MEDITATION FOR ANXIETY DISORDERS: STAGES OF MEDITATION

Posted on December 9, 2009, under Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid.

There are various phases of the meditative process. Most people experience them in varying degrees. Some people become very worried about these experiences. Therefore it is important to discuss them.

The one experience people worry about is the sensation of their body relaxing. Sometimes people have been so tense for so many years they have forgotten what it is like to feel even slightly relaxed. As their bodies begin to let go of the tension, people become anxious and interpret the sensations as a sign that their worst fears are about to come true. They don’t.

The first stage of meditation can be difficult for beginners. Our thoughts are not used to being ignored and they continually break through and demand attention. As long as we can accept this as normal and let go of them without becoming frustrated, we can move into the second stage of meditation.

As we enter the second stage of meditation we feel the quiet settle over us. Our breathing begins to slow down. Our thoughts are still rising and falling, but our attention is now much more focused on our technique. Everything moves into the background as our quietness grows.

We enter the third stage. Our breathing slows down even further and our body becomes deeply relaxed. We may feel as if we are as light as a feather, or we may feel a comfortable heaviness. We become aware that the continuous stream of thoughts has broken. They now rise slowly and separate from each other. Individually, they quietly rise and fall without us becoming distracted by them. We find our word or mantra becomes distorted. This is what is supposed to happen. Some of us may see brilliant white, black or other swirls of colour. We can use them to take ourselves deeper. Our thoughts drift in and out, slowly and quietly.

We then enter the full meditative state in which there is perfect quietness, an absence of thought, feeling or emotions. Unlike the stages of deep sleep, this state of consciousness is very dynamic. There is full awareness of ‘nothing’, but in that ‘nothing’ is an awareness of ‘every-thing’. In this state there is no technique and no thoughts or feelings-just an all-pervasive quiet. Yet we are aware of everything and in full control. When we think ‘this is wonderful’ the quiet is broken by that thought, but we can return to the quiet simply by returning to our technique.

This is meditation.

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