Excerpt from Guided Meditation for Beginners, by Swami Rama.
This audio recording is commercially available from the Himalayan Institute.
“This recording has been specifically designed for those students who are beginners in the art and science of meditation. In the first part of the tape the purpose and benefits of meditation are explained. The benefits are immense. The second part is a practical method, which the beginner should listen to and use for guidance in his daily practice. Meditation is a technique which helps one to attain the higher state of consciousness. It is a positive method which can be used for leading a creative life, or becoming successful in the world, as well as obtaining tranquility within. The simple and natural process of directing the mind enables one to lead his thoughts, emotions and desires to the center of reality.
Meditation is the art and science of living and being. When practiced systematically, the benefits are immense. Meditation calms the mind, relieves the body of muscular, nervous and mental tension, regulates the entire metabolism, and gradually brings it into balance and harmony, and helps one to fathom the unfathomable levels of life. With the aid of meditation, the aspirant experiences deeper and higher levels of life, and is able to realize all creative potentials.
In the rush and roar of modern civilization, we often become tense and feel drained from the day’s problems. Even so called success in the world accumulates tension, and life seems to be a series of conflicting thoughts, and stressful events. For this, the technique of meditation has proven beneficial to people in all walks of life. For example, the student who cannot concentrate and has attention easily dissipated will find this method helpful. For executive stress, and for those who suffer on account of insomnia, hypertension, ulcers, and other kinds of psychosomatic diseases, meditation serves to relieve the stress. For the wife, mother, who must cope with an inexhaustible series of roles and demands, meditation becomes an energizing companion by restoring inner peace, calmness, harmony, and by reorienting her toward the busy details of everyday life. Meditation provides us with an opportunity to restore the harmony between the body and the mind. A parent’s mind and sense of inner peace, which is necessary in conducting the duties of daily life, is attained. We no longer need to feel the mental and physical fatigue, which is a result of disorganized and dissipated energies.
It is through meditation that both energy and perspective are regained. The purpose of meditation is not to encourage fantasies, but to release tension from the body, nervous system and mind. The mind has the habit of identifying itself with the external objects, which keeps the student from becoming aware of his essential nature. Meditation is a unique method which helps one to establish himself in his own essential nature, which is beyond visions, sound, and so called psychic experiences. In meditation, peace, happiness, and bliss are experienced.
Certain favorable conditions are required in the early stages of meditation. First, one should meditate in a clean, quiet, and pleasant environment. It is helpful to meditate, to do meditation at a fixed time each day. One can experiment, for a few days, until a definite time for daily practice is established. Third, it is helpful to perform preliminary exercises for cleansing the nerves, and regulating the motion of the lungs. Because of various events during the waking, dream, and sleeping states, many people tend to breathe shallowly. Their inhalation and exhalation becomes irregular, and disturbs their autonomic nervous system. The exchange of gases, oxygen and carbon dioxide, becomes imbalanced, and one finds it difficult to be steady in meditation. To overcome this disturbance, one should regulate exhalation and inhalation, in an even way. Regulated breath strengthens the nervous system and calms the mind.
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