The Power of Meditation
Meditation serves as one of the most effective means of harmonizing, rebalancing, and synchronizing the body, heart, mind, and soul.
There are a variety of meditation techniques that facilitate a meditative state and are aimed at changing your entire biochemical profile, resulting in calmness and peace that lasts into your day. Simplifying these techniques is key, for meditation can be as simple or complex as you make it.
Change your Life
Discovering how powerful meditation can be will change your life. The best way to discover its effects is by practicing. At first, your practice may feel uncomfortable, unknown, and even annoying. It can be hard to relax into. Before defining your own practice, I’d like to offer some helpful ideas that will assist in your process and speed up your results.
The mind is a busy and complex system. It’s easy to become overloaded with thoughts, distractions, and TODOs in our head. In the beginning, dropping into a tranquil state of mind with no thoughts can be a seemingly insurmountable task for the modern person.
Having no thoughts is not really the point anyway, although it can be a deeply restorative and peaceful result of a diligent dynamic presence and awareness.
In my opinion, it’s not the thoughtlessness that is the point of meditating; It’s the relationship with our breath and thoughts that is important. By bringing awareness to each though without judgment ultimately, we experience fewer stress responses and more health in the body. Then bringing awareness to the breath centers and grounds our being.
Judgment can take us down some windy roads. What I’ve found is there is no through-street to greater centeredness and groundedness through judgment. Yet, we naturally think. We naturally judge. It helps us make sense of our world. It does serve its purpose. But for the sake of our emotional health, during meditation practice, we want to drop judgment and incessant thought processes that potentially close the heart center…without force, with gentleness.
We can control, force, and work upstream, or relax into, allow, and float downstream. When your method gets tough, reorient to more ease and grace.
Cultivating more ease and a way of “conscious relating” to our thoughts means changing patterns, shifting our neurological wiring, and reducing reactivity to our environment. It means bridging our thoughts to the heart, resulting in deeper understanding, compassion, and presence instead of potential confusion, frustration, and mental loops.
Sitting quietly, dynamically present, focused on the breath is one simple approach to gaining meditative benefits, particularly by one such method practiced in Thailand called anapanasati — mindfulness with breathing.
I love this technique because of its simplicity. Simply put, you will focus on in-breathing and out-breathing. There is a more developed version of this practice, but for our purposes, I will briefly introduce the “plain” version of a basic practice before going into revealing a conceptual framework.
To start, you can sit or lay comfortably, at first focusing on fully expelling air out of your nostrils, allowing your navel to press closer to your spine, fully emptying your lungs. On the inhale, focus on the navel expanding out, filling the lungs with fresh air. Repeat. That’s it.
At first, you will practice chasing the tiger — chasing and following the air moving in and out of your body. Imagine the air emptying on exhale and filling on inhale.
As you feel more centered, relaxed, and less distracted, you can guard the gate — focus your attention on your nostrils only and notice the air pass through the nostrils on both inhale and exhale.
This is meditation at its simplest. Eventually, as you handle the activity of the mind more masterfully via the breath, your mind and body will sync through and you can focus on a more abstract center of attention such as a relevant symbol such as atman — universal self/soul or brahman — creation/absolute truth.
The intention of not thinking during meditation does not work so well. When you tell yourself to not think, your mind automatically thinks about not thinking. Instead, meditate at first with an intention of actually allowing thinking to take place so much that eventually there is nothing left but “not thinking”. There is a point where eventually, your thoughts dissipate in time, with patience.
Based on our past experiences, we form ideas, opinions, and beliefs about our experience based on whether they are good/bad. These beliefs can keep us stuck in a limited way of thinking, keep us stuck, and held back from manifesting our deepest desires. Part of this hold-up spawns from judgment.
One of the biggest setbacks in reshaping old programmatic thinking can be labeling thoughts or “things” that come up as good/bad. As you sit for the first time or continue your practice in mindful breathing, thoughts will arise. Allow these thoughts to arise and play out, but not chaotically. As soon as a streamlined thought diverges into another, take a pause.
Instead of labeling something as good/bad or attempting to eliminate thoughts immediately, have them with a sense of completion, then just quietly say within your head or out loud, “thinking”. Then return to your breath. Sink deeper. As another thought arises, complete it, then say “thinking”.
Imagine your sinking to the bottom floor of the ocean — tranquility. As you sink into yourself, thoughts arise as bubbles and pull you back to the surface. By not forcing out these thoughts, having them, then labeling each of them as “thinking”, you pop the bubble of thought distracting you from deepening.
