Start looking for business "frameworks". What are the common threads that unite the great businesses of our time? Once you have a few frameworks you can start coming up with new ideas using them. They're like idea machines. They will enable you to come up with literally dozens of ideas in a single sitting. I've identified probably 3 or 4 at this point. I'm then twisting them to come up with a business that is unique and meaningful to me.
You need to immerse yourself more in the field and do a lot more research. As you do lots of research you will naturally start having new ideas, you will start seeing unfilled opportunities. It's very hard tobsee these opportunities without immersing yourself and lots of diverse source material.
The secret to creativity is lots of diverse source material.
You say you want to run seminars, but how many seminars have you attended yourself? If you attend 20 seminars I can guarantee you will have some good ideas about how to create some new kind of seminar.
The reason you are stuck is because you lack relevant experience. So go get more experience.
@Anirban657 You know you are.How do you know you are ?
What is the feeling that makes you think you exist ?
That is the I feeling or me feeling or I am Ness or sense of seperate self or sense of seperatedness.
It is always present in waking state and disappears momentarily when you get deeply involved in thinking or some activity.
In sleep it is absent.
Hold on to this I feeling continuously when ever you have free time.It is not just 30 minutes meditation.It has to be as long as possible.
Hope it is clear.Feel free to ask any questions you have.
Nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental intrinsic oneness.
For thousands of years, through deep inner inquiry, philosophers and sages have come to the realization that there is only one substance and we are therefore all part of it. This substance can be called Awareness, Consciousness, Spirit, Advaita, Brahman, Tao, Nirvana or even God. It is constant, ever present, unchangeable and is the essence of all existence.
In the last century Western scientists are arriving at the same conclusion: The universe does indeed comprise of a single substance, presumably created during the Big Bang, and all sense of being – consciousness – subsequently arises from it. This realization has ontological implications for humanity: fundamentally we are individual expressions of a single entity, inextricably connected to one another, we are all drops of the same ocean.
Science and Nonduality is a journey, an exploration of the nature of awareness, the essence of life from which all arises and subsides.
What is nonduality, anyway?
There are many shades of meaning to the word nonduality. As an introduction, we might say that nonduality is the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and fundamental oneness.
Our starting point is the statement “we are all one,” and this is meant not in some abstract sense, but at the deepest level of existence. Duality, or separation between the observer and the observed, is an illusion that the Eastern mystics have long recognized, and Western science has more recently come to understand through quantum mechanics.
Dualities are usually seen in terms of opposites: Mind/Matter, Self/Other, Conscious/Unconscious, Illusion/Reality, Quantum/Classical, Wave/Particle, Spiritual/Material, Beginning/End, Male/Female, Living/Dead and Good/Evil. Nonduality is the understanding that identification with common dualisms avoids recognition of a deeper reality.
So how can we better understand nonduality?
There are two aspects to this question, and at first glance they appear to be mutually exclusive, although they may be considered two representations of a single underlying reality.
The first aspect is our understanding of external reality, and for this we turn to science. The word science comes from the Latin scientia, which means knowledge. The beauty and usefulness of science is that it seeks to measure and describe reality without personal, religious, or cultural bias. For something to be considered scientifically proven, it has to pass exhaustive scrutiny, and even then is always subject to future revision. Inevitably human biases creep in, but the pursuit of science itself is intrinsically an evolving quest for truth. But then quantum mechanics turned much of this lauded objectivity on its head, as the role of the observer became inseparable from the observed quantum effect. It is as if consciousness itself plays a role in creating reality. Indeed, the two may be the same thing. As quantum pioneer Niels Bohr once put it: “A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself!”
The second aspect is our inner, personal experience of consciousness, our “awareness of awareness.” We have our senses to perceive the world, but “behind” all perception, memory, identification and thought is simply pure awareness itself. Eastern mystics have described this undifferentiated consciousness for thousands of years as being the ultimate state of bliss, or nirvana. Seekers have attempted to experience it for themselves through countless rituals and practices, although the state itself can be quite simply described. As Indian advaita teacher Nisargadatta Maharaj said: “The trinity: mind, self and spirit, when looked into, becomes unity.”
The central challenge to understanding nonduality may be that it exists beyond language, because once it has been named, by definition — and paradoxically — a duality has been created. Even the statement “all things are one” creates a distinction between “one” and “not-one”! Hardly any wonder that nonduality has been misunderstood, particularly in the West.
Excerpt above from: https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/about/nonduality/
Other resources, explanations, & pointers to nonduality:
Meditation Preparations & Considerations of The Temple (The Body)
Make changes in accordance with listening to the body via feeling. Let go of assumptions about what you know, what you can & can’t do, and who you are & are not. Be mindful of the distinction between what you directly experience, and your thought about something. Be mindful the term direct experience does not refer to a past, a now, a present, a future, or a self (these are thoughts).
Be conscious of breathing, and breathe from the stomach. Notice the increase in awareness of feeling in the body when you do so.
