The Art of Meditation
BEING HERE & NOW
What more do we have than the moment? Meditation may best be defined as the practice of developing present moment awareness. This may seem easy but being present requires practice. Take a moment and reflect, all life only happens here and now. Meditation practice enables a deeper engagement with all life experience - what could be more valuable?
Meditation has a long history - especially in Yoga, Taoism and Buddhism. Traditional practice generally consists of sitting in an upright posture and refining one’s attention. In the Buddhist tradition there are two primary approaches: focused attention on one object (Samatha, tranquility) or allowing the attention to move naturally whilst continuing to observe it (Vipassana, insight). These practices are the primary options for meditator, however, there are many other methods such as mantra and visualisation.
MEDITATION & HEALING
Healing & Purification - The term healing in its most essential form means ‘to make whole’. Meditative traditions tend to emphasise the word ‘purification’. Understood more broadly, both healing and purification refer to the same process of coming to wholeness, or unity.
Seeing Clearly - Refining attention naturally clarifies one’s perception of mental patterns, physical feelings and emotional states. In this way meditation allows for the mind, body and emotions to be better understood and healed.
Energetic Dynamics - Focused attention causes the energy field to behave in a specific way - the field spins to centre. This centripetal, rotational force naturally reorganises the energy field to higher levels of coherency.
UNification of Mind and Psychic Powers (Samadhi & Siddhis)
The 'culmination of meditation' are the samadhi (jhana) states, the foundational levels of mind. The path of meditation eventually leads to directly experiencing these essential states. The irony of samadhi is that they are already present, not to be gained but rather to be discovered.
The development of samadhi may accompany the arising of siddhis (‘psychic powers’), the extraordinary faculties that come as a result of clarifying the mind. These abilities may seem exotic or magical, but they are simply facets of the mind functioning at deeper levels.