How to Practice Relaxation Meditation

The basis of almost every form of meditation throughout the world is relaxation. But the practice of relaxation meditation is far more complex than an individual deciding that they will seek to relax and thus meditate. Relaxation meditation takes careful understanding of what relaxation truly means, and then careful practice to truly attain the benefits that are available.

meditation silhouetteWhat does it mean to relax? Some people understand relaxation to simply mean the absence of any type of hard or taxing activities that would otherwise provide physical or mental strain on one’s body. Unfortunately, this understanding of the term relaxation is far too simple in nature. True relaxation is achieved when one is fully able to remove their minds from the toils of every day living. True relaxation is gained when every day worries can be left behind without any lasting stain. True relaxation occurs when individuals are no longer bothered by the trivial pains of their physical existence and are instead able to cast their conscious minds to a higher plane in order to gain a greater understanding of the world around them.

So in order to participate in relaxation meditation, one cannot simply sit down and stare into space and expect enlightenment to occur. Instead, techniques must be employed to fully exhaust one’s mental and physical state to a point of relaxation that allows full contemplation without interruption from the physical world. Relaxation meditation can be achieved through a variety of practices.

Some practitioners find it helpful to focus on a particular type of music when they are seeking the benefits of relaxation meditation. Not all forms of music would be helpful in this pursuit, however. Music that is chosen should be complimentary to a state of relaxation instead of distracting. Music without words should be used to attain relaxation meditation, as words will simply give the practitioner a new focus instead of allowing their conscious minds to attain focus independently. In addition, the music used for relaxation meditation should be soft and soothing, not loud and disruptive. The music should allow the mind to float to a higher level instead of being so all-consuming that the bonds of physical life are restraining.

Practitioners of relaxation meditation may also find it very helpful to use lighting as a way to attain total relaxation and thus enlightenment. Instead of harsh and bright light that create an uncomfortable atmosphere, soft and dim settings should be used to foster a sense of peace. One’s vision is often important when practicing relaxation meditation. When lights are adjusted to optimum levels, they can then focus their inner minds visually on a particularly desirable image or scene that will help them to further leave behind physical strains so that their minds can attain mental enlightenment.

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Twin Lives – A Tale of Heart

A little story: Once there were two children who lived in the inner city in  Dublin. They were twins, a boy and a girl. They had no chance in life. Even as  babies they were addicts – even before they left the womb. Their mother was  addicted to heroin. The father came and went bringing violence and abuse with  him. The children lived in squalor. They had no education, barely enough to eat,  and resorted to thieving to feed their mother’s addiction. At last they were  taken into care but nothing could change the pattern of their childhood. They  ran away and spent long periods on the streets. The boy developed his own drug  habit by the age of twelve. The girl broke away. She experienced abuse in the  guise of help and realized there was no authority under the sun she could trust.  But then as if a voice inside her had spoken she decided she would build her own  life, from the ground up. She managed, with difficulty, to  find a job and a room. After some time she took literacy classes, and  then progressed to night-school. Finally she enrolled in college and gained a  qualification. As the years passed she married, bought a house and had children.  One day she was walking over O’Connell Bridge and she saw a figure hunched  inside a sleeping bag, begging with a plastic cup in front of him. It was her  brother – her twin. He didn’t see her.

The brother never made it. He didn’t have the same opportunities. And yet  their opportunities were exactly the  same.

How is this possible? It wasn’t nature and it certainly wasn’t nurture – both  things had failed them completely. They had no chance in life. So how did one  rise up and the other didn’t?

I have no answer to this. One could look for little sociological clues or  say, perhaps, that the father had managed to spare an ounce more love for the  girl than for the boy. Somehow it feels as if you have to say something: find  some excuse for life.

I pondered over this and came up with one or two contributory elements,  apparently unrelated. The first was that, ‘You only receive what you can cope  with’. I believe this – that life gives you what you can handle, whether it  seems fair or not. It’s not a question of what you deserve but what you can cope  with. This doesn’t quite fit in, in terms of finding explanations, excuses or  justifications. Even if the shoulders are weak they carry the burden up to the  last breath. I could go on and say, the greater the heart the greater the load,  until there is a universe to bear. If a god’s own steps are slowed with the  burden he has to bear, then a human love might step in to help. I think we’re in  this position in life: that we bear the burden we can cope with in order that  the divine can carry the universe. In other words, by bearing the load – often  without any explanation or help – we perform a service for the divine in us.  Even if we don’t know there is any divine there at all.