Maintain toxin free care & hygiene, such as with: preservatives, fluoride, aluminum, mercury, & neurotoxin free products and water.
Get a routine physical & full comprehensive blood report, and review it with your doctor (preferably a Holistic Dr).
Eat clean. Food is mood, mood is clarity. Listen to your body & educate yourself about food; calories, nutrients, vitamins, supplements, etc. Your second best friend in this whole world, should be your stomach. Try several approaches to eating. Realize you only know about food from direct experience and let assumptions go. Listen to the body, put habit & preference of taste secondary to energy and clarity. Put direct experience, of how you feel, first.
Exercise to the extent you are able, as early in the day as you are able. Don’t eat after 8pm, drink water instead. Be mindful of honesty, humility, & compassion. Pause to allow the presence of love when creating responses, vs mindlessly reacting.
Get 8 hrs of sleep.
Meditate early in the morning, before eating, and before any thought engaging activities like;
- All screens, reading anything, listening to any thing or anyone, talking to anyone, etc. Instead, step outside and express gratitude.
- Thinking. Develop letting thinking go from waking up until after meditation. Every thought that arises, let it go by being aware of breathing & feeling. Use ”not till after meditation” as needed.
Love yourself enough to do this, your quality of life will be greatly enhanced by your commitment and followthrough with daily meditation. This is putting your inner well being first - and then going about your day. It is a total game changer. Get up as early as needed to make this possible for yourself. You’ll only fall asleep earlier as a result, and get a better night’s sleep.
Maintain a dream journal. Every morning when you wake up, write any recollections of dreams in the journal. If there were none, write “no dreams last night” in the journal. Doing this daily develops connection and communication. After writing a dream down, let it go completely. Revisit it after meditation. Consider that in between the pure peace of sleep and awakening, the dream is the reconciliation of those two states. After meditation, contemplate the dream message. Consider it from the perspective that you are dreaming right now, and the message is that everything is fine, even this (whatever the dream was about). You will notice perspectives you’re believing, as to how ‘everything is not fine’. Those, can be let go in meditation.
Maintain a journal for writing about how you feel. If meditation is overwhelming, don’t persist against the grain, write about how you’re feeling in your journal. Expressing in key. It is a ‘getting it out’, or emptying, by which being fills in. This is the same as saying misunderstanding is let go, and understanding arises.
Add creative expression in your days with what feels right for you, such as; creative writing, drawing, learning an instrument, singing, sculpting, building, carving, dancing - any act of creating and expressing, which feels good to you. Sign up for a drawing or painting class, etc.
Clarity, emotional intelligence, understanding, focus, patience, and more feeling / connection, are natural outcomes of this.
Regarding meditation, loving yourself, journaling, expressing, and making changes:
Do not ask others to accommodate you so that you can do this. Accommodate them, if needed, so that you can do this. Do not create conditions or contingencies which “allow” that you can do this. Refrain from entangling any other person in ‘enabling’ you. Simply get up earlier, and be patient when tired, you’ll be falling asleep earlier soon enough.
Past trauma may be deeply entwined in the body, with regard to perspectives, and unknowingly suppressed, held out of the light of understanding. It is important to be humble, and be smart. Take advantage of all resources available to you. In addition to the things mentioned above, experience assistance bringing things to the surface, into the light, out into the open. That is relief. ’Getting it out’ is the key. Schedule time with practitioners of well being; massage, reiki, therapy, yoga, liberated experienced meditators, etc. Making the choice to directly experience is 99% of ‘the work’. Choose to experience the combination that feels best to you, but do not rule anything you have not experienced out. You will be glad.
The quality of tomorrow’s meditation is impacted by all of the above. Recognize those as the basics, your foundation. This is - first “cleaning the house”, “emptying the cup”. If you are not yet finding peace in meditation, the things above are likely insightful and actionable. Use them as a checklist, add to it what you learn works and doesn’t work for you. Understand why. Be mindful of the direct experience always, not the goal or outcome. Never do practices for the sake of getting them done. Never do practices with the intention or expectation of attaining, achieving, or becoming. Let go of these in your practices. Never force pracitices, and never guilt or shame yourself regarding practices. Let go of these in your practices. Likewise, never pride yourself on or claim the benefits of your practices. A phone which knows the truth of wifi, yet claims it as it’s own, is no longer listening to the wifi. It is always about letting go, and feeling the inner being, the source, within.
Posture, Balance & Relaxation
Sit with spine straight, entire body equally balanced, head tilted slightly forward.
Scan for any muscles in tension - from balancing the body, and reposition in better balance. Repeat until seated in balance; drop all muscle tension, and see if you lean; if so, adjust again / reposition for balance.
Relax every muscle, from crown of head, through body, to the toes - in waves of letting go, over and over. If you struggle to ‘find the particular muscle’ to be able to ‘let it go’, simply tense that muscle with the appropriate thought, ex: “tense the right shoulder” - this is to locate it specifically - only to relax it / let it go, specifically (only needed initially, if at all).
