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BOOK: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

BOOK: A Logical Approach to Theoretical Physics

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Exercise: Effortlessness

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

When you let it be, it becomes effortless. Effort comes into play only when there is resistance to letting it be. It is completely safe when you let the body and mind unwind gradually on their own. Trouble occurs only when you become anxious and start to dig for answers.

Meditation Exercise:

Effortlessness

Purpose:

To let meditation be effortless

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Contemplation.

Instructions:

In this exercise you practice effortlessness. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Prepare yourself as in earlier exercises. Observe the environment and the people in a casual, easygoing manner. Observe what is there in the environment using all your senses. Let various forms, sounds, smells, taste, touch, thoughts, emotions, impulses etc. come to you. Do not strain to perceive them.

Become aware of the body and stay aware of it without interfering with its natural movements, such as, that of breathing, or responding to natural impulses. Let physical reactions, such as, twitches in muscles, minor pains and aches, sleepiness, etc., come and go. Experience the body as a whole without resisting it.

Become aware of the mind and stay aware of it without interfering with its natural thought processes. Let your attention be non-judgmental. Let mental reactions, such as, memories, feelings, emotions, thoughts, etc., come and go. Experience the mind as a whole without resisting it.

Simply observe the physical and mental objects necessary to follow the trail of interest. Let the mind contemplate on anomalies (inconsistencies, disharmonies and discontinuities) as they present themselves.

Let your eyes be open, half-closed, or closed naturally and not be controlled. Keep this exercise as effortless as possible.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you can meditate effortlessly, then this exercise is passed.

NOTE 1: At any point you may return to a previous exercise if you feel that you need to complete it.

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Exercise: Contemplation

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

When mindfulness is practiced, thinking becomes contemplation. Problems are solved by looking at them non-judgmentally and recognizing the relationships. One looks around to get the missing information instead of trying to “figure it out”.

Meditation Exercise:

Contemplation

Purpose:

To contemplate thoughtfully.

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Name and Form.

Instructions:

In this exercise you contemplate thoughtfully. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Prepare yourself as in earlier exercises. Observe the environment and the people in a casual, easygoing manner. Observe name, form, characteristics and all possible associations.

When you perceive some anomaly (inconsistency, disharmony or discontinuity) become very alert. Do so even when explanations are provided. Look more closely around the subject area that seems out of place and focus on what does not make sense.

Be non-judgmental and follow the trail of what continues to be puzzling. The trail may take you to some childhood question that never got answered, or to some confusion in school that never got resolved. Apply all aspects of mindfulness to these unresolved questions, confusions and emotions. Consult references from books and Internet as necessary.

The trail may also take you to some traumatic incident that you feel emotional about. Let the attitudes, emotions, sensations and pain purge themselves out. Follow through with what does not make sense to the end of the trail. Exhaust all such trails until the missing piece is found.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you can contemplate thoughtfully by following all trails until they are exhausted, then this exercise is passed.

NOTE 1: At any point you may return to a previous exercise if you feel that you need to complete it.

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Exercise: Name and Form

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

Name acts as a broad reference point to something. Form is one of the many ways that a thing may be represented. The perception of a thing goes beyond its name and form. Fixation on name and form may act as built-in judgment of what is there. To know something, one must go beyond name and form and look at it more closely including all its associations.

Meditation Exercise:

Name and Form

Purpose:

To practice not getting hung up on name and form.

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Associate Data Freely.

Instructions:

In this exercise you observe things beyond their name and form. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Prepare yourself as in the earlier exercises. Observe the environment and the people in a casual, easygoing manner. Notice the name and the outer form of the object that you are observing. For example, you may be observing an apple (as Newton did).

Contemplate on the ideas associated with the name and form of this object. Contemplate on its properties. Contemplate on the purpose, possible uses, and history of this object. Explore all such associations. Contemplate over this object looking at it in the context of the whole universe. Do this with as many different objects as the time allows.

There should not be any strain in such contemplation. Do it in a leisurely manner. You may consult references on internet, in books, etc.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you can look at something without getting hung up on its name and form, then this exercise is passed.

NOTE 1: At any point you may return to a previous exercise if you feel that you need to complete it.

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Exercise: Associate Data Freely

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

In order to practice mindfulness, you will have to let your mind associate data freely. Mindfulness is being comfortable with the very activity of thinking itself. So, let the mind associate data freely on its own.

Meditation Exercise:

Associate Data Freely

Purpose:

To practice associating data freely.

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Do Not Suppress.

Instructions:

In this exercise you associate data freely. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Address any medical condition appropriately before starting this exercise. Make sure the body is well-rested, well-fed and free of stimulants. Make sure the environment is safe and free of disturbance.

As you observe let the mind associate that data freely on its own. Observe the mind without interfering with it. Expand your span of attention to as wide a context as possible, and let the physical and mental perceptions pour in. If you go into deep meditation let it happen. You will certainly come back out from it.

Review earlier exercises as needed to ensure that you associated data freely.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you are confident that you can let the mind associate data freely, then this exercise is passed.

NOTE 1: At any point you may return to a previous exercise if you feel that you need to complete it.

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Exercise: Do Not Suppress

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

Not suppressing anything from yourself is being totally honest with yourself. Follow your attention wherever it goes and do not suppress. Do not avoid something just because it seems shameful or painful. It is the suppression of perceptions, memories, knowledge, visualizations, thinking, etc., that causes all difficulties in life. By not suppressing you establish complete integrity of your perceptions.

Meditation Exercise:

Do Not Suppress

Purpose:

To practice not suppressing anything from oneself.

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Experience Fully.

Instructions:

In this exercise you practice not suppressing anything from yourself. You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

Address any medical condition appropriately before starting this exercise. Make sure the body is well-rested, well-fed and free of stimulants. Make sure the environment is safe and free of disturbance.

Observe without suppressing anything. Be totally candid with yourself. If something shameful appears then observe and experience the shame. If something threatening appears then observe and experience the threat. Do not pre-judge and avoid something just because it seems painful. Experience it without suppressing anything. The pain won’t be as bad as you thought.

Allow all thoughts, memories, visualizations, etc., to come up regardless of their nature. If you feel sleepy or blank, then do not suppress it. Simply go through whatever reaction is there.

Expand your span of attention to as wide a context as possible, and let the physical and mental perceptions pour in. Review earlier exercises as needed to ensure that you didn’t suppress anything.

Continue this exercise for at least 20 minutes. You may repeat this exercise as many times as you wish.

End of Exercise:

When you can comfortably look at even your darkest secrets without suppressing anything, then this exercise is passed.

NOTE 1: At any point you may return to a previous exercise if you feel that you need to complete it.

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