Beginning Meditation: Calming Down  and Observing Yourself and Your Breathing 

                Now you have selected a quiet spot, a peaceful time and a relaxing posture for meditation.  Next close your eyes and watch yourself.  See yourself with your mental eye.  You may think,  “What should I do with myself?” Then you may feel silly and think, “What am I doing here?  Why am I sitting here like this, doing nothing?” You will think of all the project s and chores you want to finish—the bank, the groceries, the party, the job, the appointment—all will come into your mind now.  It is natural because your mind is always engaged in some activity.  If you have nothing else to do, you turn on the radio and begin chewing gum.  People go to the seashore and into the mountains, to nature’s most serene and beautiful spots, carrying their radios and chewing gum.  You may know what to do with people and thing, but you do not know what to do what to do with yourself.           

            First, just sit and let your own thoughts come.  What kinds of thoughts appear?  How many kinds are there?  What fancies and silly notions come to mind?  See what tendencies and instincts are hidden in you.  The first step is to sit and watch, to discover the habits and tendencies of your body.  Watch as a neutral observer.  Don’t think of anything as bad or good, as right or wrong; stay judgment free.  Remember any adjective that any person has used for you, let it go for now.  Begin to see that you are beautiful.  Begin to feel a pleasant feeling within yourself.  Let this feeling come over your face.  Visualize it soothing and relaxing you.  Visualize yourself sitting for meditation with a pleasant, peaceful expression. 

            You may now see all of your needs arise.  Ask yourself, “Why do I have them? What are my desires?  How do they manifest themselves?”  From these questions you in your subconscious mind?  Unnoticed or unnecessary nervous actions, like tapping your foot or biting a fingernail or smoking a cigarette, reveal you discontent or pain.           

            Because of anger and hatred, frustration and resentment, we become tense and ugly.  Through meditation we are rebuilding ourselves.  We bring the power of our mind to build new cells in our face and our whole body.  If you watch your face in meditation for one year, making it happy and smiling and presenting a good image to yourself in your inner eye, then a change will come in you and everyone will notice it.  People will wonder what cosmetic you are using, but the real cosmetic is meditation.  You will change yourself if you believe in yourself. 

            In life, what you conceive, you receive.  What you think, you become.  Now our lilfe is out of our control because we feel sorry for ourselves and do not sincerely want to take the steps to change.  We only wish we could change.  Put a wish has no strength, no backbone.  A wish is wishy-washy.  We must use our will instead.  Don’t allow any doubt to counteract your will.  Otherwise one thought will simply cancel another and you will go nowhere.  A negative thought is a weed that can spoil the garden of your heart and mind. 

            Once I knew a man who had a large house and a beautiful lawn and garden.  Each morning he would wake up refreshed, go out and sit in his garden and meditate.  He would look over the grass and plants and seek out any weeds.  If be saw an unwanted weed growing anywhere in the place he would bring his attention on that spot and concentrate.  The man’s gardener was very sensitive; he would then see the weed and go remove it.  Then the man would scan the lawn again and find another week Bringing his attention to focus on it, the gardener would then see it and take it out.  In this way the man kept his lawn and garden and all the grounds of his home beautiful.  In our meditation we are doing the same thing. 

            Now as you are sitting and seeing your face in a beautiful light, you may notice some skin problems.  Why do you worry about it?  It is the sign of the bubbling energy of youth, of your inner heat and strength. Do not be negative about it; eat the proper food and watch as it goes away. 

            Next direct each part of your body to relax working upward slowly from your toes to your head.  Make your jaw relax as you sit.  We release any tension because the tension which we store in our bodies makes us unattractive and drives away.  Our friends.  Friendly faces are beautiful because they are natural and sweet smiling.  No one notices whether their features are well shaped or in proportion because love flows from them.  Now in meditation you are creating a new face and a new feeling.  After you relax your jaw, relax your whole face, around the eyes and mouth and in your cheeks, taking away al frowns, grimaces and scowls. 

            Now you become calm and concentrate on your breath.  Breathe only through your nose, not you mouth.  Watch your breathing and, without controlling it, see how the breath comes and goes. 

            Our breath comes ad goes in three levels, as you can observe.  First it comes into the chest area; this is the shallowest part.  Then the ribs expand as we draw the air deeper into oour body.  Finally the diaphragm expands, causing the stomach to distend.   Be aware of each of these three parts to your breathing as you sit t meditation.  Feel your body filling with fresh energy as you inhale.  Then allow the breath to go out of your body and feel that you are removing any tension or fatigue or negativity as you exhale.  In this way you rejuvenate yourself with every breath. 

            Spend the first two or three days observing these bodily needs and tendencies.  Take you time with yourself.  This is not a race or contest.  After this period you will be ready for the second phase of this practice—bringing the mind to one-pointedness. 


What is Meditation? |Beinning Practice | Beginning Meditation: calming Down and Observing Yourself and Your Breathing| Developing One-Pointedness |Deeping Meditation: Emtrying and Focusing | Impediments to Growth: The Ego |Continuing Practice: Meditation on Hrim and Breathing |How Shall we Approach Life Through Meditation? | The Use of Mantras: Veerum and Sohum |Seeking Our True Nature |Deepening Meditation: who Am I? |Deepening  Meditation: Eliminating  Negative Traits |Meditation: The Art of Life and Experience of Light | Review |Meditation and the Art of Communication |Guided Meditation: Experiencing Light and Life| Meditation in Jain Philosophy|Sense Beyond the Senses| Perfection Is in Us