Stay with each muscle until you feel it release: Feel the crown of the head muscles release, feel the temples release, feel the eye sockets release, feel the cheek muscles release, feel the neck muscles release, the shoulders, the upper back, the lower back, the arms, the hands, the fingers, the chest, the stomach, the hips, the thighs, the knees, the calves, the ankles, the feet, the toes - all tension pouring out through the toes.
*Stay with each muscle until you feel it release, then move to the next. Be mindful, vigilant of any habit forming. Feel every step. Feel each specific muscle release.
* Repeat this, from crown to toes, over and over, feeling each “pass” more deeply relaxing each targeted muscle than the pass before. Notice the entire body unifying in relaxation.
Do not move the body, allow it to relax into deep sleep and disappear from sensation & awareness.
Mind fully alert & present; awaken every cell, enthusiastic presence, a tiger at-the-ready to pounce.
Notice all senses are one sense, being.
Being is breathing, being is breathed in, being is breathed out.
Notice the ineffable spaciousness, the silent emptiness. It is whole, perfect, calm, peaceful. It continues on in all directions.
Revel in the perfect peace, in innocence, as you recognize the purity that you have always known.
Allow Meditation “Practice” To Become A Meditative Lifestyle
As you go about your day, notice this peace is still present, this silence, this being - is always present, always the soundbed underlying and allowing all sounds, the spaciousness underlying and allowing all objects and activities, the emptiness allowing all thoughts to arise.
Carry this into each day, mindful of the effortless nature of awareness. Conscious of any tension in any muscle, relax it, mindful of the one sense; without identification, without reaction, peaceful non-engagement.
Notice the arising perspectives of unification & connection. Surrender perspectives of separation by allowing them to pass, and return to the everpresent peace and silence which allows all things.
When you notice reaction, wether muscular or mental, relax, detach by being again aware, non-reactionary.
Even as reactions occur, wether physical, mental, or verbal, be aware of, not involved in. Relax crown to toes, effortless awareness is always available & ample.
Notice the sound of a voice, is not the sound of your voice. Be that unattached, and that aware, ‘that’ voice is no longer your voice, it never was. You are all sounds, all voices, all things. Be aware all transpires in the ‘one sense’, precisely where it is seen, exactly where it is heard. One Sense, one awareness.
Notice thoughts are not your thoughts, be aware thoughts are things, like trees are trees; there is no mechanism found for justification of “yours”, that is just another thought; awareness is unconditional and omnipresent, and never appears in pieces, and has never not appeared, it will never let you down. Notice there is one sense, one awareness, notice the body and mind are a body and mind which transpires in this peaceful awareness, notice a body and mind is not your body and mind, notice there is one sense, one awareness, all is transpiring and arising in.
After some practice a couple new things arise...
When you have ‘returned’ home, in the peace of non-reaction, the ‘finite ceo’ / “decision maker”/ over thinker/over thinking - naturally recedes, and well being of infinite intelligence will manipulate the body (it actually is “the body”) , aligning things, stretching things, cracking things, etc, just allow this. It’s difficult not to mentally react to this at first because it’s new, but just relax, it is curative, trust it - notice a person is not doing this, infinite intelligence is. Mindfully revel & appreciate this miracle.
A word of caution regarding thought stories & dualistic narratives
Meditation at it’s most basic level is focusing on breathing in the stomach & relaxing the body, thus indirectly detaching attention from thoughts. Thought ceases in activity, simply from not receiving attention. The body is infinite intelligence, but the thinking dualistic mind believes it’s running the show. This is brought to an end in meditation, in ‘returning to’, or realization of, who you really are.
When the body relaxes deeply, it releases contractions; tension from emotions created in misunderstanding via one’s forgetting who one is and “making sense” of self & reality in an apparent physical universe & separate body. These ‘held’ tensions are the root cause of overthinking. The mind keeps churning in an attempt to resolve with thinking, what is only resolved in feeling.
When the body (infinite intelligence / nothing to know) begins releasing the suppressed falsities (all knowledge & specifically the idea of “me”), the mind creates narratives of the experience to perpetuate “it’s control”. In perpetuating the misunderstandings, rather than relaxing & releasing the suppressed emotions by maintaining focus on stomach breathing, the mind (thinking) weaves & latches onto varies models of duality to control the narrative. (Kundalini, demons, assertion, death, nervous disorders, past “bad” trips, guilt, shame, unworthiness, fear, anxiety & past stories, depression & future stories, projections, deflections, identity, loss, sacrifice, etc)
But meditation is focusing on breathing from the stomach & relaxing the body, and thus indirectly detaching from thoughts. To believe any narrative which arises in meditation, is to sustain and perpetuate the “idea of you”, so as not to ‘directly experience’, you.
So if you don’t want to awaken, but enjoy the fundamental benefits of meditation, just meditate for twenty minutes a day. Ideally in the morning.
If you do want to awaken, realize you got caught up in a thought story, and meditation was focusing on breathing from the stomach, and thus indirectly letting thinking go. The truth is the mind is making it all up, and the “fear” is the mind’s label to justify denying the truth “of itself”, the profound love that is, that you actually are.