The second element is the question of heart. In the story the girl seems to  have more ‘heart’ – in the sense of being able to lift herself up – than the  boy. Why is this? Both are like people lying on a bed of burning coals with feet  pressing them down. Why does one have the heart to get up while the other  doesn’t? This is just the original question put in a different form. Is it that  one is born with the heart while the other isn’t? We’ve already established that  both were born addicted. For me the answer is that the heart has to be given. In  this case it has to be given by the divine: the divine returns the help it has  received through the human being carrying its burden. This again brings up the  question, ‘Why does one deserve help and not the other?’

I believe the answer lies in my third element which is: Powerlessness.  Powerlessness soaks the argument out of you. It is the opposite of ‘world’. The  world is power. It has fullness, resources, opportunities. Powerlessness leaves  you like an empty, burnished bowl. It is the only time in life when it’s  justified to say that the human being is an empty vessel which has to be filled  up – when powerlessness has done its work. This is the great theme of tragedy:  catharsis. In drama the point comes when the gods say, ‘It’s done – that’s  enough’. In life it’s the same: the empty bowl can be filled with the flame of ‘heart’ which is the only real power in the world. I think this is the only  explanation why one rises up and the other doesn’t – the words, ‘It is  enough’.

All these ‘contributory elements’ aren’t explanations at all. But neither are  they excuses or justifications. Just try and find a satisfying answer to  problems like this that doesn’t include judgements or excuses for life: ‘He must  have deserved it’; ‘it was his karma’; ‘she had something in her that he  didn’t’; ‘there must have been something different that gave her a chance’. I  would personally like to find comprehensive answers that don’t impose further  burdens. Too often the feet pressing you down on the burning coals have some  connection to religion. And I like answers which belong within the spiritual  nature of the human being. To my mind those will have ‘heart’ and the chance of  personal responsibility.

However, all this circling around the question is just the way my particular  mind works. I would love to hear from anyone who has more experience or  different insights!

Jay  Landar –    About the Author:

Take a walk with author and poet Jay Landar through worlds of fantasy,  inspiration and insight. On the way you will see the people and problems of  today – the trials of the globe we all inhabit as it grows towards a new era.  Find the truth of the inner self and the gentle light it sheds on these  struggles – a light which can only grow stronger. Romance, Truth and Beauty are  the keywords of my articles. Please join me on our walk through these  worlds!

 

The Journey of Spiritual Awareness

It is not a destination and it holds no title. It is not a time or even  intelligence, and it is not limited to the confines of some singular path. I ask  the questions . . . how do we find it, how do we define it, and where does it  lead us to? In bond to our sincerity and goodness of heart, let us now begin an  exploration of that precious yet mysterious thing we might call the journey of  spiritual awareness.

spiritualdevelopmentIn attempt to simplify a complex subject, I believe we can divide the issue  into two general arenas: awareness of the self, and external awareness. If we  clarify external awareness as an understanding of others and the reality that  surrounds us, then awareness of the self would most obviously be an  understanding of our individual souls. By an on-going study and comprehension of  both of theses aspects of awareness, I believe a broader vision can be achieved  with which we can gain higher levels and insights to spiritual evolution . . .  an evolution which not only can redefine our very character and purpose, but  steps us into the expanse of new and greater dimensions.

Spiritual awareness seldom comes easily for with it are the tests and trials  of individual experience. Perhaps for most of us, it is external awareness which  is more comfortable to confront for it is more removed from the challenges of  our egos. Self-awareness relies predominantly on our personal ability to be  objective, responsible, and honest in evaluation. It requires discipline to the  maintenance of our clarity towards our content and choice of direction. It is  usually easier to spot faults and qualities elsewhere than to turn the mirror  around and face them within ourselves. In my opinion it is the added challenge  of self-awareness which makes it all the more important for us to deal with, and is therefore to be the prime focus of this  article.

In my opinion, self-awareness is actually more than an understanding, it is  also a feeling. It is a connection to a grand wisdom . . . a strength of divine  love . . . God, cosmos, call it what you may. It is an empowering feeling and a  compassion. Humble yet grand, it is a feeling which transports us beyond mundane  and three-dimensional life to a pure freedom and peace and expansion of spirit.  The threats and hardships to our lives become somehow removed from company of  fear and join with a certainty, a faith, a sense of protection with the  knowledge that we are actually far more than what might seem from the limits of  our five senses. Self-awareness is, at its heart, a confidence  in our totality as truly multi-dimensional beings.

