Practical Meditation Course - Part I


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These slides were created by Andreia Inamorato dos Santos for the Practical Meditation Course - Part I - offered by the Mind Body and Spirit Club (MBS) of the Open University UK on the 14th April 2010.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution, Non-Commercial, ShareAlike.

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  • The intellect is the power of judgment, what shows the most useful option, what measures advantages and disadvantages.
  • Sanskaras: impressions or imprints derived from past experiences. Sankaras are our habits, emotional tendencies, personality, temperament and all experiences imprints we had from the past. These are the usual lenses through which we experience the present. We can change these imprints and perceptions.
  • Is Meditation difficult or easy? Read the story of the ordinary man, in Meditation for Inner Peace, pg 125-126.
  • Practical Meditation Course - Part I

    1. 1. Meditation<br />A Course on Practice – Part I<br />By Andreia Inamorato dos Santos<br /><br />
    2. 2. What does meditation mean to you?<br />Try to write down a definition:<br />2<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    3. 3. Pick 3 words that best describe what meditation gives us:<br />1-<br />2-<br />3-<br />3<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    4. 4. Meditation definition<br />From Merriam-Webster dictionary:<br />13c – From the Latin verb meditari, meditation means:<br />TO THINK OVER, CONSIDER, PONDER<br />Also the root of the word meditation is med, which relates to the Latin mederi, meaning ‘to heal’.<br />4<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    5. 5. Meditation definition<br />“Meditation is the process of getting to know yourself completely, both who you are inside and how you react to what is outside”.<br />Sister Jayanti<br />5<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    6. 6. Meditation definition<br />“Meditation is a practice that takes us away from mechanistic thoughts and brings us closer to response-able actions”.<br />Andreia I. Santos <br />6<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    7. 7. Meditation definition<br /> There is no right or wrong definition to meditation. What is true to meditation is that it puts you in contact with your inner and higher self, the part of you that is directly connected with God.<br />7<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    8. 8. The mind and the intellect<br />Sister Jayanti’s definitions (Brahma Kumaris):<br />The mind is a faculty of the soul. It is not physical. Through the mind we imagine, think and form ideas. It is the basis of all emotions, desires and sensations. <br />The intellect is also a faculty of the soul. It is not physical. The intellect controls over the mind and the self. The intellect assesses the value of what emerges in the mind.<br />8<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    9. 9. The monkey mind<br />Are you able to tell precisely what sorts of thoughts your mind will be entertained with in the next seconds or minutes?<br />Can you use your own will right now to distance undesirable thoughts from your mind and focus on desirable thoughts for the next couple of hours?<br />9<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    10. 10. Know thyself…<br />THOUGHT<br />ACTION or NON-ACTION<br />Occurs in the mind and is regulated by the intellect<br />By-products of the thought. Must be response-able<br />10<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    11. 11. The 3 faculties of the soul<br />Mind<br />Intellect<br />Sanskaras<br />11<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    12. 12. Know thyself…<br />THOUGHT<br />ACTION or NON-ACTION<br />HABIT<br />Occurs in the mind and is regulated by the intellect<br />By-products of the thought. Must be response-able<br />12<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    13. 13. Meditation: a powerful tool<br />Meditation is about applied thought, applied energy and discipline. Through meditation we can have response-able actions and change our imprints in the sanskaras.<br />13<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    14. 14. Levels of meditation practice<br />1st level practices: promote physical well being, body and mind relaxation. Such practices include breathing techniques, body scan, mindful walking, most popular forms of yoga, guided meditations, etc.<br />14<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    15. 15. Levels of meditation practice<br />2ndlevel practices: once body is relaxed and attention is focused, these practices aid the reconnection with our inner self and God as the highest source of energy. These practices include concentration, visualisations, prayer, chanting, mantras, silence, some forms of guided meditation. <br />15<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    16. 16. Levels of meditation practice<br />3rd level practices: the highest meditation experiences. It occurs when meditation is effortless, natural, with no interference of thoughts and is truly profound. We feel completely absorbed in ecstasy and are one with God. This state is also called samadhi, and is the main purpose of meditation. These experiences are achieved through constant practice and devotion. Meditation levels 1 and 2 lead to them. <br />16<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    17. 17. Meditation toolkit<br />PERSEVERANCE<br />DISCIPLINE<br />RITUAL<br />FAITH<br />DEVOTION<br />PATIENCE<br />17<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    18. 18. Discipline<br />Meditate when you feel like it and when you don’t. This is when you probably need it the most.<br />18<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    19. 19. Ritual<br />Create your own ritual, nothing too fancy. You may choose to create your own altar and display a picture or image, a candle, incense, crystals, flowers. It should be simple. There’s nothing wrong about using symbols and music, anything that will tell your mind that it’s time to meditate. Remember: smells and music evoke emotions and these are created in the mind. Use these instruments to calm down your mind, but do not be dependent upon them. <br />19<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    20. 20. Practices<br />1st level practice: Breathing 1 <br />Find a comfortable position to sit, close your eyes and feel your body relaxing;<br />Focus your attention on your breath, from where it comes in on the tip of the nose up until it reaches your belly; feel the movement of the air inside of you, and the movement of your diaphragm;<br />With each breath, think: “breathing in I relax my body, breathing out I relax my mind”. Do it 10 times and then just focus on breathing in and out until you feel totally relaxed and centered.<br />Technique adapted from Eddie & Debbie Shapiro, 1997 <br />20<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    21. 21. Practices<br />1st level practices: Breathing 2 – colourful breathing<br />This technique helps balance the 7 chakras<br />Sit in a comfortable position. Inhale air deeply and gently in the pure crystal colour and exhale imagining the air in grey colour, feeling all tension and impurity leaving your body and mind. Do it 3 times;<br />Now start inhaling air in different colours. First, take a deep breath in and visualise air in the blue colour. Feel this air traveling around your body. Breath out. Blue brings calmness, tranquility and protection. Do the same for the other 6 colours:<br />Golden (wisdom, prosperity), light pink (unconditional love), white (ascension, peace, prosperity), green (healing, love), rubi (grounding, devotion), violet (transmutation, discipline, ascension).<br />Technique by Andreia I. Santos <br />21<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    22. 22. Practices: Candle glazing<br />This meditation aims to bring the mind to full concentration. In place of a candle you could use a flower or a picture, for example.<br />Sit opposite a lighted candle, with the flame at eye level when your eyes are slightly lowered. Glaze the candle flame if possible without blinking. After a while, close your eyes and recreate the image of the flame in your mind. Repeat the process many times. The internal candle flame will burn more brightly as your concentration sharpens. <br />22<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    23. 23. Practices - mantras<br /> Mantra is a sacred phrase, word or sound that is meant to be repeated continuously in order to help the mind clear up from thoughts and the body to reach a higher vibrational state. Mantra, from Sanskrit, means man (mind) and tra (free). Powerful mantras are:<br />OM (also known as AUM). Pronounced as ‘oooooooom’. It is said to be the holiest sound of the universe. It evokes creation, preservation and transmutation through God’s power. Ideally should be repeated 9 consecutive times at least. <br />Om Mani Padme Hum means ‘The Jewel is in the Heart of the Lotus’. It is used for clearing the heart and the mind.<br />23<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    24. 24. Practices: prayer<br />Prayer is the most sublime form of devotion. It connects us with our higher self and God. Praying helps to accelerate our body and mind vibrations, and is an act of sincere humility. When we pray, the spiritual beings of light around us try to find ways to answer our prayers within our merit. They will only do it if we ask, because they respect our free will and personal path of development. Praying builds up energy and helps us focus and manifest our our sacred path on Earth. You should choose your own prayers, according to your beliefs and to what most speak to your heart. <br />24<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    25. 25. Practices: prayer<br />Example prayer 1:<br />The Great Invocation<br />From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men
Let Light descend on Earth. 

