The “learning” process of meditation is really more of an “un-learning” of rapid, neurotic and chaotic thinking patterns. It is a time of rest and a time of being as well as a time to breathe and focus on your very breath. There are several schools of meditation, Transcendental meditation, Tibetan meditation and even Christian meditation. In Buddhist meditation, the practitioner is looking to progress in the realm of enlightenment through the releasing of the pain and the attachments to the world. There are literally thousands of practiced visualization meditation that is used in Buddhism.
Over the last several years, Buddhist meditation has become increasingly popular and those people who are desiring a more natural manner of releasing stress and anxiety have become attracted to these ancient techniques. There are many positive benefits that are linked to the breath meditations including high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. When looking for a sangha, or Buddhist meditation family, there is generally at least one group meeting in even smaller cities. There are world wide events as well for the experienced practitioner.
When arriving at the location, the student will immediately notice a calmer, quieter and more reverent atmosphere conducive to relaxation. For several times when first “trying” to meditate the student will notice that it is not working and that there mind has actually sped up and making lists of all the things they could be doing if they weren’t sitting there with their eyes half open and sitting in the lotus position. Do not be alarmed. This is not the natural state of the mind and years of being pulled in every which way has created this destructive pattern.
Relaxation is not an easy thing to snap into when first beginning this ancient art. The mind is what they say “looking at itself.” It is noticing the speed and intensity of the insanity of living in the world. Keep on making the decision to attend the meditations, practice at home when alone and quiet, and soon a moment of silence will arrive and will disappear right away once it is realized. Don’t give up, it will come through the consistent practicing of releasing the pain and the thoughts and letting them float away and taking another breath.
There are important and serious reasons behind the act of meditation, being that of seeking wisdom and insights that are reached in this states of quiet breathing. Some meditation is to spend time on the breath alone and other meditation is to focus on specific concerns and problems. It is reminiscent of a form of prayer and brings the practitioner into a deeper understanding of the pain of the world in order to gain the ability to have compassion for people and what they are experiencing in their lives.
This quiet time will have what seems like a mind of its own, but with regular practice, the mind will start to become trained and silent. This will bring as sense of peace and tranquility and at the best a sense of heightened awareness. This experience may take many times of practice, but the process will be a healthy and personal time of self-exploration and creating an intimate sense of connection to the world as a whole.
By Jess Lopez