What is meditation?


Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content.[1] or as an end in itself.[2]

The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices (much like the term sports) that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion,[3] love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration[4] meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.

The word meditation carries different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs.[5] Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health issues, such as high blood pressure,[6] depression, and anxiety. It may be done sitting, or in an active way—for instance, Buddhist monks involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training. Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of the training.

Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analyzing that state—such as anger, hatred, etc.—or cultivating a particular mental response to various phenomena, such as compassion.[7] The term "meditation" can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state.[8] Meditation may also involve repeating a mantra and closing the eyes.[9] The mantra is chosen based on its suitability to the individual meditator. Meditation has a calming effect and directs awareness inward until pure awareness is achieved, described as "being awake inside without being aware of anything except awareness itself."[10] In brief, there are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice, and many different types of activity commonly referred to as meditative practices.[11]


Meditation Basics

Despite all its popularity, today very few of us truly know what meditation is. Some regard meditation is the mental concentration on something, others consider that we meditate when we imagine something that gives us peace or satisfaction. All these methods are being with one goal to slow down and, eventually, completely stop the incessant activity of our minds. These exercises are not really meditation – they are substitutes for meditation because it is normally very difficult to stop our minds all-together. In reality, meditation is a state of thoughtless awareness. It is not an act of doing – it is a state of awareness. We either in this state or we are not, regardless of what we are doing in life. Truly, a man can be in meditation while doing his day’s labors as another man can be very far from meditation while sitting in a lotus posture on the top of a mountain.

When we take a look at the various explanations of meditation, another thing we often see is that meditation is defined as taking a moment to sit quietly or to ponder. True meditation, however is much more than this. It is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert. This is just the beginning of an inner transformation that takes us to a higher level of awareness. This enables us to fulfill our true human potential. The problem, of course, is how to achieve this state.

Meditation is not…

Concentration is an effort to fix the attention on a particular object or idea for a long period of time. The techniques used in visualization are another type of concentration.

Loss of control
Sounds, voices, colors and involuntary movements have nothing to do with meditation or spirituality. These are symptoms of loss of awareness and loss of control over some parts of ourselves.

Exercises, such as postures and breathing, do not constitute meditation. They may help establish some balance if under the guidance of a true master (a realized soul). Their practice without a true spiritual goal only leads to an imbalance in the right channel.

Mental effort
Thoughtless awareness is achieved through the raising of the Kundalini. To get rid of blockages that prevent her ascent, we use the hands and introspection but never mental effort (e.g., the continuous repetition of “I must stop thinking”).

Why meditation?

Meditation, Flowers and scented candleMeditation is seen by a number of researchers as potentially one of the most effective forms of stress reduction. [1] While stress reduction techniques have been cultivated and studied in the West for approximately 70 years, the data indicates that they are not consistently effective. [2]

Meditation however, has been developed in Eastern cultures and has a documented history of more than several thousand years. Eastern meditative techniques have been developed, trialed and refined over hundreds of generations with the specific intention of developing a method by which the layperson can regularly attain a state of mental peace and tranquillity, ie. relief from stress. It is a strategy that can easily be adapted to the needs of clinicians and their patients in the West.

A US study for example, showed that a short course of behaviour modification strategies that included meditation led to significantly fewer visits to physicians during the six months that followed. The savings were estimated at over $200 per patient . [3]  A study of insurance statistics showed that the use of medical care was significantly less for meditators compared to nonmeditators. [4]

The growing emphasis on:

  • quality of life outcomes
  • concepts such as psychoneuroimmunology or mind–body medicine  and
  • reducing healthcare costs
  • suggest that stress reduction and improving mental health are becoming increasingly relevant to healthcare.

Some key points about meditation

meditation-effortlessMeditation can be an effective form of stress reduction and has the potential to improve quality of life and decrease healthcare costs.

Meditation is effortless and leads to a state of ‘thoughtless awareness’ in which the excessive stress producing activity of the mind is neutralised without reducing alertness and effectiveness.

Authentic meditation enables one to focus on the present moment rather than dwell on the unchangeable past or undetermined future.

There is little quality evidence comparing one meditation technique with another or meditation with relaxation techniques.

The theoretical explanation for the effects of meditation and relaxation techniques is that the release of catecholamines and other stress hormones are reduced and parasympathetic activity is increased.

Whether meditation involves other unique neurophysiological effects remains to be proven.

How does meditation work?

How does meditation work?

