Yin Yang Yoga article by James Traverse
Are you overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious?
Do you often find yourself wishing for a way to relax and get rid of the negative energy?
If you’re looking for an unconventional way to find peace and relaxation – meditate and contemplate until they flower as Awakening Spiritually is the answer.
In other words, it is highly recommended that you undertake these practices for the purpose of Spiritual Awakening Meditation, which is the process of expanding your awareness and connecting to a deeper level of understanding. It is a way of shifting your perspectives and beliefs to align with a higher truth. It is often accompanied by physical, mental, and emotional changes that can be both challenging and rewarding as you move into a more conscious state of being. Not only that, but it is a journey of self-discovery and understanding of your connection to the universe and all that is.
Why Meditate, What is Meditation?
Learning to meditate is a great way to relax and recenter yourself. It involves taking a few moments to focus on your breathing, clearing your mind of any negative or distracting thoughts, and allowing yourself to just be in the present moment. It can help to improve your concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, and can even boost your creativity. There are many different techniques available, so you can find one that works best for you.
Try to set aside some time each day to meditate, and you’ll soon start to reap the benefits. It can be used to cultivate mindfulness and self-awareness, and it can also be used to develop spiritual insight and to explore the deeper aspects of one’s being.
What is it?
Meditation is the practice of focused attention and intentional awareness that is intended to bring about a state of greater calmness and clarity of thought. It can be practised for a few minutes at a time, or for longer periods.
When you say that you are going to meditate, folks who have been misdirected about what that entails often imagine you sitting on the floor and chanting in a language they don’t understand. Yet, the actual practice is far from how it may appear to someone who is untrained.
Meditation is a form of mental and physical relaxation that has been around for thousands of years. It is used to clear the mind and help to focus on relaxation, inner awareness, and personal growth. It can help to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and improve physical and mental health.
There are many different ways to meditate. Some forms are listed below, including ones that focus on being present in the moment to those that you follow along with via a guided audio track. All forms can be practised alone or in a group, and can be done in silence or with music.
What is Contemplation?
Contemplation is the act of reflecting deeply upon a subject or situation, often in silence and with an inward focus. It involves a mindful, meditative approach to understanding oneself, others, and the world around us. Contemplation allows us to step away from our everyday concerns and to gain a clearer, more balanced perspective on our lives. By engaging in contemplation, we become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, which can help us to make better decisions and lead more meaningful lives.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of the present moment. It is a simple and powerful technique for calming the mind and increasing self-awareness. With mindfulness, you can learn to observe your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment, allowing you to become more present in the moment and better able to manage stress and difficult emotions. Some of the benefits of practising mindfulness include improved concentration, better sleep, increased self-awareness, and more resilience in the face of life’s challenges.
Forms of Meditation:
1. Concentration: This approach involves focusing on a single point of reference, such as an object, sound, or movement.
2. Mindfulness: This approach encourages the practitioner to observe their thoughts and emotions without judgement.
3. Loving-Kindness: This approach focuses on cultivating positive emotions, such as compassion and kindness, towards oneself and others.
4. Mantra: This approach involves repeating a word or phrase, or mantra, in order to create a state of relaxation and calm.
5. Movement: This approach involves focusing on the breath while engaging in gentle physical movements, such as yoga or tai chi.
6. Visualization: This approach involves creating a mental image of a peaceful and calming scene in order to relax the body and mind.
Meditate and Contemplate to get these Benefits:
1. Stress relief: These mindful practices can reduce stress and anxiety by calming the mind and body. It can help to relax and reduce negative emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness.
2. Improved mental clarity: These mindful practices can help to improve focus and concentration, allowing us to think more clearly and logically.
3. Improved physical health: These mindful practices can help to reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, and reduce inflammation. It can also help to reduce muscle tension and improve overall physical wellness.
4. Improved emotional wellbeing: These mindful practices can help to increase positive emotions and reduce negative emotions, allowing us to be more mindful and present in our lives.
5. Increased self-awareness: These mindful practices can help to increase our awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, allowing us to better understand ourselves and our reactions to situations.
6. Improved relationships: These mindful practices can help to improve our relationships with others by increasing empathy and understanding. It can also help to reduce conflict and improve communication.
Summary of Spiritual Awakening Meditation and Contemplation Benefits
These mindful practices are a great way to reduce stress, improve focus, and increase your overall well-being. They can help to reduce feelings of anxiety, improve sleep quality, and increase your ability to handle difficult situations. They can also help to increase self-awareness and the ability to recognize your own thoughts and feelings. These mindful practices can also help to improve your ability to make decisions and manage difficult emotions. Additionally, they can help to boost your creativity and productivity, leading to greater success in life.
