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meditation_and_stress_management_guidelines [2018/02/26 18:12] (current)
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 +====== Meditation and Stress Management Guidelines ======
 +
 +For printable pdf download article here: http://​www.ayurveda-berkeley.com/​index.html
 +
 +
 +
 +[[Meditation]] is an ancient practice with many expressions and benefits. While some consider contemplation and introspection as meditation, we will dismiss them as representative of meditation in the spiritual tradition. There are meditations that use mantras while others use none. Mantras are sounds that have known effects. There are thousands of mantras for meditation. A mantra may be indicated for some persons while not for others. Some mantras promote transcending. Transcending means experiencing the ultimate state of our being — a state of no thoughts and restful alertness. This is a state of unboundedness,​ omnipresence,​ omniscience,​ eternality, omnipotence,​ and of all possibilities. It is the state of perfect health and happiness. The goal of meditation is to experience this state and to know it. To experience it is to become it. The benefits of meditation are so numerous that they can not be enumerated here but they include mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects. ​ Research on one popular technique has shown that the state of rest achieved while meditating may be twice the level of deepest sleep. Yet complete mental awareness is maintained during the entire process. From the perspective of rest we can see that meditation provides a profound level of rest — an opportunity to cleanse, to repair, and to rejuvenate the entire mind-body system. What follows is a listing of things to be aware of surrounding the practice of meditation.  ​
 +
 +1. The time of the day best suited for meditation is the Brahma muhurta—3AM to 6 AM (vata time – calms anxiety)
 +
 +2. Meditate before rather than after meals — the metabolism of eating will interfere with the resting metabolism of meditation and create more mental activity.
 +
 +3. For best results meditate regularly, twice daily (ideally for at least 20 – 30 mins). Consider that your average American kid takes in 45+ hours of combined television & video games; so you can afford 1 hour of “mental digestion time” away from TV.
 +
 +4. Meditate in a space that is relatively quiet — one that will not have disturbances.
 +
 +5. Always attend to nature before meditating — go to the bathroom before sitting for meditation.
 +
 +6. It is best to avoid having pets in the same room while meditating.
 +
 +7. Set aside a time that will be free from impending or other disturbances such as the telephone.
 +
 +8. Meditation is best done siting in an erect, comfortable posture — this facilitates the flow of energy along the spine, promotes ​
 +unimpeded breathing, and avoids the “sleep response” natural to the supine posture. The lotus posture or half-lotus are best but cross-legged sitting on the floor or in a chair may also work well. The use of “back jacks” is discouraged as a reclining posture is promoted. ​ It is best to keep the legs warm and the upper body cool.  So don’t wear a hat or cap, yet do cover the legs with a blanket especially if in full or half lotus. ​ Lotus prevents psychic disturbances.
 +
 +9. In starting meditation close the eyes almost entirely (slightly open) and bring ones attention to the body and breath.
 +
 +10. Have the intention that one is about to meditate.
 +
 +11. If one is using a mantra, such as the Shurangama (“Om she dan dwo bwo da la”), Great Compassion Mantra (ask for a copy), Medicine Buddha Mantra (At the top of this page in fine print), Earth Store Bodhisattva’s Mantra (“Om bwo la mwo lin two ning swo pe he.”) or Avalokiteshvara’s “Om mani padme hum”, for example, then easily allow the mantra to begin — if it does not come then “help it” by easily thinking the mantra or reciting it in quiet voice or almost silently with just the lips moving.
 +
 +12. If thoughts come during this process of meditating do not mind them — easily come back to the mantra or to the breath or other vehicle of the meditation.
 +
 +13. Do not judge the meditation — you may feel relaxed or not; there may be many thoughts or none. Every meditation is successful if one only begins properly — by sitting quietly and feeling the silence and the breath (and mantra). If one judges the meditation then expectation will be present and this will bring effort to the process. Any effort will defeat this process. ​ The only “bad meditation” is when one does not sit to meditate. All sitting for meditation is good. 
 +
 +14. Take each breath, each thought, each repetition of mantra as it comes. ​ Don’t attempt to alter breath, its pace or depth.
 +
 +15. Do not attempt to control the intensity, pace, or even the sound of the mantra.
 +
 +16. Do not use an alarm for the purpose of timing the meditation — just have the initial intention that it will last the proper amount of time — 20 minutes or as instructed. ​ One or one half of an incense stick may be used to measure time.
 +
 +17. If one must attend to disturbances during meditation it is best to meditate for about 5 minutes after disturbance is over.
 +
 +18. Always rest lying down after meditating — 1 minute rest for 5 minutes of meditation.
 +
 +19. Do not rush into dynamic activity immediately after meditating, as this will promote physiological discomforts such as headaches ​
 +(vata), anxiety (vata) and irritability (pitta). ​ Remember to: Stay Busy, Don’t Hurry, Don’t Worry, Be Happy.