You cultivate an enlightened observer, bringing a higher awareness to your experience, effectually dis-identifying with your thoughts, and gradually disintegrating the egocentric structure of beliefs that tell us how we’re right, different, etc., essentially separating self from other. This dichotomy keeps us further from the deeper sense of truth, the natural state of being that is blissful, ecstatic oneness.
In sum, this practice is an art of subtracting rather than adding. It’s a demolition rather than a build-process. Thoughts can be equated to weight. As you release each thought, you “lighten your load” and lessen your sense of self (ego) and deepen your sense of Self (oneness).
Initially, the practice can be used in dietary doses (daily discipline) in order to familiarize and assimilate the body with a somewhat unfamiliar conscious state of emptiness. This ‘nothingness’ is not an actually devoid feeling; It is body and mind free of clutter — an emptiness of home that’s spaciousness actually gives us an immense sensation of fullness.
What we normally experience driving to work, paying bills, and dealing with normal tasks of modern life shifts. When learned properly, meditation creates a sense of spaciousness in normal, daily tasks that typically feel overwhelming because we’re full of so much already. Because we’re “empty” of our shit, we’re at full capacity to handle what comes into our field.
Meditation as Medicine
The very process of reaching a deeper and more relaxed state actually activates the parasympathetic nervous system which results in restoration and healing. We typically access this state during sleep naturally or can expedite this process consciously with enough training or guidance from another person or nature.
In this state, the body’s natural healing takes place, which each holistic healing practice essentially steers you too. A healer doesn’t do the healing; He/she facilitates and expedites this natural process.
In many ways, experiencing the real benefits of meditation can be equated to reprogramming your nervous system. Over time, the practitioner learns to access a deeper state of being more easily and quickly. The body has a memory that stores these experiences.
As meditative states become more common and accessible, it is possible to be functioning in them during everyday activities that might normally overload the body with stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.
Eventually, meditation can be used more and more medicinally and less dietary. In other words, when we feel and become aware of stress, we are able to use meditation as needed and less as a regular/frequent intake.
Initially, a regular practice is essential to inviting new memories into the body to be stored as reserves for energy and vitality. Meditation becomes a well to be drawn upon, a refuge from the natural angst and pains, and distress of everyday life. Eventually, this well becomes more ever-present and commonplace without a daily practice, and as strains and stresses add up, an occasional meditative dose is all that is needed.
Sattva — Satisfaction
Meditation can synonymously be used with contentment. The Sanskrit word, Sattva translates to light, goodness, and purity in Sanskrit. The result of your meditative practice is ultimate satisfaction. Through meditation, we are inviting greater satisfaction into our normal experience.
Meditation is a way of more fully experiencing the breath. By experiencing the breath more fully, we awaken a sense of unity and oneness — mind, body, heart and soul all merge and harmonize. True satisfaction is present.
Eventually, we know the fabric of experiencing contentment so well that bliss arises, our natural state, ananda — divine joy. Thus, pain and suffering are transformed into bliss.
A state of naturally occurring ecstasy becomes our internal reality. Then, bringing this sense of great joy into our lives is demonstrating integrity: aligning our inner world with our outer world.
What holds us back is often what we don’t know. From my personal experience, continuing a daily practice for just a few months opened me to many beautiful unknowns I couldn’t perceive otherwise that inspired me to share.
Ignite a profound process of realization, liberation, and illumination. All it takes is one focused, present, clear breath to begin.
My goal as a holistic health practitioner is to help you activate your inner self-guide. Yet, so many resources can support and speed up your process. By gaining techniques in meditation, over time you no longer depend on a facilitator to guide you.
One of the most helpful audio tools I still use today is from iAwake Technologies, which creates multi-layered audio tracks that entrain the brain’s frequency to match deep meditative frequencies.
Learning to meditate may just be the most effective way I’ve achieved balance and inner peace without an external means or source of validation. Still, I recommend many guided practices, including Joe Dispenza and have received countless clarifying moments from Matt Kahn.
Above all, Kinan’s passion is activating human potential through areas of technology, health, and psychology. He strives to push human innovation to the limit and actively participate in the evolution of consciousness.
Kinan believes we can achieve this primarily in the ways we communicate intelligently, software being a back-bone to global interconnectivity and the transformation of self-destructive behavior being the bridge to greater human connection and empowerment.