How to Meditate

Meditating under my warm comforter in bed I am filled with love and gratitude. As I scan the room before me visible only by the dancing flame of the candle, my heart warms. To the west, Lao Tzu looks in my direction with his loving, enlightened, porcelain grin. To the south, a painting of white lilies. To the north, The Buddha meditating under the Bodhi tree. This room may be all of one-hundred feet squared, but this space... it's infinite. I see the beauty, magic, and limitless potential within all things.

There is nothing sweeter than meditating. My name is Shane and I will be your meditation non-guru. Consider me a kind of middle man. Between Earth, and the stars. It can be frustrating listening to audio, or reading text from spiritual teachers that lived thousands of years ago. They reside in a state of mind far off into space, a place where you would like to be. Meanwhile, you are here in the modern world, standing on Earth attempting to apply their wisdom in your own life. The concepts you hear or read may be lost in translation leaving you with the feeling that you will never learn to meditate, or be fulfilled. That's where I come in, hovering somewhere above Earth but not quite into space, heavenly meditated.

When I first began the practice of meditation, I recall sitting cross-legged in front of a fire pondering: "Am I meditating?" This is a very common question that those new to meditation will ask and for good reason as verbally explaining meditation is like that old Chinese saying: It's like the finger pointing to the moon, if you look at the finger, you can't see the moon. Meditation is a unique experience to each of us so let's jump in and develop the foundation you will need to jump start your meditation practice.

Step 1: Find a Spot

First, we need to establish a place to meditate. This should be somewhere you preferably feel at peace and relaxed. Over time, this location will become a power spot for you to dive deeply into the meditative state as confidence with this spot will build from previous practices. You may need to try a few different spots at home or the office to locate a place that is quiet, or has a good vibe.

Step 2: Set the Mood

Congratulations, you found the spot! Now to set the mood. There is nothing like a candle to get things going. I always have a candle directly in front of me while meditating. My perfect atmosphere is a candle lit and crickets in the background. The main idea is to have a meditation spot, and while creating the mood in that spot, you will begin to relax instinctively. By lighting the candle, my body and mind know that it is time to meditate. Perhaps you enjoy incense, or music in the background. Whatever helps by way of relaxation, do it!

Step 3: Comfortable Posture

Now, we decide upon a posture for meditating. There are too many to list. My posture is sitting cross-legged with my fingers in the "OK" position resting on my inner thighs.....done. Why this position? Because it's comfortable. Sometimes, my knee hurts and I'll change to a different position. The main aspect of the posture choice is to be so comfortable that thoughts of discomfort do not enter the mind. Don't worry about whether you have a straight spine, hands facing up, down, or all around. It does not matter!

Step 4: Observe Thoughts

Well done! You moved to the spot, set the mood, settled into the posture of choice, and are ready to practice meditation in the same way the finest athletes stretch and warm-up before practice. First things first, sit and be for moment. Observe the million thoughts spiraling throughout the mind. Simply observe, do not take ownership of the thoughts, just observe with no judgement, care, or concern. I meditate with my eyes closed. If thoughts are overwhelming at first, I will open my eyes for a bit and take in the surroundings. The candle flickering, crickets in the background, and when calmness of mind prevails, I will close my eyes once again after a short while.

Here is where you are going to need to trust me. By doing nothing other than observing thoughts, you are in your very own meditation practice. It's official, you are meditating! I know, I know, you don't feel any miraculous phenomenon, right? All in due time grasshopper. As you train yourself to simply observe your thoughts without becoming emotionally attached to them, you will notice fewer thoughts manifesting. This is where you need to be patient with the process in order to reach the place of no thought, also known as the gap. Will you fall into the gap on your first attempt at meditation? Well, unless you are rookie meditator of the year, probably not.

Congratulations, You Did It!

I began meditating by simply observing thoughts for 20-30 minutes each night. By the end of the first month, the most amazing experience of my life occurred when I fell into the gap my first time. Sitting cross-legged in front of a fire, I was maybe 20 minutes into the meditation, and WHOOSH! It felt as if a beam of light energy was exploding through the region on my forehead between my eyebrows. The sensation was so intense that my head was knocked backwards, tears began running down my face, I had not a clue what was happening. Peace and clarity overtook my entire being. It was at that moment I realized the power of meditation. Today, I know what I experienced that night. The location between the eyebrows is known as the third eye chakra or mind's eye. For the first time, my third eye opened.

So, lets assume I averaged a 25 minute meditation practice for the 30 nights leading up to falling into the gap and my third eye opening. That means it took 750 minutes of practice, of observing thoughts, for that phenomenon to occur. Is it worth it? I can't even imagine life without daily meditation anymore, it's the best discovery of my life!

I could go on and on about the things that I have learned over the years regarding meditation, detaching from ego, opening chakras, qigong, yoga, affirmations, and I do in a nice digestible chunk each week on Heavenly Meditated Radio. Thank you for taking the moment to read this guide and if you have any specific questions about anything at all feel free to message me.

With Love ~ Shane