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Improving Your Meditation

Richard Pettinger

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1. Read books by Spiritual Masters and great seekers. When we read about the highest experiences of others we get a lot of encouragement and inspiration to try and attain these profound experiences ourselves. For example reading the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna or “Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda" will give an insight into the divine experiences of these 2 great Saints. They cannot help but inspire our own meditation.

2. Try a new Meditation Exercise. There are many different types of meditation exercises. If you are struggling with the same one it is good to try something a little different. For example you could just incorporate this simple pranayama exercise into the start of your meditation, it is called 1 – 4 –2 . When you breathe in repeat the name of God (or some mantra that inspires you) once. Then hold your breathe for four counts. Then as you exhale repeat your mantra twice. This will energise your entire being and quieten the mind.

3. Place great Intensity on your meditation. One thing we can try is to feel that this is our last day, our last opportunity to meditate. If we only had 1 more chance to meditate we wouldn’t waste it thinking about what to eat for tomorrow’s breakfast. Each time we meditate we should feel nothing else is important.

4. Set yourself Goals. For a week you could say every day I will meditate at 6.30pm for half an hour. If we set targets and stick to them we will definitely get more from a regular practise of meditation. If we have no regularity and meditate only when we can find time, often we find that several days can pass by without meditating.

5. Remember a Profound Meditation. If we have been practising meditation for a while we should try to visualize a really powerful meditation we had in the past. Imagination has its own power by visualising a high experience we can experience it again and also go beyond.

“If you enter into the world of imagination and stay there for 10 or 15 mins, power will automatically enter into your mediation, and it will bear fruit. Then it will not be imagination at all; you will actually be deep in the world of meditation. "

6. Meditate with Music. Spiritual, soulful music will elevate our aspiring consciousness. It will bring our heart and soul to the fore. This will make our meditation much more powerful, we will easily go beyond the activity of the mind and into the domain of the soul.

7. Make a really beautiful shrine. If we can create a sacred corner where we only meditate, we will be able to build up a powerful meditative vibration. If we decorate our shrine with beautiful flowers and candles, it will give us an added iota of inspiration in our meditation.

8. Never Give Up. If we feel that our meditation was not particularly good, we should not feel disappointed. If we judge our own progress negatively we will lose our inspiration to meditate. We should feel that each time we sit down to meditate we are making necessary progress even if outwardly we can’t see it.

Richard became interested in meditation and eastern mysticism whilst studying at University in Oxford. After studying various spiritual traditions he became a meditation student of Sri Chinmoy. Richard now offers meditation classes on behalf of the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Oxford.

- Sri Chinmoy


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