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A GUIDE TO MEDITATION by AMITAKH CHIAPPALONE

First printed and published 1996 Updated and reprinted 1998 by ANNWN PUBLICATIONS for Amitakh Chiappalone PO Box 28 Malanda 4885 Queensland Australia Copyright: Amitakh Chiappalone ISBN 1 875286 01 2

CONTENTS CHAPTER 1 What is Meditation? 2 Meditation Progress 3 The benefits of Meditation 4 The Need for Protection 5 An Aura Protection Excercise 6 How does one meditate? 7 Helpful Hints 8 Seeing Images and Colours 9 Conclusion

For Thomas and Phoebenale

ONE WHAT IS MEDITATION?

I entered Silence a thousand times before I saw the face of True Silence. Meditation is a natural state of mind. It is purely a mental activity. The main goal in meditation is to establish contact with the Divine within - the awakening of the Divine Consciousness within. The main point in meditation is for the activated life-force to do its purification work. Meditation is not a practice which one can grasp and become proficient overnight. You have made a beginning in meditation the very first instance that you close your eyes to make contact with the Divine within. Once you have learned to turn inward to make contact with the Divine within, you become the beholder of Its activity and expression so that you can draw your good from the Divine within. As people awaken generally, more and more are viewing meditation scientifically rather than as a mysterious exercise practised by so-called mystics. Do not be discouraged even if you seem to be making no progress in the early stage of meditation. With practice and perseverance, you can progress and may even master the art of meditation in due course. Regardless of how many years you have been practising meditation, you will find that it is a wonderful, personal, on-going adventure with unlimited possibilities. Meditation is not thinking about something as many people misunderstand. It is a process of seeking Truth, of understanding ourselves better and of turning all our emotions into the calmness of meditation. To do this we need to go very deeply into meditation, graduating from an infantile to advanced stage. In the early stage of meditation, we strive to achieve stillness and calmness and to be very quiet and relaxed, and perhaps follow simple instructions in the form of guided meditation. But as we refine our meditation, we begin to realize that meditation is more than just relaxing and observing and dealing with our feelings, thoughts, emotions and experiences. We realize that it is a process of seeking the truth of things. Some people apply intense concentration when beginning meditation, others may use visualization or the chanting of mantras or other practices to help them to develop stillness and concentration. Meditation is a process which heightens specific forms of sensitivity. In meditation we go inwards. To go inward in meditation is to go to the source of our being, to go into the pure state. In meditation we still our mind to bring about an inner awareness and a oneness with a powerful, harmonious Force which we can recognise as quite apart from ourselves and our environment. It must be made absolutely clear that at no stage is meditation a means of escaping this world. Instead, it is an experience we go through to contact our own Inner Being - the Divine within.

The minute we relax our body and mind completely, deeply and spontaneously, meditation commences. And when we let go and relax fully, and enter into the silence within our inner mind, we are engaging in the process called meditation. When we listen to the inner silence within us we simply remain silent without any expectation, without anxiety about the outcome, without trying to grasp or interpret anything. When we enter into the silence of the inner mind, we enter into a vast openness; we enter into a silence that is not the absence of sound. Neither is the silence free from distraction. This silence is the presence of the awareness of the mind. Meditation is not emptying your head. It is concentrating yourself in a contemplation of the Divine. If you persist, the quality of life will change for the better. You will feel peace, an inner calm, an unchanging force and a certitude within yourself. When meditation deepens, it will move naturally into a level where one can experience its state of reality. Concentration is a more active state. Concentration is the capacity to focus one's attention at one point. It is more difficult than meditation. One can concentrate while meditating but this is a mental function and not a spiritual one. If you have the capacity to concentrate, your meditation will be easier but one can meditate without concentrating. Many follow a series of ideas in their meditation. This is meditation, not concentration. Thus, in meditation one can be involved in many things, whereas in concentration, one always gathers oneself at one point. Hence meditation is a more relaxed action and therefore less tense than concentration. The method of gazing at an object or at a point is a very popular one used in total concentration while meditation is a particular partial concentration of thought. In ancient times, as well as today, people everywhere had and have their particular kind of meditation. The details of the practice may vary or differ but the basis of meditation is similar. It always involves a special mode of mental activity and concentration. When one is able to meditate properly, one does not fix one's mind on anything, since there is nothing to focus on.

