. The view will be wonderful when you open your eyes. There is nothing quite like meditating outdoors.
How To Meditate
How to meditate? Breath, and watch your breath.
Among the documented benefits of meditation are less anxiety, decreased depression, reduction in irritability and moodiness, better learning ability and memory and greater creativity. That's just for starters. Then there is slower aging (possibly due to higher DHEA levels), feelings of vitality and rejuvenation, less stress (actual lowering of cortisol and lactate levels), rest (lower metabolic and heart rate), lower blood pressure, and higher blood oxygen levels
How to Meditate Right Now
Here's a simple technique that will give you results in minutes. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and tense up your whole body. Sigh deeply, then breath deeply through your nose and release the tension from every muscle. Just feel each part relaxing, watching for parts that may hold onto tension, like a tight jaw.
If you still have tension somewhere, tense up that part again, then let it relax. It may also help to repeat silently "relax" as the tension drains. This will train your body and mind to recognize relaxation. Later you may be able to relax more easily just by repeating "relax" a few times.
Breath through your nose. This is important because it brings in more oxygen by involving your diaphragm more. You can test this. Breath with your mouth and you'll notice that your breathing is shallower. Then breath through your nose and you'll notice that your abdomen extends more. Air is being drawn deeper into your lungs.
Allow your breathing to fall into a comfortable pattern, and pay attention to it. Pay attention to your breath as it passes in and out of your nose. Your mind may wander endlessly, but all you have to do is continually bring attention back to your breath.
If your mind is still too busy, try naming the distractions as a way of setting them aside. For example, say in your mind, "itchy leg," "worried about work," or "anger," and then immediately return attention to your breathing. Use any way you can to identify and set aside distractions.
That's it. Continue for five or ten minutes, or for 100 breaths. Afterwards, open your eyes and sit there for a few seconds. You'll feel relaxed, and your mind will feel refreshed. And you'll be better prepared for any mental challenges. That's how to meditate.
Learning Transcendental Meditation
It is not difficult to learn transcendental meditation. If you are looking to escape from the whirlwind of ringing cell phones, traffic snarls and screaming kids, transcendental meditation can provide a peaceful getaway from the craziness of everyday life.
In 1958, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi formally introduced his transcendental meditation technique. Since then, he has written several books, lectured and toured extensively all over the world and trained over 40,000 teachers. Transcendental meditation is now practiced in the workplace, at home and in medical settings. In addition, doctors and health professionals are increasingly prescribing transcendental meditation as means of combating anxiety disorders and stress.
You may be wondering what is transcendental meditation and what makes it different from other forms of meditation? One of the most exciting elements of the transcendental meditation technique is that it so simple and easy to practice. With the right focus and dedication, you can learn transcendental meditation in a matter of moments.
Basically, during the meditation session, your body enters a deep and peaceful state of relaxation, while maintaining alertness and clarity. First, the person chooses a word or image to focus on, perhaps a religious or cultural symbol that has special meaning. As the person replays this word or image over and over, the body descends into a deeper and deeper state of restfulness. The session can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour and should take place in a calm and relaxed setting, with minimal noise and distractions.
No other meditation technique has been so extensively studied and researched. During transcendental meditation, the brain falls into a theta brain wave pattern (akin to sleep and deep relaxation), which then carries over to the state of wakefulness. Physical benefits include increased mental comprehension, focus, retention and creativity. Another interesting benefit is the actual reversal of the aging process. In a study conducted by the International Journal of Neuroscience, the biological age of practitioners of transcendental meditation was, on average, twelve years younger than their chronological age. Transcendental meditation also has positive effects on age and stress related conditions such as insomnia, high blood pressure, decreased visual acuity, hearing loss and depressed cerebral blood flow.
It is interesting to note that adherents from all religions choose to learn transcendental meditation. Although it has roots in Hinduism, the transcendental meditation technique can be applied to any cultural context. In fact, those who learn transcendental meditation are encouraged to adapt symbols that have meaning and depth for the individual. For example, a rabbi may choose to focus on a symbol or image rooted in Judaism to enhance the effectiveness of the session. In contrast, an agnostic may choose an image from nature such as a beautiful meadow or sunset to achieve relaxation. The beauty of transcendental meditation is its flexibility. http://www.meditationandmore.com
Sahasrar Chakra And Brahmarandhra Centers Of Divine Powers
The human body (Microcosm) is said to be a small sample of the cosmos (Macrocosm). The entire body of a big tree is hidden in a tiny seed. In a small sperm lies the cast of the entire human body. The manner in which the mutual attraction and activities of the planets of the solar system are executed, can be seen albeit at a microlevel within the atomic family represented by electrons, neutrons etc. In the same way the entire cosmos can be seen in a microform within this small human body. Whatever is visible / invisible in this gigantic cosmos is present within this tiny human body. All the special characteristics of earth too are found in the human body.
All the energies, special qualities and glories of earth are found in the point of balance i.e. the North and South Poles. From here all movements /activities of earth are controlled. As a result this earth is an active ball and a playground for all creatures. If the North / South Poles lose their balance or they undergo some change, the entire earth will look like something totally different. It is said that even if a minor fist blow is executed on the point of center of balance in the 2 Poles, the earth will change its orbit by leaps and bounds. As a result this very nature of days, nights, seasons etc. will change and take up a new extreme form. Further this minor fist blow can induce earth to dash into other stars, galaxies etc. and thus get powdered to pulp. The cause is very clear. In that the 2 Poles control all the movements of earth. It is their energy centers that induce our earth to dance to its tunes like a puppet. All earthly activities are given the necessary capacity and inspiration to function aptly. The 2 Poles are the central points of earth's activities and energy centers.
