Key Stages of Meditation

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A simple practice of meditation members of setting aside about 20 minutes two times a day once in the morning and once in the evening. When you start your practice of meditation you will typically go through these stages.

1. Mind Chatter — When you close your eyes, you will become aware of the ceaseless thoughts flitting through your mind. This is almost like standing in front of a really busy highway with many cars driving past.

2. Involved in the chatter — You will find that you may get involved in a train of thought. I liken this to getting into one of the cars almost without any thought and traveling senselessly. Once you become aware of this, just bringing back your awareness on your object of attention which maybe either be observing the breath, repeating a word or focusing on an image.

3. Chatter and focus — In this stage you may find that you are not only focusing on the object of attention, but you are also involved in a few trains of thoughts. Both these processes seem to go through your mind simultaneously. This is like being swept away in a car without wanting to. Once again, as soon as you notice this, bring back your awareness on the focus of your attention.

4. Slowing the chatter — Here you will find that your mental chatter slows down. There are fewer thoughts moving through your mind. The highway you are standing in front of slows down. There are fewer cars moving past now.

5. Gap between thoughts — This is the point at which you will find a gap. This is the place of no thoughts. Initially this may be just for a few seconds. This will increase as you continue with your practice.

6. Silence — You will find that you are able to step into this gap between thoughts almost instantly, as soon as you sit down to meditate. Also you will be able to remain in this state for a long period of time. This is the stage that every seeker is aspiring for.

There is a natural progression from one stage to the next. However the time you take to move from one stage to the next is relative and varies from person to person. It is important to be patient with yourself and not have unrealistic expectations. A consistent, regular practice is all that is needed to achieve what you want from your practice of meditation.



Nilofer Safdar

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