Meditation is not a complex matter. It’s not even a spiritual practice,
as many people think, unless you wish to make it one. It is more like
aerobics for the mind. It tones and tunes up the thinking processes
and the emotions and brings everyday life into sharper focus and new
degrees of ease and harmony. It will NOT turn you into a flower-
brandishing pansy or a grinning freak. It can improve your athletic
performance or your love life, even increase your IQ. And the best part
about meditation is that it requires nothing on your part but the time
it takes to do it.
Start by choosing a comfortable chair. If you’re new to this, we don’t
advise using your bed. The chair should have a high back and sloped
enough to support your head so it won’t drop into your lap when you
relax. Sit down, sink in as deep as you can, and close your eyes. If
you can’t seem to remain still for more than a moment, try the
stress-reducing techniques outlined elsewhere in the collection.
Once your body is relaxed, keep your eyes closed and try to blank
your mind, pushing aside every thought that pops up. You might be
surprised how busy your mind really is, but this will be a lot of fun
if you give it a try, even though it might take weeks before you can
blank your mind for even a couple of seconds. Don’t think this means
you’re going to have to work. The longer it takes the more stressed
your mind was to begin with and the more benefit you’ll get from any
improvement. This mind-blanking business can be frustrating at times,
but it is definitely worth the effort, or lack of effort if you will.
This clearing of the mind is more a growing process than something to
be learned, so no one can really teach you how to do it. Transcendental
Meditation (TM) has been using one technique for several years which
seems to help, however. It involves the mental repetition of short,
meaningless word in time with your breathing. The word acts as a focus
point, something for the mind to latch onto, and it makes it easier
for stray thoughts to fade into the background.
The first few times you try this, one of two things should happen.
One type of person will find they can’t seem to relax their minds.
They will suddenly begin a train of thought and may follow it for
several minutes before remembering the original reason for relating.
That’s fine. This loss of concentration indicates a degree of
relaxation, and this sort of contemplation can be very valuable, as
it can provide new insights into old subjects.
A second type of person will have dreamlets, the mini-dreams you have
before falling asleep. After trying to pull themselves out of the
dreamlets a few times, they will probably fall asleep. That too is
fine. This indicates an ability to relax at will, and the person only
needs to learn how to remain mentally alert while in the relaxed state.
You’ll find trying this, even unsuccessfully, for as little as a week,
that your waking level of concentration, your resistance to stress and
your endurance in all sorts of tasks will have increased. It will
continue to increase long after you have learned to really blank your
Once you are able to do that, you will find your mind becomes a clear
screen on which you can project the most vivid fantasies, analyze
problems and situations with amazing clarity and objectivity and delve
into the depths of your thinking processes. That’s only a side benefit.
As we have said, the most exciting benefits are seen in your day-to-day
You can remain in a meditative state as long as you like, but from
five to twenty minutes after you reach that level of relaxed alertness
your body will probably want to rise again. You can open your eyes and
go about your business any time you like, although you may find yourself
either a little drowsy or very energetic. People react differently to
relaxation. You should immediately notice a calmness and vigor that will
stay with you through the day.
These effects occur because meditation produces a response from the
brain similar to that of the stress-reducing techniques. It regulates
and increases your mental tolerance to all kinds of stimulus. So
instead of a brain-wave curve most of us carry around that would sound
like gangly acid-rock if you hear it, your brain-wave curve will come
to resemble more and more the sound of a flute or massed strings.
And that will do you a world of good, even if you happen to be a gangly
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