Meditation 101

By Khanyisile Msebenzi

The best kind of meditation is when you meditate without meditating, or rather to be in a constant meditative state. It takes some practice to arrive to that state hence the “meditation practices” become useful tools, on the journey to “Beingness”.

Photo by Darius Bashar

Meditation is as scientific as is prayer, as is affirmation, as is a simple exercise like “saying a word”. Simple exercises like washing dishes, tending to a garden, cleaning, cooking and merely observing a flower can be highly meditative when done with specific intention. The magic is not in the tools themselves but the application of consciousness of the all-pervading energy through the tools. So meditation, prayer and affirmation are related and are like the pipes that convey water. It is the water that gives life but to arrive at a certain point there is the need for the pipe, until one reaches the point of, “making it rain/constant meditative state”.

Meditation is an exercise in concentration. The stronger the concentration the ‘deeper’ the meditation. The intention is to focus less and less on physical sensory perception in order to focus more and more on Quantum/Multidimensional Senses. It is through this ‘connection’ with the higher senses that more energy can be channeled and in turn the ‘tapping into’ higher consciousness which facilitates higher quality manifestation. The intention is to remove the mind from conscious perceptual reality to the point of arriving at “thoughtlessness”. Of course this “ultimate” is improbable, so the next practical thing to do is to let the thoughts rise and fall in your mind, without you apportioning any judgement to them.

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A question arises. Is meditation some form of religious practice? It is not possible to answer this question because it is asked in an unskilled manner. The question to ask would be, is religion a form of meditation? And the answer to that would be, yes. Religion is a form of meditation in which the religious focus or concentration is on their perception of that they consider to be God, Higher Self or a Deity.

The Best Meditation and Benefits of Meditation

There is no best way to meditate. My common meditation is sitting myself comfortably, trying to remove as much thought as possible from the mind then settle into the silence, with no preconceived intention or result in mind. Of course, however much, you try to remove thought there will always be thoughts rising and the trick is to just observe them. I find this meditation makes me settle quicker into the meditative state and I go deeper and it raises my vibrational frequency.

I find that sometimes I have a ‘feel’ for guided meditation, especially if there is something in particular I would like to meditate on, if it is a group meditation, or when I’m just looking for a “quick fix”. This is recommended especially when one is still getting used to meditating, but guided meditation can be very useful to those who have been meditating for decades also. With silent meditation there tends to be “getting lost in thought” if one is not used to just observing thought without judgement. The intention is to get lost in thoughtlessness. Also there can be moments of ‘dryness’ when there is great temptation to just end the meditation.

Meditation can be done with eyes open, but I find I concentrate better when my eyes are closed because it also eliminates the sight sense. Regardless of whether your eyes are closed or opened ‘concentrating’ on the tip of the nose is ‘there’; ‘there’ being at the point of concentration. That is, if you are doing Silent/Still meditation.

Photo By Benjamin Balazs

It is evident that it is young people that mostly get bombarded with an overdose of sensory input through mobile phones, television and diet that is becoming less and less organic. If young people are to maintain some level of sanity there has to be a tool that seeks to “unplug” us, and meditation is proving more and more to be that tool. Not only as a way to unplug but as a way of life to better health,  higher consciousness and ‘living in the present moment’.

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation is meditation that facilitates consciousness transcendence, which is basically achieving a heightened state of being/consciousness. It can be done with certain mantras (sound repetitions), but it is also possible to achieve transcendence with any way of meditation. That it became popular through being practiced with mantras does not necessarily mean transcendence cannot be achieved without mantras.

Mantras are very helpful in aiding concentration hence their popularity. Sometimes the technicality in terminology can complicate that which is simple. A mother doting on her new born baby can achieve consciousness transcendence without any mantra. The young lady in love can achieve transcendence and enter into a state of bliss just by thinking of her lover.

