Meditation programme in the Breath of Life Institute

What is meditation?

What meditation is not

Why should I meditate?

What are active meditations?

Why should I go for active meditations?

What are sitting meditations?

Essential tips for the new meditator

Description of the basic meditations

Dynamic

Kundalini

Chakra breathing

Short breathing meditations to practice during the day

 

Meditation programme in the Breath of Life Institute

The meditations are taking place:

On a weekly basis 1 hour meditations

On a monthly basis, one or two day meditation workshops during the weekend, where you can try various meditation techniques from early in the morning until late in the afternoon. We advise you to stay the whole day, if you want to deeply experience the transformation that can take place through the meditations, but you are also welcome to attend anyone of the meditations throughout the day.

(see in the programme)

What is meditation?

There are a lot of interpretations and much confusion around this word, but we shall try to clear things up.

Meditation, initially, is a state of being, characterised by peacefulness, an intense sense of the present, fulfillment, bliss and a profound trust in the flow of life. It is a state where you simply are, creating a meaningful distance from the mind, the body and the emotions. In a meditation state, we no longer are governed by our thoughts, our worries, our emotions. We are detached from all of these; it’s like we are able to watch our thoughts in such a relaxed state as when we watch a movie. Finally, it is a natural state of being that we have simply forgotten…

Furthermore, we use the word “meditation” to define the techniques used to reach the state of meditation. Meditation techniques, often coming from different traditions, are the ones that assist the meditator to be detached from the mind and the body, reaching the state of being.

What meditation is not…

1.   It is not only for seekers or people on a spiritual path You don’t need to depart from the world, to grow a beard and give away your belongings… In your everyday life, you can taste the benefits of meditation (relaxation, peace and clarity of mind), if you take some time to practice one of the techniques.

2.   It is not an attempt of mind control. You dont try to persuade your mind to remain silent.

Both control and effort create tension. Meditation does not teach tension and inner polarization; it is a relaxation that comes when the meditator understands the nature of the mind and gently puts it aside. You don’t need to fight with your own mind; you simple need to experience deeply that you are not it… and to develop the habit to watch your mind without identifying with it… Then, your experience is a space of clear consciousness, a much bigger state than the state of the mind.

3.   It is not a new experience; it is a space that you already know in your everyday life. You can enter in this space while you paint, sing, play with your children, when you are in nature… As children, we all have powerful experiences of this space; that explains the fact that many people feel familiar with these experiences when they first practice meditation.

4.   It is not a metaphysical experience with angels descending in your head, with their tongues in flames… It is an absolutely natural experience that offers you the simple, though immensely important, ability within the chaos and the tension of your life, to be able to live as a zen monk, taking your time to enjoy a cup of tea…

Why should I meditate?

Meditation is perhaps the only way to know yourself in depth. In the contemporary way of life, we move on the periphery of our existence. We expend our energy to achieve targets and fulfill the demands of everyday life, a natural fact, since our mind is supposed to set targets and consequently reach them. “Αυτό όμως μας αδειάζει, όταν λοιπόν αποκτήσουμε τη συνήθεια να κλείνουμε τα μάτια και να αφήνουμε στην άκρη όλους τους στόχους, όλα όσα δεν είμαστε εμείς, ακόμα και το ίδιο το μυαλό μας, ακόμα και τον ίδιο τον χτύπο της καρδιάς μας, τότε μία σιωπή απλώνεται… Σε αυτή τη σιωπή βρίσκεις το κέντρο του είναι σου, και βγάζεις ρίζες στην ατομικότητα σου… όσο πιο πολύ ριζώνεις στο είναι σου, τόσο πιο άτομο γίνεσαι και από εκεί μπορείς να βγάλεις φτερά στη ζωή σου για να μοιραστείς αγάπη, δημιουργικότητα,  αυθεντικότητα, χιούμορ κι ένα υπέροχο συναίσθημα χαράς» Osho

You only have to give your self some time every day and to choose a technique that you like, in order to start your own inner journey…

What are active meditations?