Write about how you feel and why, in a journal, to understand yourself & develop emotional intelligence.
Talk to someone who listens, so you can express yourself and your emotions.
Write what you want in this experience of life on your dreamboard, and allow the surfacing of desire & authenticity to help you realize & release resistance thoughts. Live the life you actually want to live, the way you actually want to live it.
This body-based meditation is a very effective way to get grounded and centered. It encourages an embodied, calm, and open awareness, and discourages disassociation. If you have a tendency to "leave your body," feel ungrounded, or disassociated, this is a good practice.
Sit with your spine straight and aligned, and the rest of your body relaxed. Keep bringing yourself back to this condition.
1. Take a reposed, seated posture.
2. For this meditation, it is very important that your spine is straight. Your neck and back should be in perfect alignment. Your chin should be down very slightly.
3. If you are sitting in a chair, do not rest your spine against the chair. Sit forward so that your spine is supporting its own weight. Let the muscles of the spine be engaged.
4. All the other muscles of your body can be completely relaxed. Allow your face muscles to let go, and your jaw to drop slightly, so that your teeth are not touching.
5. Let your shoulders hang freely, and let your belly be soft and open.
6. This is the posture you are aiming for, with your spine erect and your body completely relaxed.
7. As you sit, keep bringing your awareness back to the fine details of your posture. Notice any time your spine slumps even slightly, your head leans to either side, or any other deviation. Correct these gently and repeatedly.
8. Also notice if any other areas of your body tense up even slightly. If anything is tensing, relax it in a gently and soft manner.
9. Keep checking in with the body, using your body (somatic) awareness; the feeling in your body. Mental images of your body will probably arise, which is fine, but these are not what you are concentrating upon. Instead, concentrate your awareness in the sense of your body. The sensitivity in your muscles, tissues, viscera, skin, and so forth.
10. The more detailed and minute you get with this awareness, the better. Each tiny area of the body has its own sensitivity to contribute.
11. Every once in a while you can zoom out to cover the entire somatosensory field -- the awareness of your entire body -- to bring the overall body back into alignment.
12. Keep relaxing every muscle everywhere. Use just enough tension to keep your spine erect, but no more.
13. Continue this meditation for at least 10 minutes, continuously contacting your body awareness.
If you have any spinal injuries or severe back pain, it is fine to allow your spine to rest in a pain-free position. If you find yourself distracted by a lot of mental chatter, you can use verbal labeling as an aid to concentration.
For example, when checking on the spine, you can say to yourself, "spine in alignment."
When checking on the body, say, "body relaxed."
Awareness of Thoughts Meditation
By learning to watch your thoughts come and go during this practice, you can gain deeper insight into thinking altogether (such as its transience) and into specific relationships among your thoughts and your emotions, sensations, and desires. This practice can also help you take your thoughts less personally, and not automatically believe them. Additionally, this meditation can offer insight into any habitual patterns of thinking and related reactions.
Observe your thoughts as they arise and pass away.
· By “thoughts,” we mean self-talk and other verbal content, as well as images, memories, fantasies, and plans. Just thoughts may appear in awareness, or thoughts plus sensations, emotions, or desires.
· Sit or lie down on your back in a comfortable position.
· Become aware of the sensations of breathing.
· After a few minutes of following your breath, shift your attention to the various thoughts that are arising, persisting, and then passing away in your mind.
· Try to observe your thoughts instead of getting involved with their content or resisting them.
· Notice the content of your thoughts, any emotions accompanying them, and the strength or pull of the thought.
· Try to get curious about your thoughts. Investigate whether you think in mainly images or words, whether your thoughts are in color or black and white, and how your thoughts feel in your body.
· See if you notice any gaps or pauses between thoughts.
· Every time you become aware that you are lost in the content of your thoughts, simply note this and return to observing your thoughts and emotions.
· Remember that one of the brain’s major purposes is to think, and there is nothing wrong with thinking. You are simply practicing not automatically believing and grasping on to your thoughts.
· When you are ready, return your attention to your breath for a few minutes and slowly open your eyes.
· There are various metaphors and images you can use to help observe your thoughts. These include:
o Imagining you are as vast and open as the sky, and thoughts are simply clouds, birds, or planes passing through the open space.
o Imagining you are sitting on the side of a river watching your thoughts float by like leaves or ripples in the stream.
o Imagine your thoughts are like cars, buses, or trains passing by. Every time you realize you are thinking, you can “get off the bus/train” and return to observing.
Awareness of thoughts and emotions is one of the areas of focus developed when cultivating mindfulness. In Buddhism, mindfulness is one of the seven factors of enlightenment and the seventh instruction in the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Seven Factors of Enlightenment: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/piyadassi/wheel001.html
The Four Noble Truths:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Noble_Truths
The Noble Eightfold Path: https://tricycle.org/magazine/noble-eightfold-path/
Please be gentle with yourself if you notice that you are constantly caught up in your thoughts instead of observing them. This is both common and normal. When you realize that you are thinking, gently and compassionately return to observing your thoughts.
