7 DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE
Welcome to the 7 Day Meditation Challenge
This challenge is for those who have never meditated before, or who have meditated in the past, but have fell off the momentum train. It is also for those who already have a meditation practice, but would like to try out the potentially different practices below.
Meditation is simple. The challenging part is the discipline that is required to pull yourself away from all of the worldly distractions (social media, tv, gossip, drama, entertainment and work), in order to practice and build up momentum, to really see the massive lasting benefits!
Meditation is a tried and tested method of training your mind. If you don’t choose the qualities of mind that you want to cultivate and then commit to instilling them, your mind will be molded and shaped by forces outside of yourself: social media, advertising, your inbox, other people, the news and so on.
The intention of this challenge, is to give you a jump start, a boost, in order to make meditation a regular part of your lifestyle.
Whether you are a spiritual seeker, truth seeker, or just want to be more healthy and happy in your life, meditation is the tool to do just that.
Essentially, meditation is a device that allows us to get in touch with the deeper reality of ourselves and life. If we take meditation all of the way to its ultimate potential, then it can awaken us to the SOURCE of Infinite Possibilities.
HOW TO BEGIN
The RULES of the challenge are this:
The Practices: Do the ‘Follow The Breath’ + ‘Focus On An Object’ (Active Meditations)
Duration: Meditate twice per day, everyday, for 7 days, 15 minutes per sitting
Time: No particular time, whatever suits your schedule. Basically at the beginning and near the end of your day. (Both ideally on an empty stomach, or after a very light meal or snack).
Order of the Meditations: If you are ‘high energy’ person (lots of energy and a busy mind in the day time) then it is recommended to do the ‘follow the breath’ meditation first, and the remaining practice in the evening. If you are a ‘low energy’ person (feel lethargic throughout the day) then it is recommended to do the ‘focus on an object’ meditation first.
Journal: Write down your experiences after each meditation practice, and throughout the day, to notice any big or subtle changes to your awareness, mind, emotions and experiences. (this is optional, but highly recommended). By writing down your experiences with the practices, during and afterwards, it helps for you to recognize any changes that may be occurring, that you may not have noticed previously. This allows you to track your progress.
Enjoy, Explore & Have Fun: Oh, and by the way, meditation is meant to be fun. Don’t take it too seriously, but also be sure to take it serious enough that you are able to be disciplined enough to reap the benefits of the practices. You are an ‘inner explorer’, traversing new exciting territory within yourself and reality. So have fun…that’s an order 🙂
'COUNTING THE BREATH' MEDITATION
Time Required: 15 minutes per day, building to 20-30 minutes if you continue with the practice for more than a month. (If you have an overactive mind with lots of energy, then do this practice in a morning, or in the evening for those who often feel lethargic throughout the day).
Many people do not breath correctly. They instead do what is called ‘reverse breathing’. To breath correctly, see the diagram to the right >>
This simple practice has been shown to transform peoples lives in so many ways. (See the benefits section below). Most of us don’t breath correctly, we actually breath very shallowly. By doing this, we don’t receive the right amount of oxygen we need to fully optimize our bodies, and we also don’t exhale fully, which releases 70% of the toxins out of our bodies! Because of this lack of quality breathing, it affects our health, immune system, nervous system and brain. Therefore leading to less clearness, clarity and focus of mind.
If there is one thing that we can rely upon to always be there whilst we are in these bodies, it is the constant movement caused by our breathing reflex. The breath is the very thing that ties us to the body itself, as without it we would immediately leave the body. It is a main source of our ‘life force energy’, known as Chi or Prana in the eastern spiritual traditions.
The inhalation and exhalation of the breath also connects us to all other beings and lifeforms. Just pause and contemplate for a few seconds on the fact that we are all sharing this resource – the air we breathe – and every single one of us not only shares but totally depends on this gift of breath on our planet.
So, because the activity of the breath is always present, we can very easily use it as a point of focus for meditation and greater expanded awareness. The very second we start to become aware of the breath and its movement, we start to become more consciously aware. The very essence of meditation, is to become more aware of ourselves in the present moment. As soon as we become aware of the breath, we are immediately transported into the present moment.
How To Practice
The most basic way to do mindful breathing is simply to focus your attention on your breath, the inhale and exhale. You can do this while standing, but ideally you’ll be in a comfortable sitting position with your back straight. Your eyes may be open or closed, but you may find it easier to maintain your focus if you close your eyes. But we will also look at a couple of variations that can be done to increase the development and effectiveness of the practice.
Basics of the practice
Ideally find somewhere comfortable to sit. Sit with your back straight in the cross legged position or in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the floor. Bring both hands onto your lap, in cosmic mudra (palms open facing up, with one hand on top of the other and thumb tips touching). Look towards the tip of your nose and gently close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing. Are you breathing?
Just focus on the breath, the inhale and exhale.
“Point of Focus” Variation 1
Your point of focus is just the STOMACH area in relation to the breath:
Bring your focus to the stomach and just notice how your stomach rises and falls with each inhalation and exhalation of the breath…
When the inhale happens and the stomach rises, you count 1. When the exhale happens and the stomach falls, you count 2. You continue with the next inhale to the count of 3, the next exhale 4, and so on and so forth until you reach the count of 10. Then you start again at number 1 and work your way back to 10, and repeat as such for the allocated time of the practice.
The twist of this variation is this – each time your mind wanders and you forget what count you are up to, even if only for a split second, then you have to start again from the beginning count of 1.
This is developing your focus and making sure you are paying full focus to the breath and the counting of the breath. Over time you will develop a laser-like focus and become more present.
