Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by spiritual, supernatural phenomena.
The idea of gaining magical power, knowing ancient hidden secrets, and developing a strong mind, has always been cool to me….and very real at the same time.
I remember watching the old kung-fu flicks on Saturday afternoons, thinking, “damn that’s some cool stuff!”
Guys being able to jump over buildings, shoot fire from their hands and muster super powers from their minds was nothing short of amazing.
Even when I was in my early 20’s, I was still very much interested in learning about the magical abilities very few humans have come to know and realize.
In 2003 was when I first learned about this thing called Metaphysics.
Metaphysics in case you don’t know, is basically the philosophy that, all things are first created in the etheric (or spiritual) world and are then manifested into the physical (material) world in which we live.
The idea is that if we learn how to create what we wish in our minds, using thoughts and words, all other things as a result come true.
Metaphysics in it’s truest definition is really a form of magic, except it offers an explanation to the how part of the equation whereas magic often times is much more secretive in nature.
So What Does All This Have To Do With Meditation?
Well, meditation is one of those things that you start to hear about and read about, the more you get into metaphysics or even magic for that matter.
For people who practice metaphysics, you eventually get into learning about different forms of spirituality and the practices associated with focusing the mind.
Because your mind is the initial creator of your reality and experiences, meditation becomes an important part of your life.
The only problem is when you read metaphysics, listen to lectures or amongst other practitioners no one really tells you how to meditate.
What most people will tell you about meditation is to sit quietly and breath and from just doing that, you will gain spiritual insights and focus.
While that bit of advice might work for some, I never really gained anything from sitting quietly breathing.
Occasionally, I would drift off into space and have some dream like experiences, but it was never something that I could replicate or even motivate myself to do on a regular basis.
I read so many books and listened to so many people talk about how meditation had changed their life for the better, but for me I just didn’t get it.
From my own experience, I didn’t know:
- What was so great about meditation?
- What to focus on?
- How long to do it?
- How to stay focused with all of the chaotic / random thoughts I had going on?
I tried different forms of guided meditation, but none of them were any good in my opinion.
It wasn’t until earlier this year (February 2017) that I finally found a form of meditation that I liked and was able to stick with daily.
It’s called the Middle Pillar Ritual (MPR) which I happened upon while doing some research about magic online.
Basically, the MPR is a Jewish esoteric form of magical meditation that works closely with the Qabbalistic Tree of Life (another subject I love learning about).
With the MPR you do a lot of visualization of light and the reciting of ancient hebrew words of power.
It’s an awesome practice but, I won’t get too much into it here because it deserves it’s own blog post which I plan on writing about in the very near future.
All I’ll say about it now is, it’s very powerful but it is very time consuming as well.
That leads me to purpose of this post which is, Why I Love Shamatha Meditation!
What is Shamatha Meditation?
Shamatha Meditation is a Buddhist meditative practice for calming of the mind and its formations (or thoughts), by focusing the mind on a single-pointed “object” most commonly breathing.
Focusing in on the breath involves observing all aspects of your inhalation and exhalation such as the rhythm and timing of the breath.
Shamatha Meditation can be done:
- with objects (such as a Buddha statue, lotus flower, visualization)
- without objects, or
- with focus on your essential nature (as a living and observing being)
The form of Shamatha Meditation that focuses strictly on the breath is part of the Theravada tradition.
Why I Love Shamatha Meditation
As I said earlier, I’ve always been attracted to different forms of spirituality and magic.
Over the years, I’ve read a ton of books, watched countless videos and chatted it up with all sorts of people from different backgrounds, beliefs and religions.
So as you read my blog posts, don’t be surprised to hear me talk in depth about:
- Numerology, etc.
Basically, I find all of these subjects fascinating and valuable to my everyday life experience.
With that said, here’s what I love about Shamatha Meditation…
Shamatha Meditation is by far the easiest and simplest form meditation I have ever done!
I find that I am able to get into the meditation very quickly because all you have to do is focus on your breath…that’s it.
With the practice, you’re focusing only on the timing of your inhalation and your exhalation. Basically, you count in as you breath…
Inhale: 1, 2, 3, 4 … Exhale: 1, 2, 3, 4
You do this over and over for as long as you see fit.
You can choose to do this meditation for 1 minute or for hours, it’s totally up to you.
I do my daily meditation first thing in the morning after I wake up.
I find that when you’re still somewhat asleep (waking up) it’s very easy to get into a meditative, trance like state.
Again, you’re just focusing on your breathing…nothing else.
As you do your meditation, you may find that your mind starts to wonder and think about things that have nothing to do with your breathing focus.
This is normal.
When your mind begins to wonder, gently refocus on your mind on your breathing and get back into focus.
Every breath you take becomes an opportunity for you to “reset” your meditation. I find reseting is very helpful in my practice.
I know with other meditations such as with the MPR, you have to be focused on so many things at once, you sometimes can get frustrated with yourself when your mind wonders.
With Shamatha Meditation it’s real simple.
You don’t have to visualize anything, chant anything or remember any next steps.
Just the breath, that’s it.
What I Experience In My Shamatha Meditation
There are three things that stand out to me regarding my Shamatha Meditation:
- Peaceful Calmness and Serenity
- Conscious Dreaming
Peaceful Calmness and Serenity
When I do this meditation, within the first 10 – 20 breaths, I feel a sense of peaceful calmness come over my body.
It’s almost as if I detach from my physical self and get into a state of just observing my breathing. It’s as if I am the Observer and my body becomes separate from me.
I find that I am reminded of the fact, that I am more than just flesh and bones…there is much more to my being than just the body.
The next stage of my meditation is a feeling of euphoria.
I find that after about 10 – 15 minutes into the focused breathing, my physical body and spiritual body are in a state of pure joy.
It’s kind of hard to describe in writing, it’s really something you must experience to truly understand.
This euphoric feeling is what I believe most daily meditators become addicted to because it’s almost like a drug except it’s all natural.
Towards, the end of my meditation I let go of focusing on my breathing rhythm and just kind of let myself BE.
I let my mind wonder off to wherever it wants to go and I kind of just enjoy the ride.
I describe this stage to be like conscious dreaming because it’s just as vivid as any colorful dream I’ve had, except I’m fully aware that I’m awake and meditating.
Over the past few weeks of me doing Shamatha Meditation, I’ve experienced and learned a lot of cool things.
I’m totally excited about what’s next to come!
I really feel like Shamatha Meditation is the perfect meditation for me or anyone else interested in exploring meditation as a daily practice.
To learn more about Shamatha Meditation, and how to do it, check out this post for more information.
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