TWO MEDITATIONAL PROGRESS In the early state of meditation, when one holds onto mental projections or focuses on an object of concentration, one only follows the movements of the mind at the conscious level. In order to expand one's awareness, one must open up as fully as possible and become very silent within the inner mind. In other words, one needs to expand the awareness out of the realm of inner dialogue, relax completely and become very silent.

Later on as one progresses in this discipline one can go beyond all ideas and conceptual patterns to a state of "nothingness" where there is no centre of focus. Hence there are no limitations, for all limitations which necessitate a centre of focus have dissolved. This is meditation. In meditation there is no need for feedback. When one is free from expectation, then meditation flows naturally. One common difficulty in meditation is the problem of all kinds of thoughts entering the mind and the meditator often becomes frustrated and discouraged because he/she cannot still his/her mind. This difficulty is due to the programmed state of the human mind. One way of overcoming this problem is to be detached and see these thoughts as intruders crossing the mind-space. When unwanted thoughts disturb your meditation, just watch them without any attachment and do not try to suppress or reject them. Instead, just keep on with your meditation. There are all kinds of meditation. There is the ACTIVE meditation in which you may take up an idea and follow it to arrive at a given result. There is concentration here but it is not as complete a concentration as in concentration proper where nothing should exist except the point on which one concentrates. People who want to write or solve a problem meditate in this way quite unaware that they are meditating. You may try to concentrate on something in order to get all activities, reactions, reflexes, ideas or thoughts out of your head and to arrive at a state of truly silent tranquillity. This is extremely difficult. Much perseverance is required to practise meditation properly. Others sit down and try to concentrate on something without an idea. That is, they simply concentrate on a point in order to intensify one's power of concentration and this brings about a state where one enters into an altered state of consciousness. Another kind of meditation consists in being as quiet as one can be, but without trying to stop all thoughts. There are thoughts which are purely mechanical and if one tries to stop them this may take years to accomplish, and one cannot be sure of the result. Hence, instead of trying to stop all thoughts, one places all one's effort into remaining as quiet and as peaceful as possible. One detaches oneself from the external influence as though they are of no interest at all. One does not expect anything nor insist on anything. One simply allows the inner silence to take place. Once this state is established all the rest depends on one's own aspiration within the self. If one asks for serenity, it will come. If one asks for guidance, peace, strength, knowledge, or power to serve the Divine, they will come, but all depends on one's capacity to receive them. Correct meditation helps one to reach a state where one can maximise the benefits desired from proper meditation.

THREE

THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION Meditation works on many levels. For example - for personal, growth; to prevent stress and relieve tension; to maintain calmness and inner peace; for relaxation; for improved concentration; for success towards a goal; for clarity of mind; to develop self-confidence ... etc. Thus: * One may meditate to seek and explore one's human potential so as to function more effectively. * One may meditate to enter the depths of one's being. * One may meditate to open up to the Divine Force. * One may meditate to give oneself to the Divine. * One may meditate to reject the ordinary consciousness. * One may meditate to enter into peace, serenity and silence. * One may meditate to receive guidance. * One may meditate to receive the Force of transformation. * One may meditate for various practical reasons. * One may meditate for all sorts of things. There are few people who are in a state of perfect inner and outer harmony and to whom nothing unpleasant happens. And when they think of the Divine, or want to find out more about themselves, the best way of doing this is via meditation. Most people meditate to retrieve something of themselves which they once had but have now forgotten. In other words they are searching for their own identity, so that by discovering more and more of what it is that they had lost, they become more and more self-realized and therefore able to perceive and function more effectively in this world. Everyone who meditates can benefit from it. Everyone can transform their lives through regular meditation. Almost all serioues meditators have this sense of "coming home" when they meditate. There is no age limit for meditation. The methods are many and varied. There is no one right way to meditate but there are some meditation methods which are more suitable and beneficial to some people more than others. Everyone has his or her own mode but if one wants to meditate in order to be dynamic and transformed in the Divine Force one needs to be diligent and sincere. The length of the meditation time is only relatively important. Its duration simply shows how far you are accustomed to this activity. All programs of meditation require constantly repeated and diligent work. Apart from being a healthy way of relieving stress from both young and old, and apart from other benefits, meditation expands the unseen energy field which is within and around our bodies. It raises physical, astral, mental and spiritual vibrations. One becomes calmer and clearer in one's mind and this helps on cope better in life. Young school children, as well as adults, benefit much from this discipline.

