Beginning Meditation. Look at it as mindfulness.
Sometimes, when people hear the world “meditation,” they assume that’s it’s not for them. But if you start with the notion of Mindfulness, that is just becoming mindful of the thoughts that go through you mind, it’s a perfect place to begin.
Daily Thought Review
In reading the insights taught by “Daskalos” which just means “Master” in Greek, Dr. Stylianos Atteshlis, described that every thought that you generate is called an elemental, and that it goes out from you and floats around and then comes back into your conscious with seven fold strength. These thought elementals plant seeds in your psychic body which can then grow fruit in your mind culminating in actions. Given this, it benefits us to do a daily Thought Self Review for five to ten minutes before sleep in order to look at the quality of the thoughts that you created during the day. Examine a reaction that you may have had. Look at why you got upset. How could you react differently? How could you have been more loving or more in control over your thoughts, putting out positive thoughts, cutting off negative thoughts?
Daskalos also taught to train your mind in concentration through this two minute practice:
Growth of a Strawberry Concentration Practice: Imagine the life cycle of a strawberry plant, or corn, or tomatoes. Imagine the seed being placed in the ground, then watering it regularly, then it growing, producing fruit, and the eating of the fruit. Just use this visualization as a practice of keeping your attention on this story arc. Let go of distracting thoughts- you can say, “planning” or “worrying.” Let go and come back to your plant growth visualization.
Here I lead you through this is a part of a Guided Mindfulness Meditation:
A short Mindfulness of Thoughts Guided Meditation in 4 parts, which aids in self calm. You count your thoughts for 1 minute, and then part 2, observe your thoughts for one minute, and then part 3, go through a 1 min simple growth of a plant visualization exercise and then conclude with watching your thoughts for a last 1 min, practicing loving kindness with naming thoughts which allows distancing through observation.
Sometimes, we aren’t aware of the quality of the thoughts that we put out with our minds. I worry. I revisit the past that I have no control over. Another tool, when a repetitive thought arises, is to cut it off, by repeating a one word mantra, like “Ram” or “Ommmmm” the “Om mani padme hum,” which means, “the jewel in the lotus.” You can imagine a friendly image, like of a corgi dog, or strawberry plant. You can label those repetitive thoughts, “worrying”, or “planning” and then just chant the mantra instead.
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Mantra: Mind Tool.
Another technique to use during the day is Mantra chanting, or the chanting of a memorized passage, or a prayer like the Hanuman Chalisa. When you are filling your mind with divine names or words, you are cutting off the often unhelpful repetition of past events that are not real anymore and serve no purpose.
Chanting of divine mantras also helps purify the mind.
One of Daskalos’ students, Kostas had reservations about some people allowing their chakras to open during mantra chanting, allowing in undesirable forces. I have not had this issue. But you can imagine a white star of light in protection around you, and then surround yourself with a golden light orb of protection before you chant or meditate.
The best practice is the practice that you will do daily. Start with one minute a day. That’s six breaths. That’s all that I could do when I began.
More practices are available at Ahananath: https://ahananath.com/blog/