Meditation entails any practice used to quiet one’s mind thus enabling the practitioner to focus on the present moment. Physical activities including yoga, walking, running, sewing, cooking, etc. may focus the mind and empty it of extraneous thoughts. Less physical activities including observance of the breath, mantra meditation (the continuous chanting of a sacred sound or phrase), and guided meditation (following auditory or visual prompts) are also vehicles known to shift brain activity from a stress prone state to a measurably calmer state of being. Meditation is a personal experience; what works for one individual may not work for another.
My Gopi friends (gal pals on a similar spiritual path) all meditate. They are somehow able to sit quietly, often in lotus position, and empty their minds seemingly at will. Now and again, there’s background music conducive to attaining an altered state of consciousness. I have what some yogis refer to as Monkey Mind, an overactive cerebral condition which challenges the aspiring meditative mind to be still.
The meditation practice that works best for me is chanting. When I’m singing Sanskrit mantras, it’s difficult if not impossible for my mind to wander. Ram Dass, in his latest book be love now, impeccably states what I know to be true from experience, “music has a unique ability to convey emotion, and when it combines with the vibrational quality of a mantra, there is nothing like it to bypass the mind and open a direct route to the heart.”
If you’re a tried and true meditator or if you’ve not yet attempted it, the following meditation tools just might work for you. Included herein are some of my favorite people and inspirations. Click the links provided below for cd ideas, sample tracks, and more.