If the content of your thoughts is too disturbing or distressing, gently shift your attention to your breathing, sounds, or discontinue the practice.
· Remember that you are not trying to stop thoughts or only allow certain ones to arise. Try to treat all thoughts equally and let them pass away without engaging in their content.
· This practice can initially be more challenging than other meditations. As you are learning, practice this meditation for only a few minutes at a time if that is easier.
· It can be helpful to treat thoughts the same way that you treat sounds or body sensations, and view them as impersonal events that arise and pass away.
· Some people like to assign numbers or nicknames to reoccurring thoughts in order to reduce their pull and effect.
Breath Awareness Meditation
Stress is an extremely unhealthy condition. It causes the body to release the chemical cortisol, which has been shown to reduce brain and organ function, among many other dangerous effects. Modern society inadvertently encourages a state of almost continuous stress in people. This is a meditation that encourages physical and mental relaxation, which can greatly reduce the effects of stress on the body and mind.
Sit still and pay close attention to your breathing process.
Take a reposed, seated posture. Your back should be straight and your body as relaxed as possible.
Close your eyes, and bring your attention to your breathing process. Simply notice you are breathing. Do not attempt to change your breath in any way. Breath simply and normally.
Try to notice both the in breath and the out breath; the inhale and the exhale. "Notice" means to actually feel the breathing in your body with your body. It is not necessary to visualize your breathing or to think about it in any way except to notice it with your somatic awareness.
Each time your attention wanders from the act of breathing, return it to noticing the breath. Do this gently and without judgment.
Remember to really feel into the act of breathing.
If you want to go more deeply into this, concentrate on each area of breathing in turn. Here is an example sequence:
1. Notice how the air feels moving through your nostrils on both the in breath and the out breath.
2. Notice how the air feels moving through your mouth and throat. You may feel a sort of slightly raspy or ragged feeling as the air moves through your throat. This is normal and also something to feel into.
3. Notice how the air feels as it fills and empties your chest cavity. Feel how your rib cage rises slowly with each in breath, and gently deflates with each out breath.
4. Notice how your back expands and contracts with each breath. Actually feel it shifting and changing as you breath.
5. Notice how the belly expands outward with each in breath and pulls inward with each in breath. Allow your attention to fully enter the body sensation of the belly moving with each breath.
6. Now allow your attention to cover your entire body at once as you breath in and out. Closely notice all the sensations of the body as it breathes.
Repeat this sequence over and over, giving each step your full attention as you do it.
Suggested time is at least 10 minutes. Thirty minutes is better, if you are capable of it.
If you find yourself distracted by a lot of mental chatter, you can use verbal labeling as an aid to concentration. For example, on the in breath, mentally say to yourself, "Breathing in." On the out breath, say, "Breathing out." Another possibility is to mentally count each breath.
This is a meditation technique to get enlightened, i.e. "self realization." By realizing who you are, the bonds of suffering are broken. Besides this goal, self-inquiry delivers many of the same benefits as other meditation techniques, such as relaxation, enhanced experience of life, greater openness to change, greater creativity, a sense of joy and fulfillment, and so forth.
Focus your attention on the feeling of being "me," to the exclusion of all other thoughts.
1. Sit in any comfortable meditation posture.
2. Allow your mind and body to settle.
3. Now, let go of any thinking whatsoever.
4. Place your attention on the inner feeling of being "me."
5. If a thought does arise (and it is probable that thoughts will arise on their own), ask yourself to whom this thought is occurring. This returns your attention to the feeling of being "me."
Continue this for as long as you like.
This technique can also be done when going about any other activity.
Many people misunderstand the self-inquiry technique to mean that the person should sit and ask themselves the question, "Who am I?" over and over. This is an incorrect understanding of the technique. The questions "Who am I" or "To whom is this thought occurring?" are only used when a thought arises, in order to direct attention back to the feeling of being "me." At other times the mind is held in silence.
This practice of Self-attention or awareness of the ‘I’-thought is a gentle technique, which bypasses the usual repressive methods of controlling the mind. It is not an exercise in concentration, nor does it aim at suppressing thoughts; it merely invokes awareness of the source from which the mind springs. The method and goal of self-enquiry is to abide in the source of the mind and to be aware of what one really is by withdrawing attention and interest from what one is not. In the early stages effort in the form of transferring attention from the thoughts to the thinker is essential, but once awareness of the ‘I’-feeling has been firmly established, further effort is counter-productive. From then on it is more a process of being than doing, of effortless being rather than an effort to be.
Do Nothing Meditation
Many respected spiritual traditions, including Buddhism and Hindu Advaita just to name two, claim that the highest state of spiritual communion is actually present in our minds at all times. And yet many meditation techniques focus on creating some special state that wasn't there before the meditation, and which goes away at some point after the meditation. If the highest state is actually present all the time, shouldn't it be possible to simply notice it without inducing some change, or special state?
