Meditation for attaining a steady mind

By editor - 24.1 2020


 

Mental stability is very important for lila smaran . In order to improve concentration and  a steady mind the below practices should be performed in addition to the daily practice. It will also help to improve the level of chanting. These can be done at night before sleeping . However pranayam should not be done on a full stomach and can be done in the morning  for 10 mins .

Practice 1:  Anuloma viloma pranayama.

Sit in a comfortable meditative posture. Make sure the spine is erect and the body is relaxed. The body must become absolutely still. After some minutes, begin to develop awareness of the breath in the nostrils. When you breathe in, your whole awareness should flow with the breath from the tip of the nose, through the nasal passages, up to the eyebrow center. And when you breathe out, your whole awareness should flow with the breath from the eyebrow center to the tip of the nose.

ecome aware of the triangular form of the breath between the nostrils and the eyebrow center. The base of the triangle is at the level of the upper lip, its sides are the right and left nasal passages, and its apex is within the eyebrow center. Firstly, feel the breath moving in and out of the left nostril, then the right nostril. Then be aware of the breath as it flows in and out through both nostrils together. Once you are established in this breath awareness, begin to consciously alternate the flow of the breath between the two nostrils in the same way as nadi shodhana, except you practise it psychically. Consciously inhale through the left nostril to bhru-madhya and exhale through the right, then inhale through the right txTbhrumadhya, and exhale through the left.

This is one round-After completing four such rounds, inhale and exhale through both nostrils simultaneously, visualizing the passage of the breath forming an inverted V-shape. In this way you have to continue – four alternate nostril breaths, then one breath through both nostrils. Count the rounds from 100 back to zero. 100 – inhale left nostril, exhale right nostril; inhale right nostril, exhale left nostril, 99 – repeat, 98- repeat, 97- repeat, 96- inhale both nostrils, exhale both nostrils, and so on. Note: Accuracy in the counting is absolutely necessary, and if an error is made, the practice must recommence from 100. It is very important to keep count of the breaths, because without keeping count, aiiuloma viloma is altogether too powerful for many aspirants, swallowing up their awareness in the unconscious sphere- The aim of the practice is to stimulate ajna chakra on the subconscious, psychic level, and for this, awareness must be maintained.

Practice 2: Trataka

Fixed gazing on one point Sit in a comfortable meditative asana, in a dark room in which there is no draught or breeze. Place a lighted candle at eye level, directly in front of the eyebrow center, at a distance of approximately two feet. Make sure that the wick is perfectly straight and that the flame is motionless. Straighten the spine, close the eyes and relax the body. Be aware of the physical body only. Let it become as still as a statue. From this time on you should try to keep the body absolutely motionless throughout the whole practice.

When you are prepared, open your eyes and gaze intently at the brightest part of the flame – just above the tip of the wick. With practice you should be able to gaze at the flame for a few minutes, without blinking or moving the eyeballs. Continue to gaze at the flame with total concentration. The whole of your consciousness must become centered in the flame, to the extent that awareness of the rest of the body and the room is lost. The gaze should be absolutely fixed on one point. When the eyes become tired (perhaps after a few minutes), or if they begin to water, close them and relax. Do not move the body, but be aware of the after-image of the flame in front of the closed eyes.

Everyone has looked into the sun or a bright light, and on closing the eyes for a few minutes, has seen the clear impression of that light on the retina of the eye. Likewise, the after-image of the candle flame will be clearly visible. You should practise trataka on this image, holding it directly in front or a little above the eyebrow center-As soon as it begins to fade, open the eyes again and continue to concentrate on the external candle flame. Note: The best times to practise trataka are the dark hours of the very early morning or late at night. At these times, the atmosphere becomes very still and quiet – not only the physical atmosphere, but the mental and psychic atmospheres also. In this stillness, success in trataka is readily attained.

There are two divisions of trataka, bahiranga (outer) and antaranga (inner). The methods mentioned so far are all part of bahiranga trataka. Inner trataka (antaranga) is internal visualization, perhaps of a chakra, a yantra or your personal deity. The eyes remain closed throughout. One of the best inner objects for concentration is a tiny star or point of light. Duration: Trataka can be practised as time permits, but 15 to 20 minutes is the usual period in the beginning.

Practice 3: Shambhavi mudra with Om chanting

Eyebrow center gazing Stage 1 Sit in any meditative pose with the back straight and hands on the knees. Look forward at a fixed point, and then look upward as high as possible without moving the head. Focus the eyes and concentrate on the eyebrow center. Try to suspend the thought processes and meditate on ajna chakra. Repeat Om, Om, Om, with awareness of the sound vibrations at the eyebrow center into which you are gazing. Each Оm should be produced in a soft clear voice, with awareness of every vibration of the mantra in the eyebrow center. Each mantra should be one or two seconds in duration, and immediately followed by the next. Practise for 3 to 5 minutes. Stage 2 Now the eyes are closed, but the inner gaze remains in the eyebrow center.Begin to chant the mantra more slowly, with full awareness of the sound vibration in the eyebrow center.

Imagine that the sound is being emitted from within the eyebrow center itself. Gradually and effortlessly increase the duration of each Om, making it long and continuous. The sound should be steady and of an even key, ending on completion of the breath. Then refill the lungs completely by breathing through the nose, but do not alter the position of the body or head. Begin the next Om, maintaining awareness of the sound emerging from the eyebrow center. Practice for 3-5 minutes. Stage 3 Continue to chant the mantra Оm, but become aware of the sound reverberating throughout the body. Try to be aware of the sound only, listening to its vibration emerging from the eyebrow center and permeating the whole body. Do not be selfconscious, but allow the sound to manifest itself fully, maintaining awareness of the vibration of the sound only. Practise for 5 minutes. Gradually the duration of the practice can be lengthened. Caution: Do not strain the eye muscles; when they become tired or slightly strained, release shambhavi mudra.

The entire three practices should take minimum  35 mins and should be practiced daily . Effects can be noticed after two months.