|6 Apr 2002 @ 22:40, by Mahendra Bardiya|
You may select a posture of meditation in which you can sit comfortably and steadily for a long period. The posture of meditation may be 'full lotus-posture,' 'half lotus-posture,' 'simple cross-legged posture, or 'diamond-posture' (Vajrasan).
Mudras : Position of the Hands
There are two alternatives: one position is called Jnana Mudra. Keep your right hand on the right knee and left hand on the left knee, keeping the palms turned up. Let the tip of the index finger touch the tip of the thumb with a slight pressure between them. Keep the other fingers straight.
The alternative position is called Brahma Mudra. Keep both the hands on your lap one above the other by keeping the palms upturned. Let the left palm remain under the right one.
Keep your eyes softly closed.
Recitation of Arham:
Start the meditation session with the repeated recitation of the mantra Arham.
Exhale fully, then inhale completely. By slow exhalation begin the intonation of the mantra. Concentrating your mind on the navel, produce the sound "A" for about two seconds. While concentrating your mind on the Centre of Bliss situated near the heart, produce the sound "Rha" for about four seconds. And lastly taking your mind upward from throat to the Centre of Knowledge situated at the top of the head, produce the sound "mmm" for about six seconds. Inhale deeply again and repeat the same exercise nine times.
Visualize that the sound waves are criss-crossing and weaving an oval-shaped web of armor all around you, protecting yourself from the evil effects of the external vibrations.
Recitation of the Mahaprana Dhvani:
Alternatively start meditation with the repeated recitation of the Mahaprana Dhvani. Exhale fully, then inhale deeply as long as you can. By slow exhalation, produce the sound "mmm" through the nostrils like buzzing of a bee, while concentrating your mind on the Centre of Knowledge situated on the top of the head and keeping the mouth closed. Inhale deeply again and repeat the same exercise nine times.
The Aphorism of the Aim:
Perceive and realize the deepest and highest levels of your consciousness by your conscious mind. See yourself through yourself. For perception and realization of the self, practice preksha meditation.
Resolve for Meditation:
"I am practicing preksha meditation for the purification of my mind (psyche)". (Repeat three times)
The first step of meditation is Kayotsarga, that is relaxation with self-awareness. Keep your body steady, relaxed and free from tension. Keep your spine and neck straight but without stiffness. Relax all the muscles of your body. Let your body become limp.
Practice steadiness of body at least for five minutes. Keep your body completely steady, as motionless as a statue. Do not allow the limbs of your body to move. No movement at all.
Kayotsarga has two implications--complete relaxation of the body and self-awareness. For achieving complete relaxation of the body, mentally divide it into several parts and concentrate your mind on each part of the body one by one, from feet to head. Allow your mind to spread in the whole part--allow it to undertake a trip in the whole part; use the technique of auto-suggestion to relax the whole part and experience the resulting relaxation. Experience that each and every muscle, each and every nerve has become relaxed. And in the same way attain, the relaxation of the whole body. Use deep concentration and remain completely alert. Practice Kayotsarga.
Detailed Instructions for Relaxation:
Starting with the big toe of your right foot, concentrate your mind on it. Allow your mind to spread throughout the big toe. Suggest to the muscles and nerves to relax. Relax..... Relax..... Relax…..Experience that they are relaxing. Experience that they have become relaxed. In the same way, attain relaxation of the other parts of the right limb--the other toes, sole, heel, ankle, upper part of the foot, calf-muscles, knee, thigh, upto the hip-joint. In the same way relax the left limb upto the hip-joint. Experience that the whole of the lower portion of the body has become completely relaxed.
Now achieve the relaxation of the middle portion of the body from the waist upto the neck. Concentrate your mind on each part one by one starting with the lower abdomen, relax the front, the back, the right side, the left side, the outside and the inside of your lower abdomen. Similarly relax the upper abdomen-- the front, the back, the right side, the left side, the outside and the inside of your upper abdomen. Now through your navel enter the abdominal cavity and relax the large intestine, the small intestine, the kidneys, the spleen, the liver, the pancreas, the stomach and the diaphragm. Use autosuggestion and achieve relaxation. Then concentrate your mind on the chest and relax the entire rib-cage. Beginning with the lowest rib, relax each and every rib in turn. Relax the front ribs, the back ribs, the right ribs and the left ribs. Now enter the chest and relax the right lung, the left lung and the heart by auto-suggestion. (Those who have got any heart trouble should pause here for a few minutes and by auto-suggestion slow down the heart to remove stress.)
Now achieve the relaxation of the neck muscles in the front and in the back. Then concentrate your mind on both the hands and arms one by one; starting from the thumb, relax the fingers, the palm, the wrist, the lower arm, the elbow, the upper arm and the shoulder. Experience that the whole of the middle portion of your body has become completely relaxed.