That is exactly the purpose of the Do Nothing Meditation. This technique (which is really an un-technique) will allow you to contact the highest spiritual state without actually doing anything. Each time you notice an intention to control or direct your attention, give it up.
1. There is no need to get into any particular posture, unless you feel like it.
2. Do not position your attention in any particular way.
3. Let whatever happens happen.
4. Any time you notice yourself doing anything intentionally, stop.
Doing anything intentionally means something you can voluntarily control, and therefore can stop.
If you cannot stop doing something, then it's not intentional, and therefore you don't need to try to stop doing it.
So. Anything you can stop doing, stop doing.
Some examples of things you can stop doing are:
* Intentionally thinking
* Trying to focus on something specific
* Trying to have equanimity
* Trying to keep track of what's going on
* Trying to meditate
Let go of doing anything like this.
5. Keep doing nothing for at least 10 minutes, or as long as you like.
It may be difficult for some people to notice any difference between the Do Nothing meditation and gross "monkey mind," that is, the ceaseless, driven and fixated thoughts of the everyday neurotic mind. If this seems to be the case for you, it may be helpful to do a more structured technique.
Concentration (One-Pointedness) Meditation
One of the hallmarks of modern life is the proliferation of distractions. As media become more pervasive, and media connections more ubiquitous, time away from distractions becomes ever harder to find. Previously, people were content to sit in restaurants, or stand in line, without a television screen to stare at. Now these have become standard. The result of all this, and many other causes, is that people find it increasingly difficult to focus their minds.
Concentration is a necessary human skill. It makes proper thinking possible, increases intelligence, and allows a person to calm down and achieve their goals more effectively. A concentrated mind is like a laser beam, able to use all its powers in a single direction to great effect.
Concentration is critical to many human endeavors. Being able to listen to another person, for example, in a compassionate and connected manner requires being able to shut out distractions. The experience of making love can be greatly enhanced when one is not, for example, thinking about other things.
Concentration allows a person to stop being a "reaction machine" or "robot," simply responding to stimulii, and instead to become more thoughtful, self-directed, and confident.
Concentration is an interesting thing. It is a very general ability. That means developing concentration in one area will help you concentrate in ALL areas. So, for example, if you learn to concentrate on a particular idea, it not only helps you think about that idea (which would be very limited), but actually helps you to concentrate on anything, which is very generally useful for everything! It's like lifting weights. It doesn't just make you strong for lifting weights, but strong for anything else you want to do!
Think about one thing. Every time you get distracted, return to that one thing.
1. Find an object on which to concentrate. This can be a physical object, like a pebble or a feather. Or it can be a mental object like a particular idea. It could even be, say, your homework.
2. Cut off any sources of distraction. These include, but are not limited to, telephones, emails, computers, music, television, and so forth. Turn all of these off during your concentration practice.
3. Begin your period of by mentally reminding yourself what you are concentrating on.
4. Now begin to concentrate. If your concentration object is an external object, this may mean looking at it. If it is a mental object, then think about it. If it is your homework, then do it now.
5. Each time your mind (or eyes) wander from your concentration object, bring it back to the object. It is important to do this very gently and without judgment.
6. Repeat this process of coming back to the concentration object for as long as you wish, or until your homework is done.
Cultures worldwide have developed concentration practices for both spiritual and practical reasons.
Concentration is called dharana in Hinduism, and samadhi or shamatha in Buddhism. It is considered to be a key skill for meditation.
Concentration can at first seem to trigger a lot of anxiety. This is, however, not the fault of the concentration practice. Rather, it happens because many people use distraction to avoid feeling emotions. Then when the distractions are removed, a tremendous amount of ambient, unprocessed emotions (i.e. emotions you are feeling but were unaware of feeling) are present. So it is not the practice of concentration that is causing anxiety, but instead it is the habit of distracting ourselves from our emotions. This may be the root cause of much inability to focus and concentrate. If that is the case, try meditating on emotions (below).
Concentration and meditation are not the same thing, although they are related. Meditation (usually) requires concentration, but also requires relaxation or equanimity.
Emotional Awareness Meditation
This meditation brings about a great deal of equanimity with emotions. They will not seem to affect us as deeply or adversely.
Many people have trouble contacting their emotions directly. Even if we feel that we know what emotion we are having, that does not necessarily mean that we are contacting it directly.
To contact an emotion directly means to feel it in the body. This is the opposite of most people's experience, which is to related ideas about the emotion.
Here is an example. A person asks you how you are feeling. You respond by saying, "I am angry, because..." You then go on to tell the person all the reasons you are angry.
In this example, only the first three words, "I am angry" have anything to do with contacting emotion. All the rest of the explanation is about concepts.
A fuller example of contacting emotions directly, that is somatically, would be to say, "I am angry. I can feel a sort of gripping tension in my belly that is uncomfortable. The tense area feels kind of twisted and sharp. Parts of it are throbbing. It also feels like it is radiating heat outwards."
Notice that the cause of the anger is irrelevant. The practice here is to feel the physical expression of the anger as completely as possible.