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth. 

From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men-
The purpose which the Masters know and serve. 

From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
<br />Amen
<br />25<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    26. 26. Practices: prayer<br />Example prayer 2:<br />Finding strength<br />May I find the strength within me to break free of all limitations<br />May I find the heart within me to be truly honest<br />May I find the courage within me to step into the light<br />May I find the nobility within me to treat myself and all others with compassion<br />May I find the wisdom within me to be still and listen<br />May I find the Love within me to forgive myself and others<br />May I find the peace within me to give up my judgments<br />May I find the joy within me to celebrate all that is true and surrender to the Divine.<br />Adapted from Eddie & Debbie Shapiro, 1997<br />26<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    27. 27. Meditation<br /> “When concentration ends meditation starts”<br />Gnostic Movement<br />27<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />
    28. 28. End of part I <br />GOOD PRACTICE!<br />References and suggested readings:<br />Sister Jayanti (2000) Practical Meditation – Spiritual Yoga for the Mind. Brahma Kumaris. Florida: Health Communications, INC.<br />Eddie & Debbie Shapiro (1997) Meditation for Inner Peace – your guide to relaxation and true hapiness. London: JudysPiatkus<br />For further information and activities: Mind Body and Spirit Club, The Open University UK –<br />28<br />By Andreia I. Santos<br />