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Meditation posture

Okay, there is a LOT of misinformation around the correct Meditation posture. I’LL go through some of them and then give you the big reveal at the end as to what THE correct posture is….ready, let’s go.

Sitting on a solid floor, spine erect and perfectly straight, shoulders back, chin back, hands in lap holding the appropriate mudra. Eyes gently closed. Are you uncomfortable? If yes, perfect!. You’ve attained the perfect Meditation posture and you are now the coolest person in the office. You’re also likely remarkably uncomfortable and spend more time thinking about how hard it is to keep this posture than you are about quieting your mind.

But you look cool! And Meditation is, after all, about looking cool. Or maybe it’s about something else altogether. Any Chiropractor worth their weight in zafu’s (you’re looking up “zafu” right now, aren’t you?) will tell you that a straight and erect spine is the best way for your body to transmit and receive electrical signals to and from your brain. And they would be correct. As well, a straight spine is also a great way to help your energies move (medical science does not talk about such things – you would need to speak with a professional in healing sciences).

BUT, see, the thing about Meditation is Meditating, not not Meditating because you are not doing it right. I learned to Meditate first at the Monroe Institute in VA, where, by necessity, you have to lie down (they use audio technology to put participants into very deep Meditative states in about 20 seconds; yup, 20 seconds). If we had not been lying down, we would have fallen over.

My students Meditate two different ways, primarily, as there are always variations: in corporate settings, most sit in chairs and some sit on the floor 85/15); off site, most lie down, but some sit up as described above (again, 85/15). And guess which group tends to have deeper Meditations and more break through’s? If you said, those lying down did, you are absolutely correct! (You get two karma credits for a right answer). Why the others ask? Because the participants lying down are more relaxed and therefore less distracted.

Do beginning Meditators who lie down fall asleep? You bet, much more so than those that sit, but they work their way through that by practice. BTW, because I learned to Meditate lying down, I can be so relaxed that my body falls deeply asleep and begins to snore (much to my wife’s chagrin), BUT, my mind is still perfectly alert in a Meditative state. I can actually hear my body snore if I move my attention to it.

So, if wearing the coolest workout clothes gets you to the gym, wear the coolest workout clothes. If being comfortable gets you to Meditate, be comfortable. Namaste from Alpharetta, GA

I don’t want to learn to meditate because i like my religion

My good friend his Holiness the Dalai Lama recommends that everyone consider trying Meditation, in fact, he would like everyone to Meditate, but he does not want people to change their “traditions.” (okay, okay, I have not yet met His Holiness, the Dalai Lama).

Because Meditation has been something much discussed in the West, there are bound to be uncertain attendees when their company offers Meditation. The very first thing I tell these wonderful participants is this:

I do not want you to change your religion, change your job, or change your spouse when you start to Meditate. (I often get the goofy, “Well, what if I WANT to change my spouse?” More often than not, the asker’s spouse is thinking the EXACT SAME THING).

Meditation’s purpose, its sole purpose, is to help you improve your life. That may very well mean you will change some things along the way, such as releasing stress, easily becoming creative, and being able to problem solve like it’s child play, but it does not mean you need to replace things in your life. This is an important and big distinction.

Now, as you Meditate regularly, you will begin to understand that not everything you’ve been taught by your parents, teachers, preachers, religious leaders, and government officials is true – SHOCKER! Much of it is because they shared what they were taught, and much of it is that they shared their best guess at how they thought life operated and they wanted you to learn and to be safe. And of course, in any large group of people, there is going to be a baddy or two. Get over it but do not do what I did: I threw the baby out with the bath water. Stupido! I reacted to my new found knowledge instead of responding to it. It took me nearly 15 years to reopen myself to things I had been taught when I was young. Namaste from Alpharetta, GA.

What is meditation – i am sorry the new yorker does not yet know!

I am reading an article from the July 6 & 13th The New Yorker today; it’s entitled “The Higher Life”. My brother, who is a Federal Judge (Kevin J. Carey) sent it to me as he is a big supporter of Meditation and was at my book signing last summer. Just in the middle of the second page the article starts off a paragraph with this: “’Meditation’ is hard to define, because the work can apply to so many things.”

Pardon me, but with all due respect to The New Yorker, Meditation does not apply to so many things. It can be used, and is used by students of Advanced Meditation techniques, to improve many things, but it is only one thing:

  1. Relaxing your body
  2. Quieting your mind
  3. Moving into an Expanded State of Awareness (ESA)

Now, can I share with you EXACTLY what that will be like for you, for the person next to you, or to the 5,000 other people in the auditorium, no I cannot. But I can share with you what it is like for me and for 1,000s of others and even though the experience may be perceived and experienced in many, many different ways (not every one of my Meditations is the same), it is still just one thing.

Meditation is not gardening, working in the yard (which I love), quilting, cooking, playing tennis, running, flying a plane, or golfing, even though these experiences share many of the beginnings of Meditation. The mistake made by The New Yorker, I believe, is because in many of these activities, our minds are QUIET, they are relaxed; but where it falls short is that when we do these things our minds are still active although focused on one thing, not on nothing. EXCEPTION: As a cross country runner in High School and as an active working-in-the-yard person (I have a special relationship with my Husky chainsaw, but only for dead trees), there are many instances, some longer than brief, where I am in a Meditative state. Namaste from Alpharetta, GA

When’s the best time to meditate?

Let me ask you this first:

  • When’s the best time to ask the lovely woman in your life to marry you?
  • When’s the best time to say yes to the Christian Grey in your life?
  • When’s the best time to ask for that raise, promotion, transfer, time off?

NOW. Now is always the best time.

But if you want to schedule your Meditation time, as I do, the morning is best. 20 minutes, give or take. Less than 15 minutes is okay, but over 15 the relaxation and clarity will generally stay with you longer.

That said, I Meditate at night. I just don’t do anything according to the Official Rules of Meditation! Hey, my wife takes a bath 3-4 nights a week, and the dogs like to hang with her when she does. PERFECT! I go back to my Meditation room, lay down (usually), and go at it. Another way to look at it is this way? When’s the best time to work out? The best choreographed response is “now”, the second best is in the morning, but I work out at noon? Why is that? I have a very, very well thought out scientific reason: that’s the only time my personal trainer (Cathryn Marshall) is available on the days I train.

So if you get some snob who lifts their nose at your night-time Meditation, just look at them straight in the eye and say: “With as ugly as you are, you better do something in the morning to take the bite out of that face!” Then run like hell. Namaste from Alpharetta, GA.