Reflective Meditation Book

Reflective Meditation

Most individuals come to meditation with a reasonably clear thought of ​​what meditation is and is not. Most meditation directions are designed to create or produce what’s deemed to be the correct expertise. Even when stated frivolously or implicitly, the underlying message is to put aside or forbid experiences that don’t match into a specific sort of meditation.

However many kinds of expertise will be worthwhile. They’ve completely different advantages, and a few advantages is probably not felt till a lot later, if in any respect. A profit could be a break from the calls for of life or perhaps a requirement for a fruitful meditation.

Within the meditation we let go of an awesome want all of us have: to behave. After we sit down for a interval of meditation, we do our greatest to not stand up and never reply the telephone, reply to emails, watch films, make telephone calls, eat or drink. And once we do any of this stuff whereas meditating (which we are able to do on-line), we attempt to be extra aware about it, though we nonetheless purpose to be comparatively nonetheless in some unspecified time in the future.

After we are mild with no matter arises in meditation, we are able to see extra of how our expertise is altering. Seeing extra is a sort of knowledge. It would not at all times occur within the second and it would not occur with every little thing, however we’re in a position to embrace rather more than earlier than.

In 2020, on the peak of the pandemic, we held a web based retreat. Our theme for the retreat was a name to gentleness: issues are occurring. Take it simple. Watch after. Give your finest. We’ll make ours. We could not ask for extra from the members or from ourselves. And we ask no extra of you.

Issues change, we alter, and that’s generally troublesome, and generally it results in new and progressive views.

New and progressive views are the fruit of the reflective meditation by which we seize the content material of our meditation periods. In our follow we have now additionally known as it inventive meditation or out of doors meditation; we let issues go. We give our expertise a big discipline by which to maneuver. Surprising experiences emerge, the stuff of creativity. Our inside worlds are chaotic like a zoo, however the animals should not in separate cages, they’re neatly separated from one another. Get to like these wild animals! Study to offer our experiences the respect they deserve.

Our expertise is complicated; we can not work on one facet in isolation from every little thing else. Inventive meditation requires the flexibility to tolerate this complexity. As an alternative of separating ideas, emotions, sensations, reactions, and issues, permit all of them to roam round in your inside expertise. Get to know them, even when they appear unusual and complicated to you. Do not tie experiences along with brightly coloured ribbons too quickly. It isn’t really easy! If we can not tolerate complexity, we may discover ourselves in a black and white world and clinging to black and white views and opinions. That will get us in bother.

After we let within the unsettling, the horrifying, the annoying, we additionally let within the unknown and the inventive. Our life turns into energetic and vibrant.

The Buddha advocated utilizing language correctly and elegantly, and he spoke in a inventive, conversational method. His insistence on skillful speech directs us to be extra sincere, truthful, and direct every time doable. For instance, checking emails in meditation, which is often seen as a waste of time, can present the uncooked elements to talk of our values. We’re referring to an vital improvement in Buddhism, sensible and type speech, which seems each as one of many folds on the eightfold path to awakening and as one of many 5 primary moral precepts.

Is it stunning that ethics and creativity come collectively? It could seem to be we simply have to be extra disciplined to behave ethically. Meditate extra disciplined. Extra disciplined to be inventive. get up extra disciplined. Cannot we simply memorize the Buddhist teachings and apply them as they have been taught to us?

Creativity additionally refers to a course of in meditation follow the place the uncooked elements are combined, fused and blended with thriller, like an summary portray. We lose contact with our acquainted inside world. Perhaps our senses work in unusual methods. Surprising issues occur. Growing our capability to combine colours. Not simply black and white, however so many different shades and colours. Our inside and outer landscapes turn into extra vibrant, multidimensional and alive.

New views, new understandings, new developments, new methods of wanting on the similar content material of our meditation – all of this feels and is inventive. It may be enlightening, transformative and awakening. And it adjustments the panorama of the Dharma teachings themselves.

Larger consciousness develops in three phases in reflective meditation. First we meditate and let every little thing occur. Then we take a step again and give it some thought, typically discovering phrases in writing for what occurred. Then we converse it out loud to a trainer and/or classmates. Every of those phases shines within the gentle of consciousness, every slightly in a different way and from a distinct perspective.