Active meditations are the creation of the mystic Osho (see about Osho) in spirituality. In the beginning, they include body release techniques like dance, expressive movements, breathing awareness or emotional catharsis. All active meditations end with stages of pure silence and witnessing. After we allow the body to express itself, silence happens on its own accord, naturally and spontaneously. These meditations are a synthesis from various ancient spiritual traditions such as Sufism, Zen, Taoism, Tantra… and from the modern currents of holistic therapy. Active meditations include Dynamic, Kundalini, Nataraj, Nadabrahma, Gibberish, Gourishankar, Chakra Sounds, Chakra Breathing, Mandala and others.

They last for one hour and we can choose the time of the day we shall practice them, for a period of at least three days. It is preferable to practice a meditation for 21 days or, better, for three months, if we wish to experience change in the quality of our existence. These meditations can be practiced in groups in various meditation centers or individually in your own place. However, the experience is deeper when meditation is practiced in a group, since a stronger vibration is created. The meditations should be accompanied by special music that is available on CDs with instructions for each meditation.

Why should I go for active meditations?

In Buddha’s time, when he invented Vipassana meditation (the technique of watching the breath), people used to live a much more natural life in accordance with their being. Therefore, a silent witnessing technique was enough for people to experience silence inside them…

Modern people experience a different situation… In contemporary reality, we are being bombardized by so much information, that we end up with no empty space, except if we try to create one. In our attempt to satisfy the numerous different needs of work, family and personal life, we accumulate tension in the body and in the mind. We are not body and mind, we are body-mind; we are psychosomatic. Our brain, exactly like a bio-computer, in trying to absorb and respond to our reality, gets overcharged. This is expressed in the body, creating symptoms like anxiety, stress and even developing physical diseases.

In order to reach the silent witness inside us, first we need to release these body tensions. Active meditations offer us exactly this possibility.

What are sitting meditations?

There are various sitting meditation techniques that can help you deepen in the silence. These are Nadabrahma, Chakra Sounds, Vipassana, Gourishankar etc.

The above meditations and many others are included in the one-day meditation program of the Breath of Life Osho Institute. Evening meditation is one of the basics; sitting silently and in a meditative state, we listen to Osho discourses on various topics. This meditation was initiated when Osho was still alive and used to talk to his disciples twice a day. As he continues to talk,your body relaxes, your mind eases, you get a wise glimpse on many different topics and your heart becomes quiet.

Essential tips for the new meditator

When? It depends on the technique of your choice. Some techniques are better to be practised in the morning, like Dynamic, for example, which is a cathartic meditation. Kundalini is better to be practiced at the end of the day. Others, like Nadabrahma and Nataraj can be practiced at any time of the day. What is most important is to find the method that combines well with your lifestyle, to find a convenient time and to try to meditate at the same time every day. In this way, the technique becomes a part of your own way of life.

Where? For Dynamic or other meditations that include catharsis and expression techniques, you should try and find a place in your home, where you are able to make noise without disturbing the people around you. However, it is always nice to meditate with other people, since this helps you to deepen the experience of the practise. We invite you to consult our programme and choose one of the convenient hours or assist the one-day meditation programmes (see programme).

What should I wear?

Light clothes, especially around the belly, are the best. Choose not to wear shoes.

How can I choose a method?

In the beginning, you can experiment with various methods until you find one that matches you. Remember that you may prefer a method that another person might not like, but this is okay since meditation is a personal experience. You should also remember not to be serious; don’t force yourself, just wait until you find the method that you really like. Once you have found it, stick to it for at least 7 consecutive days and as you practice it, bring 100% of your energy, give everything!!! If you continue to feel that this method suits you well, then stay with it for 3 months. After that, you may choose to go on with the same method or try a different one.

What we suggest for the beginning is that you choose one of the active meditations, mainly Dynamic and Kundalini.

 

Description of the basic meditations

Dynamic Meditation (usually practiced in the morning)

This meditation lasts for 1 hour and has 5 stages. It is a cathartic meditation that helps you to relieve yourself of unexpressed tension from your physical and emotional body and start your day with high power and fresh energy!!!

(For more information about Dynamic and its meaning, see articles)

dynamic

1st stage (10 minutes) Chaotic breathing in and out through the nose, focusing on the exhalation. The breath should move deeply into the lungs. Be as fast as you can in your breathing, making sure it stays deep. Continue until you literally become the breathing. Let the energy move your whole body and assist the deepening of the breathing. Invest 100% of your energy… imagine yourself becoming like a steam engine!!!