Now achieve the relaxation of the upper portion of body from throat upto the head. Here we have come to a bit more difficult part of the exercise. So far you were relaxing large muscles which respond quickly to your suggestion. But now we have to relax a large number of small and tiny muscles which are difficult to relax. First unclench your teeth and unlock your jaws and let your tongue go limp. Keep your lips softly closed. Now relax all the facial muscles; beginning with the chin, relax the lips, the inner portion of the mouth including the teeth, the gums, the palate and the tongue; then relax the cheeks, the nose, the ears and the temples, both the eyes, the forehead and the scalp, through auto-suggestion. Experience that the whole of your upper portion of the body has become completely relaxed.
Again allow your mind to travel from the head upto the feet and from the feet upto the head; this time rather quickly and see that there is no tension anywhere in the body. Experience that the whole body from the feet upto the head has become completely relaxed. Maintain the posture of Kayotsarga throughout the meditation session. Try to keep your body completely steady and motionless.
Now practice inner silence at least for five minutes through relaxation of the vocal cords (voice box). Concentrate your mind on the voice box inside the throat and completely relax it. Observe complete inner silence. There should be no vibrations in the voice box.
INTERNAL TRIP (Antaryatra)
The second step of Preksha meditation is the practice of internal trip through the spinal cord. Take your mind to the lower end of the spinal cord, called the Centre of Energy. Allow your mind to go upward inside your spinal cord upto the top of the head called the Centre of Knowledge. Again allow it to come back through the same path to the Centre of Energy. Again and again repeat the same process. Let your mind continuously undertake the trip inside the spinal cord and perceive the subtle vibrations of the vital energy, taking place inside the spinal cord, or whatever sensation you get there. Simply perceive them without any reaction. Concentrate your entire consciousness on the spinal cord.
You may synchronize your internal trip with the process of breathing. During exhalation, undertake the upward trip and during inhalation, undertake the downward trip. Use deep concentration and complete awareness. Practice the internal trip through the spinal cord.
Allow your mind to rise and fall inside the spinal cord just like mercury rising and falling inside the instrument used for measuring blood pressure.
PERCEPTION OF BREATHING
The third step of preksha meditation is perception of breathing.
Regulate your breathing; make it slow, deep and rhythmic. Let the vibrations of each breath reach your navel. Allow your abdominal muscles to expand during inhalation and contract during exhalation.
Now concentrate your mind fully on your navel. Practice deep, slow and rhythmic breathing, by allowing each breath to take the same time. Perceive each inhalation and exhalation through the expansion and contraction of the abdominal muscles accompanying each inhalation and exhalation respectively.
Continuing the slow, deep and rhythmic breathing, now shift your attention from the navel and focus it inside the nostrils at the junction of both the nostrils. Perceive each incoming and outgoing breath. Remain fully aware of each and every breath.
Continuously practice slow, long and rhythmic breathing--inhale and exhale each breath while remaining fully aware of it. Fully occupy your mind in perception of breathing.
If you are distracted by any thought, do not try to stop it forcefully, but also perceive it, and then again start perceiving your breath. If the distraction is frequent, you may hold your breath for a few seconds without causing any discomfort.
Maintain the continuity of the awareness of breathing. Merely perceive it without like and dislike.
B. PERCEPTION OF ALTERNATE BREATHING
In the practice of breathing through alternate nostrils, you have to inhale through one nostril and exhale through the other, then inhale through the same and exhale through the other.
Try to accomplish the alternation by exercising your will-power. But in the beginning you may make use of finger and thumb of the right hand by placing the right thumb against the right nostril and the ring finger of the right hand against the left nostril and resting the middle and index fingers on the forehead. Now, remove alternately the thumb and ring finger for opening the path of breath through the right and the left nostril respectively.
The third step of preksha meditation is perception of breathing through alternate nostrils. Regulate your breathing; make it slow, deep and rhythmic. Concentrate your mind inside your nostrils, practice breathing through alternate nostrils. Inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left one. Now inhale through the left nostril and exhale through the right one; this completes one cycle. Repeat the same exercise again and again continuing the rhythmic breathing. Perceive each inhalation and exhalation by concentrating the mind in alternate nostrils. Let your mind and breath go hand in hand. No thinking, no memory of the past, no imagination of future. Simply perceive.
Continuously the mind and breath should accompany each other. While you are breathing in, let your attention follow the breath inside. While you are breathing out, let your attention follow it outside.
Now, practice the perception of breathing through alternate nostrils together with holding the breath intermittently. Concentrate your mind inside the nostrils. Inhale through the right nostril and hold the breath inside, exhale through the left nostril and hold the breath outside; again inhale through the left nostril and hold the breath inside and exhale through the right nostril and hold the breath outside. In this way, practice holding of breath four times during one complete cycle. Continuously remain aware of each exhalation and inhalation. You may hold the breath only for a few seconds without causing any discomfort. Repeat the same exercise for several rounds. Let the mind and breath go hand in hand.