There are many forms of meditation, ranging in complexity from strict, regulated practices to general recommendations. If practiced regularly, meditation is thought to help develop habitual, unconscious microbehaviours that can potentially produce widespread positive effects on physical and psychological functioning. Meditation even for 15 minutes twice a day has been shown to bring beneficial results.

Parasympathetic response
Most theories are based on the assumption that meditation is a sophisticated form of relaxation involving a concept called the parasympathetic response. Psychological stress is associated with activation of the sympathetic component of the autonomic nervous system which, in its extreme, causes the ‘fight or flight response’. Meditation and any form of rest or relaxation acts to reduce sympathetic activation by reducing the release of catecholamines and other stress hormones such as
cortisol, and promoting increased parasympathetic activity which in turn slows the heart rate and
improves the flow of blood to the viscera and away from the periphery.

Other neurophysiological effects
Other proponents claim that meditation involves unique neurophysiological effects; however, this remains to be proven. Research at the Meditation Research Program suggests the limbic system may be involved in Sahaja Yoga Meditation since significant effects involving mood state have been consistently observed.

Defining what we mean by meditation

The most important issue that must be addressed in this field of research is to clearly define meditation and then subject that definition to scientific testing.

Meditation is popularly perceived to be any activity in which the individual’s attention is primarily focused on a repetitious cognitive activity. This very broad definition is, in the opinion of the Meditation Research Program, the main cause for much of the inconsistent outcomes seen in meditation research.

Thoughtless awareness
If one closely examines the authentic tradition of meditation it is apparent that meditation is a discrete and well defined experience of a state called ‘thoughtless awareness’. This is a state in which the excessive and stress producing activity of the mind is neutralized without reducing alertness and effectiveness.

Authentic meditation enables one to focus on the ‘present moment’ rather than dwell on the unchangeable past or undetermined future. It is this state of equipoise that is said to be therapeutic both psychologically and physically and which fundamentally distinguishes meditation from simple relaxation, physical rest or sleep.

Meditation and thoughtless awareness

Meditation and thoughtless awareness

The Indian scriptures describe the following four states of human awareness:

  • Jagruti: The waking state of consciousness
  • Swapna: The dreaming state of consciousness
  • Sushupti: The state of deep sleep in which the mind, the ego and the superego are still
  • Turya: The state of thoughtless awareness beyond the mind

The first three states of awareness are commonly experienced in our daily lives. The fourth state is the state of thoughtless awareness or nirvichara samadhi. This is the state in which the constant rising and falling of thoughts in the mind comes to an end. At first a gap begins to appear between the thoughts. As this gap grows the thoughts diminish and with the regular practice of meditation, the mind enters easily into thoughtless awareness. The attention becomes still like a lake without any ripples on it and a deep inner peace begins to dawn upon our awareness.

When there are no ripples on the water of a lake, its surface becomes almost invisible as it reflects the beauty of the landscape around it-the trees and the sky and clouds. In the same way, the still mind reflects the beauty of the creation and melts into the bliss and the peace of the divine.

In the state of thoughtless awareness we think neither of the past nor of the future. We are entirely in the present moment, in the state of being and do not waste the precious moments of life thinking about times that are finished forever or yet to come. We start to enjoy our Self, our spirit, our own inner beauty and the the beauty of creation. We start to enjoy being. We are able to enjoy the singing of birds and the scent of flowers at a much deeper level as we are no longer bombarded by the meaningless mental chatter that assails our awareness and pollutes our attention, distracting us from the simple joys of our existence.

Great saints of India such as Shri Adi Shankarcharya have described the wandering of the mind as the ocean of illusion. A constant wave of thoughts that cover the spirit
and bring us confusion and misery.

Living In The Moment

Is it possible for humans to live in the present moment? Yes, it is, and most of us encounter living examples of it regularly! [1]

meditation-vibrationObserve closely the next small child you encounter. They have no worried lines on their faces, are almost always playing and enjoying themselves, and rarely complain about bills, jobs, chores, etc. If one happens to have an unpleasant experience it is quickly forgotten and life goes on. They are naturally balanced, living-in-thepresent, stress-free beings. Who has seen a toddler hold a grudge, worry about the next meal or even think about what they did yesterday or will do tomorrow? They are so focused on the present moment that they are entirely spontaneous, unpretentious and usually very happy. They are in a constant state of effortless meditation. [1]

Living in the moment is not, however, a regression to immaturity. It is an evolutionary step in which we return to our childlike innocence and simplicity but in full awareness of ourselves, our place in society and our moral role and responsibility. [1]

How does one tap into and sustain a connection with the present moment? How does one escape the brainstorm of mental stress that we all experience? We would all agree that more research needs to be done to try to understand how the “sahaja yoga effect“ occurs. Does it work via the autonomic nervous system?  Is it really the result of an energy that exists within each of us called kundalini? Is it possible to examine the most ancient of traditions with modern science? The Meditation Research Program at the Royal Hospital for Women will continue to delve into these important questions. Suffice to say for now that sahaja yoga meditation appears to offer a method by which each of us can tame the brainstorm, realise a state of peace and tranquillity and begin to heal our body, mind and spirit.

Meditation types

Meditation types

Meditation can be an effective form of stress reduction and has the potential to improve quality of life and decrease health care costs. Meditation involves achieving a state of ‘thoughtless awareness‘ in which the excessive stress producing activity of the mind is neutralized without reducing alertness and effectiveness. Authentic meditation enables one to focus on the present moment rather than dwell on the unchangeable past or undetermined future.

There are many meditation types available to consumers. Three notable examples include Sahaja Yoga Meditation, Transcendental Meditation and Mindfulness.

Sahaja Yoga Meditation

Sahaja Yoga Meditation is the technique of choice in the Meditation Research Program (MRP). Sahaja Yoga Meditation aims to promote the experience of ‘thoughtless awareness’ based on the original meditative tradition. Meditators in the MRP consistently describe the ability to achieve this experience. They are encouraged to practice twice daily for approximately 15 minutes. Sahaja Yoga Meditation is well suited for the general population and for research, because it is easy to learn and is taught free of charge. Sahaja Yoga Meditation is currently used in three Sydney hospitals for patients, staff and public. Feedback from management teams and anecdotal reports from patients and carers are favourable. As yet no adverse effects have been reported in the MRP’s trials, clinics or in the literature.

The MRP has conducted a number of small and large trials on Sahaja Yoga Meditation which have generated promising results in Australian conditions. A randomized controlled trial of meditation for moderate to severe asthma compared Sahaja Yoga Meditation to a relaxation control. Sahaja Yoga Meditation was more effective in a number of objective and subjective endpoints.

A number of locally conducted pilot studies examining the effect of Sahaja Yoga Meditation suggest that it may have a beneficial role in menopausal hot flushes, severe migraine and psychological stress. Randomized controlled trials are underway in order to obtain definitive data. Studies in India suggest that Sahaja Yoga Meditation is more beneficial than mimicking exercises in the treatment of epilepsy and hypertension.[10]

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation is the commonest form of mantra meditation. It aims to prevent distracting thoughts by use of a mantra. Students are instructed to be passive and, if thoughts other than the mantra come to mind, to notice them and return to the mantra. A Transcendental Meditation student is asked to practice for 20 minutes in the morning and again in
the evening.

Transcendental Meditation is said to be associated with clinical outcomes such as blood pressure reduction[1] and physiological changes such as lowered blood cortisol levels.[2]

Adverse effects
There are however, a number of case reports in the mainstream medical literature describing occasional adverse psychological[3] , [4] and physical effects[5] that appear to be causally related to the technique. These adverse events range from mild to severe and warrant further systematic investigation.[6]

Cost issues
The technique is taught using a commercial system in which one begins by purchasing a mantra. Further instruction entails an escalating system of fees that can be cost prohibitive. Moreover, the Transcendental Meditation organization has on occasion been implicated in unethical and cultic practices.[7] In light of this information, medical practitioners have no choice but to recommend caution with regard to this method.

Mindfulness and Vipassana Meditation

Mindfulness is a general method that serves as a basis for techniques such as Vipassana meditation. It aims to use focused attention (often by using a physical sensation such as the breath) to cultivate mental calmness. Regular practice enables one to objectively observe one’s thoughts and therefore enhance one’s self understanding. Mindfulness approaches have been shown to be effective in certain clinical applications such as chronic pain.[8]

Vipassana is both a general term referring to a specialized form of mindfulness meditation and also a specific brand name. The following information refers to the latter. Vipassana is taught in Australia via a number of Vipassana retreats and centres. The retreats involve up to 10 days of intensive meditation, several hours per day, and other strict observances such not talking and encouragement to maintain strict postures for long periods of time. There is no fee for these retreats but ‘recommended donations’ are described. These retreats are unsuitable for the average person, particularly those unfamiliar with meditation, due to the extreme physical and psychological demands. Adverse events associated with Vipassana have been described although it is unclear as to which form these reports refer.