“Point of Focus” Variation 2
Your point of focus is the NOSTRILS in relation to the breath
Bring your full focus to the spot between your nostrils and upper lip. Focus on the cool air as it passes in through your nostrils on the in-breath and how the warm air passes your lips or nostrils on the out-breath…
When the inhale happens and the cool air comes in, you count 1. When the exhale happens and the warm air moves out, you count 2. You continue with the next inhale to the count of 3, the next exhale 4, and so on and so forth until you reach the count of 10. Then you start again at number 1 and work your way back to 10, and repeat as such for the allocated time of the practice.
The twist of this variation also is this – each time your mind wanders and you forget what count you are up to, even if only for a split second, then you have to start again from the beginning count of 1.
In both variations, do not try to force the breath, nor suppress it, instead just allow it to happen naturally whilst you focus on it…
Each time you breathe out, allow your body to relax more and more. Allow yourself to watch and feel the breath for around 15 minutes (eventually build up to 30 minutes or more).
As you are paying attention to the breath, inevitably thoughts will come to take your attention away into thoughts of past, future, day-dreaming and judgments. If you wonder off and become distracted by thoughts, worry not, simply ‘note’ your wondering, and gently return your attention back to the breath.
Every time you find you have wondered off into thinking, repeat, and bring yourself back to the breath.
In this way, we are training and strengthening ourselves, to more consistently be in the present moment.
For the last couple of minutes of the practice, stop focusing on the breath, keep your eyes closed, and just allow yourself to meditate, by just being aware and present, not focusing on anything in particular, just to BE.
Once either or both of these variations are done ever day for at least 2-3 months, the practice can be advanced to other variations that will develop you in the practice even further. If you wish, you can work with me 1 2 1 to progress the practice further.
Just Some Of The Benefits:
- Calm & Clarity
- Creativity (The Ability To Access The Deeper Levels Of The Mind)
- Greater self-awareness
- Emotional Awareness (Of Yourself & Others)
- Self-Control (Developing More Self-Control In All Situations)
- More Presence Energyin
'FOCUS ON AN OBJECT' MEDITATION
Time Required: 15 minutes per day, building to 20-30 minutes if you continue with the practice for more than a month. (If you have an overactive mind with lots of energy, then do this practice in an evening, or in the morning for those who often feel lethargic throughout the day).
Many people find it difficult to have a steady stream of focus. They instead do what is called ‘unconscious-mind-wandering’. To sit correctly for this practice, see the diagram to the right >>
This practice, also used in some ancient spiritual systems, is there to develop a one-pointed mind. Thus allowing you to develop greater focus of mind, which enables you to experience more peace, happiness and success in your life. If you can focus your mind to the exclusion of all else, whilst in the present, and engaging in a certain task, you will be able to see that task right through to its completion. This completion of a task is what so many people in today’s world struggle with. In today’s modern busy lifestyle, and being bombarded daily by tv, media, news, social media and work life, it can be difficult for most people to focus on one thing at a time. Or to be PRESENT whilst engaging in multiple tasks at once. One of the main keys to success in life, is FOCUS.
Also, by having a mind that is more focused in the present, we suffer less stressful thoughts, and find a deep lasting peace that can turn into happiness and true fulfillment. Going deeper still, this practice has been used to create, what they call in the east ‘Samadhi’, which is the state of absorption with the absolute reality of ourselves and the universe. Essentially, this ‘state’, is not really a state, so much as it is our true nature. What has been often referred to as the True Self.
So in essence, this practice can lead us much deeper into the mysteries of reality.
How To Practice
Assume a comfortable meditative posture with your head, neck, and torso aligned. Set an object two feet in front of you, with the object positioned at eye level. (Best objects are a candle flame, if using a candle, make sure to have the room dark. Or you can use a spec on the wall, or a pin pointed light, or a small object that is simple in appearance. Like a pebble for example). Make sure the room is free from distractions.
Begin with your eyes closed, scanning the body and watching the breath until it becomes calm, regular, and even. Then open your eyes and rest your gaze on the middle part of the object. Keep your eyelids slightly more open than usual, and maintain your gaze without blinking or blurring your vision for as long as possible. Observe any thoughts that arise, watching them come and go without becoming engaged.
Close your eyes only when they begin to strain and water, and you can no longer sustain the gaze. (You can cup your palms and place them gently over the eyes to ease the strain, but do not rub the eyes; because the tears you have shed are carrying away impurities, wipe them gently with a tissue.) Then find the afterimage of the object in your mind’s eye, resting your awareness at the ajna chakra, or eyebrow center. If the image moves up and down or side to side, stabilize it by bringing it back to the center, and continue to fix your gaze until the impression disappears.
Then when ready, you can open your eyes again and repeat the first part of the practice. Continue to switch between these two phases of the practice for the duration of the meditation.
For the last couple of minutes of the practice, stop focusing on the object, close your eyes, and just allow yourself to meditate, by just being aware and present, not focusing on anything in particular, just to BE.
Just Some Of The Benefits:
- Improves Vision
- Concentration (Powerful Attention & One-Pointed Mind)
- Better Sleep
- Develops Intuition
- Improves Visualization Ability (Powerful Manifestation & Vision)
- Increase Willpower
With these practices and the culmination of meditation, your life can greatly transform in every perceivable way. Meditation has been studied and proven time and time again to have multiple benefits for body, mind, soul and everyday life situations.
To truly reap the benefits of these practices and meditation, we must cultivate discipline and consistency with these practices, and turn them into a lifestyle and new way of life for ourselves. Then the magic can begin to unfold.
One To One Help & Guidance With Christopher
If you need any help or guidance with these practices, or with anything else in relation of the path towards Self-Realization or Life-Actualization, then you may want to have a One On One Session With Christopher. Click here for more information about that.
Alternatively, if you are in the UK, or visiting, then he highly recommends coming to stay with him at his home for a few days (which he makes more affordable than the One To One Sessions). Click the link here for more information.
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