6/8/09

Post a Question or Share an Experience Here.

To 
post your questions or comments, click "COMMENTS" (next to the number at the bottom of this post).

1,038 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 400 of 1038   Newer›   Newest»
geetha said...

Dear Jim,
I have been meditating for more than a year.I feel very nice and on the days i dont i feel i am missing on something.Most of the time I see light. It keeps coming and going. Off late a couple of times I see different kinds of light. It comes in lines or waves.I dont know how to explain. Once afterwards I saw some figures and some person's face also. Once I even saw an indian goddess's face. I am sure these were not dreams or imagination. They were definitely a vision I saw. Can you please explain what does this mean?

Jim Malloy said...

Hello geetha...
When you are in an altered state of consciousness the possibilities of what can pop into your mind's eye are limitless. In many cases they do not have any special meaning. However, similar to dreams, the symbols can at times be messages from your subconscious mind
or your higher mind.

I suggest you trust your intuition to discern whether or not an image has some special significance. When they do, the symbolism tends to be fairly logical - such as a goddess representing your connection with the
Divine or with the Divine feminine energy. And for those images that do not have any particular significance, I suggest you simply enjoy the light show.

Wishing you continued light on your path, Jim

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim

Thanks for a great site. I have been using a mantra to meditate for a couple of years and feel I am making some good progress. However, I'd like to deepen my practice and I have some queries that I'd really like you opinion on:

1. I cannot seem to delink my mantra from my breath and I have a feeling that this connection to the breath stops me from "losing" the mantra and going into deeper realms (although this does happen on the odd occasion). Any attempt to delink from the breath leads to a very clunky and laboured meditation.

2. My mantra is 5 syllables (4 bija words) and I can refine it to a point where I just lightly brush on the intention of the mantra. With this I don't think any of the 4 words but just recognise the mantra is there and repeat an intention to think it. This takes me quite deep, however, it is something I am doing rather than letting the mantra refine on its own. I find the latter doesn't happen because of the link to the breath I mention above. It also means that I rarely 'lose' the intention of the mantra (which too is followed by the breath).

3. Is it easier to refine a shorter, say a one syllable mantra or should this be equally possible with longer one? I really don't want to use a different mantra as I received mine from a guru in when I visited` India and I have a lot of faith in this person.

4. I wonder if I should just forget the above (over) analysis and see where the mantra (with the anchor of the breath) takes me!

I'd very much value your input on this. Thanks in advance!

Jim Malloy said...

Hello...
Yes, it would be best to not over-think it. :-) From your description, it sounds like you've got all the right elements there, and that the deeper meditations do happen when you are able to get out of the way for a moment and let the mantra do the work. I suggest you go with whatever approach feels most natural to you and see where it takes you.

It may be a bit easier to think a shorter mantra more subtly, but if you like your present mantra, I would not suggest trading it. Especially since a mantra received from someone in a higher state of consciousness tends to be a bit more "juiced up."

Wishing you continued light on your path, Jim

Anonymous said...

I am new to meditation and would like to know if I should meditate at a time that is convenient and not necessarily at the same time every day.

Jim Malloy said...

For most people, it is easier to keep up a daily meditation practice if they put aside a specific time of the day or night that is their "meditation time." However, if you can keep a commitment to meditating regularly without this, then doing it when it's convenient is fine.

AT said...

Hi Jim...
I read your article about consciousness shift and the divine evolutionary light that is coming into the earths atmosphere.

Excellent article!

My questions are:
1. What exactly is this divine light and where does it come from?

2. Were you referring to our sun?

This may be just my imagination, but I've noticed that when I go out in the street, everything somehow looks more brighter than before.

I also feel that something is happening with our sun, but I can't explain it.

Anyway, I hope this makes sense, and I would like to hear if you have any insights about this.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello AT...
I am using the term divine light to denote the pure energy of Universal Consciousness. This primordial energy - being the essential substance of the universe - exists everywhere. However, it is more concentrated in some "sections" of the universe than in others, and as our solar system moves through our galaxy, it is moving into one of these sections where the light is more highly concentrated. As we progress more deeply into this area, our atmosphere is becoming more saturated with this super-high vibrational energy. This higher energy has the effect of raising our vibration as it becomes part of our individual and collective energy fields. And it very well may make everything appear brighter... especially if your perception is somewhat finely tuned.

Regarding the sun, we are entering a period - approaching the peak of an 11 year cycle - of increased solar flare activity.

Anonymous said...

Re: post 201

Thanks so much for your response Jim. It is great to have some validation that one is along the right lines. The mind finds it so difficult to just trust the process! I find that I have a lot of inner peace these days but still doubt whether I am 'doing it right'. I am coming to the realisation the key to this whole thing is surrender and letting go.

One last thing: you said that it might be more difficult to think a longer mantra with subtlety. Do you have any tips on how to do this for a longer mantra?

Thanks again. I feel blessed to have come across your site and have found your responses to all the posts to be so compassionate, insightful and inspiring.

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, surrender and letting go is inded key. When you say - "I just lightly brush on the intention of the mantra. With this I don't think any of the 4 words but just recognise the mantra is there and repeat an intention to think it" - you are right on track, and doing as much as can be done through your own efforts. From there it really is a matter of letting go and learning to trust the process. The energy you tap via repeating the mantra, plus the power of the mantra itself, will do the work if you allow it.

Light & peace, Jim

Ryan said...

Hello
I live in Thailand and decided to start studing Buddism and mindfullness on breathing. I have been to a couple guided retreats and have done a couple personal retreats. When I'm finished I feel great. Like I have a new peacfull, clean mind. The problems come when I enter the real world again. Instead of giving me motivation it takes it away. Instead of making stress easier to deal with it seems harder. I feel way over sensitive to the problems of the world. Then I basically feel like crawling in a cave and becoming a munk. This last while I continue my practice but I eventually give up so I can deal with the real world. I become my old self again. Still I am drawn to meditation and try it again only to continue the cycle. Anyone experience something like this? Ideas of what I am doing wrong? Am I not doing anything wrong but just need to change my life? The practice also leaves me with many questions that make my mind spin. Which is basically what your trying not to do. I have driven myself dangerously crazy on a couple of occasions.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Ryan...
What you are experiencing are typical symptoms of over-meditating. Meditation properly balanced with one's daily activity is great. But overdoing it can indeed oversensitize one, and tends to stir up lots of muck from the depths of one's psyche, which generally results in a good deal of confusion and inner turbulence.

I suggest you continue with a daily practice of 10 to 20 minutes, and refrain from going to any more meditation retreats.

If it seems to be taking too long for your sense of equilibrium to return, I suggest you get more physical exercise... running, walking out in nature, working out - whatever you prefer.

Nothern Europe said...

Hello Jim! I have a question for you that I cannot find the answer to elsewhere on the web: Can meditation cause insomnia? The reason why I ask is that I find it harder to fall asleep nowadays - after two months of regular meditation (focusing on breathing and sometimes on various body parts). My body is relaxed, and I have no annoying thoughts really, but my mind is too "sharp", too focused and concentrated, to let me drift into sleep... am I doing something wrong? I have never understood how anyone could fall asleep meditating, in my case it actually seems to make it harder to fall asleep since it makes me more alert and concentrated

Jim Malloy said...

Hi Northern Europe...
Most people find that meditation helps them get to sleep more easily, but there are some - like yourself - who feel too alert to sleep after meditating. 

Although you didn't specify, the implication was that you are meditating at night just before going to sleep. If so, I suggest you switch your meditation time to mornings or afternoons if possible.

Also, meditating too long can disrupt sleep patterns. If you are meditating for longer than 20 minutes per day, I suggest you cut back to anywhere from 15 - 20 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I started meditating about 1 week ago with inner light meditation, the other day while in meditation my eyes started to flutter, like REM during sleep. Is that normal? It felt ok.
Yesterday I decided to try mantra and my mind went blank for about 10 minutes, almost as if I were sleeping, for all I know I could have been.
What I would really like to know is it ok to switch techniques from day to day or week to week, or is it better to stay with 1 technique?

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, it's normal and ok for the eyes to flutter a bit when doing the Inner Light Meditation. This occurs because of the principle that "energy follows attention." When you direct your attention to this area, there is an increase in the flow of energy to the eyes, causing them to flutter, or occasionally roll upward slightly.

Meditation catalyzes a shift into deeper states of consciousness. Sometimes you can be in a very deep state - a theta brainwave state, or state of "pure awareness" - and it can feel like you are sleeping or dreaming. Other times you can actually be asleep. Either way, it's all right and beneficial. The mantra meditation happens to be very effective for creating this shift.

It's fine to switch techniques if you choose. The main thing is to meditate regularly,
regardless of what method you are using.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I am doing the "inner light" meditation, I would like toask 2 questions regarding the exercise.

1. When I am looking at the screen behind my eyes, I often just gaze at it(mostly when I am a bit sleepy) and I am not realy aware of the light activity. Is this all right? Or should I try to concentrate a bit harder and try to be aware of what is going on?

2. When I am doing the exercise, I often drift of into my thoughts. It occurs maybe once every 2 mins (it can vary). Is it a good idea to try to focus a bit harder (still gently)in order to prevent myself drifting of so often? Or should I just symply bring my attention back and continue gazing at the screen behind my eyes and do not bother how often do I drift off into my thoughts?

I am asking this becasue during the exercise I remain in a sleep-like state and I do not realy feel that I am in a meditative state. I assume that drifting off too much prevents me from getting into a deeper mediattive state.

Jim Malloy said...

What you are doing when you meditate is fine. It's all right to simply gaze at your inner screen without seeing much of anything. And if you are making a "medium effort" to focus that's good. No matter how often your attention drifts off. Just keep bringing it back as you have been doing.

The sleep-like state you are experiencing actually is a meditative state called "yoga nidra," and is very beneficial. Over time, you will begin to experience this deep state with more clarity.

Nothern Europe said...

Thanks for your answer Jim! Your service is very valuable. In fact I have experienced some problems even when I do not meditate in the evenings. It's just that I have learned how to focus/stay alert through meditation, and sort of practice (against my will) it even in bed. I try to relax but my mind is focused and notices how and when I begin to drift into sleep, which makes it harder to actually fall asleep. Usually I do fall asleep after a while but it takes longer time than it did before I learned to meditate. I find it harder to just let go of my mental focus, since what I practice in meditation is how to keep the focus no matter what thoughts and feelings come and go.
Perhaps this is something I will have to learn with... or maybe I should do more mindfulness meditation and less concentration meditation?

I will try to keep the sessions shorter as you suggested.

Jim Malloy said...

I'd say that's a good idea... Whatever method you use, try dialing down the concentration to "medium effort," and see if it helps. Meditating with a high degree of concentration tends to trigger a bit too much of the inner spiritual energy, which in turn can interfere with one's sleep.

burt said...

hello jim,
i have a question and i hope you can help me. what are some easy ways to induce sleep paralysis. i want this because i want to advance to its next step 'astral projection'. i know u dont know much about projection so i wont ask about that but im hoping you know some about sleep paralysis and how to induce it.

Jim Malloy said...

Sorry Burt, but I don't know anything about sleep paralysis.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am doing mantra meditation.
I would like to ask 2 questions


1,During the exercise, after a while, the repetition of the mantra becomes more like an automatic process. However, I still control it to some degree. each time I 'intend' to say it silently in my mind. I do this gently. I do not let the repetition to become entirely automatic. I am doing this because it is easier to keep my focus on the mantra this way.

Is it all right to do the exercise this way?

2, I usualy repeat the mantra for 50-60 mins, because I can only feel myself getting into a meditative state after 40 mims.

Do you now something about the biological effect (on the brain) of repeating a set phrase (mantra) for a long time (1 hour). Could this be harmful for my brain?

I asume that it could not, but this thought still disturbes me during meditation.

Thank you for answering

Jim Malloy said...

1. Repeating the mantra gently is good. However, since staying focussed on the mantra is not the goal of this meditation, there is no need to do anything specifically directed toward that end. It's good to stay a little focussed on the mantra, but too much focus tends to keep the attention from diving deeper within.

2. Extended repetition of a mantra will not hurt your brain. However, for most individuals who have not been practicing meditation for many years, meditating for 50 to 60 minutes is too much. This is because it generally leads to an over-amping on spiritual energy, which can produce various uncomfortable symptoms, such as emotional swings, exaggerated reactions and spaciness. It is important to realize that meditation produces excellent results regarding positive life changes, without experiencing what you are referring to as the "meditative state."

Anonymous said...

I wrote the previous post.

