It has become axiomatic that meditation is the key to spiritual evolution, but there is often conflicting information about the best way to mediate. I have investigated many different modalities of meditation over the years and agree with the notion that any form of meditation is better than no meditation. That being said, I have found that some forms of meditation are more effective than others and there is actually a science to effective meditation.
Methods of meditation range from passive to active practices. On the passive end of meditation is something like zazen or mindfulness meditation, where one simply sits quietly and seeks to calm the mind and perhaps focus on the breath. On the active end of the spectrum one might focus on a mantra or engage in breathing exercises (pranayama).
I’ve engaged in many different practices over the years and have found that the system of meditation known as kriya or raja yoga is the most effective and scientific method for meditating. In this system mediation is a state of consciousness not a practice. Meditation is achieved when the mind is calm, focused, clear, and peaceful.
Meditation is achieved by strengthening our capacity to concentrate. Concentration like a muscle grows stronger with practice. Most of us never learn how to concentrate, and technology has made it so that most of us exist in a state of partial inattention constantly seeking stimulation. If you experience a racing mind during meditation or find your mind wandering you need to work on concentrating.
A few practices that help develop our ability to concentrate include focusing on the breath and counting the inhalations and exhalations in groups of five or ten, focusing on a mantra such as Om, or concentrating on a candle flame. The purpose of these concentration practices is two fold, it strengthens our ability to concentrate and also begins the process of detoxing our conscious and subconscious mind.
All those thoughts racing through your head is a backlog of unprocessed energy. When we engage in any meditation practice we are working towards lightening the mind and subconscious. When we first start meditating we may have years or lifetimes of thought patterns and emotions that need to be processed and released. So our early efforts at mediating are the most difficult and unpleasant.
However, as you gradually strengthen your capacity to concentrate your awareness will grow brighter like an inner flame and start burning away at an accelerated rate those unprocessed thoughts and feelings. As the mind gets lighter and the capacity to concentrate increases you will naturally find yourself slipping into a state of meditation that is calm, focused, clear, and peaceful.
Clearing out the backlog of thoughts and feelings trapped in the energy field is the slowest and most time consuming part of beginning a meditation practice. I’ve discovered that process can be accelerated in a number of ways, the easiest of which is using a meditation pyramid or teepee. Sacred geometry has been used throughout history to increase the spiritual potency of places of worship. You can utilize this ancient wisdom in your own practice by meditating each day in a pyramid or teepee large enough for you to comfortably sit in.
I have a copper pipe pyramid reflecting the ratios of the Giza pyramid that has a 6ft x 6ft base. However, a wooden or plastic pipe pyramid will be just as effective. When I first tried this I went out and bought some half inch diameter dowel rods from a home improvement store that were six feet long and made a makeshift teepee. It was so effective that I later invested in the more attractive and permanent copper pipe pyramid.
Metaphysically speaking, the pyramid and teepee shape seem to create a concentration of prana spiraling upward and downward through the apex. So when you sit in the pyramid with head under the apex it is like you are sitting in a column of prana/light. This will essentially bathe your energy body in prana while you are meditating which accelerates the efficacy of any meditation practice. It is also useful to do your practice at the same time each day and to dedicate a space for meditation. This helps build a morphogenic field that is conducive to your meditation practice.
That being said the most important thing to do is start meditating now. Guided meditations can be useful to calm the mind and elicit certain states of consciousness. For instance when I do a guided meditation with people I am connecting with their energy and helping them experience my state of consciousness. But this is no substitute for your own daily practice utilizing one of the techniques mentioned.
The most important thing to remember is to start meditating now every day or at least five days a week. If you are new to meditation recognize you are first going to have to develop your capacity to concentrate and start detoxing your conscious and subconscious mind. That can be done by practicing breath awareness, focusing on a mantra or candle flame each day for five to ten minutes and increasing it over time to twenty minutes.
Don’t bother meditating for longer periods than you are ready for. Strive for your meditation periods to be focused. You aren’t doing yourself much good sitting for longer periods of time lost in thought and not paying attention to what you are doing. As your ability to concentrate grows and your mind lightens you will naturally want to meditate for longer periods of time because it will be enjoyable and you will want more.
Once you are able to achieve a state of meditation consistently you may want to add some pranayama to your practice that will further accelerate the clearing of your mind and nervous system so that you can start experiencing samadhi/super consciousness during your meditation, which will be experienced as expansive ever new bliss. This is the point at which your meditation practice becomes a sacramental union with God.