Last call for tomorrows 14 Day Meditation Challenge starting at 7am (GMT):
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Saturday, 27 August 2011
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Monday, 22 August 2011
Sunday, 21 August 2011
Friday, 19 August 2011
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
The internet is awash with secrets on how to accomplish results in meditation.
Upon clicking through to find what they are one is often confronted with a familiar web template where your promised immediate results if you purchase a CD/DVD with the secrets of the universe in 90 minutes.
Often these sites are littered with advertisements - which gives some meditators who perhaps learnt meditation for free in the East a heavy heart.
Of course the modernized world is fueled by the desire for more stuff so naturally when modern folk get their hands on Meditation it becomes a commodity.
To supposedly make Meditation simpler, easier and quicker we are offered special deals, discounts, bangles, holidays, brainwave music, herb teas etc to help us reach altered states of consciousness.
The paraphernalia and stuff that surrounds the world of meditation can be a big distraction...
Funny really because actual Meditation is an activity of mind and the mind is a formless phenomena i.e you can’t see, smell, hear, taste or touch it.
The intention of this article is highlight how its so easy to miss the point and to direct you to two essential points that will empower your meditation practice.
We have everything we need to commence a meditation practice - a mind, our breath, essential instructions without having to purchase or sign up to anything.
There are two main factors we need to reflect and act upon if we wish to progress in meditation, they are simple and straightforward and do not require you to get your credit card out.
1) To sit down and practice meditation
Yes this one sounds very obvious - but is often overlooked.
The most important aspect of training in meditation is to ‘do it’.
Yes we can read about practices, attend seminars with famous teachers, buy the latest book, purchase a streamlined meditation cushion, build a meditation room... but what if we never sit...?
As the quakers state:
‘Don’t just do something, sit there!’ .
Sit down and practice.
If we can set up a regular daily meditation practice and maintain this over the weeks, months, years, decades, lives then we open the door to gaining experience in meditation.
The second factor is:
2) Bring the mind back to the object of meditation
The second factor - once we have established a regular meditation practice then we need to focus on the task at hand. In our world there is no governing body that checks the quality and instructions that are being handed out by meditation teachers and instructors - as a result there are many misunderstandings about meditation and how to practice.
One of the main misunderstandings is that we can meditate with our senses - by listening to a piece of music or looking at a scenic view this takes us into meditation - no... this is a form of relaxation - great to do - but not meditation.
We can experience deep relaxation by manipulating our senses, but this is not meditation.
Meditation is an activity of mind - its a method for exercising the mind not the body.
The body may well be affected by our meditation practice but that is simply a byproduct of our practice.
Meditation is not spacing or tripping out.
Last weekend I visited a festival briefly for the afternoon in the countryside in the North of England there was a pleasant harmonious atmosphere there. The festival included meditation and techniques for transcending the mundane.
I asked one of the organizers, how is everybody doing” he replied
“oh well its been going ten days now so everyone is really spaced out” .
Correct meditation doesn’t space you out because you are focused on the object of meditation.
When you enter into meditation its essential to have an object of meditation to be focusing on.
Otherwise what are you meditating on?
That object of meditation is what you are going after in meditation.
The simplest instruction for meditation is the breath.
When you engage in a breathing meditation then the object of meditation is the sensation of the breath.
As you sit and practice this meditation its essential to keep a mindful focus on this object.
If your mind becomes distracted and begins to focus on something else then at that time you need to bring your attention back, and keep bringing your attention back to the breath, again and again perhaps 100 times in meditation.
This is training your mind and will strengthen, empower and focus the mind.
If you follow and practice these two points mentioned many good results will arise from your meditation practice.
Bring it all back home to your object of meditation - gather the mind inwards and empowering yourself with concentration.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
This is a wonderful method for you to establish a regular meditation practice in your life.
Its only through practicing meditation regularly that you can experience and grow in your practice.
Some of you may have tried this series back in December, for some it may be a new experience, regardless of which, make the most of this opportunity.
Share also with your friends and family by letting them know, forwarding or sharing the information on Facebook/Twitter.
The program is free and will consist of 14, 15 minute meditations sent to you each morning for the first fourteen days of September.
All you will need from your side is an internet connection and some headphones.
What better way to start the Autumn 2011 term?
Last year we had a lot of positive feedback about the course – here is what Chris from Streetly said:
“I have tried various meditation tapes and techniques on and off over the years,to help with back problems and general problems. I recently started the 14 day online guided meditation by Mind Space. I can say without doubt that it is the most effective guided meditation that I’ve done.