During the exercise, I do not let the repetition of the mantra become entirely automatic. I semi-consciously repeat the mantra. I preserve a little intention when saying the phrase in my mind. It is more like a partly automatic and partly controled process. I'm doing this because without this the repetition would become more like an unconscious process and I would not be able to hold my attention on it at all.

I think that in meditation one needs to focus (only gently) on the object of meditation : the screen behind closed eyes, the flow of breath,... I think this is the same with mantra meditation. Maybe here one has to focus a bit less, but still one has to focus on the mantra a little. That is why I do not let the repetition become an entirely automatic and unconscious process and repeat the mantra "semi-consciously". But as I said it is still a rather automatic and passive process.

Is it all right if I do the exercise in this way?
Thanks for answering.

Jim Malloy said...

Yes... that's exactly right.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I love your site. Reading it carefully. I have a question. What is your view on James Austins book "Zen and the brain" in regard to him discarding any conscious life "outside" (without) the brain?

Mr. Austin seems to have the opinion that it is the brain that creates consciousness, and that without the brain there can be no consciousness. How can he - after having attained enlightenment - have such a materialistic view. Wouldn't the enlightened state have told him otherwise?

James Austin is said to have reached kensho/enlightenment, so he should know what he talks about. But still he doesn't believe in anything but the brain. When the brain/body dies it is over, there's nothing - according to James Austing. How can an enlightened man reach such a conclusion?

I also have another question: How can meditators become world touring frauds? Maharishi Mahes Yogi demanded loads of money for his program and told practitioners that they would become able to first float and hover about the ground, and then FLY! How can such fraudulence become the flower/fruit of meditation?? Or reversely: Why don't regular meditation weed out such desires to lie and demanding money for a program that is so clearly a fraud?

I have been meditating on and off for some time. Now I meditate ½-1 hour every morning. It gives me both clarity and a great peace. I love it. I breathe meditate.

With love,
Thomas

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Thomas...
Good to hear that you are finding meditation so enjoyable and beneficial. I don't know how Mr. Austin arrived at his theory, but in my experience, consciousness is not at all confined to the brain. Regarding Maharishi and others, I don't feel it's my place to judge or publicly criticize other teachers.

Wishing you continued light on your path, Jim

Anonymous said...

hi,
I have mediated for years. I see images. how do I found out what the images mean?

Jim Malloy said...

First, it will be helpful to understand that images seen in meditation do not always mean something significant. How do you tell if they are significant or not? I suggest you trust your intuition for that... if it "feels" meaningful, good chance it is.

When the images do have a special meaning, there is usually a logical symbolism in them, such as the image of a house representing security, stability, family, etc.

When you do see an image in meditation that feels meaningful to you, I suggest you wait till after you have finished the main part of your meditation, then spend some time reflecting on its symbolism. If you have a difficult time zeroing in on the meaning, you can also look in a dream dictionary that interprets the universal symbolism of images commonly seen in dreams.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,
I want to thank you for your answer. I'm also of the view that consciousness is not at all confined to the brain.

If I have been too direct on asking for your opinion about other meditation-teachers and their view, I'm sorry. I don't hope you'll feel provoked. And I hope that you will let me ask a direct question that does not ask you to critize, but simply give your own view:

Do YOU think it is possible to learn to fly with meditation?

And... Is recoqnizing consciousness' non-confinement to the brain an integral part of reaching enlightenment?

I acknowledge that your answer to this question can be compared to that of other teachers, but that would be the case with every single question. So I hope you allow it.

Once again: Thank you for your site. I'm showing it to everyone I know, because it is so enjoyable to read. Thank you very much!

Regards, Thomas


(Also) On this site there is a video with Maharishi, and 4 minutes into the video he seems to claim that the body can float through the air, when the individuel alters the natural laws. What do you think of this? Did Maharishi really mean this?. I have now searched the web for this yogic flying of Maharishi. I have found the following. Is it really possible to levitate and fly when meditating?

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Thomas...
I appreciate your nice feedback. There have been a number of documented cases of yogis and mystics from various spiritual traditions levitating... so yes, I have no doubt that it can be done. However, it has not been the aim of these mystics to levitate... more of an incidental by-product of their profound spiritual attainment.

The individuals I know who practice the TM yogic flying technique basically just bounce. This bouncing is mainly produced by sudden rushes of life force energy - aka kundalini - moving upward through their spine.

Is recognizing that consciousness is independent from the brain an integral part of being enlightened?
Realizing that ones nature is pure consciousness certainly is a major part of the enlightened state. So it would seem to follow that it is. But, not being inside James Austin's brain, I can't accurately assess his experience. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks a lot for your response!

Is it possible to get hands on the documentation of meditators levitating (or could you point to a websource)?

I have seen the videos where Transcendental Meditators bounce. But to me it seems like they are doing it with their muscles - they use arms and upper part of legs. Isn't it by use of their body? - They surely don't hold their body completely still while bouncing!

I'm meditating ½-1 an hour every morning - and the time goes faster and faster! I really enjoy it :-)

- Something new has been coming up these last few days: I see (in my minds eye!) colors extremely sharp and vividly. They are VERY STRONG colors, though only in my imagination, these colors can be viewed powerfully clearly!! It happened two days ago when I where lying in my bed ready to sleep (not meditating there but I think it can come from my meditationsessions) and again this morning when I was meditating for ½ an hour!

My dreams also seem clearer - and I think I have begun to have a higher rate in lucid dreaming (dreams in which you KNOW that you are dreaming WHILE you are dreaming).

Do you know what is happening with these colors and lucid dreaming?

Regards
Thomas

Jim Malloy said...

Hi Thomas...
I've run across several accounts over the years. The only ones I remember specifically are in "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda, in which he writes about two cases (I think it's two) of individuals levitating. You can also find some cases listed in Wikipedia - keyword "levitation (paranormal)"

The vibrant colors you are seeing are due to your altered state of awareness, which can open ones perception to perceiving colors as they appear in higher dimensions. This is essentially a higher frequency of the color spectrum than we normally perceive in the mundane world. The lucid dreams are an effect of a growing "wakefulness" which is developing in your consciousness.

Markku said...

Hello. I have two practical beginner's questions.

Earlier I used to meditate( or try to meditate, I can't tell the difference) in the kneeling position. It feels comfortable for roughly 15-20 minutes when the weight of my body starts hurting my feet(and I am not overweight).In response to this problem I switched to sitting in the half lotus position. The same problem occurs in this position as well, the foot which is resting on the thigh becomes numb and starts to hurt. My question is whether this sensation of extreme discomfort, not to say pain, is normal and something which has to be overcome or is there something wrong with my sitting posture?

My second question concerns breathing. I've noticed that after every 40th or so breath I need to take very deep breath. It feels a little disruptive. Should I do something about it or is it normal?

Thank you

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Markku...
Yes, this type of pain is normal for beginning meditators sitting in those positions. However, the good news is that it is not necessary. In my experience, I've found that meditations can be just as effective and satisfying when sitting comfortably... either in a comfortable chair, or cross-legged on the bed with a pillow behind you, or cross-legged on the floor, but leaning back against something.

The only important thing is to keep your spine reasonably straight. Beyond that, the gain is not sufficient to justify the pain, plus it generally ends up just being a distraction. So, be comfortable and enjoy your meditation.

And regardless of how you are sitting, you might also keep in mind that 15 - 20 minutes is really an ideal length for beginners, and even those beyond beginning stages.

Taking an occasional deep breath is also normal. Your body knows what it needs, so I suggest you trust it to take care of those fundamental things such as oxygen intake. Just consider it part of the process instead of a disruption.

Light & peace, Jim

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks a lot for your responses! I think it is very beautiful of you to help us in such a selfless manner.

Yesterday when running I once again experienced something wonderful - my consciousness became so still, and though my body was running, my mind was still. It was like I had left my personality behind... It felt like I was transcending my "cage", my body... as if it was Thomas, who was running, but that I was something beyond that.

It was so beautiful.

Regards,
Thomas

Jim Malloy said...

Yes Thomas... you most certainly are something beyond your body and personality. That serene consciousness is your true and eternal Self.

Anonymous said...

I have just begun once again to try meditation. I have a specific problem, though, a torticolis which causes my head slowly to turn to the left until my neck becomes painful, after a period of a minute or so. I am then obliged to realign my head and the process starts over. This keeps breaking into my meditation. Should I try to ignore it or what? Thanks in advance. John

Jim Malloy said...

Under the circumstances, it will be best to accept this as part of your meditation process, learning - over time - to not see it as a distraction. However, make sure you are not concentrating too hard, as this may exacerbate your head movements.

Anonymous said...

Hi
I would like to ask a question regarding meditation.

When meditating, I often drift of into my thoughts. When this happens I gently push these thoughts out of my mind and continue focus on the object of meditation (breath, mantra,...).

In addition, when I notice that I drifted of into my thoughts, I often say (silently in mind) things like : "I will return to these them" "stay calm" or simply "return". These help me resetle and empty my mind. I only say (in mind) these once in 5 mins or so.

Is it all right to do this? Or should I stop it and simply return to focus on the object of meditation whenever I realize that I drifted off?
Thanks for answering

Jim Malloy said...

Normally I would suggest keeping it simple and just returning to your object of focus. However, if you find what you are doing to be very helpful, and not too much work, then it's fine to continue with it.

Cal said...

I was given the link to your website via a friend who had been meditating and wanted to get me into it.
Last night I had my first "official" meditation session. I closed my eyes and followed the light, as your site recommends for a beginner, and for no reason at all I started crying and sobbing and for the rest of the night thoughts were racing in and out of my mind to the point where I just couldn't fall asleep! Did I do something wrong? Is this expected everytime.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Cal...
No, you did not do anything wrong, and you will not experience this every time you meditate. Sometimes beginning to meditate triggers the release of a large, deep seated block of stress and tension that had been building up for awhile. This release is a very good thing, but when the stress is released, it can manifest as the kind of symptoms you experienced... crying, racing thoughts, etc.

Once this extreme layer of stress is cleared - and that is often in just one or two meditations - the symptoms are not likely to be repeated.

C.M. said...

Hi Jim, I have a couple of questions for you. I have been doing breathing meditation for about 6 weeks. Focusing at the nostrils. In the morning for 30min and at night for about 45min. It's been going well so far. I find there are times when I become really aware of my thinking with a sort-of detached objectiveness and this will last from a day to sometimes a week. My concentration, awareness, and positive feelings are all improved. My thinking is negative otherwise. After this time passes I find myself tired and wrapped up in my thoughts, for some period of time. Any thoughts, similar experiences, or suggestions?

I have had some really amazing experiences, feeling "thoughtless" really high levels of awareness, What felt like electricity going to my heart ands feeling like I was "coming from the heart" with out thinking, and some other things. Do these feeling continue and start to stay with you?

Thanks C.M.

Jim Malloy said...

Hi C.M.
The effects of meditation tend to go in cycles. The two main phases of this cycle can be described as "clarity" and "clearing." During the clarity phase of the cycle, ones meditations and day-to-day state are often - as you have experienced - greater awareness and concentration, more positive feelings, etc.

However, these deeper meditations trigger the release of stored up physical and emotional toxins, and during this clearing or detoxification phase, there tends to be - as you have also experienced - more thought activity, negative feelings, and tiredness.

Both phases are important in the overall growth process, and it is helpful to simply be aware that this is happening, and is ok and natural. However, meditating for over an hour a day is going to make both phases of the cycle more extreme. With shorter meditations, the whole process goes along more gently.

Regarding your second question... Yes, the higher levels of awareness will gradually become established as part of your day-to-day reality.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim thanks for the information man. Your doing a great job on this website. Your information has helped me ad I thank you.

Jim Malloy said...

It's my pleasure... I appreciate your good feedback.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim-

I was reading the questions about how the deep meditations can trigger a large emotional release. I haven't experienced that yet, but I was wondering what the proper response is when that point is it in meditation. If I feel I can still focus, do I continue meditating or is it better to stop and let the surfaced emotions run their full course for the time being?

Thank you so much for your site and your constant feedback - this is a great resource to continue learning as I progress.

Jim Malloy said...

I'm happy to hear that you are finding the Online Meditation Center helpful for your learning process. It's not a given that everyone experiences an intense emotional release. For many meditators the release process goes along gradually and gently and is barely noticeable. However, if you do happen to experience this during the course of your meditation, it's best to continue on until your set meditation period is finished.

This allows more of the detox process to run its course.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,
I'm meditating half an hour every morning. It has changed my life immensely. More confidence and relaxedness. And even some shifts in consciousness spontaneously sometimes - also when not meditating (but possible because of meditation).