Fear is the great inhibitor. Some much of the negative forces within us stem  from this primal misdirection. Fear in the form of ego tries to steer us from  honesty towards ourselves. Fear limits our perceptions, our value, and our will  to keep progressing. It is the control mechanism used against us by the  institutions and individuals who desperately wish us never to find the potential  of our self-empowerment. So long as that potential is never realized, we remain  to be defined as they would have us . . . as slaves whose life and power are  sacrificed to their appetites of control. We are as food to a parasite, fed upon  and herded by their orders, and made as pawns to a game of ambitious evils. Fear  is the chains of our imprisoned souls. It is all around us, attempting to  saturate us through the subtle mediums of media, religions, governments, and  social conditioning.

A careful discernment needs to be employed here with the subject of fear.  Elimination of fear can so often be corrupted by ego into an elimination of  wisdom. What I am not suggesting here is a bravado imbued delusion of  invincibility. Not fearing the guns on the hill is not the same as painting a  target on your head and stepping into the line of fire. Circumstances may or may  not require you to face those bullets, but don’t be a fool by daring them.  Sometimes the line between fearlessness and foolishness can be a thin one, and  there is no formula I can think of to always and conclusively know that point.  All I could recommend here is to employ both your logic and feelings to the  balance of necessity. Be willful in resolution, but not so stubborn as to deny  future understanding.

Finding fears and interferences within you can be a challenging task, for  many of them hide in the camouflage of subtlety. For myself, I have often found  as well, that what might be thought of as resolved may surface again to be  understood at yet deeper levels than before. We are complex beings, especially  when you realize we are far more than what might be perceived, and therefore the  path of self-awareness truly is a journey without ultimate conclusion. No matter  how far you travel there will always be another hill ahead. As human beings we  traverse but a small section of the map of full reality and truth. Beyond the  human experience lies more, and still more after that. This shouldn’t give you a  feel of futility, rather a drive of intrigue. Don’t worry yourself over where  you may be at, just motivate yourself to find and maintain the right direction.  Know, in time, that you will keep progressing if it is your will to do so.  Knowing where you are currently is just a reference point . . . a guide of  orientation to help you get to the next point. So, stay positive and optimistic  the best that you can.

Perhaps the best advice that I could  give to anyone, based on my own opinions and experience, is to monitor your  thoughts and feelings. Think, think, and think some more . . . and keep on  thinking! Ask yourself questions and quest for answers. Why do I feel as I do?  Why do I believe as I do? Are my reactions what they should be? Think about it,  then have the will to act and change according to your discoveries. See your  shortcomings and mistakes not so much as faults but as opportunities for  improvement. Guilt that is truly valid serves only as a reminder not to repeat  your mistakes, and should be grown out of by learning from it. Change doesn’t  need to be feared. Each of us is, in our own ways and conscious of it or not, on  a soul’s journey. The importance is simply to keep moving forward not backward,  and keep expanding in the power of goodness. Maintain that connection to a  higher source. Focus your will to a noble and righteous cause. Keep steady and  determined with every step across the terrain of reality on this, the journey of  spiritual awareness.

Dan  Thomas –    About the Author:

Dan Thomas is a writer and truth seeker. He is the author of the metaphysical  science fiction novel, Inner-Tech.

 

“I judge people by their own principles, not by my own.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image via Wikipedia

Show respect for other people’s opinions, and don’t say “You’re wrong.”  Be
diplomatic, it will help you gain your point. If you tell a person straight out
that he or she is wrong, then you only succeed in stripping that person of
self-dignity and making yourself an unwelcome part of any discussion.

Our first reaction to most others statements or opinions is an evaluation
or judgment, rather than an understanding of it. It’s time we start to permit
ourselves to understand what the meaning of the statement is to the other
person.
Dr. Martin Luther King

Becoming more aware of ourselves each day.

We are creators of our life. Our life is created with the choices we make. However the power to exercise choice is only available upon the things that we are aware of. The dimensions of life of which we have no awareness happens automatically outside of our control. Thus the less we are aware, the less we feel we are in control. The more we become aware, the more we know we are in control. The quality of our life is thus directly proportional to the level of awareness of our own selves, as whatever we are aware of, we automatically make wise choices that serve us instead of self-sabotaging ourselves in ignorance. Spirituality can thus be defined as an attempt to become more aware of ourselves as each day goes by.

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Sudhir Krishnan