Part 1 of a Series on Meditation.
Recently, I completed a teacher training for meditation and it’s been an angel with wings to help me understand an otherwise complex subject: my monkey mind.
It gave me a reason why—to slow down and use the dusty meditation cushion in my living room.
I’m going to share some of the meditation nuggets that I have learned with you, because quite frankly, we humans have loads more intelligence and resources to inner intelligence and healing than is being utilized. It comes in the form of consciousness. The way to access our higher states of consciousness and intelligence is to take the journey inward: to know thyself—to meditate.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a method to assist an individual in observing and evolving the mind’s layers: consciousness (the state of wakefulness), subconsciousness (the state of intellectualization) and super-consciousness (the state where inspiration, creation, intuition, bliss and transcendental experiences occur). As we move into super-consciousness, one can cultivate the ground to access universal intelligence—which is by no means, a small feat.
At first, when you start to look inward and see the mind, it is as the sky (but hardly ever clear) without a cloud, drop of rain or thunderous lightning.
Under these conditions, one may not be able to see the sun—but that doesn’t mean it does not exist. It is merely not seen under these conditions. It is the same with the self and higher intelligence: it always exists. It is just that most of us have not experienced or seen the inner self because of the darkness or clouds we cast over the self with our mind-states and conditioning’s.
During meditation, different parts of our mind can become illuminated and brought to consciousness (the state of wakefulness). This is critical today, because most individuals are not awake to the internal processes and deep seated emotions that lie within.
Because the lower mind (the mind of ego, greed, power and fear) distracts us from looking inward. As a simple example, many people over-eat and disregard the fact that their belly is full simply because they love the taste of the food, they fear not having enough or are trying to fill an inner void.
One’s stomach is the size of one’s closed fist. So it’s not hard to intellectualize portion-sizes, but many still ignore that knowledge. Instead, if we were more mindful of what we chose to eat, when and how much, we could start to see the cycles or conditioning’s that are programmed into our mental systems. With that insight, we could make different choices about our diets.
In turn, our culture could start to significantly reduce diseases/conditions related to diet—high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, obesity, attention-deficit disorders and other disease states.
Entire segments of our lives could improve if we just paid more attention—concentrated attention to the mental processes of what’s going on under the surface.
People often shy away from meditation because it’s not easy! A beginner’s mind identifies with fear, ego and the senses, which pulls one into the same habits, patterns and mind-states. But eventually with practice, one will see the forces continually distracting us from going deeper within. Meditation helps us to observe the weather of our minds at each moment. With enough willpower and practice, we can change the weather at will.
So how does one go about meditating?
The first step is a burning desire to change the habits and conditioning’s which have set the neural pathways in your brain. After that, there are several more relevant steps to take: concentration and withdrawal of the senses (which will be discussed in the next part of this series).
Then, I will offer up some simple exercises that you can do anywhere, at any time. These are forms of meditation, all directed at understanding one’s internal mental processes and interpretations.
We practice dental hygiene and personal hygiene—but hardly ever mental hygiene.
Perhaps, it’s time to take a look?
Karen Nourizadeh, a “recovering attorney,” is now a yoga instructor with Pure Yoga and New York Sports Clubs as well as a writer and media contributor. Karen freed herself from law and the corporate world to help people heal themselves, mentally and physically, through yoga. Karen is completing her first work, a memoir, detailing her struggle to get out of law, find herself and fulfill her destiny. On a spiritual quest, Karen encounters a mysterious 10-year-old Indian boy, who introduced himself as “Goldie Hawn’s son.” The boy teaches Karen lessons of the heart through his pure, honest, uncalculated actions. He affirms to her what is already in her heart, and helps to free her from her worst enemy, her mind. Follow Karen on Facebook and Twitter.
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- Assistant Ed: Dusty Ranft
- Ed: Brianna Bemel