In the beginning I had some tension in my chin/lower lip and around my left eye. And I speculated why it was on these spots almost solely. Now I'm getting more and more relaxed in the face when meditating.

Jim Malloy said...

I'm very happy to hear that you are noticing good results from your meditation. It always pleases me to see good progress, and the release of tension is indeed a sign of that.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just started medidating a while ago and found it an amazing experience. So i tried to teach my sister the same (20y old). The first time she started seriously to meditate something weird happened. She was trying various methods at the same time. Concentrating on inner sound and the breath, finally probably after trying the screen method and allowing herself to breathe deeply she lost control. She started to automatically do something like Breath of Fire, breathing very fast. She doesnt know abdominal breathing so with the whole body. She couldnt stop it for 30 seconds or more and started to run around and panic. Finally it stopped on its own. I thought it was kundalini but no waves of energy or heat in the head that she spoke of. And after 10 minutes of meditation? She says she feels something weird in the middle of her chest though and feels very tired and sort of a compulsive need to concentrate on her breadth. Shes kinda scared to go further. Please advise.

Anonymous said...

For some time now I have meditated ½ an hour every morning. It's hard to exactly explain the benefits it has brought me. It is very difficult to capture the change in precise words. I think I have become aware of how words, narrations/stories about oneself, conceptions, etc., hinders one to smell the complexities (richness and depth) of many things. Conceptions for instance seems to "freeze" reality into some kind of still photo, not capturing the nuances, the richness.

Example: I found that in me and in others there are both good and bad, and something said can have different feelings and intentions glued to it... it's a mixture, a plurality.

Before I would "freeze" people, interactions, my own thought, etc., into conceptions and "truths" and "good and bad". It's much more complex than that.

But then again: Going deeper, deeper than the conceptions, and even deeper than the complexities there's this simple, powerful stillness and peace. This pure consciousness that I get to taste now and then (not as often as I would!).

Well, to my question. What will it give me to add another ½ hour to the ½ hour, thus meditating 1 hour every morning. I don't want to rush things. But ½ hour gets by VERY quickly, and 45 minutes get by very quickly too I feel, and I think I easily could add some more time to my daily meditations.

What is the potential of adding some time to my daily meditations. I definitly want to move further than stress reduction.

(Even then I must say, that I believe, that just 5 minutes daily meditation will change peoples life)

Regards!

Jim Malloy said...

When it comes to meditation, more is not necessarily better... and regardless of the length of one's meditations, the inner growth comes along with the relaxation, stress reduction and the various other benefits. I think you are aware of this.

However, if you wish to increase your meditation time, be advised that meditation taps some very powerful energies, and it is best to not over-amp on these. The nervous system needs to acclimate slowly to any major increase the flow of life force, aka chi. Also, any sudden increase will tend to trigger a greater degree of detoxification - the release of physical and emotional toxins - and this detox is best done gradually.

With that said, if you really feel the need to meditate for longer periods, it would be better, in regards to the above-mentioned dynamics, to break it up into two sessions if possible... perhaps adding a 15 - 20 minute period of meditation in the afternoon or evening. This has been found to make it easier to adjust to the increased chi and the resulting detox.

If you do increase your sitting time, I suggest you monitor yourself for anything unusual or uncomfortable taking place internally.

Anonymous said...

Hi jim I use to meditate a while ago and when i did I meditated with AUM, I started with the breath then moved on to aum and I did this for two years. From reading your web pages I seemed to be experiecing sound and light. Because I was,nt sure I stopped. I meditated for at least an hour day sometimes longer on an evening mainly. I would like to start meditating again where would be the best place to start. best, neil.

Jim Malloy said...

Hi Neil...
I suggest you continue using the same mantra. Aum is a very effective vehicle for meditation. However, you might want to start with less than an hour a day... maybe half of that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your site?

How important is it, that you are not feeling sleepy when meditating? I sometimes meditate in the evening, but I'm tired, and it doesn't seem to have the same effect.

Jim Malloy said...

If the quality of your meditation differs when you are tired, it's okay. When one is not tired the experience tends to be clearer, with a more heightened awareness. When tired, the experience tends to be more of a deep relaxation, or at times a sort of zoning out. One is not necessarily better than the other. Pardon the cliché, but it really is all good.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

You told me to monitor for anything unusual or uncomfortable internally, because I wanted to meditate 1 hour every day. I did meditate, and I did monitor. And indeed: I feel extremely sensitive. Almost vulnerable. No, not almost. I do feel vulnerable. But also somehow "free". It's both good and bad, really. I have felt it before years back. It often evolves around the philosophical question: "Brain in a vat". Do you know that philosophical problem?

Here is a link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_in_a_vat

I hope you will read it. When I first encountered that thought I got caught by fear and anxiety, because the problem was so real to me. Not that I thought that I was a brain in a vat, but it pained me that I - through arguing and philosophy - couldn't give any argument against that thought experiment. My fear was simply about me not having a chance to really know if anybody else had a consciousness! When I was a little kid I thought about it the way, that maybe others were robots. But now it is about perception with the senses itself (if you have seen the movie 'Matrix' you also know what I mean, though the people here are TOGETHER in simulated reality - in "brain in a vat" the one person is the single one, the ONLY one, and others are just impulses feeded to the brain, 'shadows' not real persons, but sense imprints). Now, the link will explain it more accurately, as it really is a philosophical thought experiment well known - I just wanted to state what my actual concern was about it (feeling alone).

...then I turned to the spiritual in search of an answer. I got some glimpses of "intuitive explanation" - often when 'giving up', when doing 'renunciation' (I lost the lust for earthly goods when I was in pain). These glimpses reduced my fear to nothing and instead filled my life with light and love. Somehow that pain did "humble" me. I wanted to grew more loving and caring in that fear. Was it detoxication?

But when those glimpses became past, I began doubting them... were they just 'feelings', I thought to myself. Somehow I managed to shrug it off for some years...

(Just to clarify: I had the fear when I was a little kid, then again when I was 24, and now again when I'm 30).

NOW, when I have increased the meditation, suddenly the fear came back. First it came as "uncomfortability", but then it grew to the same old fear again. But somehow I feel I need it, I need the fear - or at least the detoxication if that is what it is. . It really makes me want to become more kind and loving and empathic.

And still: I so much want to get spiritual understanding. I believe that it IS possible to solve those philosophical questions. Not through arguments and logic and a lot of words. Not through ordinary science. But through spirituality and a direct, intuitve experience and understanding of reality.

What do you think about all this?

Once again: Thank you for your great side. You inspire me GREATLY. I love to meditate. And you do a very unselfish job. Thank you.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello...
I had a look at the brain-in-a-vat page. Intriguing, and I can see how the mind could go around in circles for a long time with that one. But you are correct when you say that such questions are best solved by "a direct, intuitive experience and understanding of reality."

I don't believe the fear you are experiencing is "just" a detoxification... but not completely disconnected from that process either. Regardless of what we label the phenomenon, it is something deeply rooted coming to light to be resolved. If meditating a little longer serves to bring this to your awareness, I can see the positive side of that. And if somehow this encourages you to become more kind and loving, that is certainly a good thing.
Now that this fear has returned and is "in your face," it is time to move through it, via meditation, reflection, and whatever other transformational tools you have available. I still suggest keeping your meditation sessions within a moderate time-frame, but it is after all, your call.

Anonymous said...

Hello I just have a quick question. I tried meditating for the first time and when I relaxed a little... I began to see golden burst of lights...can anyone tell me why...they kept coming and going....it was relaxing but confusing at the same time ...thanks so much

Jim Malloy said...

When you meditate, your state of consciousness is altered... sometimes slightly, sometimes dramatically. When in an altered state, your perceptions can open to all sorts of interesting visual phenomena. This is ok and natural, and when it occurs, I suggest you simply enjoy the light show for awhile, and then continue meditating just as you were.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

Thank you so much for your empathetic and understanding answer. And thanks for taking the time to look at the brain-in-vat page.

I do notice that you tell me to keep my meditation in a moderate time frame. And I read on your page that it should be around 20 minutes or so.

But that leads me to a question: Will it never be good to expand the meditation to more than 20 minutes?

I understand that 10-20 minutes can be for the inexperienced, but what about the experienced? Doesn't there come a point when it is beneficial to expand the time frame? And if so, what will the benefits be?

Thanks!

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, at some point it's ok to increase your meditation time. If you have been meditating awhile - maybe a year or so - 20 minutes twice a day is reasonable... for some, just a little bit more is ok. The benefits of this will vary from person to person, but on the whole, you could expect the pace of your spiritual growth to increase.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jim!

Thanks for your meditationcenter!

In what (various) ways can a man/woman experience the detoxification-process?

With love!

Jim Malloy said...

You may experience some negativity, often related to the type of toxins you are releasing. If it is physically-related, you may feel a bit tired or physically off. If it is emotionally-related, you may experience some of the feelings or memories associated with the toxins you are releasing. Other symptons may include slightly disrupted sleep patterns, irritability and impatience, or over-reacting to things.

If you notice any of these symptoms, just keep in mind that something valuable is occurring, and the discomfort will pass.

Light & peace, Jim

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have been meditating for almost for 3 years now. I found myself meditating more and more last six months or so. Sometimes, I have to literally get up and do something in order to get out of that meditative state. I feel a lot of vibrations on my feet, sometimes legs. I also feel as something is moving inside of me. Mostly around my chest area I also feel as its expanding. The best way to describe is to like a balloon. When you breathe air into a balloon it expands. I also feel very heavy on top of my head or my forehead. Is this normal? Or Am I meditation to much? Can you give me some advice?

Jim Malloy said...

These feelings are all being caused by an increased flow of your inner spiritual energy. This is natural and ok, providing it does not become over-done, overly distracting or overwhelming. You did not say exactly how much you are meditating, but if you have been practicing meditation for 3 years, a reasonable guideline would be around 20 - 30 minutes once a day... or about 15 minutes twice a day.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Thank you for your advice. I have been meditating for more than 45 minutes in a day. More importantly, I find myself meditating when I am watching TV at nights. Actually whenever, I sit down and do something that does not require to much physical activity.
You are saying all these feeling of feeling heavy on my forehead and top of my head etc. are caused by the increased level of spiritual energy. What do you mean by that? I am more aware of my inner self? I sure don’t feel like it.

Thank you

Jim Malloy said...

The inner spiritual energy to which I am referring is not the energy of awareness - which is a rather gentle energy - but the life force energy - aka "chi" - which is a more powerful, cleansing energy. It's fine to remain in somewhat of a meditative state when you are engaged in light, non-demanding activity. However, if it all catalyzes an uncomfortable increase in the flow of this energy, then I would suggest cutting back a bit on your sitting meditation time and/or easing up on your "meditation in action" efforts.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,
Thx for your answers!

How do you think it would be appropriate to handle the fear that is "up in the face"? And fears in general?

How can I use my meditation for that? (I'm doing breath meditation). Is it something that will happen naturaly?

Jim Malloy said...

A very effective way to handle fear is to simply remain "mindful" of it. This means to be aware of the fear-related feelings and thoughts without becoming entangled in them. The more centered you become in your calm, neutral inner awareness, the easier this becomes... and your calm inner center will emerge naturally and gradually through your regular meditation practice.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I would like to ask something about meditation?

During the session, I focus lightly on the object of meditation (mantra, breath,...). When I notice that any thoughts arise, I gently push these away(only with little effort). However, I do not "observe my mind" and look for any emerging thought. In other words, I focus only on the object of mediattion and let myself notice these thoughts automaticly. This might be one of the reasons why I drift off into my thoughts so often.. In addition to being in a half-conscious light sleep-state.

Is it allright if I meditate this way? Or should I try to observe my mind and pay extra attention to any emerging thoughts in order to prevent myself drifting off?

Jim Malloy said...

What you are doing when you meditate is fine. I suggest you continue with that same approach.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

A few posts ago i was writing to you about my sisters weird breathtaking experience after 3 minutes of meditation which you diagnosed as kundalini and advised not to meditate for a while.

I was sort of scared so i read a bit and found this in Robert Bruces Astral Dynamics:

"A small number of people will, however, occasionally feel symptoms of kundalini energy stirring when they undertake serious energetic development of the primary circuit.
This can result in spikes of energy shooting up through the lower spine, often accompanied by
stinging and cramping sensations.
This is not to be mistaken for the normal, often breathtaking, adrenaline-type energetic rushes up through the base center and spine associated with normal levels of secondary and primary energy movement. These energetic body rushes are completely normal symptoms for that type of development work."