Meditation and chakras

Within every human being there is a subtle body of three energy channels (nadis) and seven energy centres (chakras). At the root of this system lies a creative, protective and nurturing power which is a dormant, maternal energy (Kundalini). When this power is awakened within us, it rises spontaneously through the spinal column, passes through each of the chakras and emits from the fontanelle bone area on top of the head. This process is referred to as Enlightenment (Self-realization). This energy can actually be felt on top of the head and on the palms of the hands. Any imbalances in the subtle system can be felt on various parts of each hand. Through this meditation one can learn, not only how to diagnose and decode the state of one’s own inner subtle system, but one can also learn very simple clearing techniques to rebalance oneself.

There are 7 major chakras within our subtle body:

Mooladhara, Swadisthana, Nabhi (Manipura), Hearth (Anahata), Vishuddhi, Agnya, Sahasrara


Click for larger view!

Each chakra has different qualities and by healing or balancing these chakras, we awaken and enhance their qualities within us, making us more balanced and integrated. Our enlightened chakras give us joy and peace.

Each of these subtle chakras is a storehouse of energy for the gross plexuses supplying the physical, mental and emotional demands of the sympathetic nervous system. For instance, if the Swadisthan chakra looks after the abdominal organs, it also supplies energy to creative action and thought and depth to the aesthetic sensibility. Before Kundalini awakening, the energy in the chakras is limited and exhaustible, as in a battery. After realization, they are connected by Kundalini passing through Sushumna (the middle channel) to the infinite current of the universal superconscious, to the all-pervading power of divine love.

mooladhara chakraMooladhara chakra

Physical manifestation: Pelvic plexus
Number of petals/sub-plexuses: 4
Element: Earth
Controls: Excretion and reproductive organs
Qualities: Innocence, wisdom, fearlessness
Place on hand: Heel of palm

Situated below the sacrum bone, the awakened Mooladhara chakra gives us innocence and wisdom. Innocence gives us joy without the limitation of conditionings and prejudice, a quality that can be found on small children. This quality diminishes as we grow up and develop a sense of ego and selfish desires. Fortunately this innate innocence is never destroyed and can return to us by practicing Sahaja Meditation. It is like the sun which is obscured by clouds but which shines again after the clouds pass. In India the elephant-headed deity, Shri Ganesha, is worshipped as the essence of innocence and wisdom. He has the body of a child, symbolizing innocence and the head of an elephant, symbolizing humility and wisdom.

Swadisthan chakra

Physical manifestation: Aortic plexus
Number of petals/sub-plexuses: 6
Element: Fire
Controls: Kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, uterus, intestines
Qualities: Creativity, pure attention. pure desire, pure knowledge
Place on hand: Thumb

The Swadishthana chakra moves like a satellite around the Nabhi chakra and the Void and provides us with our sense of aesthetics, art, music, our appreciation and connection with nature. It looks after our digestive organs and provides us with the dynamic energy to do physical, mental and creative work.

The quality of Swadisthan is pure knowledge (Nirmala Vidya), knowledge of things as they are in the absolute sense. This knowledge needs to be experienced by ourselves directly not through an external agency.

The key to true creativity is in achieving the state of thoughtless awareness (nirvichar samadhi). Like a lake, silent and still, all the beauty of the creation around You, is reflected within. You become the flute, an egoless channel for the divine music of vibrations. You are, in the words of the Poet, ‘a heart that watches and receives’.

Nabhi chakraNabhi chakra

Physical manifestation: Navel/Solar plexus
Number of petals/sub-plexuses: 10
Element: Water
Controls: Stomach, intestines, liver, spleen
Qualities: Seeking, peace, generosity, satisfaction, pure attention, looking after others
Place on hand: Middle finger

When enlightened by the Kundalini, the Nabhi chakra gives us unconditional generosity, complete contentment and profound inner peace. On the right side, it looks after the upper part of our liver which is the organ of our attention. We seek food, shelter and comfort and ultimately, we seek to evolve into a new state of spiritual awareness and to receive our Self-realization.

“Satisfaction” is actually a key word for Nabhi. Because of liver problems and the consequent irritability people often develop the habit of expressing discontent at the slightest provocation. For them, life without worry is an impossibility.

When the Spirit manifests, you see things in their true perspective, through purified attention, and give up worrying. In the peace of thoughtlessness, you can only be content. Then you know the Spirit is not bothered with passing fads and trends, a button missing here or there. The mantra for Nabhi is : “In my Spirit I am satisfied.”