It is a good habit to protect oneself from negative opposing forces (unknown and unseen by the

majority of people) before starting meditation. The why and how of it will be explained later. It is best to set aside a specific time each day for meditation. Whenever possible, meditate in the same place so that you will settle down quickly. A quiet environment is best. The best time to meditate is in the early hours of the morning when most other people are asleep and everything is conducive to silent meditation. This is because during those early hours the subconscious movements are at a minimum. Thus a meditator would do well to begin at an early hour. In the early stage, meditation establishes a condition of thought and consciousness, but later on the results will manifest in the outward affairs of one's life. One learns to control one's own life more and more instead of letting others control them and the situations in which one finds oneself in. As one practises meditation, one learns to recognise the amount of activities which go on in one's mind. One begins to recognise one's anxieties and begins to deal with those anxieties and other problems through meditation. Through regular meditation, one can raise the energy in one's body into higher centres and direct the life force into the higher centres of creativity. When one does this, one raises one's vibrations and expand the consciousness. With regular practice, one loses no time in meditation, that is, one attains a satisfactory state in just a few seconds. In the beginning of one's practice o f meditation, one may spend half to three quarters of the meditation time in preparing oneself to quieten the mind, and to concentrate on the task. But when one is proficient one obtains the benefits of the whole time by being receptive within a few seconds of commencing meditation. This warning should not deter anyone from taking up meditation because whether one meditates or not, one is always exposed to such adverse influences anyway. It is by learning to control and raise one's energy to higher levels that one stands a better chance of taking control of the situations in life. It is my wish that all meditators achieve a dynamic, transforming meditation, for the sooner one learns to meditate properly, the sooner one will contact the Inner Being. The best way to start is to relax completely.

When one is meditating properly, one meditates with great concentration yet without making any great effort. FIVE AN AURA PROTECTION EXERCISE Mentally picture a shower of White Light (or visualize it in intense electric blue), like a spot light, above your head spreading all over and around your body from head to toes extending outwards for at least a foot. Visualize the Light filled with silver sparkles flooding your entire body and permeating you completely inside as well. Mentally see yourself safe and happy in the centre of this cocoon of White (or Blue) Light with silver sparkles. Be aware of yourself in this Light for a few seconds. I suggest you decide your goal in meditation and eventually choose a method which best suits your goal. SIX HOW DOES ONE MEDITATE? 1. Begin meditation by keeping your body very quiet and relaxed. Keep your body erect. 2. Quieten your mind and do not entertain thoughts. Seek inner silence by relaxing your whole body and calming your mind. Once you are able to relax and calm your mind you will be able to meditate naturally. In the early days of meditation let all your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and so on be part of your meditation rather than fighting to reject them. Have no expectations. Do not be concerned about anything. In this first stage of meditation one can begin to control one's emotions, anxieties and desires and thus become less burdened. When you feel inclined to come out of your meditation, come out slowly by becoming aware of your physical environment. Sit for a few moments before you go about your daily business.

SEVEN

HELPFUL HINTS

1. Choose a method which best suits the stage you are at, your temperament, environment, circumstances, and your individual response. These vary as do the responses to colour and music. Age appropriate meditation technique for children are recommended. However there are some young children who are capable of adopting methods which are normally used by adults or more advanced students.

2. Try repeating a MANTRA for a minute or two before you begin your specific meditation exercise on days when you are feeling unsettled. This will help you settle down more quickly and ease any frustration. 3. If you are unsettled or are no longer meditating do not fool yourself by staying your normally allotted time in meditation. It is better to come out of meditation, do something else and then re-start your meditation again later. 4. Relax as much as possible and choose a time when you will be least disturbed. 5 . There is a tendency with a lot of people to g o to sleep for a time after meditation. You must resist this pull by getting up and doing something else to keep yourself awake. The reason for keeping yourself awake is to prevent yourself from being robbed by astral entities of the energy and the gains your consciousness has made during meditation. A victim of such robbery can end up with a headache, dull aches in the body generally or even chaotic dreams. This is one good reason to protect oneself before meditation and before going to sleep. 6. Be regular and fervent in your meditation. Meditate at least once daily for 10 - 30 minutes. 7 . Do not meditate after eating for you will either fall asleep or find it hard to settle down. 8 . The long hours spent in meditation are no proof of spiritual progress. Proof of progress in meditation is furnished by the ability to do it naturally, without making a tremendous effort to control one's thoughts. 9 . Getting into a delightful, self-complacent state in meditation, or becoming forgetful about the world or even becoming annoy ed when o n e ' s meditation is interrupted are certainly not signs of spiritual progress. 10. One is progressing when one becomes silent, and feels calm with the consciousness totally concentrated, naturally and spontaneously, as one enters the state of meditation with an intense delight. It leads into yet a more intensive contemplative state from which it takes an effort to drag oneself out of. 11. If you feel that you have to meditate because it is something you have to do, then you need to re-examine your attitude and purpose in meditation. 12. It is pointless increasing your time in meditation unless the urge for meditation comes from within. 13. If you feel tired after meditating, it is possible that you have tried too hard and became

