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Meditation - techniques

Updated: Apr 10

Now that we looked at the diference between meditation and mindfulness, let's focus on the different techniques. As we mentioned previously in the other post, some meditation practices are part of a religion or philosophy (Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, Taoism, etc.) and others are not (Mindfulness).

Meditation and mindfullness are intrinsically connected, because when we meditate we will be in full awareness of ourselves and everything around us.

In this post we will comment on some of these techniques so that you can get to know them. In some of them, guidance from an experienced person and practice in a group will help, especially at the beginning. Others, you will have to take a course to learn them.

Good practice 🧘🏻‍♀️🧘🏻‍♂️

Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana is one of the oldest meditation techniques in India. In the ancient Indian language Pali, Vipassana means "introspection, penetrative vision, observation and understanding of reality as it is". It was one of the meditation techniques practiced by Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) over 2500 years ago.

Vipassana has been transmitted, until now, by an uninterrupted chain of teachers.

Satya Narayan Goenka (1924-2013) was the most important Vipassana meditation teacher of our times. Although of Indian origin, S N Goenka was born and raised in Burma (Myanmar). While living there, he was privileged to learn from his teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin, the leading authority of the twentieth century on Vipassana meditation and its movement. After being trained by his teacher for fourteen years, Mr. Goenka settled in India, starting his Vipassana teachings in 1969. Since then, he has been teaching tens of thousands of people of all races and religions in the West and in the east.

The technique is taught in ten-day residential courses, during which participants follow the recommended Code of Discipline, learn the basic concepts of the method and practice enough to experience its beneficial results.

The course requires commitment. There are three steps in training.

The first step is to refrain - throughout the course - from killing, stealing, maintaining sexual activity, lying and taking intoxicants. This simple code of moral conduct serves to calm the mind that would otherwise be too agitated to perform the task of self-observation.

The next step is to develop the domain of the mind by learning to focus attention on the natural reality of the constantly changing breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. On the fourth day, the mind is calmer and more focused, being better prepared to undertake the practice of Vipassana itself: observe the sensations throughout the body, understand their nature and develop equanimity in learning not to react to them.

Finally, on the last day, participants learn to meditate on love or goodwill towards everyone, in which the purity developed during the course is shared with all beings.

S N Goenka explains about Vipassana meditation

S N Goenka has a 10 day course videos available on You Tube - Day 1 sample

Transcendental Meditation

Based on the ancient Vedic tradition of India, transcendental meditation was created and introduced in India by Maharish Mahesh Yogi in 1958. The technique uses the mental repetition of a secret and personal mantra chosen by the meditation master or trained instructor that will be used during meditation.

Transcendental meditation is a technique for achieving inner peace and spiritual renewal by focusing on a mantra repeated silently. When the mind "calms down", the practitioner is able to "transcend" the thought and enter a silent state of happiness and tranquility.

According to Maharishi, the technique allows the practitioner's mind to "transcend", reaching a state of "rest on alert", without recourse to concentration or active thinking, as in other techniques.

It is practiced for 20 minutes twice a day:

1. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap (legs and arms uncrossed)

2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your body.

3. Open your eyes and close them again. Your eyes will remain closed during the practice of 20 minutes.

4. Repeat the mantra in your mind

5. When you recognize that you are thinking, simply return to the mantra.

6. After 20 minutes, start moving your fingers and toes to return.

7. Open your eyes.

8. Sit for a few more minutes until you feel ready to continue your day.

Maharish explains about Transcendental meditation

Zazen Meditation

One of the techniques that became known worldwide is Zazen. Zazen is the main meditation practice in Zen Buddhism. "Za" means to sit and "Zen" means a state of deep and subtle meditation. It can be done using a pillow called zafu, a wooden stool (to support the ischia) or the conventional chair (if you have physical limitations) with your legs uncrossed on the floor. It can be done in groups or alone (o). The hands remain in the mudra position (hand gesture) resting lightly on the thighs in the lotus, half-lotus or Burmese position.

Video with English subtitles

Video in Portuguese

Mindfullness - guided meditation

There are many videos available that teach mindfullness meditation.

Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the most well-known and respected Vietnamese monks in the world, started teaching mindfulness in the West in the early 1970s. He found new ways to teach the art of breathing carefully and walking attentively as a basis for meditation.

The master founded a monastic community in Bordeaux in France called Plum Village where various activities, retreats and teachings are offered. They have an application for those who want to know more.

Guided meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh explains about mindfulness practice (subtitle in Portuguese)

Jon Kabat-Zinn - The most influential figure in accepting mindfulness as a scientific and academic practice. Emeritus professor of Medicine and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Full Attention in Medicine, at the Medical School of the University of Massachusetts. After studying Zen Buddhism with Philip Kapleau, Thich Nhat Hanh and Seungsahn Haengwon and practicing yoga he integrated all the teachings to form his own approach to teaching mindfulness.

Created in 1979, at the University of Massachusetts, a training in mindfulness called MSBR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) with the objective of helping patients with clinical symptoms of anxiety, panic, chronic pain and depression

Another exponent of mindfulness is Ulrich Leonard Tölle, better known as Eckhart Tölle. After going through a difficult childhood and a series of episodes of depression, at 29 he underwent a profound spiritual transformation that dissolved his old identity and radically changed the course of his life. The following years were dedicated to understanding, integrating and deepening this transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inner journey

Author of several best sellers known as "The Power of Now" and "A New World - The Awakening of a New Consciousness"

Eckhart Tölle says in one of his videos "suffering is a fantastic teacher". And that it only ends when the person is saturated with him: The suffering deepens us. Gradually it weakens the mental sense of self, of ego. When a person feels that he has "suffered enough", then he is prepared for a new way of living.

Thank you for reading and have a good practice.

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We inform you that all the videos that are in this post were used only as references of the different meditation / mindfulness practices and the copyright belongs to the creators of the videos. More information about their work is available on You Tube.


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