Any concentration achieved with any meditation is transcendent in nature because, “you have transcended your previous state of consciousness to a higher state of consciousness”. The very act of showing kindness in a situation that might seem not deserving of kindness is transcendent, which means the one showing kindness has transcended the consciousness (which was low) of the environment and showed a heightened level of being which was not previously part of the environment.

That in its emergence transcendental meditation became a hit with celebrities is because it works. That it has continued to be endorsed by many celebrities is because it works. Oprah Winfrey, Mick Jagger, The Beatles, Deepak Chopra, Miguel, Eva Mendes, Katy Perry and many more find meditation to be very beneficial, but much more ‘day to day’ people have taken to transcendental meditation because, honestly speaking, it is the future.

Photo by Arul

12 scientifically proven benefits of Meditation

  1. Reduces stress
  2. Controls anxiety
  3. Promotes emotional health
  4. Enhance self-awareness
  5. Lengthens attention span
  6. Reduces Memory loss
  7. Generates compassion
  8. May help fight addictions
  9. Improves sleep
  10. Helps control pain
  11. Can decrease blood pressure
  12. Facilitates peacefulness

A Short Meditation to Overcome Fear

After using your technique to come to a state of relaxation. (This can be as simple as taking three or more deep breaths of breathing slow and deep, and exhaling slow and long). Now imagine all the fears that you have and see them for the illusions that they are because in reality fear doesn’t exist but is born because there is an absence of love. Therefore, choose love over fear. They may be fears of failure, fear of public speaking, fear of the unknown, fear of disappointment etc.

Imagine those fears as shadowy smokey substance that permeates your cells. Now imagine that as you breathe in you are breathing in whitish gold light that permeates your whole cellular structure. As you slowly breath out imagine that this shadowy substance cannot exist in the same space in which you have breathed the pure whitish gold light, so imagine it leaving with every exhale.

Breathe in deeply and slowly, exhale slowly and long until you feel that your body is filled with this whitish goldish light and there is no trace of the shadowy stuff. At every instance that any fears crops up, do the same love visualisation and breathe in and out. Even if it is two breaths in cases where you need to get rid of the fear quickly.

Recommended Time: 10 mins

Photo by Antonika Chanel

3 Reasons You Deserve To Live Your Best Life

Many of us girls have been taught that we need to make our loved ones happy, be it our parents or our lovers. And of course, this is a noble request. All people need to be supportive and respectful of others. And, all people, including us girls deserve to have our dreams come true. Yes, we have our financial goals and academic ambitions but on a deeper level, our dreams can be, to simply be happy.

Happiness is an emotion, but it is also a state of mind that is consciously chosen. This is not to say that depression is a choice and there is sometimes a societal lack of understanding on depression. However, you do choose your beliefs. Therefore, believe in yourself. Seek your best life.

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We’re here to tell you that your best life is possible. This may seem obvious but sometimes, subconsciously or even consciously people do not believe they are worthy of, or even capable of, feeling predominantly joyful, inspired and empowered.  These emotions and your best life are a reward within themselves. But in case you need further convincing, I am going to tell you why you deserve to live your best life.

  1. Its good for the community, society and humanity. When you are inspired there is progress, there is excellence. And girl, you are capable of excellence.  When you are jujuvated your creativity and productivity goes through the roof. If uplifting the community is your desire, you will be most of service when you are happy. Yes, feeling good, is good for you but it is a blessing to society. Who knows what you can invent? What problems you could solve when all your faculties are stimulated.  Therefore, you deserve to live your best life because it is a doorway to infinite possibility.
  2. It’s justice. Living your best life is liberation. This is what our beloved elders fought for in the struggle against apartheid and colonialism. Being female too comes with its barriers and if you want to right this wrong, become the feminine leader we have all been waiting for. Not for fame or clout, you can be an inspiration even if it is just for your little sister.
  3. You are a spark of the divine. Congratulations, you are alive. You are worthy. You deserve to live your best life because your consciousness is unique, powerful and unlimited. It pleases God when you are happy. It makes the ancestors smile. And, don’t you want to make your loved ones in heaven cheer?
Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi