Basic Meditation Technique for Inner Peace
Step 1: Sit comfortably
Start by adjusting your sitting position. If you sit on the floor, sit cross-legged, right leg over the left, right hand over the left hand, palms up, your right index finger gently touching your left thumb. Place both hands on your lap comfortably, your head and back erect. This sitting position is called Peace Position.If you feel uncomfortable in this position, you may sit on a chair or sofa. Adjust your position until you feel completely comfortable and so that the blood will circulate freely and you breathe naturally.
Gently close your eyes comfortably, as if you were going to sleep. Do not squeeze your eyelids and do not shut them forcefully. Close them slightly. Do not close them tightly. Sit with a smile on your face.
Step 2: Adjusting the body and the mind
Let everything go. Take a moment to let go of all the responsibilities related to work, loved ones, family, study, and everything else. Let your mind be joyful, relaxed and free from all worry. Then, breathe normally. Relax every muscle in your body. Start to relax from the top of your head down to your forehead. Relax the muscles in your face, eyelids, neck, and muscles in your shoulders, arms, and down to the tips of your fingers. Relax the muscles of your back, your chest, your legs, and all the way down to the tip of your toes. Let every part of your body relax. Don’t let any part of your body contract, tighten, or become tense.
Continue to relax until you feel that every part of your body, every cell in your body, is completely relaxed. You are now in a state of complete relaxation whereby you can feel an emptiness, transparency, and lightness. Now, make your mind joyful, cheerful, clear, pure, and bright. Release and let go. Empty your mind.
Make your mind clear, pure, and free from all thoughts. Imagine you are sitting alone in a vast, open space. One that is full of freedom and peacefulness as if you never had any attachment in life, never had any problems and never knew anyone before.
Then, imagine that your body has no organs, assuming that it is a tube, a hole, a hollow vacuum, an inflated balloon or a diamond cylinder that is bright and clear. Let it be an open space – empty and hollow inside. You may feel your body get lighter and lighter, as if it were becoming weightless, gradually melting away and becoming one with nature.
Step 3: Let yourself enjoy this feeling of peacefulness
Now, bring your mind to focus to the center of your body, in the middle of your abdomen, two finger widths above the navel level. For new practitioners, do not worry too much about the exact point of center of the body. Simply maintain your mind, softly and gently, in the middle of your abdomen. The way that you focus your mind at the center of the body is by comparing it to the lightness and gentleness of a bird’s feather floating down from the sky and touching the calm surface of the water.
Imagine the soft touch of a bird’s feather when it touches the surface of the water. Focus your mind at the center of the body with this feeling. Maintain the feeling of relaxation in your body and mind continuously, keeping your mind focused at the center of the body (in the middle of your abdomen). After you have found the starting point to focus your mind, softly imagine a neutral object of choice so that the mind can have something to focus on and not wander. You could imagine a shining sun, of any size that you like, bright like the midday sun but clean and soothing as the moonlight on a full moon night. You can choose any object that you like as long as it makes you feel calm, pure, and content. Some people visualize candle flames, crystal balls, the moon, etc.
To imagine an object in the center of your body, you need to know the method. Slowly imagine the object with ease. Relax. Keep it simple. As simple as it would be to think of a football, a car, a house, or anything that is familiar. Do not force your mind to think of the object to a point that it makes you feel tense. Do not use too much effort or stare at it, as staring will deter you from allowing better feelings from arising. Gently imagine the object, and relax. It does not matter if it is not clear. Be satisfied with however clear it is. And maintain your mind calmly, let it stop and be still. Think of that mental object continuously. Do not let your mind wander. If you do think of something else, you can maintain your stillness of mind and concentration by reciting a short, soothing phrase.
Recite the word phrase of choice in your mind softly, as if the soft sounds were coming from the center of the mental object in the middle of your abdomen. Recite the word phrase of choice continuously, while thinking of the bright mental object, gently and comfortably floating in your center. Focus your mind to be still at the center of the bright mental object within. Maintain your mind on the object and phrase in the center of your body continuously, softly, and comfortably until your mind is still.
Step 4: maintain soft awareness of the center of the body
Once your mind is completely still, it will drop the word phrase by itself, as if you are forgetting to recite it (if you simply do not want to recite it anymore, then that is ok). You may just want to be still without your mind wandering or thinking about anything. There should be only the picture of the mental object appearing clearly at the center of your body. If you feel like this, you do not have to go back to reciting the word phrase again. Let your awareness maintain the vision of the mental object gently and comfortably. Only do this from this point on wards, with a still mind, softly, gently, constantly, and continuously. Do not do anything beyond this.
If you see or feel any experiences at the center of your body which are different from the mental object that you originally started imagining, do not be excited. Let your mind be neutral to it. Observe the experiences that occur with a calm mind and remember to relax. Be neutral. Your mind will be completely focused, pure, still, and feel like nothingness. This moment is very important so do not neglect it, pay attention because all new experiences from within will progress even further to what you are not expecting. Your role at this time is to be an observer, not a director. Just keep observing and just relax. Do not think of anything. Do all of this, only this, and that is all.
