Can Gratitude Be a Form of Meditation?
By Faye Martins
I attended a Yoga teacher intensive in Attleboro, Massachusetts on meditation in 2006. At that intensive, we were taught so many different forms of meditation over the course of a Columbus Day weekend that I filled a note book. One method that really stuck to my mind was a mantra meditation that is so easy to practice. It consists of just two syllables and both are English words. Sometimes, this mantra helps me in prayer, sometimes this mantra helps me gain control of my breath, and sometimes this mantra helps me to meditate or relax. Here are the two magic words: "Thank You." For breath awareness purposes, "thank" goes well with an inhale, and "you" goes well with an exhale. Until 2006, I never met anyone who could break down the most complicated Yogic ideas into mentally digestible concepts.
With Yoga teachers and bestsellers touting an endless array of meditation styles, the whole concept can be intimidating. As soon as we think we have figured it out, here comes another workshop or article making us wonder if we are meditating at all, much less doing it correctly. No wonder the process seems so mysterious and confusing.
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The Art of Visualization in Meditation Practice
By Paul Jerard
In Yogic circles, Yantra meditation is a well known technique for using visualization of a geometric painting or diagram. Yantra is a Sanskrit word, which means: "instrument." The Yantra is an instrument (tool), which is used for restraining the wandering mind (monkey mind). The Sri Yantra is just one example of a visualization tool for capturing the attention of the mind. Experienced Yoga teachers should know the value of Yantras and mandalas as valuable tools for meditation.
For centuries the spiritual practice of meditation has been used to create inner peace and connect to a higher power. Recently a publication by the Association for Psychological Science, said there is reason to believe that meditation will actually improve the ability of the mind to retain visual memories for extended periods of time. If true, this might explain the power of visualization to achieve results through meditation.
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