2nd stage (10 minutes) Discharge your mind and your emotions. Allow an explosion to happen. Shout, jump, dance, sing! Don’t control anything. Let your body take over. Never allow your mind to interfere with what is happening. Be totally expressive with all your heart.

3rd stage (10 minutes) You awaken your energy. Raise both arms as high as you can and jump up and down shouting the mantra HOO!… HOO! Each time you land on the soles of your feet, let the sound HOO come from the bottom of your belly and awaken your sex center. Don’t listen to your exhaustion, continue beyond it!!!

4th stage (15 minutes) Stop!!! Freeze where you are in whatever position you find yourself. Dive into the silence. Be a witness to your body and to your thoughts.

5th stage (15 minutes) Dance… to express your aliveness and your joy! Carry this energy with you throughout the day.

 

Kundalini Meditation (usually practiced in the afternoon)

kundalini

This meditation lasts for 1 hour and softly releases tensions from the body, leaving you refreshed.

1st stage (15 minutes) Be loose and start moving and vibrating your body, feeling energy moving up from your feet. Be as loose as possible, letting your whole body shake. Sometimes the vibration may be intense and sometimes it is quite gentle.

2nd stage (15 minutes) Dance, letting your whole body move as it wishes.

3rd stage (15 minutes) Be still, sitting or standing, and enter into a watchful state, witnessing your thoughts, feelings and body sensations.

4th stage (15 minutes) Lie down and relax, staying totally still.

 

Chakra Breathing Meditation (practiced at any time of the day)

This meditation lasts for 1 hour and has 4 stages. It is a cathartic meditation that uses the breath in order to cleanse the energy in the energy centers of the body (chakras).

1st stage (15 minutes) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Inhale and exhale rhythmically from the mouth, allowing the inhalation to be deep and the exhalation to be expressive. As you breathe, move your pelvis rhythmically. With every inhalation, your pelvis moves backwards and with every exhalation your pelvis moves forward. Breathe deeply and rapidly in every energy center for 1.5 minutes and remember to move your hands to each center. With your breath and your hands, rise upwards, starting from the 1st chakra (pelvis) and reaching to the 7th chakra (top of the head). When you reach the 7th chakra, slowly start moving downwards, falling back through all seven chakras down to the first.

2nd – 3rd stage Repeat the 1st stage.

4th stage (15 minutes) Lie down and relax, remaining totally still.

Short breathing meditations to practice during the day

Breathing and thinking are deeply interconnected; they are the two sides of the same coin. You might have already noticed that each time you change thoughts, your breathing changes as well. If, for instance, you are angry, your breathing changes automatically and the rhythm of yourbreath disappears. When you are passionate or during sex, your breath changes. Yet again, when you are peaceful, your breath deepens… So, if you start witnessing, you will find out for yourself what kind of breath you have in each state of your mind…

So, you may change the way you think and experience your breath changing or you can do the opposite; you can change your breath and the mind will follow…

An easy meditation, with your breath, when you want to change your mood and help your mind rest

 

When?

Every morning for 10 mins or whenever you need it

Where?

In your room or at your workplace. Wherever you need it, if you can be alone

1. Exhale deeply and throw out the air through your open mouth, until you feel your belly going in. Imagine, with the air going out, that you throw out your bad mood as well. Hold your breath.

2. Keep holding your breath for a few minutes, do not inhale; count from 10 to 20 and then inhale deeply (again through the mouth) and feel your belly becoming full. Hold your breath.

3. Keep holding your breath as long as you kept it previously and then throw out the breath (step 1). Repeat the rhythm of this deep inhalation and intense exhalation for 5 minutes.

4. Stay peaceful for a while, watching your breath moving into your belly… (5 minutes)

You are ready!!! And your mood has switched!

 

Lions expressions!!! (10 mins)

A great meditation to release tension, especially from the face and the head

For 5 minutes, pull faces with your mouth and with all your face, imitating a lion’s roar. Open your mouth, take out your tongue, stretch your neck muscles, release all your tension, silently or making noises. Let the movement expand into your throat and shoulders, opening your body and throwing away the tension.

For 5 minutes, stay silent witnessing your breath.

The above meditations and many others are taught in the Breath of Life Institute on a weekly basis and in the one-day workshops that take place once a month (see programme).