So i have doubts if my sisters experience can be qualified as kundalini and considering the implications truth to be said i'd very much rather that not to be the case. (The guy who wrote the book actually was almost killed by it and had to stop active energy development for a while, he was very advanced at the time though)

Would you be so kind and tell me if my assumptions are correct?

Jim Malloy said...

There are many misconceptions about the energy known as kundalini... one of the the main ones being that it is somehow unique and separate from the life force energy that constantly flows through our bodies and keeps us alive and healthy. In reality, there is only one life force energy, and it manifests in various degrees, similar to the way wind can manifest as a gentle breeze, a gust, or a tempest.

Because of this, and the various fear-based misconceptions associated with it, I generally don't use the term "kundalini" except when asked about it directly, such as in your case.

Can this life force be harmful? Yes, if one over-amps on it for a considerable period. However, as a result of our accelerated evolution, our bodies and nervous systems have, over the past several years, become more capable of handling a greater degree of this energy. Therefore, it is not causing as many problems as was the case 5, 10 or 30 years ago... and when difficulties do occur, they are, in general, less intense than they use to be.

Still, whether you call it kundalini, life force, chi, or prana, this neutral but powerful energy should be respected - but not feared - and individuals should be sensible regarding any practices that might lead to a sudden increase in its flow. This is the basis of the suggestions I made regarding your sister.

Anonymous said...

Once again i thank you for your answer and advice.

And i am sorry it is me again, as i do not want to spam too much on your blog :)

Following my research i accidentally found on Robert Bruces page...

I have previously met with Bioresonant garments adjusting our aura due to the effect of their colors and i am willing to accept THAT since such an effect of practically any garments is easily detectable in auric sight.. But..

Is there any possibility that such a pendant device will be of any help or is it just a way to suck money out of people? :] I didnt know where else to turn to and i am insanely curious.

Id greatly appreciate your opinion.

Jim Malloy said...

I do know of pendants that have a positive energetic effect, so it is possible. However, I've never used one of these Q-links, so I cannot really assess them accurately.

Anonymous said...

In response to the last comment [May 19] I thought it is a fact that our bodies and immunology system detoriate due to the modern lifestyle instead of becoming in any way better. I dont pretend to know if it is the same with their energy accomodating potential ^^ And how is it possible to determine that.?

Thank you in advance ^^.

Jim Malloy said...

Over the past several years - as part of our accelerated evolution - the internal flow of this energy has been gradually increasing. Through channelling greater and greater degrees of this energy, our bodies, energy systems and nervous systems have gradually adapted to accommodate greater degrees of it.

Anonymous said...

Isnt chanelling energy when one actually does some energy work? I dont believe most people actually do that. Well, maybe apart from the 1000000000 citizens of India and Chineese with taiji. That could be (or soon might be ^^) most of the world.. ^^ But in western society? Or does it happen in a different way? Or is it just an observation made of a process that takes place regardless of what is the source of the increased energy work? I would say people are more materialistic and down to earth nowadays rather than lets-go-do-energy-work sort. Forgive me for the jest. ^^
Or maybe you meant intellectual evolution causes minds evolution and that in some way causes the increase of internal flow?
Sorry for being persistant but im curious.
Eagerly await your response.

Jim Malloy said...

I was hoping the term "channelling" wouldn't be misconstrued. Ah well. :-) I was simply referring to the natural flow of life force energy through the body. This energy flows through us all... without it we would not be alive. How about if go with the term "conducting" instead? As in "we are all conducting greater amounts of the life force energy at this time."

Why is this an integral part of our evolution? Because as the flow of this energy increases, it raises our consciousness and our rate of vibration.

thepretender said...

Hey, Jim.

I kind of started some energy work recently. Meaning unlocking and unblocking chakra points. So i started with smaller ones and then went to the stimulation of the main ones. I want to underline i didnt direct energy there, only stir them so they will show activity. No problems so far. All that took me a few days. Ive unblocked all of them. (Still no raising energy, only stirring)

But now everytime i start meditation the navel chakra goes wild and turns my insides upside down. I have trouble ignoring it.

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, I guess that would be hard to ignore... although I'm having somewhat of a hard time getting a clear sense of a "navel chakra gone wild." :-) As you are discovering, you can't really separate your chakras from the energy that runs through them. So by "stirring" your chakras, you inevitably stir up a bit more chi as well. It will settle down if you don't do anything to stimulate it further. However, if it's too distracting or uncomfortable, you can switch your meditation to something very simple and grounding for awhile, like basic Mindfulness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, And thanks for your work!

Shouldn't meditation lead to the same result for everybody? - Peace of mind, purity of character?

How come that some gets peaceful and tranquil, while others will build ashrams in the west and indulge in sex and money - even making a business out of teaching meditation?

Jim Malloy said...

Ultimately - through meditation and/or other spiritual practices - everyone will wake up to realize the peace and purity that already exists within them. But in the meantime, the human drama offers infinite possibilities, and is driven by freedom of choice. As for the rest, you might want to take a look at those judgments around sex and money.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your answer.

I'm not sure what you mean by: "As for the rest, you might want to take a look at those judgments around sex and money."

There are organisations that take many money for teaching meditation, while you and others do it free. But I have chosen not to name names, since my question relates to the nature of meditation and why meditation in some cases is used for profit... even lots of profit.

In the past there have been sex-scandals around some gurus.

But what did you mean with your sentence I have quoted?

Jim Malloy said...

There is a tendency to judge sex and money as "profane"... antithetical to spirituality. To be honest, your statement about "indulging in sex and money" carried those implications, and I chose to point it out. Whether you choose to reflect a bit to see if this tendency does or does not exist within you is entirely up to you.

Is there a line which a teacher - or anyone - can cross, misusing rather than using money and sex in a healthy and balanced way? Yes, I agree that there is.

Are humans fallible up until they reach the highest states of enlightenment? Yes... it's just part of living in the physical world.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I see what you mean. But I did not mean that sex and money are "unholy" and it was not my intend to judge people in general who has sex and uses money. My point was as you yourself write:

"Is there a line which a teacher - or anyone - can cross, misusing rather than using money and sex in a healthy and balanced way? Yes, I agree that there is."

(We may set that line differently though - I believe that the truth should be offered freely)

And I'm just curious as to why some lifelong meditators crosses that line with leaps and bounds - because I thought that meditation would lead in the opposite direction, that is to tranquillity and a peaceful mind. It does so in my experience, and I wanted to know if it is meditation that is uneffective on some people.

Hope that clarified what I meant.

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, that's clear. Although meditation catalyzes positive growth in virtually everyone that practices it, everyone is unique. Each soul has it's own unique karmic history and it's own particular strengths and weaknesses. Until an individual has attained complete freedom from the limitations of the "ego-personality," he or she will always be vulnerable to detrimental impulses.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

And thanks for your response!

I meditate myself and I enjoy teaching it to others (friends for instance) - it's a simple breath meditation. And though only a few is setting up a continual rutine, everyone notice the calm it brings.

You say that meditation catalyze positive growth. Are there other spiritual practises?

- I'm experimenting with tea meditation. I simply brew my tea and enjoy it. Only attending to the tea, turning off computer and tv, etc. Even though I have been meditating regularly, every day from 15-60 minutes, the drinking of tea calms me very much, and I even felt some "sorrowness"-sympathi against others last time. I wanted to cry. It all felt so light, but at the same time sad. In a good way though...!

Have you heard of tea-drinking or tea-meditation for spiritual growth, and what is your view on it?

Regards

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, there are other spiritual practices besides meditation. Although they are not at all confined to Indian religion, the various forms of Yoga include many of these. For example: Hatha Yoga - physical postures... Bhakti Yoga - devotional practices such as chanting... Jnana Yoga - Seeking knowledge and developing wisdom... and Japa Yoga - repeating mantras, both in meditation and during one's daily activities.

Yes, I'm familiar with drinking tea as a spiritual practice... mostly in relation to Zen and the Japanese tea ceremony. I find it a very pleasurable and graceful practice.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jim,

Is there a "roof" for the length of meditation, even if your are extremely experienced (for instance 10 years of meditation)?

Jim Malloy said...

There is no absolute rule here as everyone is hardwired differently. However, as a general guideline, I would suggest keeping your total meditation time under an hour a day.

And regardless of the time-frame, it's always good to monitor yourself to see how the length of your daily meditation is actually effecting you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim

I would like to meditate for 15 minutes each morning and evening. But I'm afraid that I won't get the maximum benefit out of it unless I meditate for longer. Can you keep on deepening your meditation with 15 minutes breath meditation for years?

somehow it just seems logically for me that it will become deeper if you sit in meditation longer... Let's say you have become very calm after 15 minutes - why not use that as the basis for another 15 minutes where you could get even deeper?

Why do you suggest keeping the session under one hour a day?

thanks

Jim Malloy said...

I've been getting a lot of enquiries lately, regarding increased meditation time, so first, here are the guidelines I generally recommend.
• 10 - 15 minutes a day for the first month.
• 15 - 20 minutes once a day, or 10 - 15 minutes twice a day for a year or so.
• 20 minutes once or twice a day for meditators with over a year's experience.
• The same for persons with quite a few years of experience, but for those who feel the need for more, I suggest capping it at 1 hour a day.

These are general guidelines based on my teaching experience as well as my observation of many meditators over many years. However, there is flexibility within these guidelines, depending on each individual's constitution.

•• Now here are the reasons behind these guidelines...

Meditation catalyzes a significant increase in the flow of ones inner spiritual energy, also known as "chi," or "shakti." This is essentially a positive, healing and elevating energy, but if it is over-stimulated it can easily go from being positive to counter-productive. This is because...

1. Our nervous systems and energy systems - the chakras and the nadis (or meridians as they are called in Oriental medicine) - can only conduct so much of this powerful energy effectively. If you have a 100 watt bulb you don't want to be running 200 watts through it for obvious reasons. Within the body, this over-amping puts an undue strain on these systems.

2. This energy is partially responsible for cleansing the system of stored up physical and emotional toxins. This in itself is a good thing, but it is best done gently and gradually for reasons which I am about to explain. As the flow of this energy is increased, so is the detoxification process, and when the detox process becomes excessive, it tends to produce a variety of uncomfortable symptoms,
which can include:
• Feeling physically toxic or tired
• Disrupted sleep patterns
• Impatience and irritability
• Mood swings
• Magnification of neurotic tendencies
• Endocrine and chakra imbalances

As you can see, these symptoms are somewhat the opposite of what one generally experiences from meditation. Aside from these discernable problems, what often tends to happen is that the uncomfortable symptoms cause individuals to give up meditating altogether, instinctively backing off from their practice, even if they are not conscious of the correlation between meditation and the discomfort.

Does this mean that an occasional long meditation session can be harmful? No. But continually over-meditating can open the door to some of these problems.

I am aware that everyone is hardwired differently, and some are, by nature, able to handle a greater degree of this energy. Persons who are very earthy, grounded and physically active tend to be able to conduct more... whereas those who are more mental, sensitive and less physically active have a more difficult time conducting increased amounts of this energy. From these two ends of the spectrum you can see the general pattern and get a sense of the in-between areas.

Individuals can develop the ability to conduct more of this energy over time, through regular physical exercise... through yoga, tai chi and other such practices... through earth-based activities, such as gardening, hiking, climbing, etc. One can also increase their capacity through gradually increasing the duration of their meditation sessions.

Another factor to take into account here, is the degree of stored up toxins one is carrying at the time. Even though this cannot be clearly measured, one can sort of guestimate, based on their life experience. Those with less toxins in their system are, for obvious reasons, likely to have an easier time with the detox process.

Now you have the info with which you can make an informed choice regarding the length of your meditations. If you do choose to exceed an hour a day, I strongly suggest monitoring yourself closely for the above-mentioned symptoms.

Anonymous said...

How can japa be compared to meditation according to benefits and spiritual development?

Jim Malloy said...

When japa - the repetition of mantras, for those not familiar with the term - is done during one's daily activity, it helps an individual remain in the calm, centered state experienced in sitting meditation.

While meditation is good for "taking a dip in the light," japa is useful for "staying in the light." Thus, both practices tend to complement one another, effectively keeping the practitioner moving forward on their spiritual path.

Anonymous said...