We use writing as a way to achieve better consciousness. In some approaches to Buddhist meditation, writing is particularly forbidden throughout retreat. I used to put in writing secretly throughout meditation retreats as a result of I wanted to get my ideas and experiences out to course of them.

There are two methods we construction the writing. After the meditation we permit about ten minutes to replicate and take notes on what occurred within the meditation, with the caveat that it’s inconceivable to recollect all and even most of what occurred. Our inside worlds are multidimensional collages, with so many unfoldings and generally so quick. Different instances issues get sluggish, deep, spacious that it is laborious to recollect as a result of we’re so immersed. There is no want to put in writing issues down in chronological order, though generally that could be simpler. Make lists, draw footage, write paragraphs. Search for phrases that approximate what really occurred.

Generally we do free-form writing, often to handle a immediate or an open-ended query or exploration. I encourage college students to let unfastened and never fear about grammar or punctuation. We encourage you to meditate in the identical method. Stunning issues come out.

Some swear by the old style pen-on-paper spelling. This supposedly creates extra mind-body connections. Others discover they will extra simply hold observe of what occurred by typing it. Like a lot else we suggest, it’s best to discover your personal method.

What in regards to the insights that come from meditation? We do not wish to lose sight of them. Writing them down preserves them for future reference. In any case, these insights will be elusive, barely hovering above acutely aware consciousness. Insights can come from meditation, considering, writing, or speaking to a trainer. Insights will be ignored, uncared for, or too delicate to be observed.

Reflective Meditation Directions

In an open, unstructured meditation method, there are various methods to meditate. You will see your personal method, and over time it can change. By reflecting in your meditative course of, you turn into conscious of the way you meditate and the way meditation helps and informs you. Listed below are some preliminary options to get you began.

These primary meditation directions will be useful for newcomers. If you have already got a meditation follow, you’ll be able to attempt these guides or meditate in the way in which you might be used to. Consider this method as a distinct sort of meditation with completely different advantages.

1. Discover construction

  • Select a snug place, maybe with the assist of a chair or pillow. It is simpler to quiet down if you’re comfy.
  • Discover a quiet place the place you might be unlikely to be disturbed.
  • Select a time frame to meditate. Take into account beginning with ten to thirty minutes. Do not stress your self out by attempting to meditate for too lengthy. Utilizing a timer will help.

2. Transfer

  • Let your ideas, emotions, feelings and a focus flow into. No matter arises in meditation is ok: nothing is inherently taboo. Let your consideration go the place it’s drawn. This may occasionally not really feel like conventional notions of meditation.
  • Attempt to hold your physique nonetheless. For those who really feel uncomfortable, slowly and punctiliously transfer right into a extra comfy place. Silence in meditation develops over time with follow.

3. Settling in

  • At instances you might wish to floor your consideration, particularly when issues are getting chaotic or overwhelming. You do not have to stay to 1 fastened object for lengthy, though generally you agree down for some time.
  • You may experiment with sitting on the nonetheless level the place your physique touches the earth; the place the ft contact the ground or the physique touches the chair, sofa or pillow.
  • When you have a meditation follow, use a spotlight object that comes simply to you, just like the breath, physique consciousness, or a mantra.
  • There isn’t any must fly again to a seat if one thing else requires your consideration.

4. After meditation

  • Take time to replicate in your meditative experiences; That is the way you develop extra meditative perception.
  • Journaling can assist consciousness and reminiscence.
  • First, write down what’s best so that you can keep in mind. Then fill in additional as you keep in mind.
  • Describe your expertise in your personal phrases.
  • Strive to stick with what occurred within the meditation. For those who add interpretations or associations, put these ideas in parentheses or different notation. This helps to tell apart what occurred within the meditation and what adopted.
  • Take into account the content material of your ideas, the tone of your feelings, your relationship to your expertise. Have you ever heard sounds, felt sensations, heard ideas, seen footage? How did you expertise what occurred?
  • Something you keep in mind will do. Don’t be busy remembering every little thing: it’s neither obligatory nor doable.

Reprinted right here with the sort permission of Reflective Meditation: Cultivating kindness and curiosity within the firm of the Buddha by Linda Modaro and Nelly Kaufer, printed by Tuwhiri (2023), Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

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