All posts tagged guidance

Milder winds

Halvor Eifring

The meditation sound may be repeated in different ways. It may be clear and distinct or light and more fluid. The body and breath may be more or less involved. A young woman was in doubt about how to repeat the sound. Her uncertainty might reflect her relationship to herself and her life.

Acxem MeditationAt a guidance seminar in Acem, a young woman asked about the repetition of the meditation sound. When she first learned to meditate she found the method simple and easy, but now she was in doubt. Would it be better to involve muscles and the tongue in the repetition of the sound, almost as if she were saying it aloud? Or would it be better merely to think the sound in her mind, without trying to make it distinct? The former solution made her more confident that she was repeating the sound correctly, whereas she found the latter more relaxing. Read more…

Discussing one’s meditation: reflections from an M – 1 Course

Last week we started an M-1 course at the Acem House in New Delhi. The course is an advanced course for those who have done the Beginners’ Course (M-0) and would like to understand the psychology of meditation further. It is the 3rd time I am part of such a course, and the 1st time as a co-leader. Each time the main challenge that the course leaders have faced is to make the participants reflect on their own experience of meditation rather than only discuss what is theoretically correct or incorrect. In the first M-1 course I attended, I found that it was one of the first times I deeply thought about what I really do when I meditate. Many others in such courses have the same experience, being able to see that there can be many different ways of repeating the meditation sound, many different ways of coming back to it and many different responses to the times when the stream of consciousness is uncomfortable. A fact that becomes clear to the group very soon is that there is more to the meditation than telling ourselves “just repeat the sound and let all thoughts come and go.”

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Thought goblins and the longing for nirvana

by Øyvind Ellingsen, MD PhD

Do you remember your first meditation? The gratifying feeling of being calm, relaxed and restful. We bring it with us when we sit down to meditate – a longing for peace of mind and liberation from stress. No wonder the advertising industry uses the image of the meditating Buddha. Nirvana is not only global shorthand for inner peace and well-being; it is also the brand name of the perfect mattress. But when the longing for nirvana becomes too strong, we sometimes encounter the thought goblin…

Longing for nirvana

Who does not wish for a breather from stressful routines and incessant demands – a little everyday-life nirvana? You sit down, close your eyes and repeat the meditation sound. And then the miracle happens. The tightness in your shoulders relaxes, your breathing slows down, your thoughts flow almost imperceptibly by. After half an hour you open your eyes, take a deep breath and are – completely rested! Ready to meet the day with renewed energy. Experiences like this create an expectation that good meditation will produce a pleasant feeling. Often this is the case, but not always.

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