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Meditation: The Essence

A Guide to Meditation Practice


David Tuffley
Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you
forward and what hold you back and choose the !ath that leads to wisdom "" The #uddha.
Meditation practice
This e#ook outlines the distilled essence of meditation !ractice. $t is based on a broad study of
the many meditation traditions that have grown u! over time in different !arts of the world.
%nce you know the essential basics you can ada!t the techni&ue to suit your needs. Meditation is
something that can be learned in a few minutes but which can take a lifetime to !erfect. The
greater the truth the more sim!ly it can be e'!ressed. Think of (instein)s (*mc+ ,the energy
contained in an ob-ect e&uals the mass of the ob-ect multi!lied by the s&uare of the s!eed of
light..
$nner !eace by definition comes from within and not derived from an e'ternal source though the
right e'ternal sources can occasionally trigger the inner e'!erience. Many !eo!le in the busy
consumer driven societies of the +/st century have been told to seek fulfillment outside of
themselves. 0onstant messages from the media tell us to define ourselves by owning the latest
consumer !roducts. $m!licit in those messages is that you will feel unfulfilled unless you have
those !roducts and services. 0onsumerism is not necessarily a bad thing; it has led to a steady
im!rovement in !eo!le)s &uality of life in general. 0onsumerism is a !roblem in a !erson)s
!rogress towards enlightenment when one)s !ers!ective is limited to the view that consumerism
is all there is.
Meditation establishes !rimary attention on your inner self. 1ou can continue to live in the
material world but that world must be !ut into its !ro!er !ers!ective as being your secondary
reality.
Meditation creates a !eaceful inner s!ace within which you can become aware of the more subtle
as!ects of yourself that have been hitherto obscured by the noise of the outer world. $n this
s!ace your $ntuition grows stronger revealing to you a rich stream of subtle knowledge to hel!
you understand yourself and the world you find yourself in. Meditation can therefore lead to
great ha!!iness. Plus it is free and com!letely natural.

Simple method for meditation
Meditation at its sim!lest is heightened awareness without the mental chatter.
2ith our restless minds in control and demanding entertainment it may seem that meditation is
difficult. Plus there are so many a!!roaches a !erson can take. $t is good to know that there is a
very sim!le and effective method that anyone can use. $t is the essence of every method and is
so sim!le that it only takes a few minutes to learn ,though !erha!s a lot longer to master..
Begin by sitting comfortably and begin to breathe rhythmically. 3it with s!ine straight but in a
way that will not induce slee!. #reathe dee!ly from the dia!hragm in through your nose and out
through your mouth. $f you get hori4ontal or too comfortable slee! will not be far away. 3lee!
is definitely not meditation. 3lee! is unconsciousness absence of awareness.
Focus your conscious awareness on the place immediately behind the centre of your forehead
the so"called Third (ye the !lace where your 5ighest 3elf lives. $magine your attention is a
focused beam of light that illuminates and energi4es your 5ighest 3elf in its home the Third
(ye. Generate a strong desire to bring the 5ighest 3elf into your everyday awareness. 1ou know
that this !lace is the centre of your inner universe your most sacred !lace and the very heart of
who you are. 1ou know you have succeeded with this ste! when you have a strong feeling of
being cantered.
While maintaining this feeling of centeredness, allow your attention to expand outwards in all
directions. The focused beam of light now becomes a beacon of light radiating out in all
directions. ('!anding your awareness outwards like this should give you a sense of
s!aciousness ease and lightness. The centering and e'!ansion can !roceed almost
simultaneously and should involve no further effort beyond the effort to focus and then radiate
your attention in the way described. $t is not something you should try to do or force yourself to
do. 1ou allow it to ha!!en. $t is a natural state of awareness that e'isted in our distant ancestors
before we develo!ed egoist thinking as a way of strategi4ing survival in the world. $t is the state
of mind that is described in the 0hristian #ible story of Adam and (ve before the knowledge of
good and evil took hold. This s!acious but centered awareness is a natural state of mind that you
are allowing to become re"established in yourself not something new that you have to work to
establish.
After centering your awareness and then allowing it to e'!and outwards continue to consciously
breathe deeply and rhythmically. 0oncentrate your awareness on the in"breath without engaging
in any mental commentary. 3im!ly be aware of the breath as it comes in and be likewise aware
as it goes out all the while remaining centered aware and thoughtless. This is the essence of
meditation.
1ou can count sub-vocally on the out-breath u! to a certain number of breaths ,say 67.. %r you
can set a timer to remind you when ten minutes has !assed. Ten minutes is a good duration to
begin with. Do the ten minutes for two weeks or so until it becomes well"established then
gradually increase the duration u! to 87 minutes over the weeks that follow.
1our goal should be to meditate in this way for up to 30 minutes, twice a day. $t is good to begin
your day with a meditation session. 9ikewise end the day with a session in the evening not long
before bed"time.
%f course as you get used to your meditation !ractice and start to feel the benefits ,stress
reduction more even"tem!ered e'!anded awareness intuitive insights increased creativity
im!roved relationshi!s en-oyment of life to name a few. you may feel inclined to take some
time during the day to meditate say at lunch time. :ust choose a safe !lace where you won)t be
disturbed for half an hour if that is !ossible. (ven if it is not you can snatch a few minutes here
and there and still derive worthwhile benefit.
5ow do you know if you are doing it right; <emember meditation is heightened awareness
without the mental chatter. $f you can get yourself into a state of heightened awareness and are
able to &uiet your mind of the chatter for a !eriod of time you are meditating. #y doing this you
switch off the ego activate the !art of the brain where higher awareness is !ossible and flush
your body with !lenty of o'ygen. $t is enough to make you feel rela'ed with a dee! sense of
well"being.
Meditating for a short time is not difficult. Doing it for /6 or +7 minutes twice a day for the rest
of your life will be more challenging. <esolve to meditate regularly for two weeks. =ourteen
days that is not too much to commit to. At the end of this time you should be feeling the
benefits for yourself at a dee! level and this might be enough to establish meditation as a
!ermanent !art of your life.

