At Meditation time:
Then (after Breath) is the Mind:
Next, after exploring the world, senses, body, and breath, you begin to allow the
conscious mind to still itself.
- First, be aware of the
process of mind, while continuing to focus on the breath at the
nostrils. Become a witness to the inner functioning of the mind. (more
on functions of mind)
- Allow the streams of
thoughts to flow naturally, without interruption, yet remaining
focused. (more on inviting thoughts)
- Next, allow your attention
to rest either in the heart or the eyebrow center, following your own predisposition.
In the heart, it is a palm-sized space, and in the eyebrow center,
it is a tiny circle.
- Keep attention in that space, not
allowing it to wander either to the left or right, or up or down.
- Then, bring your
attention to your chosen object
of meditation (inside that space), whether a seen, heard, or felt
object; whether gross, subtle, or beyond. For example, it may be a point of
light, an inner sound, a visualized object or a mantra. (more
on meditation objects)
- Remain aware of only this inner
focus--not body, nor senses, nor breath, nor the streams of the
mind--only this one space and object.
- Allow the natural insights of the
subtler mental processes and insights to emerge, and to flow through the field of
- Continue to allow
thoughts to flow, cultivating two skills: remaining focused in the
space, while at the same time letting go of the thought patterns.
after the conscious mind is no longer a distraction or disturbance, the
unconscious and latent aspects of mind are allowed to come forward,
are examined, and
then allowed to let go. Mind is not stopped or suppressed, but rather is
gone beyond, into silence. (more
on functions of mind; more on
Life, Meditation in Action:
Mind: Yoga meditation
deals systematically with all the levels of our being, including
training and witnessing the mind and
its mental/emotional aspects, as well as the senses, body, and
breath. (See Yoga Sutras, including
sutras 3.1-3.3 and 3.4-3.6
on Meditation and Samadhi.)
Everybody benefits from training the
mind: Everybody has a mind, and its mental and
emotional processes. The mind is worthy not only of
being well utilized in daily life, but also examined and understood, so
as to make the mind a
tool rather than an obstacle on the inner journey.
Observation and self-training: Yoga meditation involves observing,
accepting, understanding and training the mind through contemplation and
meditation. These practices are done both in daily life and at
the time of seated contemplation and meditation. Most involve learning
non-attachment, letting go of the coloring of attraction or
aversion, so that the mind can be
focused for the deeper journey beyond the mind.
Doorway to spiritual unfoldment:
Many psychological and
therapeutic methods of working with the mind and emotions
can be useful adjuncts to yoga meditation, such that the purified mind
is prepared for deeper spiritual unfoldment.