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What is Meditation

Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life – perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody, that is the beauty of it.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

Everyone has heard about meditation. The word brings up a different idea for everyone. For some people it is an activity to tune with yourself and others. For some people it is a way to relax. Some people imagine a monk sitting still for decades and float above the earth.

Meditation in the eight fold path

According to Patanjali meditation is a part of the eight fold path. First you look at your moral standards, what to refrain from and what to do, then comes physical fitness, the capability to sit quietly without feeling pain or tension in your body. Then comes Pranayama, control over the processes in our body that happen without conscious attempts like Breathing and regulating temperature. Next comes withdrawal of the senses and turning inward. This is the first part of what we consider meditation. The next step is concentration. Focussing on one object, one visualisation or one goal. This state of being passes on to the next step, the actual meditation. In this state we have passed our material boundries and are standing on the outer line of our mind only held back by the item of our focus, but able to get a glimpse of the universal consciesness or the devine power within us, ready for the last step…
It is in this meditative state, beyond ego, that we can find answers to our questions, get to connect with our true selves, find peace and tranquillity within.

Practice leading to meditation

As you can see meditation has many fases and the entire process happens inside of you. For this reason most Yoga teachers do not say they teach Meditation, as the actual meditation is a state to be reached by very advanced practitioners, however yoga teachers do teach practices leading to meditation.
There are many practices that can be used, depending on your own preferences. Examples are listening to sounds, a voice or music, it can be done with singing, chanting or praying, you could focus on your breath, it could be gazing to an object like te moon, or a candle. It might also be a thought, a memory or a goal.

Advantages to Meditation

Even if your practice does not lead you to a blissful state, the practice itself has many advantages. It helps you relax both your body as your mind, it reduces stress, it reduces your thoughts, helps you focus. Meditation helps you looking at your life’s situation from a different perspective and it helps you attaining a balanced state of mind.

By the practice of meditation, you will find that you are carrying within your heart a portable paradise.

– Paramahansa Yogananda

Next week, starting July 12th, the course week Pranayama and Meditation is organised at Centre Lothlorien, where you can learn more about this topic.
In ourt Teacher Training Course the subject meditation is given importance. You can still sign up for our next Course from September 19th to October 18th.

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