Heart chakraHeart chakra

Physical manifestation: Cardiac plexus
Number of petals/sub-plexuses: 12
Element: Air
Controls: Heart, lungs, sternum bone
Qualities: Joy, compassion, sense of security, love, responsibility
Place on hand: Little finger

Within the Heart chakra resides the Self: the spirit or atma. The spirit manifests when our heart is open, at which point we feel the pure joy of existence and the meaning and purpose of our place in creation. The quality of the Heart chakra is pure, unconditional love. Before our realization we rarely love unconditionally-we expect something in return. We mistake feelings of love for physical attraction, infatuation and selfishness. We love our children because they are ‘ours’ but do not love other children in the same way. Often we expect something back from them later in life as a repayment for our love. Love that expects is emotional attachment. Pure love has no motive. It emanates from the spirit and not from the body or mind. If you see how a small puppy runs to every person it sees in a park just to give them its love and share with them its joy, that is the essence of love. The Heart chakra also manifests in the head at the fontanelle bone so it’s important to keep our Heart chakra clean, as this is the entry point to the super consciousness, where the Kundalini escapes from the subtle system and unites us with the Paramachaitanya-the all-pervading power of divine love.

Vishuddhi chakraVishuddhi chakra

Physical manifestation: Cervical plexus
Number of petals/sub-plexuses: 16
Element: Sky/Space/Ether
Controls: Neck, arms, face, tongue, mouth, nose, teeth, thyroid
Qualities: Sweetness of communication, diplomacy, collectivity, detachment, self-respect and respect for others, brother/sister relationship
Place on hand: First finger

The Vishuddhi embodies the qualities which governs our communication with others. As it awakens we discover greater self-respect (left Vishuddhi) and greater respect for others (right Vishuddhi). Our ego is not bloated by praise and we are not upset by aggression or criticism. The Vishuddhi is also the chakra that manifests the power of witnessing. By daily practice of Sahaja Meditation, we become identified with our spirit. In this state of union with our spirit, we become witness of our body, our mind, our thoughts, our emotions, and ultimately the detached witness of the drama of our lives.

Agnya chakraAgnya chakra

Physical manifestation: Optic chiasma
Number of petals/sub-plexuses: 2
Element: Light
Controls: Pineal body/pituitary gland, eyesight, memory, mind
Qualities: Forgiveness
Place on hand: Ring finger

The Agnya is the narrow gate which, when open, allows our kundalini to ascend to the limbic area of the brain. It is the chakra of forgiveness, humility and compassion. Forgiveness is the power to let go of anger, hatred and resentment and to discover, in humility, the nobility and generosity of the spirit. Once we start to see that by not forgiving others we are actually doing no harm to anyone other than ourselves, we start to realize that it is not only wise and generous to forgive but also very practical and pragmatic. By forgiving, we start to feel a tremendous sense of peace and relief. Forgiveness melts away all our ego and conditionings, our false ideas of racism and nationalism and our misidentifications.

Sahasrara chakraSahasrara chakra

Physical manifestation: Limbic area of brain
Number of petals/sub-plexuses: 1000
Qualities: Joy, thoughtless awareness, union with the Divine, collective consciousness
Place on hand: Centre of palm

Our complete subtle instrument is integrated in the Sahasrara chakra. Each chakra has its seat. As our attention and our kundalini rise to Sahasrara chakra we enter a new dimension of consciousness. We go beyond the relative to the absolute. We rise above the three channels of the subtle system-beyond the past, present and future and into a timeless state and experience the inner joy and bliss of the divine. This is a heavenly place far beyond our imagination.

When the Kundalini reaches the Sahasrara, the thousand petals of this chakra begin to open and enlightenment begins to manifest. We may experience a pulsation at the fontanelle bone, followed by a subtle flow of cool vibrations. The Kundalini unites our individual consciousness to the universal consciousness. Our individual atma, our soul, is connected to the paramatma, the supreme spirit. We are suddenly tuned into the universal wavelength of vibrations, to the subtle joy that is present in nature. These vibrations pervade the universe but before Realization we are unaware of them.

The opening of this chakra is known as second birth. Our human birth can be likened to the hatching of an egg and Self-realization to the breaking of the egg and the emergence of the bird. This is why an egg is given at Easter, to symbolize the second birth.

The 3 energy channels

The left channel (ida nadi)
The left channel (blue) corresponds to our past, emotions, desires, affectivity. Its termination is the superego, which is the storehouse of all our memories, habits and conditionings.

The right channel (pingala nadi)
The right channel (yellow) corresponds to our actions and planning, to our physical and mental activity. Its termination is the ego, which gives us the idea of I-ness, the sense that we are separate from the world.

