Monday, August 27, 2007

More on Ritual

As I stated previously, ritual is not imperative to successful meditation. In fact, I discovered after a few months of practice, I was able to meditate in a crowded commuter train, although I do not recommend it. Being yanked out of a deep meditation by someone swaying against you is not really conducive to fruitful meditation. :-) With time and practice, I learned to achieve the meditative state at the count of three, which can be very useful.

If meditating simply for the mental and physical benefits of reducing stress and allowing the body to heal and attain balance, a quiet dimly lit room is all that is required. Pick a spot where you can sit comfortably and not be interrupted. The meditation process is the same. Sit comfortably, eyes closed, feet flat on the floor, hands resting in the lap and begin reciting the mantra you have chosen. Twenty minutes twice a day is best. When finished, sit quietly for a few moments before resuming your daily activities.

Sitting is best when learning to meditate. If you recline or lie down, sleep will often overtake you. Most people are sleep deprived to some degree. The body also needs sleep in order to heal or improve it's effectiveness. Falling asleep while meditating can be quite distressing to a person learning to meditate. If it does happen, do not be alarmed, or discouraged. Simply finish your meditation if you have time, or expect to stay awake next time. In meditation, we simply acknowledge whatever has caused our mind to wander, and then bring it back gently to the mantra. With practice, stilling the mind while awake and alert will become easier. You will still benefit from the practice even when the mind refuses to be stilled.

I prefer using a simple ritual as it helps to prepare the mind to be stilled and lets the mind know when the meditation is finished.


jim said...

Hello Zareba, my friend!

I just read thru these Meditation pieces and applaud you vigorously, they are right on and well done, you are a good teacher no doubt!

I agree with you and Paul on the subject of prayer/meditation and asking for favors or looking for peace and wellbeing while letting the Creator take care of you in the Highest way.

I too am glad you are getting to do this, you have much to offer and power to give it.

Thanks for the reading pleasure, I look forward to more. Love and Peace always to you Zareba. Shalom.

Sophia said...

Hi Zareba, you gentle soul,

This reminds me that I need to get back into the practice of meditation. I stopped around June, but really didn't intend to, it just happened. And now for the past two months I have a new dog that is quite noisy and energetic. I wonder how meditation will work with him around! I guess I'll have to go back to using my CDs to help me meditate. I will probably have to incorporate barking noises in the background into my meditation. :)

Paul said...

I've noticed the same thing - that while there are a wide variety of forms of meditation and contemplative prayer, the essential practice is generally very similar. For me, the most stripped down version, without ritual and done privately, proved most effective, but people are different - may explain the variety of forms.

Zareba said...

Thnank you Jim, and love and peace to you as well.

Zareba said...

Thanks for the visitm, Sophia.

My experience in meditation was that the furred ones all tagged along for the ride. One cat in particular would scratch a hole in the door if I was on the other side meditating. When I let him in, he simply settled on my lap and enjoyed the meditatgion.

Zareba said...

Thanks, Paul. I no longer need ritual in order to meditate, but before I quit using it, I used a series of visualizations, depending on the purpose of the meditation.