3 Proven tips for starting and deepening your meditation practice
If you have landed on this post, chances are you are interested in meditation. I have been practicing since my early twenties and in that time have been lucky to interact with a number of persons that taught me about meditation and the importance of a daily practice. In this post I will share my best learnings and hope they can help you get started or get deeper.
1. Mooji's "An Invitation to Freedom" guided meditation
If you are just getting started with meditation, or would like to deepen your daily practice, this is a fantastic place to start. In just over thirty minutes, and with a resounding clarity, Mooji guides the listener from the dualistic mind, to directly experiencing the perceiver within.
(I personally prefer to first edition, as the intonation is a bit more relaxed, but only the second edition is available on Spotify.)
Here an excerpt from the Mooji.org website:
"An Invitation to Freedom is a profoundly clear and direct pointing leading to Self-realisation. This unique guidance arose spontaneously in Mooji during his open Satsang season in Rishikesh, India, 2017. Simple in its language but extraordinary in its capacity to reveal the Real - that is, the unchanging and unborn awareness we are - the Invitation has ignited inside the hearts of thousands of seekers worldwide."
2. The knack of meditation: Just relax
I spent some time traveling in India in my twenties. At the Osho International Meditation Resort, daily meditations were always led by a so called "black-robe". These were experienced Sannyassins. (Sannyassin is an ancient Sanskrit word which can roughly be described as "seeker".) One day, a black-robe I had not seen before, entered to lead a meditation.
He let us know, he was going to teach us the "Knack of meditation". In his introduction, he said something that would change my meditation practice forever:
"Just relax and let go.... don't try to meditate."
For this one session, when we got to the stage where one sits quietly, we should not do anything. Instead we should move into a deep let go and simply relax. Relax mentally and physically and let go of everything, every intention, every thought, every practice, every tension in the body.
After completing the first two stages of the Kundalini active meditation, I sat down for the quiet sitting. Instead of struggling with holding an upright posture, breathing 'right', pressing my tongue up against the roof of my mouth etc. etc. I just closed my eyes and let all my efforts go.
I slowly fell into a very natural ever deepening space, void of thought, emotion and intention. I had to make a small effort to not topple over at times as ever deeper relaxation set in. Within a few minutes, inside and out, there was open space, no clinging and a deep peace and openness became apparent. It felt very different to anything I had experienced up until this point. I had effectively, gotten out of the way.
It was the single most important pointer on meditation I have ever received. I never saw this black-robe again, but if I did, I would express my most sincere gratitude to him.
3. Establish a daily practice
The important part, as many have pointed out, is to practice regularly. I have heard said, a seeker, is one who meditates daily. As hard as it may seem sometimes to sit down for 10 or 20 minutes, once it becomes a part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth, you will notice the positive impact this simple ancient technique will have on you and your life.
For me, listening to "The Invitation" first thing in the morning, even for just 20 minutes, has a strong positive impact on how I experience myself and my environment for the rest of the day.
With just these three basic techniques, it is possible to move deeply into meditation in a relatively short space of time.
In this ARTE documentary there is an overview on meditation and its health benefits. (German only, sorry no other version available)
The benefits for your work life
I have found that I am much less susceptible to stress, I make better decisions, and can get through my day with a little more grace and a little less struggle. Especially if you work in a high pace environment, you owe it to yourself to try meditation. Besides the well-known health benefits, (situational) awareness is increasingly becoming a key skill in the modern workplace and meditation is a proven way to train this.
As an old zen proverb states:
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” - origin unknown
***A heartfelt thank you, to my beloved life partner Oona, for bringing me back to a daily practice.***