Learn the programming language of your mind: Learn to meditate




 

photo by premasagar
Photo by premasagar

Your brain is the most precious and advanced thing you’ll ever own. Unfortunately it does not come with an owner’s manual. Nobody has one and it is nowhere to be found or purchased.

Still, even if we don’t have a technical manual explaining in detail how it works and how to maintain it in optimal condition, there are still ways to access it and reprogram it.

 

I am using computer-related metaphors here not because I am upholding the mind-computer analogy. That is so 70s and 80s. Yet the metaphor rather serves to  remind us that most of our beliefs, ideas, attitudes, perspectives and reasoning have been conditioned or programmed by our immediate experiences, society and circumstances. A good part of this programming might have taken place without an intention or design and some of it might be of no benefit for us but on the contrary limiting and hindering us from authentically growing.

Meditation is and has always been the best available method for reprogramming the human mind. It has been proven to work for thousands of years. Moreover it is free, always available, requires no resources and is highly effective.

The benefits are numerous and varied ranging from reducing stress, improving health, memory and concentration to enhancing creativity, curing depression and expanding one’s consciousness into higher states of being.

 

It always really boggles my mind how in our day and age meditation is not that wildly diffused in the western world and around the globe. It strikes me as so out of sync with our times that meditation is not universally recognized by humans as one of the most fundamental practices for a healthy society. Imagine every single individual on this planet learning meditation at school from a young age. Imagine the benefit on a planetary scale. How there would be balanced emotions, harmony, creativity and peace on a collective level. No more wars, atrocities, greed, famine, crime, domestic violence, over-spending in health, law and order. The possibilities are infinite.

Anyway let me stop here before I get too idealistic. I just wanted to express my personal opinion on how important meditation is. If you wish to start learning meditation or if you have already you might find the following resources useful. I have sifted through tonnes of material to select what I think is technically good quality material.

 

I hope you find them interesting and helpful. Please send me your thoughts and comments on whether you found the material useful or if you want to suggest more. Thanks!

 

1. Meditation for Beginners


  • An article by Alan Wagener Showing the benefits of meditation and how it helps you cope with stress.
  • Gil Fronsdal offers a 5 or 6 week instructional series for beginning meditators. Here is some handout material in PDFs and audio recordings from the beginners’ classes.
  • Meditation for Dummies – A great comprehensive introduction to meditation from the ‘for dummies’ series.
  • A blog article from Zen habits giving practical tips on meditation for beginners
  • An article by Chris Joscelyne in which he gives a step by step guided meditation. This type of meditation is called light meditation in which light is visualized during the meditation.
  • Meditation for Beginners –   an audio book by Jack Kornfield. Jack is a meditation master and teacher. He was  trained as a Buddhist monk and has travelled extensively teaching meditation around the world.


2. Online Meditation



3.  Guided Meditation



4. Mindfulness Meditation


  • A great Google talk by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a master in meditation and a Bio-medical science whose lifetime work was dedicated to bringing mindfulness into mainstream science.


5. Zen Meditation




6. Transcendental Meditation


  • The Transcendental meditation program offers a comprehensive course in meditation. The program is backed up by a high profile organization founded by David Lynch and based on the teaching of the world famous guru Maharishi Mahesh. The course fees are a bit on the high side but it is definitely worth a look.


7. Buddhist Meditation


  • In this series Tan Ajahn Jayasaro, gives an introduction to Buddhist meditation, being part of a path leading to profound happiness, inner peace and liberation from suffering.


8. Yoga Meditation


  • A series of 5 videos from the documentary ‘Spiritual reality’. The videos are animations rather than real life filming. I had watched the full length film of ‘Spiritual reality’ once and it was very inspiring.



9. Mantra Meditation


  • A good article describing how mantra meditation works


10. Vipassana (Insight) Meditation



11. Meditation and Health Research


  • A very good site dedicated to scientific research on meditation
  • An excellent  Google Talk by Philippe Goldin on the neuroscience of mindfulness meditation or in simple words the study of the effects of meditation on the brain.


12. Meditation on Twitter



13. Music for Meditation


My all time favorite meditation music – The Japanese artists known as Kokin Gumi in this album named Zen Garden. Probably the only music that still manages to shift my consciousness every time I hear it. Purely wonderful. Here are three tracks I found on youtube by someone who added them as background to his/her videos.



There are even better tracks in the album. I suggest you buy the CD for your meditations here: http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Garden-Kokin-Gumi/dp/B00004Y2DV (this is not an affiliate link)



I also loved the music from this 5 minute meditation video


14. Meditation accessories




















Category: Life HacksMindfulness

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6 comments

  1. The skill of meditation is a wonderful one to have. How much it does is pretty hard to believe but if you want a balanced life meditation is essential.

  2. However, the initial stages of Subliminal learning can irritate some people as it conflicts with their already established beliefs. Feng Shui

  3. thanks Gary! what a great comment. It’s a wonderful thing to hear from people who witnessed first hand the amazing recovery and healing power of meditation. I’m really pleased to hear that. Thanks again

  4. Hey Srini,

    Nice to see your comment here. Thanks! Hypnosis on a daily basis?….that’s intriguing. I wanna know more about that. Hope we’ll find some time for a chat one of these days.

  5. I like this site. What a fabulous resource! I am a recovering alcoholic (18 years sober) and also recovered from about 20 years of depression. Meditation and other mindfulness practices were an important component in that recovery. I wrote about that in my book “In Pursuit of Joy” and on my blog (http://inpursuitofjoy.aegauthorblogs.com/).
    .-= Gary Green´s last blog ..About God =-.

  6. Hey Gilbert,

    Actually I’ve been writing a few posts called the owner’s manual for the brain :).Haha. But, I like what you’ve written here. I find time everyday to completely quiet the mind. I use hypnosis to reprogram the mind on almost a daily basis.

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Article by: Gilbert Ross