Just as the planet earth attains energy and activities from the 2 Poles, so too the human body has 2 Poles. The North Pole is Sahasrar Kamal in the Brahmarandhra (center of the brain). The South Pole is the Mooladahr Chakra of Kundalini or Divine Serpent Power center at the base of Sushumna (near the genitals). According to Indian Mythology, Lord Vishnu sleeps on Lord Shesha (1000 hooded serpent) in the Ksheersagar (ocean of nectar). This Ksheersagar is nothing but the intense white ocean of love in our brain. Sahasrar Kamal is that atom which instead of being round like other sheaths is like serrated teeth of a cog-wheel. These teeth are compared to the petals of a lotus. The central point of energy lies in this atomic Pole. This Vishnu Pole or Sahasrar Kamal (1000 petalled lotus in the brain) is the very basis of attainment of sensory and extrasensory knowledge pertaining to the innumerable conscious and unconscious units of the brain. This region is the central point of all spiritual practices like meditation / trance / self-reflection / Yoga of devotion alongwith will power, soul power and Sidhis attained due to a strong power of resolve (Sankalps).
The North Pole lies in the central point of the head called Sahasrar Chakra. In the center of the head is a subtle 1000 petalled lotus and is called the Sahasrar Chakra. Within it dwells divine energy or Shiva. It is over here that Kundalini or Divine Serpent Power rises from the South Pole to merge into Shiva in the North Pole. From this area all bodily movements are controlled just as a puppeteer seated behind a curtain, controls his puppets via mere finger movements. It is also called the region of the soul etc. All energies and its sub-categories that create movements in this gigantic cosmos are found situated around the Sahasrar.
Sacred scriptures say that Kundalini is the very life force of all energies and Sidhis. A person who activates the otherwise latent (sleeping) Divine Serpent Power becomes the Lord of infinite grandeur of this world. In India this has been discovered right since ancient times. There is no end or limit to the potency of Kundalini Shakti or Divine Serpent Power.
But activating the Kundalini is not the ultimate goal of a living being. The ultimate goal of all creatures is to attain salvation (Moksha) i.e. merging the individual ego into the cosmic soul (God). The aim of any human life is to merge into Brahman / God/ cosmic soul. Yoga and other spiritual practices are meant exactly for this purpose. The same holds true for Kundalini too. This has been commented upon in Hathayoga Pradeepika as follows -
"Just as a person tries to open the lock of a bolt, so too a Yogi finds the path of Sushumna via Kundalini based practices. He then enters Brahmaloka so as to attain salvation (Moksha)."
Only when a spiritual aspirant enters this Sahasrar Chakra, can he experience the joy of immortality, vision of the cosmos, control of cosmic powers and Samadhi or trance. The Brahmaloka mentioned in the above lines is nothing but the Sahasrar Chakra. It is very difficult to reach this Chakra. Majority of spiritual seekers get stuck in the lower Chakras and merge into the lower type of bliss that they get in that region. Hence Sidhis (extraordinary powers) attained during preliminary Kundalini awakening are said to be obstacles. Just as a man thinks the material world to be the ultimate goal of life because of having immense wealth, grandeur and a beautiful wife, so too a person who activates his Divine Serpent Power thinks that Sidhis like hearing far off words, seeing far off objects, knowing other people's thoughts, predicting the future accurately etc. attained while activating the lower Chakras, is the be all and end all of life. Thus he totally loses sight of the supreme goal of rising upto the last Chakra i.e. Sahasrar and merging into it.
Even if a person reaches the Sahasrar Chakra, he cannot dwell in this region for a great length of time. How long can a spiritual seeker dwell in the Sahasrar Chakra? This depends on the nature of spiritual practice which he follows and how much inner spiritual energy he possesses. Many spiritual seekers dwell in the Sahasrar Chakra for a certain length of time and then get demoted into lower Chakras and their levels of lower bliss. But he, who steadfastly "ripens" his Sahasrar Chakra, attains the omnipotent Lord and thus experiences infinite bliss eternally.
The Sahasrar Chakra lies 2 inches within the ears and 3 inches within the eyebrows. Its form is that of a ball of light in the hollow portion of the upper region of an opening called "Mahavivar" of the brain area. Via the process of Divine Serpent Power awakening, this Mahavivar opening has to be widened so as to enter the state of divinity. Hence it is called the "10th door" or Brahmarandhra too. In the Dhyanbindupanishad it is said that -
"A Yogi is one who knows the light akin to a jewel in the brain. That jewel akin to 7 golds that is lit up by an electrical like stream, is found in the lower region of Meru and 4 fingers above the fire region. It seeks shelter in the Svadhishthan Chakra and is subtle sound manifest"
The scriptures while describing the powers attained in reaching this region say -
"Such a person knows the ultimate knowledge, he becomes omniscient (i.e. knower of past, present and future) and can do anything he wishes. He may perform any action, yet no sin accrues. None can gain victory over such a person."
