Samadhi Core Meditations
These guided meditations have been created to be used freely by everyone. They reflect some of the core practices at the Samadhi Center and are just some of the many techniques that may be practiced to move people in the direction of Samadhi.
I should point out that it may take many years to develop the concentration and equanimity required to reach that to which the meditations point. Be patient, determined and most of all be equanimous with where you are on your journey, because ultimately the path is the destination.
There are two aspects or you could say two dimensions within meditation. There’s the dimension of changing phenomena, which is generally thoughts sensations and feelings. And there’s the dimension of consciousness the one that is witnessing the phenomena- you could call these two aspects mindfulness and mind emptiness or yin and yang.
There are meditation techniques where you’re doing something, and there’s that part of the meditation which is beyond technique beyond all doing. Together these two parts of meditation, when in balance, are like the wings of a bird that carry you toward Samadhi. Yin and yang, mindfulness and mind emptiness, must be in balance the way the spiral of a hurricane is in balance around the stillness in the center. The stillness within the spiral or the Jewel in the Lotus is a perfect symbol for meditation and Samadhi.
The first dimension of meditation we will talk about is the yin aspect. It is the feminine aspect; surrendering openingto the changing phenomena or energy of life. It’s allowing, being equanimous. What is it is an effortless letting go. The yang aspect of meditation is concentrating the mind, focusing single pointedly. The yang aspect is the witnessing stillness in the center of the spiral, while the yin aspect is everything that is constantly changing.
Both are practiced simultaneously. There’s an aspect of meditation that is effortless, and an aspect that’s effortful. Both are practiced at once and even though this may seem contradictory it is not. Mindfulness and mind emptiness, effort and non-effort are practiced until they become one. Or more precisely as they say in Zen: not one not two.
You simultaneously cultivate the power of total focus and concentration along with deep surrender, relaxing into the moment. Your effort to stay present becomes so great that it’s a complete surrender of your being, and your effortless surrender to the moment is so complete that it becomes continuous presence.
There are literally hundreds of meditation techniques, but all techniques regardless of the tradition serve to cultivate two things: your ability to concentrate or stay present without the mind wandering, and your ability to develop equanimity or inner surrender. In this way we purify the senses we purify ourselves of sankaras or conditioned patterns.
We’ll start with the technique of observing the breath the classic technique taught by the Buddha. Before you begin meditation, stretching can be helpful to prepare the body for long periods of sitting. If your mind is very busy, chanting can be a great way to focus and orient your consciousness inward. Do whatever works to get yourself into a relaxed peaceful and concentrated state.
Turn off your phone and anything that could potentially distract you. Make an intention to meditate continuously, uninterruptedly for whatever length of time you feel comfortable with. Observing the breath is extremely simple- the simplest thing, but surprisingly difficult to do.
Sit as comfortably as possible on a cushion, meditation bench or chair. Your spine should be straight so that energy can flow freely up it. An upright spine brings an alertness in the body. Once your spine is upright, relax the rest of your body. Pick a position for your hands such as laying them on your knees.
Always start with a beginner’s mind let go of all ideas about meditation, and just observe the breath directly without thought as if you’ve never noticed it before. If you are new to this try to sit for 15 minutes and work your way up to an hour. If you are an experienced meditator try to sit for as long as you can.
There are three guided meditation audio files. The guided meditations should not be thought of as separate practices or separate techniques. Each guided meditation will simply involve a deepening of the awareness of the breath. Once you’ve cultivated a greater degree of concentration and equanimity then move to the next guided meditation and see how it feels. You may want to use this guided meditation for the first while until you become familiar with the practice, and eventually you can sit in silence without instruction.