Meditation is good for everyone!
Learning the best way to meditate is essential to getting its benefits.
There’s no single way to meditate. THE MOST EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL MEDITATIONS CAN BE ACTIVE.
Selecting the right style and meditation modality can be essential to making it work.
In part I of this series, we discussed passive meditation style. We will now introduce active meditation style.
Neither is superior to the other. Practice the one you think fits you and your goals. And…
Switch it up! Try both and alternate them accordingly!
Parts I, II and III of this blog series, I introduced the differences between active and passive meditations and why it is important to select the style that fits your nature and your goals.
With this article, we will conclude with what may be the easiest AND the most potent method of meditation!
WHAT IS BHAKTI YOG MEDITATION?
Bhakti yoga meditation is an active meditation of devotion.
Instead of silencing or quieting the mind and going through the impossible and stressful task of getting your mind to NOT do the one AND ONLY thing it does—THINK—bhakti meditation, yoga is an active practice of thinking and feeling!
Devotional meditations teach you not to STOP thinking and feeling but to SHIFT your thinking and feeling to spiritual thoughts and feelings!
Instead of silencing your mind to achieve mental quietude, in bhakti, you think of spiritual virtues, qualities and concepts to adopt them into your thoughts, feeling and character!
FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!
(another famous aphorism, but not by BF, JA or any patriot we know of! The author of this is unknown.)
I’ve come up with my own distilled way of understanding this: since your mind’s GOING to think anyway, just give it the right stuff to think about!
Getting a hyper-restless child (or pet) to just calm down is an exercise in futility.
Give that kid (or puppy) something shiny and fun to play with and they’re cool!
Active meditation is like giving the mind something shiny and jingly to play with. But not just ANY shiny, jingly thing: shiny, jingly virtuous things!
We don’t give the hyper kid sharp objects to play with! You don’t give the puppy our shoes to play with. Give them something healthy and productive. A chew toy and some building blocks! (Make sure you give the right toy to the right one ?)
THE ESSENCE OF SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT
Active meditations can give our minds something to think about which are not only healthy but peaceful and virtuous too.
Bhakti (pronounced buckti) means devotion in Sanskrit.
It is the most advanced, effective meditation method prescribed to ALL seekers of spiritual enlightenment in ALL ages.
The main focus during bhakti meditation is LOVE.
Not just ANY love. Love for the Divine. Love for God. Bhakti is a devotional meditation where we imagine, think of, dream of and absorb ourselves in the loving remembrance of God, his sages, Saints and Divine personalities; from Christ to Krishna!
Imagine yourself near them, serving them, looking at them, listening to them or just watching them. You can even consider that since you don’t really know them, you simply wish you knew more so you COULD imagine being near them.
Bhakti is most effective spiritual meditation, the highest form of all meditations and the easiest too.
Once I switched from passive meditations to active meditations I made lightning speed progress in my mental and spiritual evolution which expresses itself in my material evolution: I feel better, so I work better. I feel more love within so I give more love out! I feel more in sync and fulfilled so I produce better and more.
IT’S A WIN-WIN!
My favorite scenario!
BHAKTI YOGA MEDITATION EXAMPLE
Here is a sample of my daily bhakti mediations (2X per day usually. Once upon waking, once before sleeping. The early a.m. session is BEFORE I interact with the world, leaving me mentally uncomplicated. The evening session allows me to have spiritual thoughts be the last ones I have before sleep).
My Morning session:
- Pranam (bow) to my guru and god.
- I sit comfortably (I’m not too flexible so I low-to-the-ground chair, or sitting stool works well for me)
- Listen to kirtan. (Kirtan is a call-and-response singing meditation. The words are either sacred names of God [nam-sankirtan] or about the virtues and acts of God [pad-kirtan])
- While listening to the kirtan,
- I enjoy the images of sacred spiritual sites I know of and have been to.
- You relive and remember gracious spiritual events and experiences in my life
- Absorb thoughts in God’s acts in the world (anything from various saints like Assisi, to Jesus’ sermon on the mount to Krishna’s playful acts in India 5000 years ago.)
- Pranam and exit
- Perform the same routine as morning
- Watch a video, read or listen to my guru or other spiritually enlightened personalities before I sleep.
- Or BOTH!
The hardest part of bhakti is simply committing to it and making the time to do what is always more fulfilling and pleasant than TV or work. Here’s some tips:
- Create a dedicated space: a room dedicated to meditation, or a section of a room that is separate from other areas.
- Incense, photos, images, deity statues, music (kirtan, Gregorian chants, solfeggio)… any and all spiritual contraband that immerses all of your senses to avoid being easily distracted.
- Don’t be hungry, don’t be full. Try to be content when meditating
- Try not to worry about being “good” at it. There really is no WRONG way to do bhakti. Immerse yourself in a sacred space and think of God and love anyway you can and allow divinity to be present.
I follow the devotional path taught path by Jagadguru Kripalu. I encourage you explore this enlightened master’s teachings and instructions.
Active and passive meditation instructions are included in ALL Life-Mind Solutions memberships. All memberships include access to the online yoga classes (with Yogini, Marketa) and fitness and wellness courses.
You can also buy any of my Cosmic Consciousness workbooks. The Cosmic Consciousness courses are in video production so stay tuned for those!
In the meantime, the workbooks give it ALL to you!
- Loving-kindness meditation. With the many types of meditation to try, there should be one to suit most individuals. …
- Body scan or progressive relaxation. …
- Mindfulness meditation. …
- Breath awareness meditation. …
- Kundalini yoga. …
- Zen meditation. …
- Transcendental Meditation.