In one way Brahmarandhra is the head office of a creature. It is a laboratory which helps us attain whatever we see in this visible world and all those things which are beyond our knowledge. According to Indian philosophy over here there are such rare auras of light made up of 17 principles which cannot be seen in the visible world with our gross eyes. All nervous elements and air tubicles come out from this area and spread out into the entire body. The Creator seated in this white lotus, sends and receives orders and messages from any part of the body via any nerve. He can create movements in any area. He can clean and create a rain of vital force in any area without any technological paraphernalia which we limited creatures can never even dream of doing. All this takes place because of emission, contraction and relaxation of auras of light. It is this ball of light that induces the nose to smell, the ears to hear, the eyes to see, the tongue to taste and speak. This ball of light is under the direct jurisdiction of Almighty God dwelling in the Sahasrar Chakra. In the initial stages of meditation, this light is seen either as glow-worms, twinkling stars, shining petals or half/ full moon. Slowly and steadily its divine nature is experienced. As a result the gross sense organs become lax and the working arena of the soul shines brilliantly in the entire world. An ordinary individual can worry only about his immediate family members. But a Yogi enfolds the entire world in the embrace of his soul and extends upto other Lokas (worlds) too. He also has to ascertain whether there is any imbalance in the movements of planets, galaxies etc. In a gross manner denizens of our planet earth too are influenced by these activities. Hence even unknowingly such a spiritual seeker, who enters the state of Godhood, can work only for the well-being of all creatures of the cosmos. Whatever rights and omnipotency is attained by such a great soul is taken up as a gigantic responsibility by him. He may seem to be having a human body yet he has no body consciousness at all. He knows everything. He sees and hears everything and can predict future events very accurately.
The substratums of the Intellectual Sheath and Mental Sheath viz. the intellect and mind dwell in this region. They unearth news of objects lying far away or those beyond the ken of the sense organs of knowledge. When one's soul resolve progresses into the intellectual arena after leaving the mental arena, one attains divine wisdom. It comes out from the Ajna Chakra so as to unite with the different types of rays of the cosmos and thus attains its knowledge. Just as with the help pf electrical waves, space shuttles can be directed to the right or left of planet earth (called traversing), just as with the help of a television you can see scenes of far off places so too man can see scenes in my part of the world or obstruct one's cosmic movement with the help of the rays of his resolve (Sankalpa). In the Mundak Upanishad (Chapter 2) and Chandogya Upanishad (Chapter 9) details of this self-realization have been given as follows -
"A self realized saint subtly experiences that God without Kalas (divisions) in the form of a light that is whiter than white and is present in the Golden Sheath."
Many forms of Sahasrar based spiritual practices like Pratyahar (disallowing sense organs to contact their respective objects), Dharana (focusing of mind), Dhyan (meditation) and Samadhi (trance) have been put forth as studies. A description has been given about the good results attained due to their successful execution. The deep import of the success of that region has been given in the form of material and spiritual progress.
Today even modern scientists accept that there are extraordinary energy centers in the brain. According to research studies conducted by the brain specialist Smithy, a pure intellect is controlled by different centres of the human brain. It is a production of a cooperative endeavour of all of them. This is the gist (region) which creates a human character and nourishes it. A mental level is created by memory, analysis, synthesis, selectivity etc. Where does its admixture and production take place? This has not been aptly deduced yet it is clear that this area should be in the cerebellum part of the brain. This is that very sensitive spot which if undergoes ripening, can induce advancement of one's inner personality. Spiritual seers of yore had discovered this center and had named it Sahasrar.
While deeply analyzing the brain so many layers are discovered which not only help us think but also creates our very character. This region of special capabilities is the "Frontal lobe". In it one discovers man's personality, imagination power, ambitions, social behaviour, experiences, sensations and other important functions. It is not possible to influence this area by medicines or surgery. Only those spiritual practices like Dhyan (meditation), Dharana (Concentration) etc. can be made use of which is a part of Kundalini i.e Divine Serpent Power awakening.
In the above paragraphs we have merely made a minor reference of only one center of the brain. Yet it is well-known that the brain abounds with infinite mysterious powers. The conclusions drawn by today's modern scientists specializing in brain research, is very much in tandem with the discoveries of ancient Indian seers.
From a grosser type of classification, the brain can be categorized into 5 parts 1) Cerebrum 2) Cerebellum 3) Mid-brain 4) Pons 5) Medulla Oblongata. The last three parts that is mid-brain, pons and medulla oblongata together form a single unit called the "brain stem."
According to Spiritual Sciences, 0.33 billion demigods dwell in heaven represented by the brain. But 5 of them are chief representatives. All of these control various divine centers. The 5 regions of the brain listed above can be said to be the region of the 5 demi-gods. With their help the 5 energies of the 5 sheaths are produced and controlled. The 5-fold spiritual practices of Gayatri help evolve these 5 in unison. As a result a creature dwelling in Brahmaloka or heaven, experiences a heavenly atmosphere.
So far our discussion revolved around a certain type of classification. Many scholars right since ancient times have been describing this very fact albeit in various ways. Even today this type of discussion continues. This one single precept pertaining to the classification of the brain and Sahasrar Chakra are described in various ways.
The Sahasrar Chakra is also called the "pot of nectar". It is said that Som juice emanates from it. The demi-gods drink this nectar and become immortal.
According to modern brain anatomy, the brain is filled with a special "Cerebro-spinal fluid." This fluid nourishes and protects the various centers of the brain. It drips from the brain's membrane and is absorbed by various centers of the brain and the Sushumna (subtle spinal nerve).
The "pot of nectar" has 16 coverings. In the same way at certain places the Sahasrar is said to have 16 petals. These are nothing but 16 important centers of the brain. The Shiva Samhita too says that the Sahasrar Kamal has petals.
"One should meditate on the Sahasrar Chakra made of 16 Kalas situated in the centre of the brain and which shines like the moon."
These 16 Kalas of the Sahasrar are the 16 points of the brain related to the cerebrospinal fluid. If the previously 5 grossly classified parts of the brain are classified more minutely, they will add upto 16 in number as follows -
1)Cerebrum 2) Cerebellum 3) Medula Oblongata 4) Pons 5) Mid brain 6) Corpus Colosum 7) Corpus Stratum 8) Pituitary Gland 9) Pineal gland 10) Thalamus 11) Hypothalamus 12) Subthalamus 13) Metathalamus 14) Epithalamus 15) Corad plexuses 16) Ventrilces.
