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Practical Meditations

Even though you yourself do not have shackles around your ankles, and you do not live in a prison with walls, you live in a prison of your own creation.

A General Guide
Loosen or remove any tight or uncomfortable clothing and make sure you will be warm.
Sit or lie comfortably
Apply to all meditations unless otherwise instructed.
It is important during any meditation not to judge yourself or be mentally or emotionally moved by distractions, treat your mind gently as you bring it back to the task at hand.

Breath Meditation
Close your eyes and simply observe your breath.
Feel the breath as it passes through your nostrils and follow the path down into your lungs.
Be aware of your lungs filling with the breath and how full they become.
Then watch as your breath is released.
Look for the details in your breath, the degrees of evenness, of smoothness, of softness and taste and smell.
Observe nuances, the differences between each breath and if you find your mind wanders off, acknowledge the distraction and gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
Begin with five minutes 2x daily and extend to 15-20 minutes 2x daily over a month long period.

This is one of the most simple meditations, yet it is still taught and practiced widely around the world by different schools.

Sound Meditation ( Mantra)
AUM is considered the universal sound  "唵" representing the beginning
Simply sit comfortably and repeat this simple word vocally or silently.
A - emerges from the throat, originating in the region of the navel, long as in 'aaa'
U - rolls over the tongue sa 'ooo'
M - ends on the lips and fades

Mantra has more substance than observance and maybe easier than mental concentration.

Om Pame Padme Hum
This is a Tibetan mantra which translated means "hail to the jewel in the lotus" the jewel being the essence of truth and the lotus the world.

Om - Ma - Ni - Pad - Me Hum
(ohm) - (mah) - (nee) - (pahd) - (may) - (hum)

This can be repeated any time and anywhere, silently or vocally.
This is the mantra of Chenrezi, the Buddha of compassion and by repeating it, one becomes more compassionate.

Prayer to the Medicine Buddha

Chose a Subject
A mental exercise as much as a meditation, take a simple object, say a pen, a household item or a tool, anything.
Use your eyes, look at it, touch it and appreciate it's appearance, colour shape, impression. Then think where it came from, i.e. a shop and all the processes and hands that helped bring that item into your possession. (shopkeeper, wholesaler, manufacturer, inventor and all the other suppliers of food, clothing, materials, ideas from all contributors, wives, farmers etc.)
This is a good meditation for universal understanding and if one was to write down the results for an everyday object like a computer, it would take many 1000's of pages.



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