Chapter 1: How to Meditate and Contemplate
The journey inward is a powerful tool for increasing your emotional and physical well-being. To begin a practice, you’ll need to create a comfortable and supportive environment. Start by finding a quiet space in your home that is free from distractions. You can also consider getting comfortable seating, such as a cushion, bench or chair, to help you relax.
Once you have your space set up, it’s time to decide how you want to meditate. Explore the ones listed earlier to find a form that resonates with you and your goals.
Once you’ve chosen your way to meditate, it’s time to begin your practice. Make sure you set aside a designated time each day to meditate. You can also use a timer to keep track of your practice. Once you’ve begun your practice, focus on your breath. Notice the sensation of each inhalation and exhalation. Do your best to stay present and embrace any thoughts or feelings that come up without judgement.
Over time, you’ll find that your practice will become easier and more enjoyable. Remember to be patient and compassionate with yourself as you embark on this awareness journey.
How to Meditate: Preparing and Practice
Preparing to meditate involves setting the stage for a successful practice. Here are some tips for preparing:
1. Find a comfortable space: Before starting to meditate, find a comfortable, quiet space that is free from distractions. Make sure the temperature of the space is comfortable, and the lighting is dim or natural.
2. Prepare your body: Sitting in a comfortable position is essential for you to be able to meditate. Consider a cross-legged position or sitting in a chair with your feet on the ground. Make sure that your spine is straight, and your shoulders are relaxed. Some people sit on a cushion, called a zafu and zabuton is the name of the cushioned mat that the zafu is placed on. Still others prefer to sit on a stool or bench, called a zazen bench.
3. Set an intention: Before you begin meditating, take a moment to set an intention. This could be something like “I will be open to learning” or “I will be present in this moment.”
4. Set a timer: Set a timer for the amount of time you want to meditate. This will help you to stay focused and on track.
5. Focus on your breath: Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Pay attention to the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body.
6. Let go of expectations: Your practice is not about perfection or achieving a certain state of mind. Let go of expectations and simply allow yourself to be in the moment.
7. Accept distractions: If you find your mind wandering, simply accept the distraction and refocus on your breath. Don’t judge yourself or become frustrated.
8. End your practice: When your timer goes off, gently open your eyes and end your practice. Take a few moments to reflect on your experience and how you feel.
Different Postures to try When You Meditate
1. Seated in a Chair: Sit comfortably in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your lap, palms facing upwards, and close your eyes.
2. Seated on the Floor: Sit with your legs crossed and your back straight. Place your hands on your knees, palms facing upwards, and close your eyes. As stated earlier, some folks choose to sit on a cushion while they meditate, and still others prefer to sit on a wooden stool.
3. Lying Down: Lie flat on your back and place your hands by your sides, palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and allow your body to relax.
4. Standing: Stand with your feet slightly apart and your arms loose at your sides. Gently close your eyes and allow your body to relax.
5. Walking: Walk slowly and gently, focusing your attention on the sensation of your feet touching the ground. Let your arms hang loosely at your sides and close your eyes.
6. Dancing: Choose a type of dance that moves your body slowly and gently. Focus your attention on the sensations in your body and close your eyes.
7. Yoga: Choose a yoga pose that feels comfortable and relax into it. Close your eyes and focus your attention on the sensations in your body.
Chapter 2: Techniques to Explore when you Meditate
1. Breath Awareness: Focus your attention on the sensation of your breath, the inhalations and exhalations, as you breathe in and out.
Breath AwarenessBreath awareness is a practice of mindfulness and conscious breathing. It involves focusing on the breath, noticing its flow and the sensations that it creates in the body. This practice is used to bring one into a meditative state, to reduce stress and anxiety, and to promote overall well-being. Breath awareness can be practiced in a variety of ways, such as focusing on the breath while walking or sitting still, or focusing on the breath while engaging in a specific activity. It is important to note that breath awareness is a practice of non-judgmental awareness and should not be used to control the breath in any way.
2. Body Scan: Start from your toes and work your way up, noticing any sensations in the body as you go.
A body scan is a type of mindfulness practice in which an individual focuses his or her attention on different parts of the body, noticing the sensations and emotions associated with each part. The goal of a body scan is to become aware of physical sensations in different parts of the body, as well as any mental and emotional states associated with them. It is a way to observe and connect with your body without judgment.