All these above parts have centers full of ESP (Extra Sensory Potential) that control the body. By activating the pot of nectar of Sahasrar, we can make the brain more active and thus attain extraordinary benefits. The scriptures have clearly said -
"Due to activation of the Sahasrar Kamal, a Yogi's psyche becomes equipoised and thus merges into his soul. He overcomes bondage of the material world. He is full of all-round potential. He moves freely everywhere and his speech becomes nectarine."
"One must meditate on the Ksheersagar ocean in the core of the forehead and on the moon-like light in the Sahasrar Kamal (1000 petalled lotus)."
"That Yogi who continuously drinks the nectar emitted by the Sahasrar Kamal can bring in a law to ‘kill death'. Meaning death is no longer death for him because he lives a life that has gone beyond death. It is in the Sahasrar region that Kundalini merges itself. At that time the 4 types of creation merge into God and everything becomes Godlike."
"That Soma juice of Sahasrar Kamal which purifies Richas, Samveda, Yajurved, Brahmanas, may it purify me too."
What exactly is the Sahasrar? This answer according to anatomists is that the electrical onrush from the center of the brain which controls bodily movement does not get emitted from a substratum but that a special center is responsible for it. This is not man's own creation but is a divine blessing. The liver, heart and other organs function as a result of this energy attained from a divine center. The blood nourishes various bodily organs and it is a fact. It is also true that the lungs are responsible for respiration and the stomach for digestion. Yet the question arises that when these organs carry out various tasks, where do they get the necessary energy to do so? It is not correct to say that respiration, digestion etc. give us the energy to survive because if this were to be true, man could only die because of hunger or choking of breath.
This electrical onrush continuously gets emitted in spurts in the central region of the brain. It can be said to be an extraordinary electrical spring. From there a fire-worklike light is emitted in spurts. The heart experiences such rests in between heart-beats. There is a rise and fall even in wave-flows of heat, sound etc. The same holds true for the activities of the fount of energy in the central point of the brain. Scientists opine that the energy spurts are the main basis of the activities of various centers of the brain. This very principle has been elucidated by Indian Yogic scriptures in their own way.
"In the center of the brain is a jewel-like light. From that, electrical streams are emitted akin to heated gold. He is a true Yogi who understands this mystery."
"The light of Brahman (God) dwells in the Brahmarandhra as fire. It purifies our spiritual practice. This it self is fire of Yoga."
This brain dwelling energy fount can be called Sahasrar Chakra according to anatomical sciences. "Sahastra" means 1000 but here it means infinite. The Lord is said to have 1000 heads, 1000 legs etc. The sparks of energy emitted from the brain fount are not 1000 in number but are infinite in number. The number of drops of that shower is not 1000 only but connotes infinite number of drops. On the basis of this description this "1000" is the fount of energy called Sahasrar.
Today's modern science accepts that infinite streams of electricity flow from the brain. As per requirements those streams flow in infinite special nerves in infinite directions. Based on each one's function, scientists have classified these nerves into various categories. For example, Ascending Reticular Activating System, Descending Reticular Activating System, Specific Thalamic Projection, Defused Thalamic Projection and Brain Stem Reticular Formation. From the standpoint of Yoga, the combined influence of the above systems can be seen in the form of thousands of streams of electrical onrushes in the brain.
This is the very basis of the Sahasrar Kamal (1000 petalled lotus) and Lord Shesha (1000 hooded serpent). The form of Lord Vishnu sleeping on Lord Shesha abounding with Kundalini Shakti in the midst of the Ksheersagar or Brahmaloka, is meant for understanding the state of Sahasrar. Ksheersagar means marrow of the brain. The coiled 1000 hooded serpent means the teeth of the axle of Sahasrar Chakra. A wheel of a cart too has an axle. The Lord's Sudershan Chakra (disc weapon) too has teeth. Thus Sahasrar can be correlated to the abovementioned details.
The Sahasrar has been compared to the sun (1000 rays) too. It is the energy that lights up the solar system and induces various activities in them. Every unit of human existence is influenced by the brain energy. Hence if the sun is said to be the presiding deity of the ball called Bhuloka (earth), it definitely is apt. The divine existence of Sahasrar has been compared to the sun -
"O Deveshi! Within the stalk of the great lotus Sahasrar dwells the soul akin to Mercury. Although it radiates likes crores of suns, yet during emotions it is comparable to crores of moons. This supreme material is extremely grand and oozes with the Divine Serpent Power."
"This sun is nothing but the divine principle and its material symbol is the material sun."
"Your indwelling nectar is one who is the indweller in the sun whom the sun does not know, whose body is the sun and who controls the sun by dwelling within the sun."
Just as our solar system gets energy from the sun, in the same way the brain gets the necessary capacity for various functions from the energy source of Sahasrar Kamal. Many machines are used in mills, factories etc. These machines are attached to motors, transmitting electricity. When the motor functions, it transmits energy to the machine. But the electricity does not belong to the motor. It comes from another source. The brain is our motor and the bodily organs are small / big machines. The energy required for smooth functioning of mills, factories etc. comes from somewhere else. It is akin to the flow of grace attained by earth from its polar regions. This is a gift of interplanetary energy. A man is free and the author of his own destiny. Yet the energy that creates man's inner personality is said to be divine grace. The moment this stream of energy is obstructed, man dies instantly. Even if the heartbeats have stopped completely yet via artificial means it can be re-activated. But the moment the electrical onrush of Sahasrar stops, know for sure that this is ultimate death. Despite the fittings of a bulb being appropriate, if the electrical connection is cut off, we face darkness. Despite the bodily organs being healthy, if the brain energy flow stops, we cannot remain alive.
