How to Meditate

What it is

How the Dalai Lama categorizes meditation:

  1. Analytic Meditation: (focus on an issue).
  2. Stabilizing Meditation: (focus on the breath).
  3. Meditating on a Subjective aspect: (focus on compassion).
  4. Meditation on an Objective aspect: (focus on selflessness).
  5. Imaginative Meditation: (focus on a visualization).
  6. Reflective Meditation: (focus on something outside of ourselves). 

 Why it matters to

Generally speaking, our mind is predominantly directed towards external objects. Our attention follows after the sense experiences. It remains at a predominantly sensory and conceptual level. In other words, normally our awareness is directed towards physical sensory experiences and mental concepts. But in this exercise, what you should do is to withdraw your mind inward; don’t let it chase after or pay attention to sensory objects. At the same time, don’t allow it to be so totally withdrawn that there is a kind of dullness or lack of mindfulness. You should maintain a very full state of alertness and mindfulness, and then try to see the natural state of your consciousness—a state in which your consciousness is not afflicted by thoughts of the past, the things that have happened, your memories and remembrances; nor is it afflicted by thoughts of the future, like your future plans, anticipations, fears, and hopes. But rather, try to remain in a natural and neutral state.”

 

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