3. Visualization: Create a mental image of a calming, serene, and peaceful environment and become immersed in the experience.
Visualization is a powerful tool used to make data and information more understandable. It is a process of transforming data and information into visual representations such as graphs, charts, maps, and diagrams. This can help to make the data easier to interpret, as well as giving a better overall understanding of the data. Visualization also helps to identify patterns and trends in data that would otherwise be difficult to spot. It is a valuable tool for data analysis and can be used in a variety of applications, from business intelligence to medical research and goal setting.
4. Mantra: Choose a mantra and silently repeat it to yourself as you focus your attention on the mantra.
Using a mantra to meditate on is a practice that involves the repetition of a word, sound, or phrase. This way to meditate has been used in many spiritual traditions around the world and is an effective way to access a deeper level of awareness and to focus the mind. The mantra can be a single word, such as “peace” or “love,” or a phrase, such as “om mani padme hum.” The repetition of the mantra is used to help focus the mind and to help the meditator reach a state of deeper relaxation and inner peace. Mantra practice can be done in a seated or lying position and it can be practised for as long as desired.
5. Walking: Focus your attention on the sensation of your feet as they move and touch the ground.
Meditating when you are walking is mindfulness in motion. It is a simple and effective way to become more aware of the present moment and to use your body as a tool for calming the mind.
To begin, find a quiet place where you can walk without interruption. Start by standing still and taking several deep breaths. Focus on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body.
Once you feel more grounded, begin to slowly walk. With each step, become aware of the sensation of your feet on the ground. Notice the weight of your body as it shifts with each step and the way your arms move in rhythm with your legs.
As you walk, pay attention to the sights, sounds, smells, and other sensations you encounter. Notice how your body responds to these things. Be gentle and non-judgmental with yourself.
When thoughts arise, simply observe them without getting caught up in them. Then, bring your attention back to your body and your surroundings.
When you reach the end of your walk, take a few moments to stand still and reflect on your experience. Notice any changes in your body or your mind.
Meditating while walking is a great way to practice mindfulness in daily life. With practice, you will learn to become more aware of the present moment and to cultivate a sense of peace and harmony in your life.
6. Loving-Kindness: Meditate by direct loving and kind thoughts toward yourself and other people.
Meditate on Loving-kindness. This is an approach that focuses on cultivating feelings of love and kindness towards oneself and others. It is often practised with the intention of cultivating a more compassionate attitude towards oneself and others. To practice this form, sit or lie in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath. As you breathe in and out, bring to mind a feeling of love and kindness towards yourself. Visualize yourself surrounded by a warm, loving light.
Imagine this light radiating outward from yourself and enveloping others in a warm embrace. Feel the love that you have for yourself and extend it to the people around you. As you hold this feeling in your heart, repeat a simple phrase such as “May all beings be happy and peaceful.” Allow your love and kindness to expand to all living beings. After a few minutes, slowly open your eyes and return to the present moment.
Chapter 3: Tips for a Successful Practice
Keep a Journal of Your Meditation for Spiritual Awakening
A journal is a great way to track your progress as you meditate, and it helps you to stay motivated. Start by recording the date, time, and duration of your practice. After each session, write down any insights or observations you had, as well as any emotions that arose during your practice. This can help you become more aware of your mental and emotional state. Additionally, you can use your journal to set goals and track your progress. Writing down your goals can help you stay consistent and focused on your practice.
Accessories that can Help You Meditate
- Music: You may choose to play music that helps calm and focus your mind.
- Guided Audio Sessions: There are many audios available that can help you meditate. One very popular one is Yoga Nidra Yoga, which is a guided relaxation way to meditate.
- Singing Bowls: Another Popular Accessory that many folks find helpful is a Singing Bowl. Singing Bowls are rubbed or struck with a mallet, and the practitioner then entrains his/her body to synchronize with the bowl’s vibration. Water can be added to the Singing Bowls to vary the vibrations
- A Timer: If you decide to use a timer, be sure to get one that has an appropriate sound to mark the end of your practice session.
Set Goals for Your Meditation
Goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.
1. Set a daily goal to meditate – Decide how many minutes you would like to meditate each day, and make it a priority to stick to your goal.
2. Monitor your progress – Track your progress by keeping a journal of your sessions. Note the time you meditated and any changes or insights that you experienced.
3. Focus on one goal at a time – When setting, focus on one goal at a time. This could be to relax, to be more mindful of your environment, or to become more aware of your thoughts.
4. Set realistic goals – Don’t set goals that are too ambitious or too difficult. Start small and then gradually increase the length of your meditations or the complexity of your goals.