Grossly we may describe birth and death of creatures in a certain manner, yet according to subtle sciences like Yoga, birth and death are totally dependent on the activities of Sahasrar Chakra. This is not the end of the discussion because a lot more follows hereafter. Sahasrar is not merely the source of life but it is from here that the nature of one's character and level is charted out and determined. Even a little extra tilt, will change the course of flow of rain. When a particular form of slant that induces rain water to enter a particular river is changed, this rain water will enter another totally different river. At the beginning of the slant there was a difference of only a few inches yet when the rain water enters a totally new river, the difference in number of miles of area covered amounts to thousands. Many trains standing in queue at a railway junction travel in different directions because of change of levers. The changed levers are separated by the few inches only yet the trains that travel in different directions are separated by thousands of miles. The same holds true for the Sahasrar Chakra. In that, even an infinitesimal change in the Sahasrar, can induce amazing transformations; both within and without.
For a modern scientist even to think of reduction / addition in the grants given by interplanetary space to earth, means facing fearful worries and turmoil. Even a mere thought of taking one step in this direction, induces jitters in their minds. Even a slight bit of topsy-turvying can induce massive destruction. As against this if some conducive solutions are found it will greatly benefit all denizens of earth. Thus we can become lords of unimaginable comforts. Today scientists refuse to take big steps in this direction because of lack of knowledge. They have merely taken minor steps in conducting research on the earth's polar region. They have yet not found the earth's axis and nor have they made serious efforts in this direction.
But no such danger is encountered when we talk of the Sahasrar which is the axis of the brain situated in the polar region of the human body. Material / worldly energy is like a demon. Even minor misuse of electricity, fire etc. can kill many people. As against this no major calamity comes in the way in the relationship of a body and its doting mother. This is the material difference between soul consciousness and material consciousness. Sahasrar is a center of union of the individual soul and cosmic soul i.e. God. This is a consciousness based give and take. Within it overflow high leveled sentiments. The nature of spiritual practices has been conjoined to the wealth of good-will. This divine grace of greatness overflows from it.
The Sahasrar Chakra is related to the Brahmarandhra. Brahmarandhra is the 10th door. The 9 doors are the 2 nostrils, 2 ears, 2 eyes, 1 mouth and 2 openings of faeces and urine. The 10th door is Brahmarandhra. Great Yogis give up their life by passing through this 10th door. The very reason behind which the "Kapal Kriya' (rite) is carries out after death, is that even if a bit of vital force has remained behind, it should pass out from this 10th door and thus induced go to a higher state.
A newborn baby has a bit of a hollow space in the center of the scalp. In it there is a tissue instead of bone. It is situated between the parietal and acivital bones. As the body grows the bones too augment in size and cover the above mentioned hollow region. The Yogic scriptures say that divinity or cosmic consciousness enters the human body through this hollow region.
From the standpoint of bodily design, this region is not merely made up of bones because below its frontal area there are other principles. There is also the cerebral cortex beneath the bones of our forehead that covers the brain region. Within it are carvings akin to those seen when a farmer ploughs his field. Thus it categorizes the brain into various parts. These parts are called sulks. The cortex is partitioned lengthwise by the longitudinal fissure and breadthwise it is called central cortex. The crossing or point of union of both these corresponds to the Brahmarandhra of Indian Yogic scriptures. In front of this Brahmarandhra, lies the most mysterious gland in the upper region of the brain called the Pineal Gland.
This Brahmarandhra is a very special doorway for the individual's bodily soul to establish a bond with the cosmic soul (God). Great Yogis give up their life force through this very doorway at the time of death. Thus they merge into the cosmic soul or God. It is very clear that while their bodies are alive the Brahmarandhra of great Yogis execute tasks of give and take of divine experiences and divine powers via the medium of Sahasrar Chakra of the brain. The Sahasrar Chakra and Brahmarandhra work in tandem like a unit. Thus in Yogic practices they are influenced and utilized in unison.
Meditation And The Monkey Mind
Some find the term, "monkey mind", upsetting, derogatory, and insulting. This is a shame, as the point is lost, the ego is involved, and a natural human defense goes up. After all, we are supposed to be the "king of the primates," aren't we?
The first time I heard the expression, "monkey mind," in regard to meditation, I thought of Swayambhunath Stupa, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Sometimes, this is named, the "monkey temple," and it made me laugh inside, as monkeys need supervision in human settings. The picture of unsupervised monkeys got into my head, and I was suppressing laughter during a serious conversation.
Monkeys can be nuisances, when allowed to roam without some guidance, and it is the same with the untrained mind that runs from topic to topic, without getting much accomplished. So please don't waste time being offended by the term, and try to look at the comical side.
When you allow yourself to enjoy life, and try not to take anything too seriously, you can see that monkeys don't have it so bad after all. Very often, the human mind spends too much time defending, worrying, posturing, influencing, fearing, and feeling embarrassed, to enjoy life to its fullest potential.
In fact, you are not your mind. You are responsible for your actions, but many things happen in the thought process before you do take action. For example: when you think, images and options are created. As a result of those images, you get a physical feeling somewhere around your heart.
Whether the feeling is, good or bad, you process it into action, or treat it as a fleeting thought that passes and may be forgotten. So if you have a fleeting evil thought and it passes - should you waste time feeling guilty about it? The natural safeguard for ethical behavior is your heart or "gut feeling." This is the best indicator of wrong or right.
