Practicing Peace and Meditation

There have been numerous strides in the awakening of the spiritual world. At the front of this charge, meditation has come to be a key towards manifesting a greater awareness of self. It has shown itself to be flexible and assessable to all people, in all situations. It is a movement like never before seen on a global scale. We must attune ourselves to its components and step away from its different titles and forms to fully comprehend its gifts. At the core of meditation is self-understanding, which heightens a path to self-realization. Any practice we should decide to take, we should all be aware they still are expressions of the core principle. We shouldn’t get caught up in what is better forms, higher forms, or simpler forms of meditation. Our paths can only really be judged by us, not others. We have suffered too long with defining one another and it hasn’t really gotten very far spiritually. There was a Buddha Master said to gain awakening by just contemplation, then it was suggested it was because he was born ripened to awake. We cannot assume he would be the only one, and that whole generations may be ripened to awake just by contemplation alone. Many of these meditations can be found online, I just thought I would present some I found valuable.

Mindfulness, also called ‘Vipassana’, comes from the Buddhist tradition. Mindfulness is the most popular form of meditation in the western world. It’s all about ‘being present’, letting your mind run, and accepting whatever thoughts come up, while practicing detachment from each thought. Mindfulness is taught along with an awareness of the breath, though the breathing is often considered to be just one sensation among many others, none for particular focus. There is no attempt to change the breathing pattern, which limits this practice and makes it observational rather than active. Changing your breathing changes the energy; just watching what your breathing is doing (particularly if your breathing is shallow, as it generally is) means you are stuck in a low-energy state.

Zazen is the generic term for seated meditation in the Buddhist tradition, but in the modern Zen tradition, it is often referred to as ‘just sitting’. It is a minimal kind of meditation, done for long periods of time, with little instruction beyond the basics of posture (sit with your back straight). There is no particular attention to the breath, nor an attempt to change the breath. Zazen is the ‘anti-method’ approach to meditation, but it is often done in conjunction with a concentration on a certain aspect of Buddhist scripture, or a paradoxical sentence, story or question, called a Koan.

Transcendental Meditation is a simplified practice that emerges from Vedanta, the meditative tradition within Hinduism. To use this method, you sit with your back straight (ideally in the Lotus or half-Lotus posture), and use a mantra, a sacred word that is repeated. Your focus is then placed upon rising above all that is impermanent. At the more advanced levels, it focuses on the breath and changes the breath to change one’s state of being. It often leads to leaving the body, which is the goal of this technique.

Kundalini is another practice that comes from Vedanta. Kundalini is the name for the rising stream of energy that exists in a human being. The aim of Kundalini meditation is to become aware of this rising stream, and to ride the stream to infinity. The practitioner concentrates on their breath flowing through each of the energy centers of the body, always moving upward, toward the energy center just above the top of the head. Kundalini, makes active use of the breath, using breath to move energy upward.

Qi gong is a form of Taoist meditation that uses the breath to circulate energy through the organs and energy centers of the body in an oval pattern called the ‘microcosmic orbit’. Attention is focused on the breath and the circulation of energy (called ‘qi’ or ‘chi’). Attention is also focused on the three major centers used in Taoist meditation: a point about two inches below the navel, the center of the chest, and the center of the forehead. Qi gong uses the breath to direct energy and circulate energy in the body and spirit.

Heart Rhythm Meditation focuses on the breath and heartbeat, making the breath full, deep, rich, rhythmic, and balanced. Attention is focused on the heart as the center of the energetic system. One tries to identify oneself with the heart. By focusing on the breath, you make your breath powerful. And then learning to direct the breath, to feel the circulation of breath as it pulses in different parts of your body, then on your magnetic field, you learn to direct and circulate energy. You are in control of yourself at all times, and you become both more powerful and more sensitive. At more advanced stages, your power and sensitivity are always in service of your heart, so you become compassionate.

Zen walking meditation techniques, or “Kinhin”, is a traditional form of Buddhist mindfulness that offers many health benefits. The process is straightforward to understand; we simply apply the core concept of mindfulness to the process of walking. We focus the mind on the movement of walking. This increases the mind-body connection, heightens mindfulness, and boosts our mental well-being.

Metta Bhavana (Buddhist Loving Kindness Meditation) is a technique that we use to create feelings of love and kindness, warm feelings that make your inner world a place of compassion. It is used by many famous meditation teachers (especially popular of late is Sharon Salzberg’s loving kindness meditation script). 

Karuna meditation (compassion meditation) is one of the traditional forms of Buddhist methods, and is used to cultivate self-love, as well as love for others. When we practice Karuna meditation, we are cultivating the quality of benevolence. This is essential for spiritual development and for attaining enlightenment.

Happy Buddha Meditation Technique Meditation for Joy & Positivity. It is reputed that this meditation was prescribed to the Buddha, by a rishi (saint) to help him regain his positive mind and recover emotionally after a long stretch of meditation and fasting. Although, this meditation appears to be a simple technique, it is actually incorporating many important aspects of Kundalini Yoga to achieve its results. The meditation uses, the power of mantra (sound vibrations that create corresponding states of consciousness), mudra (hand positions that create certain energy flow in the subtle body), eye positions, mental focus and the science of spirit to bestow its wonderfully uplifting benefits

I will generally attempt to avoid meditations that have possible roots in defensive styles of combat. But on occasion this strength is needed to overcome internal struggles by giving us the added feeling of self-reliance and accomplishment. Any spiritual practice holds with it the energy of its originations, it would do good if we selected from a complete understanding, then paired it with our conscious viewpoints. If you have input I welcome it!