Self-Transformation Series:
Issue No. 9


Table of Contents

  1. Why Important
  2. Difference between Meditation and Prayer
  3. Stages in Meditation
  4. How to Meditate

I. Why Important

Meditation is an important part in the process of self-discovery. It helps integrate our personality where the inner will starts to take charge. It diminishes internal conflict in the personality. It makes us more calm and serene, as well as allow us to be more sensitive and compassionate. Correct meditation is a vital steppingstone to genuine spirituality.

II. Difference between Meditation and Prayer

Many people confuse meditation and prayer. To clarify we must distinguish different kinds of prayer:

III. Stages in Meditation

Meditation is not simply sitting down and closing our eyes and going into silence. It is a process that involves the transformation of our daily life. Hence even children can be taught the rudiments of meditation while young.

IV. How to Meditate

This is a typical approach to meditating 20 minutes a day. Details may vary from approach to approach, but the essentials are here.

  1. Find a place where you can have privacy, and sit comfortably either on a chair or on the floor, with a cushion supporting your buttocks. Keep spine straight and don't lean. You may close your eyes or if you keep them half-open, sit facing a wall.

  2. Start by relaxing your entire body, being aware of any tension from your head, neck, shoulders, arms, body, legs and feet. Breathe evenly, and as you breathe out, feel your body becoming more calm and relax.

  3. Be aware of any emotional tension, and let them go. You may picture a white light flowing through your entire body which harmonizes your feelings.

  4. Be aware of your thoughts, and let them settle down naturally. [This part may take many, many sessions before you can finally master it. You are actually trying to discipline a mind that may have been undisciplined for twenty or more years.]

  5. Use an image, a sound, or a point in your head as an anchor of your attention. You may use Amen, Om, Mu, or any word you choose. Or you may count your breath: 1 when you inhale, 2 when you exhale, 3 when you inhale . . . up to 10 and back. [This tool helps you to become focused or concentrated and aids you to come back to your meditation when you tend to be distracted by memories or worries.]

  6. As your thoughts stabilize, let your consciousness transcend thinking: beyond form, beyond images, beyond names, infinite, timeless, without motivation -- letting the ego fade into the door of the transcendent. [Take note that this does not mean that you become unconscious or go into a trance. One is highly alert in a very different way.]

  7. Stay in the silence or communion for some time. This is the gateway to self-discovery or self-realization, which is also the gateway to the experiencing of the Divine Reality.

  8. In coming out of meditation, slowly become aware of your mind, your emotional state, and then your physical body. Let the benediction of the meditation throw light on these various personality states, then become aware of the surroundings and open your eyes.

  9. End with thoughts of benevolence and peace on the people in your home, your workplace, your community, the nation and the world. Reaffirm your willingness to be of practical service to help alleviate the suffering of mankind and become a selfless instrument for unity and goodwill.

When practicing meditation, do not give up too easily. Try one technique for at least three weeks. Do not jump from one technique to another. Read some good books on meditation so that you will be guided by those who have deep experience on this practice.

If you need further information, you may write the Theosophical Society, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines, Tel. No. (632) 741-5740; Fax No. (632) 922-6337

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Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines

"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be peace."