too intense, and thus caused tension in your body. Take a few deep breaths and relax. 14. No matter what you experience in meditation, you need to be alert at all times. 15. Posture in meditation depends on an individual's preference. However, an erect position does provide stillness of the body which allows certain energies to flow smoothly. 16. Meditate in the most direct, simple and natural way and do not be self-conscious or influenced by the ego.

Meditation is a profound subject. Even if one has been meditating for many years, it is surprising how much more there always is to learn. Always relax your body and let go of all the tension in it. If spontaneous meditation occurs when you meditate, you need not concern yourself with any meditation techniques. Instead, just allow yourself to follow the flow effortlessly and experience pure meditation. Remember, a meditation technique is merely a tool to assist you. When you can enter into meditation naturally, there is no longer need for any meditation technique. When a mantra is used, it can be repeated aloud or mentally. A meditation mantra can be a sound, a word, or a number of words. A mantra used in meditation serves as a focus of attention during the early stage of meditation practice. Examples of meditation mantras are: 1) Ah...Home ...) 2) Hor... 3) Om... 4) Hu... Wor. .. Ah Hum... (pronounced as

Protect yourself from psychic attack and negative influence by doing the aura protection exercise I mentioned earlier. 1 . Sitting position: Sit in a comfortable position but not so comfortable that you fall asleep in it easily. You may sit in the full or semi-lotus position as shown below. You may meditate indoor or outdoor in the garden, near the sea, etc Picture 1: full lotus position 2 . Hand position: Gently touch the thumb and index finger together. Do this for both hands and let the rest of the fingers rest comfortably as shown in pictures 1 and 2. Another simple hand position is as follows:

In this hand position you cup your left hand and rest it in the right hand and allow the thumbs to touch gently. Rest your hands on your lap. Put a light pillow on your lap for your hands if necessary (see picture 3). Picture 2: semi-lotus position Picture 3 - a simple hand position 3. The preparatory attitude: Prepare yourself for meditation by becoming calm and silent both outwardly and inwardly. Silencing your mind and recollect all your consciousness which is dispersed in various preoccupations and thoughts and focus your consciousness as much as possible in the region of the heart, so that all active energies in the head may be directed towards the heart region. This procedure should take only a few seconds.

4. Choose the method of meditation: Once this is done you may choose an active or a passive type of meditation. You may adopt either one or the other method according to how you feel, according to the occasion, or you may stick to the one method all the time if it helps you more. Once again, remember that there are two distinct types of meditation: the ACTIVE and the PASSIVE meditation. In Active Meditation one opens up to someone or something by actively concentration on an object. In Passive Meditation one concentrates then opens oneself to whatever that comes and always remains silent and detached without any expectation. For guided meditation, you may choose to refer to my Daily Meditation Exercises tape.

EIGHT IMAGES AND COLOURS IN MEDITATION Sometimes images and colours are seen when one meditates. Those can be many things. They can be a projection of your own thoughts when you begin reflecting on something. They can be visions of the subtle physical or the astral. However, if you are really quiet and your mind is still, it can be that messages are coming to you from other beings, from other dimensions, or from other forces (from both sides) to show or to tell your something. Normally when you see colours which are pulsating and you see or feel yourself absorbing them, it usually is an indication of some sort of power sent by someone. They are messages directed at you or experienced by you. If your mind is very quiet, they may reveal what they mean. The moment you seek to understand what they mean, your mind may become active and what you receive becomes distorted. Then often the images and colours disappear.

One should be a detached observer in meditation and not get caught up in the distraction of images and experiences. In any case, generally speaking, seeing colours in meditation is an indication that the inner vision is beginning to develop or is developed.

NINE

CONCLUSION

The need to meditate has never been greater because unprecedented changes are upon us. The less prepared and less aware one is, the greater the shock and possible personal suffering. The greater the awareness, the greater the preparation and the smoother the transition from the old to the new. Preparation, awareness and transition can all be enhanced by turning to the Light within and this is best done by meditating. Happy meditating!

***
This booklet is the companion to the meditation tape "Daily Meditation Exercises" by the author.…...

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