How to meditate article by Vi Kipling with Craig Hamilton-Parker
To discover inner psychic potential it is necessary to go ‘back to roots’ and start the journey with the discovery of self. This may sound unnecessary, as people tend to think they know exactly who they are, their place in life, and their personality.
Unfortunately, the knowledge of self, which is contained within each person, is not always at a conscious level as many think. Quite often people reflect the personality others have given them. It can be difficult to be ‘your own person’ as this may conflict with the image other people have and in an effort ‘to be accepted’ the nominated role is played out to the mutual satisfaction of all.
Meditation by Craig
It is also a fact that people do not like to examine themselves and the lives they have led too closely. The reason for this being that, although they made decisions at specific times based on all the information at hand, in hindsight it is so easy to see where a better decision could have been made.
To find self is to gain a greater understanding of self and not necessarily to improve or change self. It has been found, however, that often some improvement and change does take place as understanding dawns. The majority of people have been brought up to view all the virtues as things to be actively sought and sometimes, in striving to achieve perfection, their whole characters change; they become pious, holy, severe, with doleful countenance and somehow they have lost the joy of life from their lives.
A discovery of self, therefore, is not to change and become goody-goody. It is a journey of joyful self-realization wherein the voyager will discover inner truths and knowledge which will, in turn, activate hidden strengths waiting to be released. To discover self is not necessarily an examination or investigation of self; it is often a journey to the innermost sanctum of the soul to find sacred space; to find sacred time; to touch the God essence that is within all people.
Once a person has been able to realize his or her own God potential, then it is so much easier to recognize God (good) in all other people.
To find self, therefore, it is necessary to find some time for self which statement is very simple but often very difficult to put into practice. It is not possible to discover one’s potential in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day living. Discipline must be introduced into life so this journey can be affected. The easiest way to make this journey is by using the discipline of:
So what is Meditation?
“Meditation is an ancient technique that is used for physical and mental relaxation as well as for personal and spiritual growth. It can be described as sitting quietly, keeping the mind alert, focused, and concentrated while the body is totally relaxed.” (D Fontana)
It is also important to realize that meditation is a personal practice and usually done alone. Quite often relaxation and visualization exercises are called meditations, as are exercises to help people link with the world of spirit. These exercises are not meditation. Meditation is a simple process of going within, usually concentrating on the breath, allowing thoughts to filter through, and then letting them go.
Meditation is a gradual disciplining of the body which will remain relaxed for longer periods as the mind takes a firmer control. As the meditation progresses there will often be a change in consciousness and an even greater awareness of life itself. Meditation stimulates an inner tranquillity, which reflects in the life of the practitioner.
Meditation can sometimes be a bit of a bind when first starting as the body fidgets and the mind won’t relax and it really is difficult to force the discipline upon a resisting mind and body. Once these resisting forces are tamed, however, the practitioner will look forward to his/her daily sessions as a time in which to be alone with self in that inner silence which cannot be found in the physical world.
So how is meditation practiced?
Initially – find the time. Decide upon a time that is the most suitable, taking into account all family and social commitments. Time must be found when it will be possible to be alone and relax. Meditating when tired will only induce sleep so do not do it after a period of hard work. Midday is a good time – before lunch or again, sleep will take over.
Do not meditate more than once a day initially – it is better to move into the practice slowly until it becomes part of daily life, like bathing, eating, and sleeping. Meditation is not rhubarb and doesn’t need forcing.
How long is it necessary to meditate?
There is no hard and fast rule for the length of time required. A beginner should not force him/herself to sit for a certain length of time – 5 minutes is a long time when basically ‘nothing’ is happening and 30 minutes is a lifetime.
In the early stages the physical body usually decides when to stop It is not necessary to set an alarm as if it rings when bodily relaxation has been achieved and the mind is totally focussed, it will startle the practitioner and put him/her off meditation.
Trust self. A sure way of knowing whether meditation is being practiced correctly is when it is thought that only 5 minutes have elapsed and then discover that the meditation has taken 20 minutes and the ticking of the clock had not registered at an audible level.