Practice non-attachment
%ne of the hardest things about meditation is an undisci!lined mind that insists on being listened
to and entertained. A mind that generates random thoughts about all manner of things a mind
which -um!s from one thought to another like a grassho!!er. This describes most !eo!le most
of the time.
>o matter how interesting or im!ortant or disturbing these thoughts might be when meditating it
is im!ortant that you do not allow your attention to latch onto these random thoughts. $magine
that they are like loose !ages of a news!a!er blowing in the wind. Allow the wind to carry the
news!a!er away and give them no further thought. <esist the im!ulse to catch the !age and read
the worldly news written u!on it. ?nderstand that all such news is short"lived and ultimately
without any real meaning or substance. $n other words !ractice non"attachment. Attachment to
worldly things is a ma-or cause of human suffering since nothing in the world is !ermanent.
That which we are attached to must soon change or disa!!ear and we suffer because what we
were attached to is now gone. Practicing non"attachment removes the cause of suffering. Another
way to look at this is to !ractice having very low e'!ectations. 2ith low e'!ectations you will
seldom if ever be disa!!ointed. >on"attachment is the key to meditation. $t is also the key to a
contented if not ha!!y life in general.

Optional Mantra
3ome meditation schools suggest you should recite a sacred mantra while meditating. $t isn)t
strictly necessary though. The sim!le method outlined above alone will have strongly focussing
effect on the mind. $f you want to use a mantra you might use ighest !elf ,on the in"breath.
"wa#e$ ,on the out"breath..
#y addressing your own 5ighest 3elf also known as the God 2ithin and bringing it to your
consciousness your egoic self begins to dissolve and you start to e'!erience a sense of one"ness
or unity consciousness. $n this state you become increasingly aware of the inter"connectedness of
all things that is the foundation of the 3atori e'!erience.
#eing detached from your mind by becoming the observer of it activates in you a new dimension
of thought. There is the @$) that thinks your various thoughts and then there is the awareness that
watches the @$) thinking those thoughts. That observer entity is an as!ect of your 5ighest 3elf.
>euroscientists have observed on brain activity imaging devices that a !erson who is actively
using this higher faculty is using one of the most recently evolved !arts of the human brain.