The central channel (sushumna nadi)
The central channel is the channel of ascent, it is the power which sustains our evolution and guides us, consciously or unconsciously, towards the higher awareness of the Sahasrara.

Meditation and cool breeze (vibrations)

Meditation and cool breeze

Everything in creation emits vibrations, but the ability to feel them comes only with Kundalini awakening. Once Kundalini is awakened, vibrations can be felt on the palms of the hand, in the body and on top of the head as a cool or warm breeze. A person or a thing emitting cool breeze (not cold) is balanced and spiritually pure. Hot breeze or tingling or uncomfortable vibrations indicate an imbalance or a lack of harmony.

Once you have experienced the cool breeze on the hands, it is possible to detect similar vibrations emitted from other objects or even situations.

Everything has a vibration

vibrations-cool-breezeYou might say everything has a colour, a texture, a feel, a sound or a smell. That is how we know it. We recognize something and we can identify it with our senses. We give it a name. We know whether to be wary or cautious or welcoming by what our senses tell us.

But there is also another way: vibrations. Everything has a vibration.

Just as a person might be colour-blind, we can also be unable to sense these vibrations. Before Enlightenment (Self-realization), we are “vibration-blind” and we do not know it. We are not open to that side of our awareness. Nonetheless, the vibrations have always been there.

To catch the rain, we only have to turn bucket upwards.

When a radio which is switched on, like magic it begins to receive the music, the news, the message of the world. The invisible waves begin to make sense.

In the same way, with Enlightenment (Self-realization), a new avenue of sense available to us. We begin to get it. We start to feel the vibrations.

Simply put: this is our spirit talking to us.

It is not artificial. It is not based on our intelligence. It is not fed by our ego, created by our prejudice or constructed by our conditioning.

Vibrations are the straight story – straight from our spirit. Just as a rose is red, a fire is hot or a river is wet, the vibrations we feel are absolute.

Our spirit wants us to ascend, to become something better today than we were yesterday. Our spirit is our better self. It is our true self. It is the spark or flicker in our heart which is us. It is our inner self, the true self that remains when everything else is stripped away.

And when we listen to that spirit, when we feel the vibrations talking to us – as cool, as warm, as hot – we know which way to turn. We know what is correct and what is incorrect. Through vibrations we gain discretion. And that is our tool for growth.

So what are vibrations?

They are a new sense by which we can guide ourself through that forest of illusions, which we call our lives.

Vibrations are our spirit telling us which way to go. But first – we have to listen. We have to learn how to tune the dial.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini is described within Eastern religious, or spiritual, tradition as an indwelling Divine feminine energy that can be awakened in order to purify the subtle system and ultimately to bestow the state of Yoga, or Divine Union (e.g. see Jnaneshwari Ch. VI). This awakening involves the Kundalini moving up the central channel, piercing the Chakras along the way, to reside within the Sahasrara Chakra above the head (see for ex. Jnaneshwari Ch. VI). This movement of Kundalini is felt by the presence of a cool or, in the case of imbalance, a warm breeze across the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. Such a phenomenon can be seen to be described in a diverse array of scripture (see Aquarian Gospel of Christ, ch. 44, v19, ch. 161, v35, ch. 162, v4; Jnaneshwari, ch.6; Ezekiel, ch. 37, vs. 5-6: Old Testament; John, ch. 14 vs. 15- 17 & 25: New Testament; Koran, sura 24, vs. 24; sura 35, vs. 9; sura 36, vs. 64; see also Descieux, 1998iii.). It is through attention to these sensations that areas of difficulty can be identified and ‘worked on’ in order to strengthen the meditation. [1]

Once ‘Kundalini awakening’ has taken place and is established through meditation the Kundalini is said to automatically purify the subtle body and thus dispel all mental, physical and spiritual diseases.[1]

In order to achieve the real state of meditation, one needs to awaken the Kundalini energy within. With the support of Kundalini, meditation becomes effortless and easy. You will experience this precious moment of Kundalini awakening in our 10-part free Online Meditation Course.

Kundalini is the mothering energy that is lying dormant at the base of the spine in the sacrum bone. This energy is awakened by a process called Enlightenment (Self-realization) to connect us to the Divine and begin its work of healing and balancing our chakras.