The lessons are just the right length to be able to fit them into what ever schedule you have, with each lesson expanding on the previous lesson the course moves forward at a pace that doesn’t overload you. Each lesson contains very useful and effective visualization techniques with phrases that you can say to yourself throughout the day.
Already I have noticed a general decrease in the tension in my body and feel a lot calmer.
I would recommend trying this course to anyone and hope that they get the same benefit i have”
To subscribe for this series simply send us an e-mail with the subject. ‘Subscribe to Peace’
The day before the program starts you will receive an Introductory video to watch explaining the series of meditation.
Join our Fourteen Day Meditation Challenge starting on September 1st. - http://ping.fm/05o4y11/08/fourteen-day-meditation-challenge/
Monday, 15 August 2011
Instead of breaking down windows or judging those who do it, we can break down the divisions that we create in our world with a change of mind.
Stepping back and taking an objective viewpoint - a view that doesn’t have us pushing forward at the centre of it.
Not believing or being sucked into the divisions that are constantly being thrust upon us by the media.
Last week saw rioting across England like which we had not seen for an entire generation.
I witnessed the Wolverhampton disturbances first hand.
As I was driving home around the ring road of the city a guy with a masked face, on a mountain bike came cycling towards me swerving - trying to look cool to his friends who were marching on the pavement next to him.
I witnessed what you saw on TV or in your street- gangs of people rushing into town to grab themselves a pair of trainers or new mobile phone.
Cars full of lads looking giddily excited as they cruised into the centre of town - ready for action.
Riot police standing oh so still in line with their shields and helmets - crippled by political correctness.
Then opportunist masked looters taking advantage - just like the bankers, politicians, police, businessmen and other people in positions of authority have been doing for oh so long - its just these looters were being watched by the public on CCTV.
Upon observation there seemed a trend in style, look and appearance of the rioters - just like there is when you look at politicians and observe their speech and mannerisms, but to mention it in these times would be frowned upon.
The PC media were quick to point out that a 9 A* GCSE pupil was involved and arrested, an Olympic ambassador, a primary school assistant, and a 11 year old...to mention a few.
The riots were well documented by both the media and members of the public - on some footage you could see a huddle of people gathering around a group of teenagers who set fire to their local store - filming it all on their iPhones dreaming of viral video success when they get home and upload.
I watched as did the whole nation as the events unfolded - with dear friends and family in all the places that were being targeted.
I noticed how the media - always went in with an angle. The angle always seems to be one of division.
Over the past few days since the rioting has subsided it has left me contemplating why is there always so much emphasis on division?
To begin with, the media were desperately attempting to put words into people mouths that the riots were directly as a result of the actions of the police shooting - (stirring up the emotion in peoples mind’s who were watching.)
Then to report on angry shop owners who have had their shops trashed calling for the army and water cannons.
Then to have ‘balanced debates’ (as is extolled by those in higher education) with view points from opposing sides - representatives of the two main political parties discussing, debating and then shouting at each other - on the night of the rioting. With no positive conclusion - the viewer - left confused and disappointed.
Other TV debates with anyone with enough courage to express a clear opinion being deemed as biased and racist - sending the knee jerking Twitter-sphere into a divided frenzy
Political correctness does not dissolve division between people it simply suppresses it and creates an internal atmosphere and environment where it grows and becomes more poisonous.
Then in the aftermath of the riots division between the politicians and the police.
The football season started and the news showed two of the top teams fighting with each other on the opening day.
Division sells stories, stirs souls, fires up - but what comes of it?
Divisions are man made - created by our mind. It feels as though there is a separation and distance between our self and others - sometimes a huge distance, even from the people next door to us.
“Sorry do I know you?”
Is there any real difference - between a greedy banker and desperate looter, between an Arsenal and Newcastle fan, between you and your next door neighbor.
Differences are created by naming and blaming.
There is no real difference - the differences is created by mind - as a result of believing these divisions to be real we have a firm basis for anger and aggression.
A superficial reading of this article with critical faculties turned up to their max can just dismiss this as:
Hippy dippy stuff, we are all one...man, kind of thing - lets go around hugging trees and tell everyone how much we love them.
This response is an easy way of letting the divisive qualities in our mind remain.
There is no difference between us - no one wishes for pain, each of us wishes to improve and have a meaningful life...yet within this at the same time we are all unique.
Instead of concentrating on the differences -
why not focus on the similarities?
Instead of concentrating on faults,
why not focus on the qualities?
Instead of breaking down windows?
why not break down the divisions in your mind?
Instead of sitting on the fence judging violence
why not sit down in the quiet of meditation?
Step back take an objective viewpoint - a view that doesn’t have us pushing forward at the centre of it.