Category Archives: Meditation

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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Exercise: Experience Fully

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

Experiencing is the deepest form of mindfulness. A person is deeply mindful of his feelings, emotions and impulses when he is experiencing them. So, dive into the very heart of whatever arises in the mind without resisting. If the mind is racing, then experience it racing without contributing to it.

Meditation Exercise:

Experience Fully

Purpose:

To experience fully whatever comes up naturally in your mind.

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Un-stacking the Chaos.

Instructions:

In this exercise you simply experience whatever is going on in the mind without reservations. 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. Also make sure that the environment is safe and free of disturbance.

Look at your old family album or old pictures. Whatever emotions are arising in your mind experience them fully. Visit some old familiar locations if you can. Experience any nostalgia fully, as long as it lingers. If you are afraid then experience the fear fully. Dive into the very heart of the feelings without resisting them.

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 fully experienced what was needed to be experienced.

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 experience fully whatever comes up naturally in your mind, 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: Un-stacking the Chaos

Reference: A Scientific Approach to Meditation

Let the mind un-stack itself naturally through patient contemplation on whatever comes up. Observe the issue uppermost in the mind, and then the next, and the next. Let the mind deal with issues in the order it wants to. There should be no effort to recall, to dig for answers, or to interfere with the mind in any way.  Simply look at what is right there in front of the mind’s eye at any moment. The mind will never present anything overwhelming when allowed to un-stack itself.

Meditation Exercise:

Un-stacking the Chaos

Purpose:

To discern how the mental chaos may best be unstacked.

Pre-requisites:

Complete Exercise: Mind as a Sense Organ.

Instructions:

In this exercise you become aware of how the mind un-stacks the chaos it faces. 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.

Notice the physical and mental environment in a causal, easygoing manner. Look at the physical and mental objects present. You may find the physical objects to be relatively stable, but mental objects to be in a chaotic state. Use physical objects to stabilize your attention, and let the mental objects settle down by not interfering with them. Identify the topmost issue that needs to be resolved in the mind.

Notice if the mind is trying to avoid, resist, suppress or deny something on this issue; or if it is trying to justify something. Simply become aware of all the inconsistencies as much as possible without interfering with the mind. The issue will start to clear up on its own accord, and another issue will become more dominant.

All these issues are entwined with each other. Always work to reduce the most dominant issue as much as you can. Then take up the next issue, which has become dominant. Thus, un-stack the chaos, by reducing the dominant issues one after another.

Expand your span of attention to as wide a context as possible, and let the physical and mental perceptions pour in.

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 discern how the mental chaos may be un-stacked, 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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