I'm really in need of some answers. I meditate, on average, once a week or so. After a very few minutes I see pictures or scenes in full color and as clearly as I would see them if I had my eyes open.
One was what looked like a window to the outside. I could see the blue sky and a few clouds and hand reached in through the window and opened showing me a small earth. What could this mean?
Also, I sometimes rest by what I call "twilighting". I don't go to sleep and I can hear everything going on around me (including myself snoring sometimes :)), but it's like I'm almost asleep--does that make sense?
Anyway, while twilighting, I see people and objects. Yesterday I saw a spinning star tetrahedron. I also hear conversations. The conversations are usually technical in nature and about subjects I have no understanding of so it can't be my imagination. I can never remember what I heard later.
Is this twilighting actually meditation?
Some of the people I see sometimes speak to me or motion to me. I've tried communicating, but get no results or answers.
And one more thing-a couple of weeks ago I was looking out the window. It was a bright sunny day. I was in my 3pm slump so I went into my usual twilight position which is leaning forward, elbows on knees and resting my head in my hands. When I closed my eyes it was as if I hadn't closed my eyes. I could still see the scene out the window color and all. It lasted 10-15 seconds and faded away.
Can someone please explain what I'm experiencing???

Jim Malloy said...

What you are experiencing is the result of your awareness opening to other dimensions. The universe exists on many vibrational levels, and when you alter your state of awareness through meditation or "twilighting" - which can be considered a form of meditation - you are tuning into one of these other dimensions. As you are discovering, this opens the door to an infinite assortment of unusual experiences.

Seeing with your eyes closed is slightly different. In such cases, you are not seeing with your physical eyes but with the "eye of your spirit."

The main thing to understand is that these experiences are safe and natural. When these sights and sounds and scenes occur, it's best to just accept them as interesting phenomena, and continue with your meditation/twilighting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

Thank you very much for such a thourough clarification on the time spent in meditation - I really appreciate it!!

I have reduced my sitting time from 1 hour each morning to 20 minutes once every morning and evening.

When doing the 1 hour of meditation I really did feel much peace throughout the day... but suddenly I got heavy stress-symptons - on my breathing and chest (also throughout the day). I don't know if it was the overdoing of meditation (there are of course other reasons as well) - but I think it is nice keeping it to 2x20 minutes a day.

Regards

Jim Malloy said...

Good call.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for answering my questions regarding my meditation/twilighting experiences. I'm glad to know it's normal and I'm fascinated with the idea of other dimensions. I enjoy these experiences and always look forward to them because I never know what I'll get to see.
Thanks again!

Jim Malloy said...

I'm always pleased to hear about people enjoying their meditations.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

In one of my 1-hour meditations I saw a scarab. I didn't even know it was symbolizing anything, and I can see no reason why I should have induced the image myself. It was in my minds eye and behind my eyelids (the light). Later I saw a butterfly, and again I didn't knew it was a symbol.

Are these two a symbol of life and resurrection?

Often I see wheels turning...?! What can this be?

Now I meditate 15 minutes 2x a day, and I do not get those images anymore...

Regards

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, these are generally symbols of resurrection and transformation or metamorphosis. Turning wheels probably symbolize your mind going around trying to figure it all out.

When meditating, images like this can pop in any time. They are not the aim of meditation, but when they appear, it's fine to enjoy them and explore their meaning. And when they do not appear, it's good to appreciate whatever is going on in your meditation.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jim,

Thanks alot for your answers - on everything! You are taking the time to answer us free of charge. It's incredible!! And you have a very structured way of answering and you are making things very easy to understand!

Regards

Jim Malloy said...

I appreciate your good feedback... thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,

I want to buy some of your cd's/mp3's. I have a couple of questions:

1) What is the difference between the "Rive of tranquility" (and how long is this cd?) and the "relaxation meditation"?

2) Will the "relaxation meditation"-cd lead to spiritual awareness as the "meditation on your inner self"?

Jim Malloy said...

Hello...
• River of Tranquility is 30 minutes long, whereas Relaxation Meditation is 15 minutes. The main difference is that River of Tranquility includes positive imagery and affirmations for transformating negative conditions - inner and outer - to more positive conditions, and Relaxation Meditation does not.

• Unlike the Inner Self Meditation, Relaxation Meditation was created only for providing deep relaxation and not for increasing spiritual awareness.

Gabriel Burt said...

Hi Jim,

i have been on a quest lately on something called, "meditate like a buddist monk in a month."i believe whole heartidly that i could do it i just wanted to give u the link and for u to tell me if u think its possible, if i practice enough.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Gabriel...
Is it possible for you to become proficient in these techniques in 30 days? Yes, with a dedicated effort you can probably get to where you are enjoying them and noticing positive results.

However, since these methods are different from those actually practiced by Buddhist monks, (as stated by the writer of the article) I suggest you base your progress solely on your own experience, and avoid setting the bar to anyone else's level.

gabriel said...

thanks jim for the great advice, as usual. actually i wanted to ask you a question, if i may, about something that is mentioned in the article about learning how to meditate like a buddist monk. i dont know if you'll know anything about it but ill give it a shot. one of the steps in article was to lay down on your back and lift on arm 90 degrees in the air. then you set yourself to the awake asleep threshold. when ur arm falls it wakes u up. according to the article you're suppose to hover on that line for about 15 minutes. for me first of all i cant will myself to fall asleep so im having trouble with that. second when i do it at night nothing happens im not able to fall asleep at first my arm just gets tired from being in the air. then next thing i know its morning and i had fallen asleep! do u have any advice on ways i can hover on the awake asleep threshold without my arm of leg getting tired. sorry for the long message but i need help and your the guy who helps people so im coming to you. thanks!

Jim Malloy said...

First, I suggest you find a time to do this exercise other than late at night when your body-mind is conditioned to fall asleep for the whole night. Mid-afternoon may be a good time, because people are often a bit tired at that time, but not ready to sleep for an entire 8 hour stretch.

If you are holding your entire arm up for this, it will naturally get tired quickly. I have heard of this exercise, and the way I understand it, your upper arm - shoulder to elbow - should be lying flat on the bed, while just your forearm - elbow to hand - should be vertical, at a 90 degree angle to the bed and your upper arm.

You mentioned your leg getting tired? I don't believe there is any need to lift the legs for this exercise. Your arm falling should be enough to rouse you if you start to nod off.

GauravSharma said...

Hi Sir,
I have been doing meditation regularly for past some weeks, but I have had some chances of practicing meditation when I was a child too, unknowingly though. I could remember clearly that when I was small, I used to get into meditation (between the eye-brows) without any efforts and that sensation between the eyes was actually perfectly between the eyes.

Now, when I try to meditate now a days (I am 27 now), that sensation between the eyes remain at that place initially but after some minutes it tries to spread across my right eye. When I try to keep it in between the eye-brows it comes at the center but again after some time it spreads across my right eye. It happen only for the right eye. I wish to know what could I be doing wrong.

Moreover, sometimes when I am not doing meditation intentionally, I feel sensation in between my eye-brows (eyes wide open, while talking to someone, during meetings, during work etc) and that sensation sometimes wonder across my head, say sometimes at the top of my head, sometimes a bit above the eye-brows, sometimes right at top (where the Brahmins used to keep ‘Shikha’ or ‘Choti’). Is it OK? I am eagerly waiting for your reply.

Jim Malloy said...

You are not doing anything wrong. The sensations you are experiencing are caused by an increased flow of your inner spiritual energy to that area. This energy - aka "chi" or "shakti" - has an innate intelligence and naturally flows to where it is needed, in order to do some toxin clearing or healing in that area.

When this occurs during your meditation, I suggest you continue gently focussing on that same spot, but allow the sensation to move as it will. When it occurs outside of meditation, simply let it happen.

burt said...

Hello Jim,
I am here to ask u if u could help me out with visualization. i am seeking to be able to visualize objects, using my minds eye, with my eyes closed. this will help me with other things i am trying to do and i want to be able to do this. could u tell me how or some tips and how long i should practice etc. thanks jim your forum is the best meditation forum out there! thanks!

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Burt...
Visualization does not have to be difficult or take long to learn. It is a natural ability we all have. However, because everyone's inner senses are hardwired a bit differently, some idividuals see clearly when visualizing... others see, but in a more abstract way... while others do not actually "see," but rather "feel" or "sense" the object they are visualizing. For this reason, I prefer the term "imagining," as it more fully encompasses all of these.

It is important to keep in mind, that all of the above ways of visualizing/imagining are effective.

To get an idea of how easy it can be, I suggest you first imagine the face of someone you are very familiar with... a friend, relative, etc. Try this with a few different individuals. Whatever way you perceived these faces inwardly is essentially how you would tend to perceive anything with your "mind's eye."

Now try looking at an object with your eyes open. Then close your eyes and imagine it. Again, you were perceiving this object with your mind's eye.

Now you can begin visualizing or imagining anything you wish. It works best if you do this with relaxed effort, rather than concentrating too hard.

burt said...

hello jim,
thanks for the response regarding how to visualize object with closed eyes. i am still attempting it like trying to see my hands with my eyes closed but all i see is black. you know jim i think part of the problem and most of the reason why im having trouble with projection and visualizing with your eyes closed...mainly visualizing with your eyes closed is i just can't accept that its possible. i too into the world of reason and normality. seeing your hands with your eyes closed etc is what the typical person sees and impossible and scientificaly not possible and i just cant get over it. some how i have to look beyond what i can believe is possible and just get over it and open my eyes to a different world. this is what I'm striving to do but as you can see I'm not doing well. I know projection is not your area of expertise but I am trying to accomplish that and one thing that can help lead up to it is the ability to visualize. I don't know how I'm going to do it but i will. Even stuff like chakra and energy work is automaticaly labeled in my mind as not explainable I don't know maybe its because ive lived a life of 21 years not belieiving that kind of thing is possible. can you make any sense of this Jim and offer me a helping word? Thanks for your time by the way.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Burt...
Considering what you have just said, I am not clear whether you are trying to picture your hands in your mind's eye in the same way one would "visualize" anything, or whether you are trying to actually "see" your physical hands with your eyes closed. If it is the second of these, I'm sorry, but I can't help you.

Now if you are trying to simply picture your hands, or whatever, in your mind, here are some things to consider.

• Often, the more urgently we want to attain something, the more likely we are to get all knotted up and block it from happening. Therefore, I suggest you put aside any notion of approaching this like a task and just play with it. If you are, in fact, trying to picture something in your mind, forget about your hands for now, and just close your eyes and begin to imagine all the things you like best, including people, as I suggested previously.

If you are able to relax into it and simply imagine things that are pleasant to you, chances are, you will begin to see these things in your mind's eye eventually. Then you will know how to picture your hands.

However, if this does not happen immediately and you allow yourself to get frustrated and give up, then you are not likely to make much progress toward attaining your ultimate goal. Sometimes learning things simply requires a bit of time, patience and practice.

Regarding your belief... if it is difficult for you to believe that people can visualize - picture images in their mind - you will find that if you ask 10 people, probably 6 to 8 of them will be able to see things, either clearly or vaguely, in their minds. Studies show that about 75% of individuals are either full-on or partial visual thinkers.

Best of luck with whatever you are trying to achieve. Jim

burt said...

Hi Jim,
When I said I want to be able to picture things with my eyes closed I meant having the ability to for example think of a color, and then see it with my eyes closed. Or thinking of a cartoon character and seeing it, not by just thinking of it, but seeing it with my eyes shut. This can lead onto, if at the right state, the cartoon characters moving on their own. Do you see where I'm going? So if I'm not descriptive enough but I'm doing my best. Here's a quote from someone trying to explain to someone else on visualizing, it may be inaccurate I don't know, but it will give you somewhat of an idea on what I think I'm trying to get at.
"...close your eyes and try to banish thoughts of anything else from your mind. it helps to count backwards and keep telling yourself to visualize what you want to see... try doing this for just a few minutes at a time, in a quiet place, by yourself. Think about a color. then see that color - you already know what that looks like, right? now tell yourself you will start seeing in your mind's eye what you want to visualize. this takes practice. Training yourself to do this comes in handy for all sorts of things. it is called self
discipline...helps youto focus when you need to..." Hopefully this will beter help you help me on what I'm trying to achieve. Thanks Jim!

Jim Malloy said...

Sounds like we're on the same page here. Well then, keep on keeping on. Jim

Anonymous said...

I have just started meditating and the other day I had a cooling sensation in the heart and throat chakras while in meditation.....do you have any idea what this means?
Thanks

Jim Malloy said...

Your inner spiritual energy - also known as chi - has two facets - warm and cool. I've noticed that when a chakra is relaxed and allowing this energy to flow freely through, the cool facet is often - but not always - the most noticeable feature of one's experience.