If you do this correctly, meditation will feel easy and comfortable. Your mind will then become still, easily and effortlessly. Do not analyze and comment on your inner experiences as they are happening. Your mind will not be calm and all your good experiences will go away. Instead, adhere only to these instructions. Eventually, your mind will be refined and completely focused at the center of the body. The mind will deepen, entering into clarity, purity, brightness, true happiness, and true inner knowledge. This is inner wisdom. Finally, you will behold the universal truth which lies within you and everyone else in this world. So enjoy your meditation one step at a time.
Meditation brings our mind back to its original pure state. Furnish others with the ability to incorporate attained happiness into their daily lives. The lives they lead will prove beneficial for themselves and others.
5: Spreading the peace energy
The sharing of loving kindness is something we can do every day, both before and after daily meditation. A brief period before meditating softens and broadens our minds. The sharing of loving kindness as such helps improve our meditation experience. Sharing loving kindness after meditation spreads the purity of our meditated minds throughout ourselves first, then subsequently towards others.
The benefits of sharing loving kindness everyday include radiating a happy feeling when we are awake and asleep. If we have dreams, they will be sweet and meaningful. We will rid ourselves of anger and we will be positive thinkers. Most importantly, it will greatly help to improve our meditation.
- Before ending our meditation session, once our minds come to a standstill and are hence filled with happiness, we can actually share loving-kindness, good wishes, and peace with all other people in the world. We can start by focusing our stilled mind at the center of our body where we feel true love and good wishes for everyone condensing these feelings into a bright sphere. Without any effort, imagine that this sphere of love and good wishes is expanding in all directions from your body’s center towards all beings. Wish everyone freedom from suffering and the attainment of extreme happiness.
- Feel the expansion of our bright sphere all around us, spreading out towards the people in our surroundings regardless of whether they are near or far. Expand our minds continually outwards to cover our room, then our building, then our town, then our country, then our continent, then our planet. Feel unlimited love and kindness towards all people of the world, irrespective of their nationalities, religions, and ethnicities.
- Let our minds connect with all other minds. Wish them happiness; wish every country prosperity and hope, that the world will be filled with only good people who bring true happiness to humankind. Let the purity of our still minds expand from the center of our body towards other people of the world who are suffering as a result of war and conflict. Wish that everyone will stop taking advantage of one another in the name of greed, anger and ignorance.
- The purity of our minds during meditation radiates silently outwards into the atmosphere. This purity cleanses the defilement and darkness from our minds and others minds, cleaning them so that we can live with the right view and in the right direction. This direction is towards happiness, peace, and virtue. Eventually, we will change the world and bring it true peace through the limitless powers of meditation.
Summary of Meditation Steps:
- Assuming “peace position” meditation posture on floor, chair, or sofa
- Relaxation of body and then mind
- Consistent gentle “Internalization” of awareness and concentration to a comfortable point in central area of the body; Can then use a mental object in the center
- Complete stillness and equanimity of mind in the center. Observation from this moment onward with neutrality and detachment to whatever may arise or occur; If thoughts arise, one can combine mental object with a word phrase (i.e. “Clear and Bright”)
- Before getting up: Spread the LOVE to all beings
- Recite a prepared resolution or prayer
Things to Prepare and Select Before Starting the Meditation Session:
- Seat for meditation with necessary amount of cushion
- Mind free from expectation, worry, thought, tension, and excitement
- Before sitting down, select an initial “Inner Meditation Object” of choice to begin the meditation with (i.e. Sun, Moon, Star, Ping Pong Ball, Tennis Ball, etc.) for the purpose of making the mind calm, pure, and content so that when meditating, feelings of discontentment, inconsistency or boredom with the meditation object will be avoided.
- Word Phrase, or “Mantra”, of choice (i.e. “Clear and Bright, Clear and Bright, Clear and Bright”) to aid in stabilizing a wandering mind
- Resolution prayer for reciting after the meditation is over (i.e. for dedication, help with the various aspects of life, blueprint/plan for the future, etc.)
How to Find Inner Peace Through Meditation
As humans we are all looking to find inner peace in this often stressful world. Inner peace is the key to happiness and to a life free from stress. While there are many ways of finding inner peace—ranging from exercise to positive thinking and even to hypnosis—meditation is the number one way to achieve inner peace.
With this guide to how to find inner peace through meditation you’ll open yourself up to a new level of relaxation and contentment, truly discovering a peaceful existence.
Meditations for Deep Inner Peace
Meditation is an invaluable tool for conscious living
Meditation can help us to find inner stillness, a place from which we can deal with challenges more easily. It naturally helps to clear our energy field. Anybody can do it and contrary to popular belief there is no right or wrong way to practice it. One of the easiest, most instant methods is by using breath.
