Upon looking within, at first glance one might say, “It’s not heaven in here! It’s a mess. Worries, doubts, frustrations and all kinds of stuff.” But that’s because we’re not looking deeply enough. The mind is like a drunken monkey, constantly running around chattering, grasping at things, pushing other things away; “I want this!” “I don’t like that!” etc. What we need is to settle the monkey-mind down through meditation.
There are different forms of meditation all aimed at quieting the mind so we can experience the deeper level of being/consciousness/bliss that lies under the surface. The breath is the key. When the breath is calm the mind will be calm. The simplest method is simply “watching the breath.” Watch the inhale, watch the exhale; feel the air coming into the nose and filling the lungs, then watch it leaving. Whenever the monkey-mind gets distracted and chatters about something else, just go back to watching the breath. That’s all! A variation on this is counting the breath, e.g. inhale to the count of seven, exhale to the count of 7. A more advanced version is the four-part breath: inhale, hold, exhale, hold (always for a comfortable duration that’s not straining, especially when holding).
A “mantra,” which is a word like love, peace, om, shalom, or any other word or phrase that has special meaning for you, can be said silently on the exhale to help focus the mind.
My own favorite meditation method is a very ancient yoga technique coordinating the body and breath. I’ve been studying yoga and meditation for 37 years and this is the simplest yet most powerful system I’ve ever found. It involves a special breathing technique along with gentle arm and body movements, which my teacher demonstrates in a video. Do a practice like this consistently, even a few minutes every day, and you’ll begin to experience the heaven within.
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