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    « Meditation Is the Systematic Release of Resistant or Stressful Thought | Main | Preview of this Thursday's Meditation Group »

    Meditation as an Attunement of Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit

    Meditation can mean many things -- many different understandings, practices, approaches and outcomes. In our weekly meetings, we've been discussing everything from Anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing) to Vipassana (mindfulness of thoughts, feelings and actions) to Mantra Upaya and Mantra Siddhi (skilled use of mantra as a Yoga, as a way of aligning one's total self). Our emphasis has mostly been on Mantra Siddhi, the use of mantra as a means for attuning the heart and mind to a more open, creative, harmonious and resourceful state of being.

    This use of mantra is nothing new. What is new, perhaps, is the way we're talking about it. We're using the concept of attunement to describe how the use of mantra in meditation allows one to intentionally cultivate mental and emotional states and habits of mind that are more adaptive, more resilient, and more useful in the pursuit of our aims and purposes.

    Mind is the vehicle through which we perceive, understand and operate in the world. It's not who we are, but it does play a large role in how we are, and what we can accomplish. Our quality of mind and, more to the point, our practiced state of mind, is what determines who we are and what we can be in this world.

    A clear and open mind, a mind that is calm and steady, a mind that is sensitive and perceptive, yet strong and resilient -- who wouldn't want more of that?

    Meditation is a way to condition the mind to be more agile, more strong, more naturally selective in a good and useful way, and overall, since this kind of mind is more adaptive, more able to enjoy life and living, regardless of the circumstances.

    We use the concept of attunement to describe how this happens. First, a definition of what we mean by the verb, "to tune," and what we mean by attunement:

    To tune something is to adjust it to a certain level of performance, the way we do with a musical instrument when we tune the strings to the correct or uniform pitch. Another analogue is the way we tune a transmitter or receiver circuit to the frequency of the desired (or required) signal.

    In the context of meditation, an attunement would be adjusting the mind and heart (through the use of s deliberate, sustained, focusing of attention) to a state or condition of mind (bhavana) that is more expansive, more resourceful, more joyful and more free. We deliberately use the practice of mantra to progressively liberate the mind from a more restricted, uncomfortable state, to a more useful, rewarding and adaptive state. This, over time, conditions the mind to operate spontaneously from a more rewarding "frequency." We train the mind to be more adaptive, more useful. We reduce conflict and resistance.

    The practice of Raja Yoga, as demonstrated in this Mantra Yoga, has been used for thousands of years to support this natural and holistic evolution of mind and consciousness.

    Yoga is about the perfection of the total self, meaning living one's greatest potential, supporting a natural and fully effective way of being through the systematic release of constraint and restriction in heart and mind as well as in the body.

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