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As the practice of asana and pranayama deepens what you start to discover is the power of concentration and focus develop. Attention becomes such that it is possible to lose oneself completely in the practice. Time loses all importance, you might feel as if a pose could be held forever. The whole practice time seems to pass in an instant. At this point you are becoming ready to begin the practice of meditation.
In Yoga meditation means the concentration on an object until total absorption reached and that there no longer can be perceived a separation between the knower and the known. This state is termed Samadhi and it is the goal of yoga practice, for with increased ability to enter into states of Samadhi voluntarily all knowledge is revealed to the yogi.
The Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, presented here gives a tantric perspective on meditation. While this is a hindu tantra from the Kashmiri Saivite tradition there are quite a few similarities to Buddhist tantric techniques, looking into the vastness of the open sky is used in the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition for example. Other ideas can be found also in the Bhagavad Gita, so there is a general trend here that none of the techniques are exclusively to one philosophical school or lineage. I like this text for its clarity and encouraging simplicity. In meditation it is simply repeated doing that gets results, and just as polishing a pebble in the hand eventually brings a gloss to it, so constant practice will produce an effect in mind and being.
Across all spiritual traditions it has been known for thousands of years: Take a deep breath and relax!
Meditation is a practice for the mind that allows us to hone our perception, clear our awareness and open our heart to fully experience this moment. Research shows that regular meditation fosters physical and emotional health and wellbeing. It strengthens the immune system, helps reduce stress and anxiety, stimulates attention and focus, enhances creativity, cultivates compassion, improves productivity and increases performance to mention but a few benefits.
Mindfulness, in a simple way, can be described as knowing that you are doing what you are doing when you are doing it. It is a particular way of paying attention, not limited to but part of meditation practice. It is the mental faculty of purposefully bringing awareness to one’s experience. Mindfulness can be applied to sensory experience, thoughts, and emotions by using sustained attention and noticing our experience without reacting. Mindfulness creates space, changing impulsive reactions to thoughtful responses.