Focusing on the breath is an often overlooked, yet very powerful way of finding serenity in the storm. Focus on the breath has an incredible way of bringing us right into the present moment. It transports us to the here and now, unwinding and unraveling tension. Simply focusing on the breath takes you to a place of non-judgement, allowing you to see the world with fresh eyes. It helps us to take challenges in our stride as we feel the world around us from a place of peace and calm.
Try this simple meditation for finding peace and calm:
- Close your eyes and inhale deeply. This creates a defined pause as you being to focus on your breath.
- Relax your shoulders. Let go of any tension through your body.
- Focus on the rhythmic rise and fall of your breath as you inhale and exhale fully. How does it feel as it infuses into your being. How does the void within feel as you empty yourself with each out-breath?
- On the out-breath, exhale any tension that you feeling.
- Allow your being to be filled with peace and calm.
- Feel yourself centering, balancing and becoming present.
- Carry on with your day from this space of calm, presence.
- Repeat as often as necessary.
Whenever you notice that you are stressed or have lost your center, stop what you are doing and repeat the steps above. Before long it will become natural and effortless. You’ll feel a massive difference that will benefit yourself and those around you in so many ways. It may even change your life.
Inner Peace Comes to All Who Meditate
Mindfulness is the cool new trend that also happens to have been around for over 2600 years. The Buddha was the original trendsetter in this regard. Having studied with numerous meditation teachers and mastered their techniques, he realized that he had still not found his way to understanding the cause of his suffering and the suffering around him. So he sat down under a tree and did what we in the West commonly refer to as mindfulness of the breath practice.
Here’s the amazing thing: Mindfulness of the breath is the simplest and most effective way to relate to our own mind, the ways we cause ourselves and others suffering, and to discover our inherent peace. Each time we sit down to follow the breath, we follow in the footsteps of the Buddha. Not unlike him, we focus on the body breathing, then when we notice we have drifted off into thought we come back to the present moment, over and over again.
However, one of the most common misunderstandings when it comes to mindfulness practice is that we should be able to sit down and feel peace right away. If that is the case for you, please let me know—you deserve to be on the front page of The Meditation Times (which doesn’t exist…yet). For many of us, peace feels like a far cry from the reality of the situation. The act of sitting quietly in a chair or on the floor with our legs crossed and focusing on the breath is like issuing an invitation to the mind to run rampant.
It’s a bit like taking a young child to school and having to walk by a candy store. You know that school is the ultimate destination, but once the kid sees the candy store, there’s no stopping him; he wants to go and he wants to go now. Over and over again you have to turn to the kid and gently say, “Nope, this isn’t where we’re going,” and steer him back to the path toward school.
Similarly, when you sit down to meditate you know that the ultimate destination is resting with the breath and, thus, your inherent sense of peace. The mind is like a young child and runs off, daydreaming about your ex, answering work emails, or having an argument with someone you likely won’t talk to for weeks. Each time you have the awareness that you have drifted off, the discipline is to gently guide your mind back to simply resting with the breath. The more we say, “Nope, this argument isn’t where we’re going,” and come back, the more we start to notice the mind can actually relax into the practice; it just takes a while for us to get there.
If we can actually get out of our own way and relax into feeling the breath that’s when the magic happens. In that instant, we discover what the Buddha found all those years ago, the same thing that led him to propagate this practice, over all the other practices that he studied: We are innately wakeful. Once we train the mind to relax into the present moment, we realize we can abide there for a moment or two. Those moments turn into 10, which turns into a full minute. The more we do this practice, the more we develop confidence that we can just rest in our inherent sense of peace. We build a continuity of wakefulness, not just in the meditation practice, but also in our daily lives.
Once we have learned to relax with something as simple as the body breathing, the more we can feel at ease in every other aspect of our life. We can hang out with a friend and deeply listen to what they have to say. We can sip our morning coffee and truly taste it. We can hold space for a loved one while they go through a difficult time. We end up showing up more fully and authentically for every activity throughout the day and it starts to feel magical. The mind has to be trained to be present rather than “always chasing another now,” as a chant performed at Shambhala Centers worldwide says. Rather than let your thoughts get lost in the future or the past, course-correct yourself and don’t let your proverbial kid go to the candy shop.
This is why, when people say things, like “Hiking is my meditation,” I flinch inwardly. While there are many activities that can allow us space away from the norm to process how we are thinking and feeling, there is a difference between that and training the mind to be present. Unless you are being mindful of each step and catching yourself when you drift off in habitual thinking, coming back to the next step, that’s not a mindfulness practice per say. The reason I am emphasizing the formal mindfulness of the breath practice is because it is designed to make us be fully present with whatever is happening—the good, bad, and ugly. Your mind wanders and you come back, until you learn to rest, thus, training your inner kid to walk by the proverbial candy shop and get to school.
The more we train in formal mindfulness practice, the more we experience the magic of each moment off the meditation seat. We relax into being with the people in our lives—those we know and like, those we don’t know very well and even those people we dislike. Being 100 percent there with them is how we learn to enjoy our lives most fully.