Anonymous said...

actually i have a big problem.. my life is filled with some negative thoughts and very negative
feelings..and these things have even entered my life..and now i am in severe depression cos i cannot do anyhing,,just uselessly wasting my
time..in it..which has destroyed my education..my studying..everything..life is looking like a hell.. and from 4 months i am suffering from strong urge to commit suicide.. but i cant do it..and i know
the psychology of mind, that to get rid from this things is in aceepting it..the more yo accept,
the more away they move away from you..but the problem with me is this that i always fail in accepting them.. can you tell me which type of meditation should i practise,,to regain my life back...and can develop the power to accept everything,,and move on...thanks a lot to u..and all those who are here for your valuable comments..

Jim Malloy said...

I will give you a meditation to assist you in getting to a place of deeper acceptance. However, it is important to understand that although meditation will start making a positive difference in your life, meditation alone is not likely fix the entire problem. I suggest you seek other avenues of assistance as well. Also, please understand that in most cases meditation heals gradually.

This link will take you to your meditation.
http://www.enlightenmentclass.com/meditations/innerselfmeditation.pdf

Noah said...

I have been regularly meditating for around half a month. Recently, my practice had deepened, allowing me to feel a strong sense of compassion and loving kindness. Oddly enough, during many recent sessions I've begun to experience involuntary body twitches and visual disturbances while meditating, as well as a cranial pressure, and a more recent anxiety and depression. Sometimes I even think I see things that aren't there out of the corner of my eyes. I am aware that meditation can draw out overwhelming negative emotions and I simply have to go through and continue my practice, but is there anything else that explains these other strange symptoms and what I should do?

Jim Malloy said...

Your experiences are being caused by a combination of an increased flow of inner spiritual energy - aka chi - and the release of stored up stress and emotion. More specifically, the twitching is a release of muscle tension... the visual disturbances are either images of old unresolved memories surfacing to be released, or a visual manifestation of the toxic energy being flushed out... the cranial pressure indicates there is a bit of a blockage to the flow of chi in that area... and the depession and anxiety is an intensified form of unresolved emotion coming up to be acknowledged and released.

It is all part of a positive process of healing and transformation. However, you may be able to regulate the intensity a bit by regulating the duration and intensity of your meditation. That is to say, if your meditation time is over 20 minutes a day, you can cut it back to 20. If it is 20 minutes or less, you might decrease it by just a few minutes. Also, if your effort level (re: concentration) is over 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, I suggest you dial it back to around 4 to 6.

Also, be sure to drink plenty of pure water and get in a bit of physical movement daily, as these will help flush all the toxins out of your system.

Anonymous said...

1. please, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCES B/W : MEDITATION; PRAYER; & WORDHIP ?

2. EXPLAIN to me WHO OR WHAT "GOD / GODHOOD" really is ?

s.c.o

Jim Malloy said...

1. The differences between these practices depends mainly on how one chooses to define them, and there is no absolute definition for any of the three. By some definitions, they are very much the same, and by others, not so much.

With that said, here is a generalized definition of these practices...
• Meditation is consciously directing your attention to something in order to alter your state of consciousness.
• Prayer is communing with a higher power/intelligence.
• Worship is praising that higher power and expressing gratitude to it.

2. As with the above terms, there are many definitions of God, and certainly not one absolute definition. However, I can tell you what I believe God is and how I experience it.

• I believe that God is all that exists... the infinite consciousness that manifests itself as all that we are and all that we experience.

• My experience of the essence of God is one of silent unbounded awareness, an indescribably brilliant mind, and great bliss.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,

Do you know of any spiritual benefits from drinking tea? For instance yogi tea?

Jim Malloy said...

The health benefits of tea have been fairly well documented, but I am not aware of any particular spiritual benefits.

There is, of course, the tea ceremony, practiced primarily in Japanese culture, and perhaps in some other cultures to a lesser degree. However, the spiritual benefits of this stem from the spirit with which the tea is taken rather than the drink itself.

Anonymous said...

Hello...

Can you tell me why sometimes I experience, spontaneously, the joy/bliss that typically comes with my meditations? This has happened to me a few times lately and it very enjoyable, but makes me curious. It might be nice to know why I'm feeling these feelings. Thank you Jim. :)

Jim Malloy said...

Hello...
The reason you are having these experiences, is that bliss and joy are your real nature, and the more you progress on your path, the more your real nature - your essence - is revealed. The timing and frequency of these experiences cannot be predicted, but when they occur, they generally serve as an encouraging taste of what lies ahead as well as an indication of the progress you have already made.

Aditya said...

hello Jim
First things first. . . You are doing a wonderful job. Keep it up!

I've been meditating for a year now and the experiences are remarkably pleasant.

However, I would like to know two things
1. I've been experiencing smells of wood while meditating and sometimes just at anytime.

2. At times after meditating I find myself to have subtle shivering and a kind of disorientation.

Does these have any kind of significance or should these be ignored as a part of illusion?

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Aditya...
Thanks for your good feedback.

Regarding the scent of wood, there are various possibilities and no way to know for certain what exactly is causing this. One possibility is that meditating can put you in touch with old memories, and this scent might be related to something from your distant past - either in this life or another - which is resurfacing as part of your growth process. Another possibility is that your meditation is heightening your senses to a point where you are perceiving something subtle in your environment.

The shivering is being caused by your inner spiritual energy as it moves through your system clearing away tensions... unless you are actually cold from a drop in your metabolic rate.

Disorientation is not uncommon when shifting from an altered state back to mundane life. However, it is always good to come out of meditation very slowly, as this generally minimizes or alleviates any disorientation.

As with most meditation-related phenomena, it's not necessary to ignore this, but viewing it with detached interest is advisable.

Wishing you continued light on your path, Jim

Neil said...

Hi Jim, I want to meditate using mindfullness, inner light and sound, do you think this will be ok, I have meditated for a while and would like to try this as an alternative to a mantra i use. best, neil.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Neil...
These are all effective techniques, so yes, switching would be ok. However, I suggest you find a way to keep it simple, regarding how you integrate the three methods into your meditation schedule.

Anonymous said...

HI

I meditate daily, I am a bit concerned about something. Do you happen to know something about the biological effect of mediattion on the brain?

I have read numerous articles which deal with the effect of regular meditation(in my case around 50mins every day)on such mental abilities like concentration, attention, ability to reason clearly and memory.

Some articles said that meditation improves or at least does not damage the above mentioned mental abilities. Concentration and memory were even singled out as being improved by long-term meditation. The reason for this (according to the articles) is that, in mediattion, one learns to focus on a single thing(breath,
mantra) for long periods, while keeping his mind empty of alien thoughts(the later is done in a gentle manner)

In contrast, other articles said that there are harmful effects of regular mediation. They mainly listed emotional problems. They said that regular meditation can cause depression, emotional imbalance, personality changes and so on. The reason for this (according to the articles) is that the deeper meditative state affects brain activity. However, besides emotional problems, some articles said that regular mediattion might damage cognitive abilities. This seems to contradict to those articles, which said the exact oposite. This confused me a bit.

I am aware that regular meditation can affect personality and emotions. What I am interested in is the effect of regular meditation on cognitive abilities. Is it beneficial or harmful?

Does regular meditation have any negative effects on such cognitive abilities like concentration, reasoning, logical thinking and memory? Is mantra meditation (I practice this form of meditation) different from other forms of meditation in this respect?

I am aware that these are not realy practical questions, but these thoughts disturb my practice greatly. Thank you for answering my questions.

Jim Malloy said...

The effects of meditation on the brain, cognitive abilities, and emotional states are in most all cases positive, as the vast majority of studies demonstrate. However, over-meditating can trigger some of the negative states you mentioned, such as emotional imbalances and lack of concentration.

This is caused by an overstimulation of the inner life force, also known as chi. Normally this energy brings unresolved issues to the surface to be resolved in a gentle and natural manner. However, when over-amped it does this much more intensely than is healthy and comfortable, consequently giving rise to these symptoms.

How much meditation is too much? If you follow some reasonable time-frame guidelines you will have nothing to worry about. I've posted a set of general guidelines and the reasons behind them in a June 10th comment on this blog. For your convenience, here are the basic guidelines:

• 10 - 15 minutes a day for the first month of meditation.
• After that, 15 - 20 minutes once a day, or 10 - 15 minutes twice a day for a year or so.
• 20 minutes once or twice a day for meditators with over a year's experience.
• The same for persons with quite a few years of experience, but for long-time meditators who truly feel the need for more, I suggest capping it at 1 hour a day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim

I have been practising "mindfulness” meditation and I am not quite sure how to deal with emerging thoughts. I have a problem.

When doing the exercise, I focus on the breath. When I notice that I have other thoughts, I gently push them away and continue focusing on the breath. However, I do not pay extra attention to observe my mind looking for emerging thoughts. I focus on the breath only, and notice these thoughts automatically. Due to the fact that I only focus on the breath, I am unable to notice some thoughts, which are too faint or short or semi-conscious.

I have been meditating for quite a long time, and I have read several sources. They all tell you to focus only on the object of meditation (breath, mantra,…). They take granted that you will notice thoughts automatically (without looking for them). However, I have found that if I do the exercise this way, 2 things happen: 1. I am less aware of my thoughts, and often only notice them when my attention has already drifted off completely (this happens quite often).

2. I also have some faint semi-conscious thoughts (these are barely above my perceptual threshold, therefore I am unable to detect them, unless I pay extra attention to looking for them in my mind).

Can you give me some suggestions. Is it all right, if I focus on the breath only, and fail to notice faint or semi-conscious thoughts and drift off for longer periods during meditation. Or should I try to pay extra attention: not only observe the breath, but observe the mind for any emerging thought?

Thank you for answering

Jim Malloy said...

What you are doing is fine. It is not necessary to be totally aware of all your thoughts. Drifting off into those "semi-conscious" thoughts can take one into deeper levels of the mind which can actually be quite beneficial.

Enjoy, Jim

Aditya said...

Thank you very much for your reply.

There is just one more thing I'm longing to know...

Is meditation a goal oriented pursuit... I mean how will we know whether we are moving ahead or not?

Jim Malloy said...

Meditation can be a goal oriented pursuit if you choose to make it one. However, if your goal is spiritual awakening, attempting to gauge your progress can be tricky. Therefore, it is best to simply meditate regularly and trust that your practice is moving you steadily toward your goal. I have found that when needed, various forms of "encouraging" experiences may be given to provide confirmation that one is on track.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,
I am new to meditation.I googled a lot(almost 15 days) and finally came up with one type called third eye meditation.I decided to stick on with this.I started this 1 week back.Almost 20 min a day.The way i followed was to focus in between my eyebrows.For the first 3 or 4 days my eyes were attracted towards that center like a magnet attracting iron pieces. But for the past 2 days slowly the force of attraction goes on reducing. May be i am not too sure whether is it reducing or that has become practice for my eye muscles.

I am not able to see any colors or any objects in that state. But i am sure i am not revolving around any thoughts during that 20 min. What i can see is just a screen like thing in the color of sunlight(not pure white but screen color that is close to sun like some yellowish,reddish...). The screen remains the same for 20 min and after that automatically i come out of that focus. In the internet i found that somebody opened their third eye in 1 week and some in 2 months. I know for me its dependent on my current energy level and expected energy level.

But my question is how do i know whether i am correctly doing the third eye meditation or am i correctly focusing on my third eye? Though i started this type with an intention, i'm currently convinced that its better to do the meditation without any intention rather than with specific goals.Because though i did not get any views or any improvements in my third eye opening, i am satisfied with one thing that after started to do this meditation, i was able to remember things better than before and also some piece of mind is there for me. Anyhow i am going to continue this. My request to you is could you give me some pointers like how to find any improvement or some best practices that should be followed to open the third eye soon. (I mean not to open quickly, but gradually and some results must be seen). Because i think just sitting and seeing the screen alone daily is not the stepping stone for my spiritual progress. Also could you please clarify me why is the force of attraction reduced...

One more thing is during this meditation in between my eye brows, i get some cold feeling. Whenever i close my eyes even for sleep or normally, i am able to see this screen.Also i would like to thank you for this kind service. Because for people like me who are not able to go to the meditation classes finds your blog as the guiding mechanism. Thanks.

Jim Malloy said...

If you are closely following the steps given for this meditation, then chances are, you are doing it correctly. However, measuring progress from any meditation is a difficult thing. One reason for this is that everyone is hardwired differently, so everyone's results are going to differ. Another - and this is important to understand - is that progress on the spiritual path tends to go in cycles, and these cycles do not fall into any sort of neat predictable pattern. At times there will be clearly noticeable changes, and at other times observable progress will plateau out for awhile, or one may even "seem" to be going backwards. However, regardless of what it seems, progress is always occurring.