Kundalini lies dormant but, like a tinybseed when the conditions are right, can awaken and grow into a mighty tree. In the same way that an electrical cable connects a computer to the mains, the awakened Kundalini connects the human awareness to the all-pervading power of divine love. The Kundalini can be thought of as a rope with a thousand strands; when we first get Enlightenment (Self-realization), only one or two strands find their way through the chakras and reach the Sahasrara (the top chakra). However, with twice daily meditation, gradually more strands of the Kundalini connect us to the divine power and the experience of meditation becomes more profound and blissful. The Kundalini was described by Indian saints such as Adi Shankaracharya (c 600 a.d.), Kabir (c 1500 a.d.) and Jnanadeva (c 1200 a.d.) amongst others.

There are many forms of yoga in the world today. There are stretching yoga’s, exercise yoga’s, prenatal yoga’s and even laughing yoga’s. It seems that there is a form of yoga for every walk of life. Most people think of yoga as stretching or they see it as an exercise. Yoga is in fact an ancient Sanskrit term meaning to unite or union.

about Kundalini and Chakra system
Kundalini awakening and ancient practice

In the past when the ancient masters taught their disciples in the practice of yoga, they used many different methods to separate the disciple from the material world. A disciple might be told to not eat or to stand in one place for days at a time in order to break mental and physical bonds. These sorts of things would go on for years until through these penances those bonds were broken. The disciple had to prepare his body in order to endure these penances; this was done by stretching or exercises that the master or guru would prescribe. In modern times many followers of yoga believe that this is what yoga is, though it is only a small part of the ancient practice.

Why would anyone want to subject themselves to these penances over such a long period? The reason being was to awaken the primordial energy known as Kundalini. This is a motherly energy that unites the disciple to the all pervading power of the divine or gives them the yoga. At the time when Patanjali was a great master of yoga in India he taught his disciples the hidden knowledge of the Kundalini. This was a sacred knowledge that was passed from master to disciple for thousands of years. In modern times this knowledge has been made public through countless books and different forms of yoga. The problem is what yoga’s can actually give you the experience of Kundalini awakening in order to get the yoga or union. It should be obvious to most seekers of the divine that any form of stretching or exercise does not bring you closer to God. If it did the athletes of the world would be the most spiritual people. So yoga really has nothing to do with stretching or exercising, nor is it rooted in laughing, although laughing can make you feel good.

Some clarification about Kundalini awakening

Kundalini awakening is often said to be very dangerous, accompanied by tremendous heat and pain. Such is the discovery of those who have experimented in a recklessly naive or unauthorised manner, and particularly when they have tried to associate her awakening with sex. In such cases, the chakra which guards the innocence of Kundalini, the Mooladhara chakra, acts against this violation by generating waves of heat. The confused pioneer may also experience fits and seizures where he loses control of body and mind. He may jump and howl for no apparent reason. He may experience hallucinations. In the bliss of his ignorance, he associates the warning signals with Kundalini awakening itself, and believes himself to have undergone a profound experience of enlightenment!

The face of such a person shows all the anguish he is going through. After genuine Enlightenment (Self-realization), the face becomes radiant. You look much younger, the body becomes more active and well-proportioned. The whole personality becomes beautiful and magnetic. As priorities change, you assume a dignified and glorious attitude to life.

Videos about Kundalini

The Kundalini

Theatrical Trailer

Duration: 01:02

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Chakra Animation

Kundalini awakening

Duration: 00:49

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Power of Kundalini

TV interwiev

Duration: 02:30
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Meditation and enlightenment

Meditation and enlightenment

In the sacrum bone at the base of the spine in every individual there exists a subtle and dormant coil of spiritual energy known as the Kundalini. This energy has been well documented through the ages, and has become a core part of many of the most authoratitive Yoga and spiritual practices. In AD1290, for instance, the renowned Indian saint and mystic Jnanadeva documented in detail the existence of this energy in his seminal treatise on Yoga and the spiritual universe, Jnaneshwari.

The process of Enlightenment or in other words Self-realization involves the gentle awakening of this living and conscious energy, so that it pervades the individual’s subtle (i.e. spiritual) being. Once this event occurs, the person is no longer isolated from the universe around them – i.e. trapped inside their own head – but becomes a connected part of the greater cosmos. The benefits of this awakening are many, including a realization of our sense of purpose, a feeling of completeness and the sort of self-knowledge which is commonly missing from our day to day lives and activities.

Enlightenment knows no boundaries of religion, culture, race, age, or gender. It is for every individual soul to achieve for themselves and every individuals birthright to live life in a balanced way. To be able to enjoy the bliss and peace. To have divine awareness for themselves and to become eternal personalities. Kundalini awakening connects us to our Spirit or Atma which is the source of all things seen and unseen. This Atma is the eternal aspect of our personality and when we become totally identified with it, just as Buddha had, then we also become like Buddha, eternal and filled with pure knowledge. [1]

Once the enlightenment has occurred, it is up to the individual to decide whether they wish to explore the new world that opens up to them, by continuing with a program of meditation to enhance and encourage the cleansing power of this energy on the subtle system.