Extended practice of this meditation will bring about "skill at feeling," that is, a tremendous amount of clarity in the emotional world. Emotional intelligence.
It will also help emotions to process and release much more quickly and completely, because we are not holding on to ideas about the emotions. The body processes emotion quickly, naturally, and fully.
Feel the physical expression of an emotion as completely as possible.
1. Settle into a comfortable meditation posture.
2. Breathing normally, bring your attention to your emotions. Notice if you are feeling any emotions, no matter how faintly. It is not necessary to know precisely which emotion you are having, or why you are having it. Just knowing that you are feeling something emotional is enough. Guessing is OK.
3. Once you detect an emotion, see if you can find its expression in your body. Maybe there is a feeling of tension, gripping, tightening, burning, twisting, throbbing, pressure, lightness, openness, etc.
4. If you like, you can mentally make the label "feel" when you detect a body sensation of emotion. Other labels are possible ("emotion" for example).
5. Each time you detect an emotional body sensation, try to actually feel the sensation in your body, as completely as possible. Feel it through and through.
6. Completely let go of any ideas you have about the emotion, or self talk you might have about why the emotion is arising. Return to the body sensation of the emotion.
7. Continue contacting these emotional body sensations for as long as you wish.
Meditating on emotions is a traditional part of Vipassana practice in Buddhism. It is, for example, one of the four main techniques covered in the Vissudhimagga (The Path to Purity), an important Buddhist text.
(The version presented here is a summary of a practice given by American Buddhist teacher Shinzen Young.)
At first, practicing this meditation may make it seem as if the emotions are getting bigger. If they are negative emotions, this may seem overwhelming for a while. This is natural. It is occuring not because the emotions are actually getting bigger, but for two interesting reasons. The first is because we are no longer suppressing them. We are allowing them to actually express themselves fully. The second is because we are observing them (actually feeling them) very closely. Just as a microscope makes small things look bigger, the "microscope" of attention makes the emotional body sensations seem larger than they really are.
The good news here is that as the emotions express themselves freely in the body, they are being processed. Usually this means that they will pass much more quickly.
If we are feeling a positive emotion in this way, it may pass quickly, but we will also derive much more satisfaction from it, because our experience of it is so rich and complete.
If we are feeling a negative emotion in this way, we will experience much less suffering from it, because we are not resisting and suppressing it.
The cause of much of our upset and emotional instability is clinging and neediness around people we like, and aversion and negativity towards people we don't like. We also have an unhealthy indifference to strangers, who may need our help, or at least our good will.
This equanimity meditation helps us to examine our feelings towards people, and correct them where they are mistaken. This leads to a more balanced, wholesome, and helpful viewpoint. It also cuts off a lot of emotional turmoil at its root.
Meditate on three people (a loved one, an enemy, and a neutral person), examining and correcting your feelings toward them.
1. Sit in a comfortable meditation posture. Follow your breath until you feel centered and grounded.
2. Bring to mind the images of three people: someone you like, someone you dislike, and someone towards whom you feel indifferent. Keep these three people in mind throughout the meditation.
3. Focus on the friend, and look into all the reasons you like this person. Try to see if any of the reasons are about things this person does for you, or ways they uplift your ego. Ask yourself if these are really the correct reasons to like someone. Then do the same thing with the person you dislike, instead asking about the reasons you dislike them. Finally, do this for the person you are indifferent towards, asking about the reasons for your indifference. In all cases, notice where your ego is involved in the judgment of the other person's worth.
4. Next, ask yourself whether you consider each of these relationships as permanent. Would you still like your friend if they did something terrible to you? What if the person you dislike really did something nice for you? What if the stranger became close to you? Think about all the relationships in the past in which your feelings about the person have dramatically changed.
5. Now, visualize the person you like doing something you dislike or that is unacceptable to you. Would you still be their friend? Remember that many people have changed from friends to enemies in the past. There are people who you used to like, toward whom you now feel emnity. Think about how there is no special reason to feel good about a person who is only temporarily your friend.
6. Next, visualize your enemy doing something very kind for you. They might visit you in the hospital, or help you to fix your home. When you imagine this, can you feel positive emotions toward this person? Can you remember times in the past when an enemy became a friend? Is it necessary to feel that your strong dislike for this person will last forever? Isn't it possible that they could someday become your friend?
7. Now visualize the stranger. How would you feel about them if they did something very kind for you? Isn't it the case that all your current friends were at one point total strangers? Isn't it possible that a stranger could become your best friend? It has happened before.
8. Think carefully about how everyone deserves equal regard as human beings. You must discriminate and make decisions based on your knowledge of a person's character, but you do not have to hold strong feelings or judgments towards them. It is very likely that your emotions around a person will change many times, so why hold onto these emotions so rigidly?
In Buddhism, equanimity means a very deep, even profound, state of mental balance and stability. It is considered one of the seven factors of enlightenment, and a hallmark of the third and fourth jhanas, which are deep states of meditative absorption.