This dynamic accounts for your current doubts and why the attraction to the spot between your eyebrows has waned. If you stay with your practice, it will cycle around again and various results will become noticeable.

Although there is no way to say what form these results will take, here are a few possibilities regarding the process of opening the third eye...
New insights -- Feeling more clear-headed -- Viewing life with greater clarity and understanding -- Seeing things with your inner vision, your mind's eye, such as images, colors, scenes, etc. -- Noticing energy in the external world, such as the energy fields of people, plants, etc. -- Discovering certain long held beliefs are no longer true, and letting them go to make room for new, more relevant beliefs.

Along with these specific results, you may also discover some of the more generalized positive changes attributed to regular meditation practice.

The cold feeling between your eyebrows is being caused by a slightly increased flow of your inner spiritual energy - aka chi - to that spot... Energy follows attention.

You seem to understand that opening the third eye is a gradual process and should be done gently, without force. Therefore, I suggest you disregard anything you read about people accomplishing this in a matter of weeks.

Anonymous said...

Hello jim.
I have a few questions I need clearity on please.

I read about how detoxification can sometimes be physical as well as emotional. latly during my meditations I sometimes get these 'spasmes' I guess where a random part of my body jerks slightly. like my muscles will just contracte for a moment.

also during my meditations, when I relax my body as I breath. some parts of my body feel akward or sore as they are relaxed. that the best word I can describe how they feel.

another of my meditative experiences, I was sitting in my chair. I was fully alert of everything around me, I quote also hear radio waves and radio going on in my head but the radio was off. I could also see and hear everything doing on around me. I was not able to move.

last one, once during the inner light meditation. I felt like I was floating in a dark cave with a bright white light at the end. it felt so real.

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, detoxification can be physical. Jerking muscles are generally the result of knots of tension unwinding. However, if your muscles are actually "contracting," this is due to a slight resistance to the increased vital energy running through your body.

The feelings of discomfort or soreness are most likely areas of pain or tension that have been there all along, but you are just noticing them now as a result of becoming quiet and more aware in your meditation.

When you are in an altered state, the possibilities for unusual experiences are limitless. Sometimes you can slip slightly out of the body and experience perceptions that transcend the limitations of the physical senses, as in your first instance... and at times you can experience inner feelings and visions that may or may not have symbolic significance, like in the second instance you described.

Over time, you will get use to these experiences, enjoying them as they occur, and then moving on to whatever comes next.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim
Thanks for the guidelines regarding how much meditation is suggested.

I have been meditating regularly for more than 2 years. Is it all right if I meditate 40-45 mins once a day? (I am doing a bit longer sessions because I feel that I am only getting into a calm meditative state after 30mins or so. However because of this, I leave out 2-3 days per week in order to avoid recieving too much spiritual energy)

Jim Malloy said...

Yes, that should be ok. Just monitor yourself to make sure you are not detoxing too much or over-amping on chi.

Aditya said...

You said meditation can be goal oriented if i choose it to be.

1. if i choose it to be a goal oriented, how should I go about it? for instance I fear new situations ... and I want to get rid of this.

2. Are goals like these are good enough?

Jim Malloy said...

There is no judgement in regard to your goals. The question is not whether they are good enough, but... can meditation help you achieve your goal?

In the case of feeling less fearful in new situations, yes, meditation can be helpful. Just meditating daily - whatever the method - will help you gradually become more relaxed, comfortable and centered in most any situation.

You might also incorporate a bit of visualization for enhancing this specific area of your life. That would involve spending a part of your meditation time imagining yourself acting and feeling the way you want to be in new situations. Just keep it simple, and take a few minutes to imagine yourself feeling and acting more calm, comfortable and confident in a typical new situation. In time, you are likely to see some improvement in this area of your life.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim.

Last night I took pace in a world wide meditation/cleanings by a very successful couple on finers minds. I've never heard of them until last nite, where website is everything is evergy.

after the meditation some were saying how they felt amazing and a couple didn't feel anything. why do sometimes people feel alot and otehr feel nothing at all?

also, one of the instucters mentioned how so many self cleaning exercises didn't work for him, that he tried them all. I doubt he tried every single one but, why do something like EFT and NLP work for some people and noth for others?

also, I read your last response, is it possible to have too much chi?

Jim Malloy said...

The main reasons for this are... 1. Each individual's nervous system has a different make-up, so each person will respond differently to various methods. 2. Everyone's internal cycles are unique, so they may get better results from a particular method one day than on another day. 3. Everyone is at a different stage of their spiritual journey. So while some practices will be appropriate for where they currently are on their path, other practices will not be suitable.

Yes, one can take in more chi than their internal systems can comfortably conduct.

Anonymous said...

Jim
could you verify something for me? alot of times when I meditate I used to get the impression nothign was happening. when I finally stoped concerning myself with it I didn't detect any change but then I noticed that when someone interupts me I feel a shock or disruption flow over my whole body.

what is this?

Jim Malloy said...

This is, as you may have suspected, due to the fact that you were at a deeper place in your meditation than you realized. It happens with many meditators, and demonstrates why it's best to not try to assess how any given meditation is going.

Aditya said...

thank you so much Jim, I'm grateful for your service

Aditya

Anonymous said...

Jim
What are the benefits of the energy healing meditation on your site?

Jim Malloy said...

This meditation is mostly beneficial for relieving localized pain or expediting the healing of an injury. However, it can also be slightly adapted and used to send generalized healing energy to another individual.
Energy Healing Room

Anonymous said...

Hello Jim
I'm trying to get a stedy self workout plan, mainly to increase my self confidence and motivation.

Someone told me that Yoga and meditation increase confidence and motivation too, is this true?

what do you suggest for building self confidence and motivation?

Jim Malloy said...

Practicing yoga and meditation will quite likely bring about some improvement in these areas. There is no exact formula for this, but I would suggest 15 - 20 minutes of daily meditation, as well as 15 - 20 minutes of yoga asanas and breathing exercises. Most any traditional meditation method would be ok. If you need a good beginning method, you can try this one: Mindfulness Meditation

Anonymous said...

Jim

I am in need of some advice from you. I normaly do some tai chi asborbstion exercises in the morning and in the evening time.

I reported to a couple of tai chi masters that I sometimes have a stuffed, swollen, or akward feeling in certain areas of my body.

one master told me my chi flow was blocked and to stop doing those exercises untill I circilated myself. he told me he had a online course level 2 that could help me, but it's too expensive for me.

The second one I asked just told me to get his qigong fundementals package, nothing else.

do you have any suggestions?

Jim Malloy said...

I'm sorry, but tai chi is not my area of expertise, so I would not be able to zero in on which exercises are the source of your problem or offer any tips for resolving it.

Anonymous said...

Jim,

Early on in my mantra meditation practice I would notice that my head bobs lightly as my heart beats. It is a little distracting but is probably normal and not a big deal at all.

Then after about 6 mos. of practice, suddenly during one meditation session, my head feels like it is spinning around my body (like the tip of a helicopter blade making a circle about 8 feet in diameter. It is in sync with my heart beat (roughly 1 cycle per second). Of course my head is really just bobbing gently to and fro perhaps as much as 1/4 of an inch. Needless to say, this spinning sensation IS VERY distracting especially since it is quite pleasant. When this begins, I am no longer meditating because it consumes all my attention. As I have continued meditation over the weeks, this spinning has happened more and more frequently (now it happens like every time I meditate). I really want to stay with meditation but it is a little discouraging to have a "spin cycle" start up in the middle of diving deep.

Incidentally, I do not have any balance, inner ear or vertigo issues. I do not drink excessively or take drugs of any type. I have no mental health issues (that I know of anyway) nor any health issues. I know what the "spins" are and this is not the same sensation at all.

Any idea what is going on and any ideas for getting me back on track?

Oh, and thank you for this cool web site! You are doing your part making this world a better place to live in whether you are looking to the inside or the outside..

-- Greg

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Greg... Thanks for your good feedback.

The head movements you are experiencing are being caused by two interelated things: 1. Your head is moving in response to an increased flow of chi through the medulla region at the back of your head, and 2. It is moving to facilitate the release of some type of energy blockage in your heart chakra.

These type of head movements in meditation are not uncommon, and are part of a positive process that is taking place. Clearly though, they do tend to keep the attention more on the surface of the mind. Sometimes getting past this occurance is only a matter of time, and the movements subside once the energy blockage in the heart is cleared. However, here are a few things you can do that might alleviate the movements to some degree and/or allow for deeper meditations...

• Make sure that you are not concentrating too vigorously on your mantra. A "medium" effort to focus tends to be most effective for not triggering as much energy release, as well as for allowing the attention to dive into the deeper realms.

• Repeat the mantra faintly rather than clearly. Let it arise in your mind with minimal effort.

• Try to accept as much as possible, that your experience is ok and you are still gaining much benefit from your meditation.

Jim Malloy said...

Greg... Please see the above question and answer.

Anonymous said...

JiM

You have a very ernest inner smile. you must be highly enlightened.

I have a question I'd like to ask. Since I've been meditating in a religious fasion, every day, I've noticed that people do things I think about them doing, and say things moments before i ask.

Like yesterday, i was about so ask someone i didn't know a question and he blurted it out the moment the question formed into my head.

or i will think about a person doing a certain task and they will instantly do it with out me saying anything.

it's becoming more frequent since I'vve been meditating, why is this?

Jim Malloy said...

As your meditation practice increases your awareness, your perception is opening to encompass a broader spectrum of reality. We normally perceive time as linear, but you are beginning to get glimpses of how, from a wider perspective, events are actually occurring more simultaneously.

Anonymous said...

I have a co-worker who often stays very late at the office after everyone else is gone. She is often speaking of spirits and other wordly things. She speaks often of dead relatives. Not that any of this is bad, but she has a way about her that seems disturbing, for lack of a better word. A few nights ago I came to the office unannounced and entered through a back hallway. I knew she was in the office because her car was out front. I heard strange repetitive sounds coming from her office. The first was the sound of a bell ringing over and over and then a higher pitched sound, almost like that of a circular saw cutting through something. I assume that these were on the computer or a cd of some sort. It really bothered me and I left. She doesn't know I was even in the building. Would that have been some sort of mediation music or might have been something different. I would also mention that a few months ago everyone in the administrative suite here in the office noticed that their door frames had been marked with three symbols. We can't tell if there were crosses or x's. Her doorway was the only one that had the markings on the inside and out. The marking were made in some sort of oil. Any insight you have would be appreciated.
Thank you!

Jim Malloy said...

The universe is infinite, and some people choose to explore realms beyond this physical reality. Unfortunately, there tends to be a lot of fear and superstition surrounding these realms and those who inhabit them, so people have developed various rituals for protection... for example, drawing crosses in doorways. I'm not saying it's not a good idea to proceed with a bit of caution when dealing with these other worlds and their residents. However, there is a tendency for some individuals to become a bit overly dramatic with their protective measures.

The ringing bell was most likely a recording of some form of meditative music, and the high pitched sound was quite possibly that of "crystal singing bowls," although it may have been the sound of your co-worker sawing the bones of some of your other co-workers... just kidding :-)

Burt said...

Hello Jim,
Great forum and work! Anyways i have been meditating now for some time now and i have been trying to reach no thought state and i normal meditate for about 20 minutes. But for some reason when i meditate becoming thoughtless seems impossible. i end up thinking about something someone said on tv or i think of people i saw before or most of the time i just think of random things like random words or thoughts of people talking or pictures or anything. when i think of going thoughtless or "blank" i end up thinking of myself trying to go thoughtless and it ends up being a thought! and another question i wanted to ask u is why do people say to become thoughtless or project or anything, it just takes a lot of practice just meditating over and over. To me the quote by i think it was albert einstein who said "the definition of insantity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for results." I just cant understand how laying there everyday and meditating the same way can one day give results... how does this work? so hopefully jim you can answer my 1st question about having trouble going thoughtless, and my other question which was how can doing something like meditation daily can result in something happening. thanks for ur time jim. namaste.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello Burt...
One of the most important things to do when you begin each meditation session is to put aside all expectations regarding what you want to - or should - experience. You will likely experience that state of "no thoughts" from time to time... and more frequently with continued meditation, but it is only one of many valuable meditative states.

When you do go beyond thoughts, and experience that inner silence, it is not likely to occur as a result of your own efforts or through wanting it. It will occur as a result of various factors converging at that time to shift your awareness into that state. And paradoxically, the more you let go of the desire for it, the more easily it tends to occur.

It is best to go into each meditation with the attitude of accepting whatever happens, and trusting that you are getting exactly what you need from that session, and that whatever you experience is leading to positive growth and changes in your life.