Mankind has the ability to influence the universe, and create different realities, but separating what is sacred, from what is evil, has been a dilemma for thousands of years. The disconnection from your inner self, nature, and God, has led to excessive confusion.
Thank God for meditation; it allows you to harness the power of the mind, settle down, and focus, on one subject at a time. If you take the time for a daily meditation practice, your decision-making process will be much more controlled and clear. The end result will be to look at the monkey with much more respect, appreciation, and a bit of humor.
Hypnosis For Personal Exploration
In past months we have looked at hypnosis and NLP and how they can help people make changes in their lives at the subconscious level. Once the change is accepted by the subconscious mind unconscious behavioral changes are the result. We';ve talked about the three most common reasons a person comes to see a hypnotist, to stop smoking to lose weight and to reduce the stress in their lives. There are hundreds if not thousands of other potential uses of hypnosis from pain management to improving focus, from improving your communication to the elimination of specific fears. On the edge there are other uses for hypnosis. Uses such as entertainment and past life regression.
As New Age thinking and beliefs become more accepted, the edge is beginning to become mainstream. More and more people are looking to hypnosis as a way to learn about themselves. For some this means taking a trip into deep hypnosis, where the veil that separates the conscious and subconscious mind is lifted. There is also the ability to take a trip into a past life. I may have lost some of you already, but for those that have stayed this far let me say that whether you believe in reincarnation or the existence of a soul or not, you can benefit from this type of exploration.
Let me explain. There are those that fully believe that the soul is eternal and can choose to experience life as a human being. While typically the past is hidden from the current incarnation there may be instances such as going somewhere for the first time and feeling as if you belong there, or meeting someone new and within minutes having the feeling that you have known them for your entire life, where the veil is at least partially lifted and an experience triggers a thought or a “memory”. Others believe the experience is entirely in the imagination. That somehow a person is simply creating the experience of a past life. We could debate forever and still never reach agreement on this point however it really doesn';t matter. Those that experience past life regression while in hypnosis tend to learn more about themselves and why they behave the way they do. Whether they believe that they do something in a certain way because it was how they did it in a past life, or their imagination creates a past life experience as a metaphor to explain the behavior, a deeper understanding is reached.
More and more books are written about past life experiences of those that have taken the journey. I have yet to read about or work with anyone that claims that they were a historical figure in a previous life. (Sorry to disappoint you)!) It';s certainly possible however the chances are slim. I have worked with people that have experienced hard lives and joyous lives, lives full of love and others filled with loneliness. Lives they have shared with others that are also in their current life perhaps in a different capacity. Like the child that says to her mommy, “do you remember when I was the mommy?” It is a very common occurrence that the life that is experienced has some relationship or meaning for the current life. Once again the subconscious mind can either be directing you toward a past life that has meaning for you now, or is coming up with a story much like a dream to give the explanation you seek or what you need to live a more fulfilling life.
One example, through actual experience was the 35-year-old client that had recently lost her husband. In the past life experience in which she was a man her best friend was the same “soul” that in this life was her recently departed husband. The experience was felt strongly enough to bring her to tears. Since a person in hypnosis can easily communicate with others I asked her what was going on and if she would like me to help her distance herself from the experience and the emotional content. She told me to not be concerned and asked for time to be alone with the experience. When asked later about the experience and the strong emotions that were evident, she smiled and told me that the tears were tears of joy. She told me that it was at that moment that she realized that she would see her husband again. Just knowing this gave her great comfort and helped in her grieving process.
Although many have had intense experiences right away it is as likely that it feels like a dream. Like a dream the meaning may not become evident right away. Others may feel as if something happened but may have a hard time recalling the experience. Sometime after the session they may experience an event that triggers the memory and the meaning of the past life. As stated above, this can happen spontaneously for some although hypnosis for most people will help immensely to lift the veil between the conscious and subconscious mind. Past life regressions can be experienced individually or in a group. Whether the content is shared with others or is too personal to share in that setting it is fun to share the hypnosis experience itself. Are you and your friends into trying something new? Call me to host a regression get-together for your friends.
Weight loss support groups are forming now. We';re currently accepting applications for our Hypnotist Certification Training through the National Guild of Hypnotists and NLP Basic practitioner training through the National Federation of Neuro-Linguistic Psychology. NLP tools and techniques are useful in bringing quick and permanent changes. We also offer Hypnobirthing
The Body S Energy Centers
Eastern philosophy and medicine, originating in ancient India and China, have traditionally regarded body structures and the life processes occurring within as inseparable. Their terminology resides halfway between structure and function and identifies certain entities in the human body, representing the flow of life energy and, in some sense, conduits for that flow that do not correspond to anatomical structures recognized by Western science and medicine. The chakras are the energy centers in a person's biological field and are responsible for his or her physiological and psychological condition as well as certain groups of organs. All vital functions of the human body are determined by energy that spins in the chakras. These can be defined as "whirlpools referred," and in Indian, they are considered "energy bursts" or "wheels."
The process of energy transformation happens exactly in these centers. Vital energy, along with blood, circulates around the meridians in the chakras and fuels all organs and systems in the human body. When the circulation in these meridians stagnates, the human body becomes susceptible to various disorders. An excellent preventative method, designed explicitly to battle such stagnation is Chi Gun, an ancient Chinese method for self-healing which activates the energy centers. Chi Gun teaches people to release the energy themselves by massaging specific areas corresponding to the different chakras.
