Consciousness is the quality of being awake and aware of one's mind and surroundings.
There are five natural states of consciousness. You are undoubtedly already familiar with the first three, but likely unfamiliar with the fourth and fifth.
The important thing to keep in mind is that meditation and mindfulness training teaches us how to be more conscious during the three ordinary states that we are all familiar. When we become more conscious during these ordinary states they transition into the fourth and fifth advanced states.
The following are the five natural states of consciousness: Read More
I want to give you some suggestions that will help you better understand the mantra and how to use it.
A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase, often having no meaning whatsoever. Your mantra might be "Om," "I am," "So hum," "Om namah shivaya," or any number of different mantras that correspond to various teachers or traditions. For a detailed explanation of four useful mantras, visit my article here.
Your mantra is a tool, so let’s make sure it’s as sharp as possible.
The first important thing to understand is that mantras fall into two general categories, and one of the categories leads to the next. In other words, the two general categories of mantra present two distinct ways of using them. These are the two ways: Read More
Thoughts are one of the biggest distractions to a meditation practice. Most people experience thoughts all day long, rarely experience a moment without thoughts.
Yet quieting the mind is the great aim of any meditation practice.
So the question is this: How do we manage our thoughts such that we quiet our minds?
I want to propose two approaches to managing our thoughts, and you must perform both approaches in tandem, as if each approach occupies a separate end of a scale. Read More
I want to outline nine obstacles that interrupt your practice of meditation and block your progress during meditation.
They start as mere distractions and eventually become obstacles, unless you remedy them.
These are the nine obstacles: Read More
Posture is perhaps the first aspect of your meditation practice that demands consideration, as learning to sit properly is one of the most essential skills of meditation.
A good posture is one that provides a balance between being comfortable and alert, and one that you could easily maintain over an extended period of time. The essence of good posture is the ability to sit upright, not too hunched over.
There exist a variety of poses that enable good posture for the meditator. Here are the four most basic poses: Read More
The five modifications of the mind are correct knowledge, wrong knowledge, imagination, memory, and sleep. For a more detailed description of those, read my article here.
Now I want to talk about the causes of these modifications of the mind.
Basically, we have all this “monkey mind” or “mind chatter” going on. What I want to do now is help you understand why this monkey mind and mind chatter takes places.
Here are the five causes for the five modifications of the mind: Read More
Whenever thoughts and images do arise, there is a corresponding reason. That's why I want to outline the five primary modifications, the five types of “mind chatter” or “monkey mind:" Read More
The way in which someone meditate depends much less on the two different styles —concentration and awareness — and much more on the object upon which someone meditates.
Therefore, I want to outline the six basic objects of meditation.
Keep in mind that when practicing awareness meditation, you expand your attention to include all six objects at once — or as many of them as you possibly can. When practicing concentration meditation, you isolate your attention to include only one of the six basic objects.
Here are the six basic objects of meditation: Read More
Breathing is such an important and fundamental aspect of what it means to be alive.
Yet so many people are unaware of their breathing.
Why should you be aware of your breathing? Because breath is the bridge between the body and the mind, and in order to maintain good health and transition into higher stages of spiritual development you must maintain harmony between your body and mind. Read More
Many forms of meditation exist, ranging from the simple and easy, to the complex and difficult.
But while many traditions have their own names for the various styles of meditation, keep in mind that scholars often divide meditation into two broad categories: Read More