How do results - i.e. positive life changes - come about through meditation? Primarily as a consequence of turning your attention inward, even if it is just a little bit and doesn't seem very deep. Each time you do this, you are increasing your awareness and tapping an inner wellspring of elevating, nourishing, healing energy, allowing it to flow more freely through all branches of your life. As this energy flows through your body, mind and emotional self, it gradually cleanses, tones, heals, and enhances the functioning of these various facets of your being.
Namaste, Jim

Anonymous said...

hello jim
I just had the strangest meditative experience.

I was actually practicing my deep breathing and imagining courage entering into my body.

about a half hour into it, I saw from behind my closed eyes a bluish flash, and when i opened my eyes I saw nothing, i had all the lights off. I also felt a alot of warmth entering into the front to the back of me as I sat there.

I have no clue what just happened.

Jim Malloy said...

Whenever you sit to meditate you are nearly always attracting beneficial energies like this. However, most of the time they remain un-noticed as they subtly go about doing what is needed to raise your awareness and optimize the well-being of your body, mind and emotions.

In this particular case though, they were intense enough to get your attention and be perceived. If you experience anything of this sort in the future, I suggest you simply thank these positive energies for their assistance. Also, it doesn't hurt to acknowledge their help even when they remain un-noticed.

Anonymous said...

Hi
I would like to ask a question about the mindfullness of breath meditation

During the exercise, I observe the sensations caused by the breath where it enters and leaves the body (around the nosetrills). I do not observe the whole course of the breath. I narrow my focus around a specific area( the nose). I do this because I have read that this is a traditional way of observing the breath (in Budhist meditation)


However, the sensations around the tips of the nosetrills are so subtle that sometimes I loose track of them. When this happens, I do nothing, I just continue obseving that small area.

Is it all right if I sometimes hardly feel these sensations or don’t feel anything at all?

My aim is to reach a calm meditative state.

Can I reach this state if I do the meditation in the above mentioned way?

thanks for the suggestions.

Jim Malloy said...

As long as it gives you something to rest your attention on, and you are still somewhat conscious of your breathing, it's fine. If you continue to practice in this way, you will begin to experience that calm, meditative state more frequently.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about non judgment and gratitude.

I know in meditation we are to be non judgmental. I'm just wondering how can we express gratitude for good things, without judgeing them as good.

also, when we have opinons about thigns being wrong, how can we not judge these things that we feel are wrong?

Jim Malloy said...

Although it's good to cultivate non-judgement, it is not really necessary to take it to the extreme straight away... and it is not really possible to suddenly turn it off. As this non-judgemental attitude is developing - and even when it becomes more developed - it's still ok and perfectly natural to appreciate the "good" things in your life and to be grateful for them.

Another way to come at this, is to be grateful for everything in our lives... that which we perceive as "welcome" as well as "unwelcome." This is not always easy, but it gets a bit easier when we begin to see and appreciate how even our most unwelcome circumstances are offering us exquisitely perfect learning opportunities.

In regards to not judging those things which you see as "wrong," I suggest you start by accepting that your mind is conditioned to label things as "right" and "wrong," and even though it will continue in this habitual mode for awhile, you have the power to not take these judgemental thoughts seriously.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,
Almost always about 10 mins into my meditation I have a momentary feeling of doom, followed by intense and uncomfortable heat starting from front chest and working all round and up to my head. I'm in a total sweat. Sometimes I try and sit through it, and sometimes I just have to throw my shawl off and try to cool down.

What is this, will it stop eventually, and is it best to try and ignore and rise above it although it takes a huge effort.
Thank you for this fantastic site.

Jim Malloy said...

Hello...
The heat you are experiencing is being caused by a sudden increase in your inner spiritual energy, also known as chi. This energy has both a hot and cool aspect, and your meditation is triggering more of the hot side.

This is essentially a positive energy - it is the life force - and what you are feeling is most likely a healing it is catalyzing on some level of your being.

The brief feeling of "doom" is quite likely related to the release of some trauma from your distant past... also a positive phenomenon even though it is uncomfortable.

This will pass in time, quite possibly before too long. For now, rather than trying to ignore it or rise above it, I suggest you try to be present with it... feeling the sensation and just allowing it to be there. But if at anytime it becomes too uncomfortable, there is no need to push through it. Simply discontinue your meditation session and slowly ease back into your daily activity.

I also suggest you meditate with "medium effort," as sometimes concentrating too vigorously can activate more of this energy than is comfortable. Medium effort would be somewhere between 4 and 6 on an effort scale of 1 to 10.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about cultivation process. my teacher tells me that through meditation i cultivate my magnatism, also known as chi or prauna I think.

I've been reading up on your advice for a while and I wanted to ask, is the cultivation and increase of my magnatism a steady process, or can it be something done at a acclerated rate?

also when I first heard about the 2012 thing I became terrified, but know after meditating more i feel kinda of eager and ready for it, is this wrong?

Jim Malloy said...

Opening to this energy is best done gradually and steadily through the consistent practice of meditation.

You did not say what your expectations are, regarding 2012. If you believe that it is a target date for a portion of humanity to shift into a higher, happier and more peaceful state of consciousness, then I'm looking forward to it as well.

However, if you believe it will be a catalysmic end of the world or something like that, then I would not label your eagerness "wrong"... but you might ask yourself if you are simply bored or uncomfortable with your everyday existence. If so, I would suggest you try to find something positive to stir your passion, rather than looking forward to the excitement or escape provided by an apocalyptic event.

Burt said...

Hello Jim,
I have a question that im hoping youll be a able to help me out with. lately and this has happened many times before, when im laying there in bed not in "deep" sleep but im pretty tired but i lay there when i close my eyes and lay there sometimes i hear loud bangs or songs or some kinds of sounds im not aware with. sometimes this wakes me up and when i wake up i listen hard to see if those sounds or music are playing in my house, but theres not...it so wierd. it normally happens in the morning when i wake up and then i drift off to sleep and sometimes i'll hear the sounds. do u know what this is?

Jim Malloy said...

When we are asleep or dreaming, our attention shifts away from the physical plane and becomes focussed on the astral plane. In that in-between state - between dreaming and waking - the attention is sometimes straddling these two planes - astral and physical - and can perceive things, such as sounds, on either or both.

Anonymous said...

Jim, thank you for your response.

about the 2012 thing, well at first I thought it was about the end of the world, but then was some people started mentioning a cosmic shift type of thing I started to feel more ready.

but when I express any "eagerness" about it, people act shocked and mortified, and trying to explain it as a cosmic shift isn't washing over well.

Jim Malloy said...

There are individuals who are prepared to understand this, and those who are not. Those who are not, tend to be very resistant to the concept. Not much you can do about that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jim. Another meditator told me that when situation appear that I am not sure what to do, I am alwasy my best judge in the matter.

She told me through meditation she solves finds solutions to her problems by listening to her, higher self as she calles it.

I often get multiple thoughts about situations, mainly based on the opinons of others. is this possible to became a better judge in knowing what is what, and how can it be done?

Jim Malloy said...

Yes... your higher self is the part of you where your higher wisdom resides, and through meditation and practice you can become more attuned to it and better able to discern it's guidance from all the other "advisors" floating around in your head.

On this page, you can find some tips and a meditation for doing this.
Higher Guidance

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim

I wrote this in my previous post:

"I would like to ask a question about the mindfullness of breath meditation

During the exercise, I observe the sensations caused by the breath where it enters and leaves the body (around the nosetrills). I do not observe the whole course of the breath. I narrow my focus around a specific area( the nose). I do this because I have read that this is a traditional way of observing the breath (in Budhist meditation)


However, the sensations around the tips of the nosetrills are so subtle that sometimes I loose track of them. When this happens, I do nothing, I just continue obseving that small area.

Is it all right if I sometimes hardly feel these sensations or don’t feel anything at all?

My aim is to reach a calm meditative state."

I have realized that in fact when I observe the sensations caused by the breath in my nose, I feel nothing. In the begining, I feel some faint sensations, but after a while they faid away. So basicaly, the only thing on which I hold my attention is the area around my nose (where the breath enters). I simply observe this area, and I feel nothing or hardly anything from the breath.

Is this enough to get me into a calm meditative state?

(((The thought of doing the breath awareness in the wrong way prevents me from reaching a calm state, so I am unable to test it wheter it is enough or not.)))

Jim Malloy said...

When it comes to focussing on the breath in meditation, there is no right way or wrong way. Focussing on the breath coming in and going out through the nostrils as you have been doing is one way. But there are various other ways to do this as well, including: paying attention to the entire breath as it comes in, fills you and goes out... focussing on the rising and falling of the abdomen as you breath... breathing silently and noticing the stillness within the breath, etc.

I suggest you experiment a bit and find what's most natural and effective for you and go with that.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. I've been reading a book that teaches you how to develop your inner light and in doing so people and things are drawn to you. Why or how is that?

Jim Malloy said...

The light they are referring to is the divine spark within you... the warm, joyous, loving energy of the Universal Spirit. People are naturally attracted to this light and its qualities, so the more you increase the amount of this light you radiate - through meditation and other spiritual practices - the more people are going to be drawn to you.

Anonymous said...

Hello

I have something to share but also ask about.

I got off work and went to sanctuary early tonite, about 2 hours before it started and decided to do some meditation/visualsation exercises.

I felt my consious in a shifted state but something so wierd happend, the front of my forehead began to tingle and get warm. it grew into a perfect circle around my head. I could literally feel this around my head, like something just appeared there.

my only thought what that I had a Halo. the sensation was soo wonderful and lasted for i guess 10 seconds.

what just happened?

Jim Malloy said...

Your meditation triggered a sudden increase in the flow of your inner spiritual energy. Because a good deal of this energy was able to flow freely up to your head, and fill your brow chakra and crown chakra located there, you experienced a very nice taste of the bliss which is the nature of this energy.

When you see paintings of people with halos, they are portraying a very real phenomenon, as it is this same light-energy which is forming the luminous auras around their heads.

When meditation experiences like this occur, they happen spontaneously, as a result of many factors converging at that moment, i.e. such experiences cannot be created - or re-created - simply through intention and effort.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jim,

I have been meditating every day for two months now. Ive noticed now when i meditate i can get deeper into it but i still have thoughts. I am trying to see if i could obtain no thought state. How do i know if i am getting better at meditating. Oh and i also noticed when i lay down to meditate i can get deep into the meditation a lot faster than i used to. Are all of these signs that im getting better?

Jim Malloy said...

It sounds like you are making good progress. But with that said, although it is natural to be curious about whether you are improving at a new activity, with meditation it's best to put aside the idea of "getting better," and simply try to accept whatever is happening in each session.

Typically, meditations vary from day to day, and within these variations you will at times experience states in which there are no thoughts. However, you will discover that when this occurs, it happens spontaneously and is not something that can be produced through any particular effort on your part.

This state will begin to occur more frequently over time, but as mentioned, it's best to accept whatever is happening rather than making a goal of one specific state. This is primarily because you are gaining something very positive from each meditation, regardless of what you experience.

Jim Malloy said...

1. Similar to the way your attention can drift into deeper states of awareness using a mantra, your stream of thoughts can also act as stepping stones to deeper, quieter states.

2. You live in an energy field which exists within you and all around you. When you are meditating, the energy of this field tends to begin moving in different ways, all aimed at optimizing your health, well-being and growth. There is no limit to what you may experience as a result of this, so it's best to simply accept these experiences with the understanding that they are all ok and perfectly natural.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim

I have been meditating regularly. During the exercise, I observe the breath (the sensations connected to the rise and flow of the abdomen). In other words, I observe the breath in my abdomen.

I have found that if I observe these sensations a bit more closely, It helps me stay alert during meditation.

Is it all right, if, during meditation, I am observing the breath a bit more attentively and I try to be aware of the details of this experience (the diference between the in and out breath, the pause between them, how the breath fills my abdomen,...)? ( I do this gently with little effort.)

My objective is to get into a calm meditative state.

Is it all right, if I am not simply observe the breath but observe the sensations a bit more closely, which hepls me stay awake and a little bit more allert

I do this gently, and with moderate effort. ( If I am sometimes not aware of the exact details of the experience, I do not try to concentrate harder.)

Is it possible to reach a relaxed meditative state this way?

Jim Malloy said...

If you find that closely observing the sensations is helpful then yes, it's fine. As you practice, you will experience various degrees of relaxation and depth occurring. However, it may be helpful to understand that the more deeply relaxed meditative states come about largely as a result of letting go.

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 400 of 1038   Newer› Newest»