Play this half an hour audio to practice Four Step Meditation!
Preparation for Meditation
- Select a calm and clean place for meditation
- Use a mat for sitting during meditation practice
Posture of Body
There are four common sitting postures:
- Lotus position (Padmaasan)
- Half-lotus position (Ardha-padmaasan)
- Simple cross-legged position (Sukhaasan)
- Diamond position (Vajraasan)
Posture of Hands
The position of the hands (Mudra) is also very important. One of the following two mudras can be used:
1. Gyan Mudra (Knowledge posture).
Let the back side of your right hand rest on your right knee and the left hand on the left knee. Let the index finger of each hand touch and slightly press the tip of the thumbs at the point of the contact. The other fingers should be kept spread out and straight.
2. Veetraag Mudra
Turn both the arms inward at the elbows. First, keep the left palm in the center of your lap and then place the right palm on top of the left palm. Don t let your hands touch the ground. Avoid keeping your palms tilt downwards.
How to Begin Meditation
Select a comfortable posture as described above. Close the eyes gently.
1. Recitation of ARHAM or Mahapraan Dhvani
The practice of Preksha Meditation begins with the recitation of 'Arham'. It can be articulated as below:
'A' is pronounced from the throat
'R' from the cerebrum in the brain
'Ha' from the larynx
'M' from the lips
Or, begin the meditation by producing the Mahapraan Dhvani, that is sound of Mm. Mm. Mm..., like the buzzing of a Bee with vocal cord. Choose either of these two and recite nine times.
2. Aphorism of Meditation Purpose (Dhyeya Sutra)
The practitioner must fix his goal as to what he would like to achieve through meditation. The aim of Preksha Meditation is to achieve self-realization, an experience of pure consciousness.
3. Resolve for meditation (Sankalp Sutra):
'See yourself through yourself. For the perception and realization of self, practice Preksha Meditation.'
Repeat three times.
In order to avoid distractions and achieve deep state of meditation, one should make a strong resolution.
The resolve for meditation:
'I am practicing Preksha Meditation for the purification of my psyche (consciousness).'
Repeat three times.
This meditation consists of four steps. In the first step, we try to get relaxed. In second step, Internal trip, we initiate upward movement of vital energy and awaken our supine power. Third step is perception of deep breathing and fourth step is for attaining peace, pacifying anxieties and passions.
Step 1: Kayotsarg (5 mins)
Practice Kayotsarg to achieve stillness, relaxation and awareness. Take concentration to each part of body from toe of leg up to the head, one by one. Auto-suggest those parts to become relaxed and experience relaxation. Detail of this is described in 'Kayotsarg' section. Practice it just for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Internal Trip (5 mins)
- Take your mind to the lower end of the spinal cord, called the Centre of Energy.
- Allow your mind to go upward inside your spinal cord up to the top of the head called the Centre of Knowledge.
- Again allow it to come back through the same path to the Centre of Energy.
- Again and again repeat the same process.
- Let your mind continuously undertake the trip inside the spinal cord and perceive the subtle vibrations of the vital energy, taking place inside the spinal cord, or whatever sensation you get there.
- Simply perceive them without any reaction. Concentrate your entire consciousness on the spinal cord.
You may synchronize your internal trip with the process of breathing. During exhalation, undertake the upward trip and during inhalation, undertake the downward trip. Use deep concentration and complete awareness.
Allow your mind to rise and fall inside the spinal cord just like mercury rising and falling inside the instrument used for measuring blood pressure.
Step 3: Perception of Deep Breathing
- Make the breath slow, long, and rhythmic
- During inhalation, the abdominal muscles should expand
- During exhalation, the abdominal muscles should contract
- Let the vibrations of each breath reach your navel.
- Then perceive each inhalation and exhalation through the respiratory tract. While you are breathing in, let your attention follow the breath inside. While you are breathing out, let your attention follow it outside.
- Let your mind and breath go hand in hand. Continuously the mind and breath should accompany each other.
- Continuously practice slow, long and rhythmic breathing - inhale and exhale each breath while remaining fully aware of it.
Step 4: Perception of bright white color on the Centre of Enlightenment (5 mins)
- Concentrate your mind on the Centre of Enlightenment, situated in the middle of your forehead.
- Allow your mind to penetrate inside and perceive bright white color there. You may visualize as if the bright white light of the full moon is spreading throughout the portion or visualize the bright white color of the snow or any other white thing.
- Practice concentrated visualization of bright white color on the center of enlightenment.
- Perceiving the bright white color, experience through auto-suggestion that all your passions & emotions are being pacified. All your excitations are subsiding. Your anger is waning away.
- Now allow your mind to spread throughout the whole portion of your forehead and perceive the bright white color there.
- Visualize that the particles of bright white light are permeating the whole portion of the forehead, covering the emotional area in the frontal lobe of your brain.
- Continuously perceive bright white color and experience complete tranquility, complete mental peace and bliss.
How to Conclude Meditation
1. Aphorism of conscience (Vivek Sutra)
With hands folded at ‘Center of Bliss’ (Anand kendra), recite the Vivek Sutra:
'Appana Sacchamesejja Mettim Bhuesu Kappae'.
'Search truth yourself and be friend to all living beings'.
Repeat three times.
'Ahamsu Vijja, Charanam Pamokkham'
2. Aphorism of refuge (Sharan Sutra):
For getting freedom from sufferings, practice knowledge and conduct.
Repeat three times.
Recite it three times:
Arahante Sharanam Pavajjami
Siddhe Sharanam Pavajjami
Sahu Sharanam Pavajjami
Kevali Pannattam Dhammam Sharanam Pavajjami
I take refuge in the omniscient ones (who have attained absolute knowledge and taught spirituality).
3. Obeisance to Truth:
I take refuge in the emancipated ones (who have attained absolute knowledge and are free from the cycle of birth and death)
I take refuge in the saints
I take refuge in the religion propounded by the omniscient one
Recite three times:
4. Open the eyes gently.
I pay homage to the truth