Meditations / Workshops - In Detail Continued....
The word itself, Meditation, is from the Latin ‘meditatum’ which translates to ‘to ponder’. It was Guigo II, a 12th Century Monk who first used the term ‘meditato’ to describe the process of entering a meditative state.
Still, some believe the practice itself dates to prehistoric civilisations who would use repetitive chants in rituals of offerings to their gods, by their fires which would induce a trance like state.
The modern methods of Meditation date back to as far as 5th Century BC, as found in scriptures from Hindu, Confucian, Taoist China and Buddhist India.
Siddhartha Guatama, ‘the Buddha’, developed the Hindu expression of meditation after reaching enlightenment by meditating under a Bodhi Tree in 500BC.
Throughout the centuries, meditation has been adopted by many cultures and religions. The Japanese Buddhists in the 8th Century, followed by Christianity, Islam, Judaism, just to name a few. Each adapting the meditative techniques along the way.
It wasn’t until the 1960’s and 1970’s that the Western world decided to learn what meditation had to offer. Until then, meditation was viewed as strictly a religious practice. It was in 1970 that Dr. Herbert Benson established and published the benefits and effectiveness of practicing mediation.
Some VERY brief examples of different types of Meditations are;
This can be done anywhere and at any time. It is an observation of your thoughts and emotions and allowing them to pass or wash over you without judgement. Personally, I believe this form of meditation can be done whilst carrying out your day-to-day routines like gardening, bathing, hanging out the laundry, etc., as there doesn’t have to be a slip into an altered state in order for the cathartic benefits to be felt.
TM, as it is more commonly known, is quite simple, yet highly effective. It is based on a personal mantra. This could be a word, sound or affirmation that is repeated whilst sat relaxed, with your eyes closed, completely at rest. Allowing you to settle inward achieving a profound level of peace with minimal effort.
As the names suggests, these are meditations in which a guide or teacher walks you through and evokes you to form mental imagery and situations in your mind. These promote inner peace and calm during the experience. Sometimes using as many of our senses as possible to bring about tranquil, serene visions leaving you in a relaxed state.
Vipassana, or Sayagyi U Ba Khin Tradition meditations assist us in establishing a deep connection to the mind and body. With practice this allows for self-transformation through self-observation and is successful with a disciplined approach to feeling the physical sensations in the body. This is usually taught during a 10-day course (for example) with set rules including abstaining from all intoxicants, telling lies, stealing, sexual activity and killing of any species. The interconnectedness Vipassana tradition creates and promotes, results in a balanced mind, full of love and compassion.
As the name suggests, our main focus is on our Chakras. In a relaxed state, not necessarily altered, we picture each of these in our minds eye individually. Focusing on their corresponding colours (usually envision a lotus blossom opening) and frequencies to aid in restoring wellbeing and balance to each. With this technique, it is important to understand the power of intent, not just in the visualisation of opening each of your chakras, but allowing for any of the blockages to be released.
Breathing & Breath Work Meditation
This meditation focuses on our calming of the mind by switching our focus to our breath. This requires a quiet space for you. Sitting comfortably, focusing on each inhale and exhale, until we are in an altered state. After which each breath becomes deeper and deeper until we inhale into the very pit of our stomach - or our base Chakra if you would prefer to see it this way. There are many different techniques used with Breath Work and Breathing Meditations. Ultimately, the goal is to shift our awareness from our minds into our bodies, allowing for peace and calm to envelope us.
There are many forms of Yoga and Yogic meditations, which we won’t go into here, however, they all promote flexibility and a calming of the mind. Each branch of Yoga uses controlled breathing exercises and a series of poses, each requiring balance and concentration. This enables you to recentre and brings an overall state of emotional wellbeing.
My vision to run Meditation evenings and themed Workshops in Melbourne’s West is currently in the process of being organised!!
I am so excited to be bringing together a community which promotes love, support and acceptance. Most importantly being, a willingness and desire for personal growth and development using these and many other tools we will discover together.
If this sounds like something that you would like join, please click the link below to find out more & select the 'Meditation Sessions' menu option.
Namaste wonderful soul
P.S. Workshops & Groups are currently being organised for 2021, please register your interest by Connecting here.