contributed by Gary Eyring
“Adapted from the Theosophical Society.”
The Art of Quieting the Mind ( known as meditation) has been practiced for thousands of years. It began as a devotional practice commonly associated with monks, priests, mystics, and other practitioners of spiritual disciplines. The meditative state has been described as one of perfect stillness: the silence of body, speech, and mind. The systematic practice of meditation enables one to go within and uncover that hidden center of Awareness or The Observer. Today information on meditation is widely disseminated and can be practiced by anyone who desires to find inner peace and to better cope with stress.The Need
As the pressures of our world intensify, many people are turning to the practice of meditation as a means of leading a calmer life, achieving greater clarity of mind, and coming into touch with the core of their being.
In this search for inner peace, we must not lose sight of the fact that it is an inner journey. Just as the ocean contains quiet depths untouched by surface agitation, so does every human heart. The state of our emotions often resembles the churning of the ocean's surface: we feel as though we are being swept along by waves of anxiety, fear, restlessness, and anger. Against those powerful forces, we may feel as helpless as a branch being tossed by the waves. Our inability to empty our mind of worries and concerns creates further levels of stress. Through meditation we can learn to experience inner peace, even though our outer environment may be chaotic or stressful. Meditation is the means that takes us from the surface of life to its depths.TYPES OF MEDITATION
Over the centuries, many forms of meditation have been developed.
1.Some aim at emptying the mind of all thoughts and thought processes.
2. Others recommend concentrating upon a quote from Scripture or an uplifting aphorism taken from an inspirational book.
3. Some methods make use of creative visualization
4. Still others involve verbal chanting or the silent recitation of mantras.
5. Another technique is to reflect upon certain qualities that we would like to realize in our own life such as patience,compassion, or non-attachment.
There is no one particular style or technique, because what suits one person may not be suitable for another. There is no single right or wrong way to meditate. People are free to explore different approaches until they find one that they are comfortable with. Once a particular method has been chosen, the important thing is to establish a regular daily meditation practice.Regardless of what approach is taken, the goal should be one of achieving greater clarity and equanimity in one's life.