There are 49 chakras mentioned in the Vedic Canons, seven of which are basic; 21 are in the second circle, and 21 in the third circle. According to the Vedis, there are multiple energy channels leading to different locations from the chakras. Three of these channels are basic. The first one, called "shushumna," is hollow and is concentrated in the spine. The other two energy pathways, "ida" and "pingala", are located on either side of the spine. These two channels are the most active in most people, while "shushumna" remains stagnant.
The seven basic chakras spin at high speeds in the body of healthy individuals but slow down in times of sickness or with advancing age. When the body is in a harmonious balance, the chakras remain partially open. Closed chakras are unable to receive energy, leading to various disorders.
The first basic chakra, "Muladhara," is located at the base of the spine in the tailbone area. Life energy, which is at the core of a strong and healthy immune system, is stored in this chakra. It is impossible for a person to become sick, old or even to die, before exhausting his or her reserves of this vital energy. The very will for life is controlled by Muladhara. It is also in charge of the bones and joints, the teeth, the nails, the urinogenital system and the large intestine. The first symptoms of a malfunctioning Muladhara are unreasonable fear, faintness, lack of security or faith in the future, leg and foot problems, and intestinal disorders.
The interrupted activity of the Muladhara chakra causes lack of energy, digestive problems, diseases of the bones and spine, and nervous tension among others.
The second chakra, "Svadhistana," is located at the level of the sacrum, three or four fingers below the belly button. This chakra regulates the pelvis, the kidneys and sexual functions. We also feel other peoples' emotions through this chakra. Symptoms of a malfunctioning "Svadhistana" are kidney problems, cystitis and arthritis.
The third chakra, "Manipura," is found in the solar plexus area. This chakra is the center for storing and distributing energy produced by digestion and breathing. It is responsible for vision, the gastrointestinal system, the liver, the gall bladder, the pancreas and nervous system. Symptoms of a stagnant "Manipura" are as follows: increased and constant worrying, as well as stomach, liver and nervous disorders.
The fourth chakra, "Anahata," also called the heart chakra, is located in the chest area. We generate and receive love through this chakra. It is in charge of the heart, the lungs, the bronchi, the hands and the arms. Symptoms of stagnation include depression and cardiovascular imbalances.
The fifth chakra, "Vishudha," is located at the throat level and is the center of analytical skills and logic. This chakra sustains the skin, organs of hearing, along with the trachea and lungs. Symptoms include a lack of emotional stability, discomfort in the cervical spine, soar throats, difficulties communicating, and esophagus and thyroid ailments.
The sixth chakra, "Adjna," is located between the eyebrows and is called the "third eye." Here is the throne for the human brain. "Adjna" circulates energy to the head and pituitary gland and is also responsible for determining our harmonious development. If a person's "third eye" ceases to function properly, one might notice a decrease in intellectual ability, headaches and migraines, earaches, olfactory illnesses, and psychological disorders.
The seventh chakra, "Sahasrara," is found at the very top of the head and represents the apex where an individual's energy vibrates with the highest frequency. It is considered a spiritual center and the entrance to the body for cosmic energy. A stagnant "Sahasrara" can result in a decrease in or lack of inner wisdom, as well as a lack of basic intuition.
With this basic knowledge of the first seven chakras, we can address the question: "How do we use this information to locate the causes of our troubles and problems, and with the help of Eastern Medicine, learn to control the functions of the chakras ourselves?".
From the perspective of Eastern Medicine, our health depends on the distribution of our energy-consciousness informational field. A shortage of energy inevitably causes ailments. According to Tibetan Medicine, the only difference between youth and old age, and between a sick and healthy individual, is the difference in the rotating speed of the whirlpool energy centers of the chakras. If these different speeds are balanced, old people will rejuvenate and sick people will heal. Therefore, the best way to preserve and keep our health, youth and vitality is to restore and maintain a balanced movement of the energy centers.
The easiest way to keep the chakras balanced is through a set of physical exercises. Yannis called these not simply exercises, but rituals. These rituals allow the human body to mold its energy centers to an ideal level of function. The seven rituals, one for each chakra, must be performed together every morning and when not possible, in the evening. Skipping rituals unbalances energy distribution, and so for the best results, no more than one day per week should be missed. The daily chakra rituals are necessary not only for revitalizing the body, but also for achieving success in every facet of life. "Once you learn how to transform your energy, you will also become happier," concluded Yannis.
For learning these rituals (which have transformed many peoples' lives throughout the world), seeing them in action is much more effective than trying to follow written descriptions or diagrams. A DVD, available from Helix 7, Inc. (www.FeelingOfHappiness.com), includes actual demonstrations of these rituals.
Another method of keeping the chakras balanced and in their optimal half-open state is meditation. Meditative methods are universal to the human experience; they have accumulated over the ages through many different cultures and have proven their value in attaining peace, clarity, equanimity and in transcending despair. People who meditate on a regular basis are usually calmer, more secure, more joyful and more productive human beings. They are more effective in their everyday lives because they use their mental and physical potential, abilities and skills to their fullest extent. All too often, we humans fail to realize the great latent powers which are, as yet, unawakened in our bodies. We must learn how to revive and utilize them. This can only be achieved through meditation. Eastern men of wisdom, who believed meditation to be a vital necessity, stumbled on this discovery more than 1000 years ago. They learned to influence their inner organs and control their metabolism with the power of their minds. Meditation is to the mind what exercise is to the body; mental strength can be built up just like physical strength. Just as in athletics, it is important for an individual to train his or her body, it is important for an individual to train his or her mind through meditation.