 + 
 +----
 +
 +**
 +The Empty Bowl Meditation: Perfection of Ultimately Stable Insight Wisdom**
 +
 +(Om Namo Vipashina Buddha Kevala Kumbhaka Shurangama Samadhi Prajna Paramitayam)
 +
 +The prerequisite and root practice of meditation to develop wisdom is vowing each day to end selfishness by following an ethical or selfless life.  This means the Five Precepts (Namo Yama Pancha Shila) of: 1. No killing [try to be vegetarian or at least to eat meat only as a medicine when the body is too skinny or vata disturbed], 2. No stealing or taking that which is not given, 3. No sexual misconduct or causing your sexual desire to destroy yours or others relationships – preserve your Ojas – Jing Qi (immunity and energy), 4. No lying [also no harsh speech, no profane speech, no gossip or divisive speech, no frivolous speech], 5. No taking drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. Drugs and intoxicants always harm the mind, intellect, memory and cover over one’s inner wisdom. Everything in cyclic existence, pleasant or unpleasant, is ephemeral and impermanent. Since it is certain that I shall shortly be separated from all these things, why should I crave them? I vow to end the 3 mental poisons: Desire is vata (winds of desire) which causes 80% of all diseases. Anger (hot sharp pitta) causes 15% of all disease; Ignorance (muddled kapha) causes 5% of disease.
 +
 +Having made such vows, one can then more easily sit comfortably and quietly (if possible cross-legged in half or full lotus position) with palms up and open, placed on the knees, like empty bowls. Better yet is to sit with palms up in the lap with the right hand on top of the left hand and the tips of the thumbs lightly touching. Although not ideal, you may also practice this meditation while lying on the back in “corpse pose” but try not to fall asleep during it. The eyes should be neither wide open nor too far closed, and they should be fixed on the tip of the nose. Set the teeth and lips in their usual, natural positions and touch the tongue to the roof of the mouth, behind the front teeth. Pay attention to the breath. Let the lungs breathe with no effort on your part. Breath is an object of awareness. The movement of breath is the movement of thought. Simply watch the movement of breath. Inhalation and exhalation should not be noisy, forced, or uneven; let it flow effortlessly,​ ever so gently, without any sense that you are moving it here or there. As you are watching the movement of the breath, pay attention to the tip of the nose. Just be aware of the touch of air going into the nose. Cool air going in, warm air coming out. Sit this way, quietly, observing breath, for about 5 to 10 minutes.
 +
 +After 5 to 10 minutes, follow the breath. Go with the air into the nose, throat, heart, diaphragm, deep down into the belly behind the belly button, where you will experience a natural stop. Stay in this stop for a fraction of a second, then follow the breath on exhalation, as it reverses its course up from the belly behind the diaphragm, heart, throat, out through the nose and out of the body to about 9" in front of the nose to a second stop.
 +
 +The first stop is behind the belly button; the second stop is outside the body in space. At these two stops, breath stops. At these two stops, time stops. Movement of breath is time. In these two stops, only existence (being) is present. Serene wisdom insight (Om namo shamatha vipassana prajna paramitayam) realizes that you are not the body (rupa skandha shunyata in Sanskrit), not the emotions (vedana skandha shunyata), not the thoughts and memories (samjna skandha shunyata), not your behaviors and activities (karma samskara skandha shunyata) and not the consciousness (alaya vijnana skandha shunyata). ​ In these two stops one is surrounded by the perfection of limitless kindness (maitreya), compassion (karuna), joy (mudita), equanimity and letting go (upeksha), patience (kshanti paramita) and boundless clear light energy (virya prabha paramita). In these stops, God, Goddess, Buddha, Bodhisattvas,​ Sage and Saints are present. In these stops you are like an empty bowl. The moment you are like an empty bowl, great blessings can be poured into you. God, Goddess, Buddha, Bodhisattvas will come to you and pour the pure water of benediction into you. Let the lungs breathe and you are the empty bowl. Practice this meditation for 15 to 20 minutes in the morning and in the evening. As you practice this meditation, over the days, weeks, months, you will find your time in the stops naturally prolonging until eventually inner and outer will merge at the 3rd eye and everything will happen within you. You realize that you are not separate from the rest of living beings. You are the world and the world is you. You realize that all things are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows, like dew drops and a lightning flash: Contemplate them thus.
 + 
 +----
 +
 +Source: Scanned in from Lad, Vasant, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc., Ayurvedic ASP Handouts, Albuquerque,​ NM: Ayurvedic Institute, 1998
 +
 +Please come to the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery (2304 McKinley Avenue [1 block west of MLK] at Bancroft) on Wednesday nights from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM for free meditation classes or on Friday nights from 7:30 PM to 9 PM.  510-848-3440 or visit www.DRBA.org
 +
 +Meditation Mantra: Chant 7x "Om Namo Vipashin Buddha Namaha"​ or "Om Padma Ushnisha Vimala Hum Phat"
  
meditation_and_stress_management_guidelines.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:12 (external edit)