Over time the practice of meditation produces profound emotional, physical and spiritual changes which give each of us the ability to maintain a remarkable degree of control over the progress of our lives in every way. Practitioners often talk of a feeling of ‘oneness with God and Nature’ as the most evident manifestation of their regular meditation.

How to meditate

How to meditate

Whenever it fits your schedule, you should meditate every day for at least 10 minutes. Some people find that beginning the day in a state of peace and silence makes the whole day go better. Some people find the best time is in the evening, where the soothing effects help take them into deep and nourishing sleep. And many people meditate both morning and evening and include some cleansing techniques with the evening meditation.

The meditation is a deceptively simple process and takes the form of sitting quietly to allow the Kundalini to rise from its seat at the base of the spine to the top of the head – along the central spiritual ‘channel’ inside all of us. Again many literary works dealing with Yoga describe this subtle road map; this is knowledge which has been available for thousands of years, not merely a few centuries!

This Kundalini energy cleanses the individual’s chakras – or spiritual energy centres – and leaves the person in a profoundly peaceful and relaxed state. Various additional techniques of meditation, designed to make it easier for the practitioner to attain this state of thoughtless awareness, are taught as part of the classes. These include simple mantras and hand movements which encourage the cleansing activity in the chakras.

Going deeper in meditation is not something that we can force along. It is simply a matter of allocating a few minutes every day when we can sit quietly, do nothing and experience the power of pure introspection. By doing this, over time we will notice that our meditation becomes more effective and the benefits more tangible.

To start
Find a place in your home where you can sit comfortably without being disturbed, preferably somewhere that you can use regularly. It is not necessary to sit on the ground, you can use a chair or sit anywhere as long as you are comfortable.  Try and ensure that you minimize the potential for distractions by e.g. turning on the answering machine before you start off. It helps to have a lighted candle in place in front of your position, alongside a small photograph of Shri Mataji or chart of the subtle system.

If you are meditating for the first time you may find it difficult to sit still or take your attention inside as you close your eyes, but do not worry, this will improve with practice.

Settling Down
Once you have settled down, take your attention slowly to the top of the head. At this point we can use the affirmations we use in the public meetings to help us focus our attention inside, or we can simply say to ourselves silently ‘please may I go deeper into meditation’ a few times.

After a few moments we may feel tingling, cool or heat on our fingers or a slow ripple of movement along the spine as the Kundalini starts to rise from the base of the spine to the top of the head. It helps if we try and ignore these sensations to start with, since we are trying to achieve a state of thoughtlessness, where we are not dragged along with our thoughts but simply watch them float into and out of our consciousness.

Going deeper
After a few minutes we may notice that while we are sitting more peacefully, thoughts are still flowing through our minds. This is quite natural and we shouldn’t think that the meditation isn’t working simply because of this continued thinking. Just bring our attention slowly back to the top of the head and try to keep it there. In fact it will take quite a bit of practice before we are likely to notice a significant slowing of the flow of thoughts,  but we will experience the benefits of our meditations long before that time.

Finishing up
Once we have been sitting for 10 to 15 minutes or so, we can slowly finish the session.

This is a very simple meditation session which you can try for yourself during the day. You can learn how to meditate with different meditation techniques and improve your meditation skills with our 10-part free Online Meditation Course.

We should really try and meditate at least once a day and preferably twice – once in the morning to set us up for the day and once in the evening to help us sleep more soundly.

Guided Meditation

 Guided Meditation

Meditation is a scientifically proven way of improving our well-being in general. Millions of people today in the world are using this ancient discipline for many purposes including stress management, health improvement, motivation and success in business, education..etc.

As we have described in the related articles, the essence of meditation is getting into thoughtless awareness without any mental effort or focusing exercise. And the goal is to achieve the yoga, enlightenment, getting connected to the source of the All-pervading Power. Without these spiritual goals, the meditation will only serve as an alternative health care product!

In the following section, you will have the chance to follow a guided meditation sample which is recorded for our online course.

Sit upright and relaxed, cross-legged, on the floor. If you choose to sit on a chair, place your feet a little apart from each other, without shoes. Rest your hands palms open and upward on your lap.

Plug in your headset and enjoy the free 8-minute guided meditation sample.