The best time for meditation is early morning, preferably at dawn. Do not meditate when you are sad, aggravated, desperate or sick, because these intense emotional and physiological distractions make an enlightened state of mind impossible. For an effective meditation session, it is preferable to arrange for the undistracted silence of a quiet, clean room with flowers, or the soothing sounds of Mother Nature – near a lake, river, waterfall, woods or fields. Many different mental practices, having their origin in historical traditions, fall under the general heading of "meditation." These paths of mental development can involve emotional and intellectual facets and may also be coordinated with specific movements. Meditation can be structured or unstructured, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer writes in his book Real Magic, "The process of meditation is nothing more than quietly going within and discovering that higher component of yourself … Learning to meditate is learning how to live rather than talking about it…"
How Meditation Can Change Your Life In 2006
Are you stressed out? Do you worry about your physical health? Your mental health? Your spiritual health? Do you wish you had less stress and anxiety in your life and more peace and harmony?
Well, I felt all of these things a few years ago and I thought I was going to go crazy or die. I was working 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week at a very stressful job. I had a wife and two kids at home who wanted, and deserved, my time and attention. I had a mortgage, two car notes, tuition, medical bills, overdue taxes, and credit card debt coming out of my ears!
I was running nonstop through my days trying to take care of everything and make everybody happy but I never had enough time to take care of myself. In bed at night, my heart would pound from stress and anxiety. I worried about my job, my marriage, the kids, the bills, the house, my heath, and even my sanity.
My health was of particular concern. I felt tired all the time. I was gaining weight. My back was always hurting. Climbing even one flight of stairs left me breathless and dizzy. I felt like I was falling apart physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I was really worried about myself but I didn't know what to do. I tried the gym, several fad diets, home exercise machines, and even time management programs. I had about the same results with each new thing I tried. They all seemed to help at first, but I just couldn't stick with any of them for very long. I now realize that they didn't work because they were all short term fixes to a long term problem. I had to change my life.
I knew I had a lot to learn, but I couldn't afford to buy a bunch of books and everything at the library seemed to be outdated. So I made a habit of stopping at the local Barns and Noble on the way home from work each day. I read everything I could find on stress, anxiety, health, diet, and self-improvement. I felt like a cheat just sitting there reading the books without buying them but nobody seemed to mind. I usually bought a cup of coffee or tea just to ease my conscience a little.
I read a lot of great books with wonderful insights on improving one's life. Not surprisingly, one subject came up over and over; meditation. I had tried to meditate several years earlier but had gotten frustrated and quit before really giving it a chance. But, I was desperate and determined to try anything that might help.
One book in particular said, "Start right now!" I was too embarrassed to sit in the book store and meditate, but I didn't want to waste another moment. So I went out to my car, adjusted the seat into a comfortable position, set my watch alarm for 30 minutes, then closed my eyes and started counting my breaths.
That turned out to be a defining moment in my life. Of course, I didn't have instant success. Mediation takes practice and can be very difficult at times. But making the decision to incorporate meditation into my everyday life changed everything for me.
I continued to stop at the book store each night for a while and split my time between reading and meditating. Nothing else had changed in my life. I still had a stressful job, my marriage, my kids, my house, and bills but, somehow, I was feeling better
Since 1958, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has trained more than 40,000 teachers in the practice of Transcendental Meditation or TM. These teachers have taught more than six million people worldwide this simple, natural procedure which allows its practitioners to gain deep rest and contact their inner reservoir of creativity, energy and intelligence. This information comes from the official Transcendental Meditation website at www.tm.org.
What happens during meditation
During the practice of TM, the mind and body experience a unique state of restful alertness. As the mind becomes more silent, the body becomes deeply relaxed. At the most settled state of awareness, the mind transcends all mental activity to experience the simplest form of awareness, Transcendental Consciousness. Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that experiencing this state correlates with greater creativity, improved learning, higher IQ, better grades, higher moral reasoning, increased brain wave coherence and improved neurological functioning of the body.
Practicing TM helps develops increased energy, creativity and intelligence. This in turn helps awaken the unlimited potential of the meditator's mind and body. The result is that those who practice TM enjoy greater health, happiness and success in all aspects of life.
How to meditate
Anyone can learn how to meditate. No special lessons, books or equipment are required. People of all ages, cultures and educational backgrounds can practice TM.
TM is an easy and enjoyable experience that takes only 20 minutes twice a day. You can do it alone or with others in a group. Pick a time and place where you will not be disturbed. Then just sit comfortably with your eyes closed. No effort, no concentration, no special skills nor change of lifestyle are required. Thoughts will enter and leave your mind as you meditate. Attend to them or not as you choose.
People can benefit from TM even if they don't believe it will work. Try meditating regularly for 20 minutes twice a day and you will start to see results in the form of improvements in your life.
Back in the 1960's when TM first became popular in the United States, practitioners were known to chant "OM" or another single syllable sound while they meditated. This is no longer considered necessary, though it can be done if desired. Most people now meditate silently.
The benefits of TM
Practitioners of transcendental meditation start noticing positive changes in their lives within a few days or weeks after they start meditating. These benefits include clearer thinking, improved memory, enhanced creativity and sharper intellect. These changes can enable people to achieve more in their work by becoming more creative and effective without having to work harder. Other people have said they feel healthier, more rested and relaxed, and have increased immunity to disease, reduction of aging effects and greater energy and vitality after starting to meditate.
TM can even help in relationships with others. It can help you enjoy closer friendships, become calmer and more self-confident and feel less anxious and stressed out. By radiating this increased harmony and lack of stress to the outside world, TM may even contribute to world peace.
The Maharishi teaches that by practicing Transcendental Meditation regularly, you can choose what you want to be and begin to achieve that goal. Why not try practicing TM now and see how your life improves?
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