Learn to meditate!
Meditation is a state of consciousness which is just as natural to us as the waking, dream and deep sleep states with which we are all familiar. Just as there is no Buddhist dream state or Hindu deep sleep state or Christian waking state, there is no religion or tradition that can claim the state of meditation as their own. Thus everyone, regardless of religious affiliations, can practice and benefit from meditation and view the spiritual dimensions of this state from their own preferred tradition. Dr. Edwards has personally taught meditation to people of every faith, as well as priests, nuns, ministers, rabbis, Muslims, Native American elders, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics and atheists. Everyone can benefit from meditation and view their experiences from their own perspective. Fortunately we now have decades of scientific research proving the substantial positive effects that meditation has on the brain, body, immune system, attention, and even relationships.
Dr. Edwards, the founder and director of the Anam Cara Meditation, has taught meditation to thousands of individuals using practices from diverse traditions and disciplines including yogic, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Sufi, shamanic, scientific/clinical, biofeedback, neurofeedback, pranayama, mindfulness, and more. When taught skillfully many techniques can work to guide a person into accessing states of deep relaxation and meditation. People are drawn to different traditions and practices and it is best to find a school of thought or type of technique that you will really want to pursue through years of practice. This isn’t to say that all practices lead to the same level or depth of meditative awareness or can take one equally far along the meditative journey, but many techniques will do for the initial stages of learning to ease the mind, deeply relax the body, and begin dissolving the bondage we suffer from conditioned patterns of thinking/feeling/acting and identification with a false sense of self.
Why And How To Meditate
People meditate for a variety of reasons – improving health, enhancing performance, increasing creativity, reducing stress, opening the heart, and calming the mind. Some people meditate for religious or spiritual pursuits and the quest for wisdom and freedom from suffering. All of these can be accomplished if you meditate regularly. The basic practice of meditation is deceptively simple: you sit, relax, engage your attention and watch what happens. Of course we need to know what’s the best way to sit, what do we give our attention to and what is there to watch? (Below you’ll find detailed written meditation instructions that answer these questions, as well as free downloadable audio recordings of guided meditations to go along with the written instructions.)
Meditation traditions vary in their answers to these questions. Some traditions focus on devotion, some on knowledge, others on mantra and yet others on mindfulness or watchfulness. It’s fine to explore different techniques and philosophies to begin with. Eventually choose one that suits you best and practice it regularly. There’s an old saying, “it’s better to dig one well a hundred feet deep than 10 wells 10 feet deep.” Choose a meditation method and stay with it until you’ve tapped into the source of what you’re seeking deep within.
The links below provide free meditation instructions for both breath meditation and mantra meditation. Lawrence said, “I practiced meditation for many, many years simply using the empowered mantra and instructions that one of my meditation masters, Swami Muktananda, gave me. That mantra is Om Namah Shivaya, an ancient, extraordinarily powerful Sanskrit mantra that means, ‘I honor the Divine Within,’ within everything and everyone, including yourself. The power of mantra, called Shakti, goes far beyond the meaning of the words, as you will discover through your regular practice of it. The mantra is a throb, a pulse of the Infinite – become absorbed in it and it will take you to the very Source of mind and mantra.”
Click HERE for written meditation instructions by Lawrence Edwards, PhD
Click HERE for free MP3 guided deep relaxation/breath meditation by Lawrence Edwards, PhD
Click HERE for free MP3 guided mantra meditation using Om Namah Shivaya by Lawrence Edwards, PhD
(for MP3 downloads: right click on the link, save target as…)
Click Chants & Mantras for a copy of the Chants & Mantras used in the Anam Cara Meditation programs.
Click Heart Sutra Bhagavati Maha Prajná Páramitá Hridaya Sutra for a copy of the Heart Sutra chant.
Click Jai Mahadevi for the words to the Jai Mahadevi chant of the many names of the Divine Mother.
Deepening Your Meditation Practice
As your meditation practice develops you will learn more and more about yourself and about this highest of human endeavors. If you want to read about the practice of meditation, the inner realms you can explore, the psychology of meditation and yoga, and the transformative process that unfolds through the practice of meditation you might want to read The Soul’s Journey: Guidance From The Divine Within available from Barnes&Noble.com, Amazon.com, or a local bookseller. You can read reviews and learn more about it at thesoulsjourney.com. You may also find the book and audio program Awakening Kundalini: The Path To Radical Freedom will help to deepen your experience of meditation and expand your understanding of how the power of meditation can totally transform your life. Kundalini is the Sanskrit yogic term for the underlying power of Consciousness which is the root of meditative and yogic practices. Two other books I highly recommend are by John Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living and Wherever You Go There You Are. Also Lama Surya Das’ Awakening the Buddha Within is excellent.
Our bi-weekly programs, as well as courses and retreats, are designed to deepen and expand people’s meditative practices. You can view our events, courses and retreats pages. Due to COVID we are only offering online programs at this time.
Live Virtual Meditation Sessions (open to everyone):
1st & 3rd Thursdays at 7:15pm on Zoom until the COVID-19 virus passes,
Zoom meeting ID: 665 891 390, Thursdays at 7:15pm, password: OmKaliMa
May every meditation be a revelation
and every moment a meditation!
Lawrence Edwards, PhD, LMHC, BCN