Integral Meditation provides us with tools for the development of capacities and conditions that facilitate the connection with the inner guide. The highest purpose of this meditative method is to apply the resources activated with practice to everyday life. Here we share some of the keys to this deeply transformative practice.
Reasons to meditate
Each meditator has his own goals when meditating, and with consistent and well-directed practice, it is perfectly feasible to meet the expectations of meditation. As we go deeper into the practice, new motivations emerge, finding ourselves with a path of personal development of inexhaustible possibilities.
What can meditation bring us? Meditation can bring us many things, among which we highlight three aspects:
- It counteracts the effects of the habitual state of mental dispersion in which we live, caused by the lack of resources to adequately manage our attention span. Promoting a higher level of attention is synonymous with conquering the will and the ability to project our inner strength.
- What we consider our thoughts and feelings are not inevitable or irrevocable, it is possible to transcend the idea we have of ourselves, preparing ourselves to stop suffering or temporarily limit suffering.
- Activate the resources we need to live a rich inner life. We train concentration and observation, capacities with which we explore inner reality and gradually know what we are in essence. Knowing ourselves in the depths of our being is a challenge, and realizing the highest that we carry within is definitely the ideal of Integral Yoga that inspires us on the path of a real transformation of human miseries into expressions of the maximum spiritual and mental potential , emotional and physical.
Contemplate various levels of meditation
Since meditation is accessible to all types of people, we can contemplate different levels of practice in which the tools we use are those that fit the proposed purposes. Depending on the abilities of the meditator, his vital moment and his objectives, we will establish a specific meditative structure.
In general lines and at the basic level, we begin by laying the foundations for a good management with attention , using the simplest anchors as meditative tools, such as breathing or the fourth chakra, which provide us with references for attention, helping us to cultivate concentration and the return to a center if we get distracted. When we have reached a minimum with these skills, we move towards other tools that help us “realize” what we think and feel.
In the next step towards the middle level we introduce observational meditation, because having cultivated attention, we have effective resources to sustain the observation and to be able to appreciate with some clarity and without interfering, the external stimuli and the internal impressions under whose influence we live.
At the advanced level, exhaustive cultivation and passive observation will allow us to expand our capacity for interaction with the internal and external forces of life.
Characteristics of a good meditative practice
A meditative practice that aims to provide tools for the improvement of daily life, must consider the following aspects:
- Prepare the meditation: for an efficient practice you need energy levels higher than usual. Managing attention, sustaining observation and living peace consume extra amounts of vital force, this explains that frequently and despite our good intentions to improve our relationship with ourselves and with the world, we become frustrated due to lack of energy necessary to achieve it. Adequate preparation through asana, pranayama and kriya can be decisive for success in meditation.
- Attention management: we can train attention with external objects, with parts of the body, focusing on breathing. In Integral Meditation, it is best to start using the center of the chest as a reference as it is the space with the easiest access to the feeling of peace.
- Ability to position oneself as an observer-witness: learning to look at what is in front of us and promoting distance from perceptions, emotions and thoughts.
- Inner life : from Integral Yoga we guide the meditative practice in one direction and with a very specific purpose: to activate the resources of intuitive wisdom that exist within us or resources of the internal guide so that the decisions we are making are oriented from that part luminous of our being, our will participating in the values that most inspire humanity and that emanate from the emergence of the spiritual dimension of the person, such as: justice, courage, love, truth, goodness …
Practical applications of meditation in everyday life
The resources that a good meditative practice gives us are applicable to everyday life. Let’s see some practical examples:
- As we learn to manage our attention, we can apply this ability to the actions of daily life, increasing the level of concentration that allows us to enjoy what we do more and do it better. In addition, acquiring control over attention allows us to better organize ourselves, choose the priorities of our attention and withdraw attention from the emotional states, thoughts and ideas that cause us suffering.
- By activating the capacity of observation we have resources to realize what we think or what we feel, and we can learn to distance ourselves from it, which means, acquire the healthy ability to identify ourselves with a thought or an emotion in a conscious way, instead of unconsciously as usual.
- A practice that fosters these two capacities and that is aimed at awakening the part of us that knows the proper way to guide us with the important and everyday things in life, will provide us with the possibility of walking our path accompanied by a power that dissolves constant uncertainties and confusion when making decisions. Because when we yearn and have the resources to listen to the voice of our hearts, things in life flow naturally.