5. Be consistent – Consistency is key when it comes to this practice. Make sure to set aside a specific time each day to meditate and stick to it.
6. Practice gratitude – After each time you meditate, take a few moments to be grateful for the experience and the progress that you’ve made. This will help to keep you motivated and on track.
Working with Difficult Thoughts During Your Practice
Meditation is an incredibly powerful tool to help us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings. However, it can also be difficult to meditate when you have difficult thoughts. The key is to acknowledge the thought without judging it or getting attached to it. Instead, simply observe it and allow it to pass without getting caught up in it.
It can also be helpful to focus on the breath, or a mantra or visualization, to help ground yourself in the present moment. This can help to bring the focus away from the difficult thought and back to the present moment. Additionally, it can be helpful to practice compassion and understanding towards yourself and the thought.
Finally, it is important to remember that difficult thoughts are a normal part of this practice and that they should not be feared. They are simply a reflection of what is going on in our minds, and can be used as a way to gain further insight into ourselves. With practice and patience, we can learn to work with difficult thoughts when we meditate and ultimately grow in our understanding and compassion for ourselves.
Working with Resistance During Your Practice
When working with resistance during meditation, it’s important to remember that resistance is a normal part of the process when you meditate. Resistance can come in the form of boredom, frustration, physical discomfort, or a strong aversion to the practice. The best way to work with resistance is to accept it, acknowledge it, and then move through it.
Start by consciously recognizing any resistance you may be feeling. This could be anything from a lack of motivation to an intense aversion to the practice. Once identified, take a few moments to sit with the resistance and observe it without judgment. Acknowledge the presence of the resistance, then shift your focus back to the breath or the meditation practice.
It can also help to use mindful imagery to visualize yourself pushing through the resistance and eventually easing into the practice. You can imagine yourself taking a few deep breaths, then allowing the resistance to gradually melt away as you become more focused and relaxed.
Finally, don’t expect perfection. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, and remember that these practices are a journey with no fixed endpoint. As long as you’re doing your best to work through the resistance, you’re making progress.
Overcoming Obstacles while Meditating
When meditating, it’s important to remain mindful of any obstacles or distractions that may come up. The most common obstacles to meditation include feelings of restlessness, boredom, agitation, and self-judgment. To overcome these obstacles, here are some strategies:
1. Acknowledge your emotions and thoughts. Name the feeling or thought that is distracting you, and allow yourself to feel it without judgment.
2. Come back to your breath. Whenever you notice that you have been distracted by an emotion or thought, gently come back to your breath and focus on the sensation.
3. Focus on one thing. Choose a specific object – like a candle flame – and focus your attention on it. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the object.
4. Adjust your posture. Make sure your posture is comfortable and supportive. A comfortable, upright posture helps create a relaxed state of mind.
5. Make it a practice. Set a daily time to meditate and stick to it. The more you practice, the easier it will become to overcome obstacles.
By using these strategies, you can overcome obstacles while meditating and deepen your practice.
Meditation for Spiritual Awakening Resources
1. Being Yoga with James Traverse https://beingyoga.com
2. Insight Timer: Insight Timer is a free app that offers thousands of guided meditations, music tracks, talks, and other resources to help you start to meditate and to maintain the practice.
3. Calm: Calm is a subscription-based app that provides audio and video resources to help you meditate. It also provides sleep stories, music, and more.
4. Headspace: Headspace is a subscription-based app that offers guided audio sessions and other resources to help you meditate regularly.
5. YogaGlo: YogaGlo is an online yoga and mindful platform that offers both free and premium classes. It also offers a library of helpful music and talks.
6. 10% Happier: 10% Happier is an online platform that offers guided audios, talks from experts, and other resources to help you start and maintain a beneficial practice.
Also check for Local Classes for these practices in your area, and you can search online for Retreat Centers.
Chapter 4: Conclusion
Meditation is a powerful tool for achieving better mental and physical health. It has been proven to reduce stress, improve concentration and focus, and even help to improve physical health. It is a great way to relax, become more mindful, and gain a greater understanding of yourself. While it may not be a quick fix to all of life’s problems, it is a great way to gain a better understanding of yourself and the world around you.
A monk did zazen everyday for ten years.
One day he trusted to the zen master: “I get nothing from zazen but sore behind!”
The zen master nodded and answered: “Yes, so it is!”
The monk: asking respectfully, “Why didn’t you tell me already before I started?”
The Master: “You would not have believed me!”
The monk bowed for the Master and left the monastery. Suddenly enlightened.