This is a traditional meditation from Mahayana Buddhism. Its goal is to arouse "bodhicitta' or the mind of enlightenment. There are other equanimity meditations from other Buddhist lineages (e.g., Theravadan), as well as from other contemplative traditions.
(The version presented here is adapted from the book How to Meditate: A Practical Guide.)
It can be upsetting to bring an "enemy" to mind. When working with the mental image of an enemy, be careful not to get lost in negative thoughts and feelings. If you find that you can't handle working with a specific person without getting very worked up, switch to someone less upsetting.
Body Scan Meditation
The Body Scan is designed to help you feel and bring awareness to the myriad of sensations that occur throughout your body. By practicing this meditation regularly, you can improve your body awareness and also better work with pain and difficult emotions in the body. Additionally, people report feelings of relaxation and renewal after this practice.
Sit or lie on your back and systematically bring your attention to each region of your body, beginning with your feet and moving upwards.
As you begin:
· Sit or lie down on your back in a comfortable position with your eyes open or gently closed.
· Take a moment to check-in with yourself, observing how you are feeling in your body and mind.
· Begin to focus on your breath wherever the sensations are most vivid for you.
During the body scan:
· Try to bring an attitude of curiosity to the practice, as if you are investigating your body for the first time.
· Notice and feel any and all sensations that are present, such as tingling, tightness, heat, cold, pressure, dullness, etc.
· If you do not feel any sensations in a particular region, simply note that and move on.
· See if you can be aware of any thoughts or emotions that arise as you move through the regions of your body. Note these thoughts and emotions, and then return to the bare physical sensations that you are experiencing.
· Whenever you come across an area that is tense, see if you can allow it to soften. If the area does not soften, simply notice how it feels and allow it to be as it is.
· Feel as deeply and precisely as you can into each region of the body, noting if the sensations change in any way. Also notice where they are located.
· If you notice any pain or discomfort in a region of the body, see if you can practice allowing and exploring it for even a few seconds, feeling the various aspects of the sensation(s).
Suggested sequence of body parts:
· Begin with your left foot and toes, then move awareness up the left leg until you reach the left hip.
· Right foot and toes up the right leg until you reach the right hip.
· Pelvic region and buttocks, stomach, low back to upper back, chest and breasts, heart and lungs
· Hands (both at the same time) then move up the arms until you finish with the shoulders.
· Neck, throat, jaw, mouth (teeth, tongue, lips), nose, eyes, forehead, ears, skull and scalp.
· Finally, become aware of the whole body and rest for a few minutes in this expansive awareness.
The Body Scan is a variation of a Burmese Vipassana meditation practice that involves scanning the body for physical sensations. This meditation is also done in various yoga practices. The Body Scan is used in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
If you have experienced physical abuse or trauma in the past, it is not recommended to do this practice without a trained professional. Additionally, if you notice intense fear or other strong emotions related to a particular part of the body, please discontinue this practice.
It is generally advised to take at least 30 to 40 minutes to complete the body scan. However, if you wish to do a shorter body scan, spend less time on each region of the body, and/or focus on both feet, legs, and arms together as you move through these regions.
If you wish, you can practice the body scan in the opposite direction, moving from your head to your toes.
Walking meditation is a great way to begin integrating the power of meditation into your daily life. It is the first stage of meditation in action, that is, learning to be meditative while "out and about" in the world.
It is great to do while, for example, taking a walk in the park, at the beach, or in another natural setting.
Walking meditation is often recommended for people who are doing a lot of sitting meditation. If you are getting to sleepy, or your awareness is getting to "muddy," walking meditation can perk you up. Alternately, if you are getting to concentrated and mentally "stiff," walking meditation is a perfect way to loosen up a bit.
Walking meditation is a common practice in Vipassana and Zen Buddhism.
Pay close attention to the physical activity of walking slowly
1. Before walking, stand still in an open, balanced posture. Bring your awareness to the feeling of your feet touching the ground.
2. Now begin walking. Keep your gaze fixed on the ground about six feet in front of you. This will help you to avoid distraction.
3. Note and mentally label three parts of each step you take. The labels are "lifting," "pushing," and "dropping."
Lifting - when you are picking your foot up
Pushing - as you are moving it forward
Dropping - as you are lowering it to the ground
As you make each label, pay very close attention to the actual physical sensations associated with each of these actions.
4. After these three components become clear, you can add three more, so that the entire sequence is: "raising," "lifting," "pushing," "dropping," "touching," and "pressing."
5. Your mind will probably also engage in thinking extraneous thoughts, but just allow these to go on in the background. Your foreground attention should stay on the physical sensations of walking.
6. If you find that you have been completely lost in thought, stop walking for a moment and label the thinking as "thinking, thinking, thinking."
7. Then re-establish your awareness on the feeling in your feet, and begin the walking meditation again.
8. A typical session of walking meditation lasts a half an hour.
Make sure to watch where you are going, especially if you are around traffic, other people, etc.
The Yoda Meditation
The Neo / Matrix Meditation
F That - A guided Meditation