Tibetan Power Meditation: Secrets To Success

how to get better at meditation tibetan power

Tibetan Buddhist meditation is a powerful practice that can help individuals achieve a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. It involves stabilizing the mind and taming the monkey mind to bring about health and happiness. While there are different techniques, such as visualization, breath awareness, and focusing on the mind itself, they all aim to cultivate relaxation, stability, and clarity.

One common method is to focus on an image of the Buddha, either a statue or a painting, and then visualize it with closed eyes. Another technique is breath awareness, where one focuses on the sensations of breathing. The most subtle method is directing one's awareness to the mind itself, observing thoughts and mental events without attachment or suppression.

Through regular practice, Tibetan meditation has been shown to have numerous benefits, including stress relief, improved memory and attention, reduced inflammation, and better management of anxiety. It is a form of mental hygiene that, with consistent practice, can lead to improved psychological and emotional well-being.

Characteristics Values
Purpose Tame the "monkey mind" and transform it into a tool to create health and happiness
Options Sitting, walking, lying down, dancing, listening to music
Time Start with a brief two-minute meditation every hour
Posture Cross-legged on the floor, preferably in the full- or half-lotus position
Back Straight, with vertebrae one above the other like a pile of coins
Shoulders Level and parallel with the floor
Arms Slightly rounded and away from the body, with hands in the lap, palm upwards, right on top of the left, tips of the thumbs touching
Neck Slightly forward, with chin tucked in a little
Eyes Closed lightly or open slightly, with gaze down the line of the nose
Lips and teeth Closed lightly, with the tip of the tongue touching the roof of the mouth just behind the top teeth
Object of focus Breath, an image of the Buddha, the mind itself

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The importance of visualisation in Tibetan Buddhist meditation

Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques often include visualisation practices. In these practices, the meditator re-imagines themselves and others as benevolent beings and the environment as a pure, heavenly realm. This is accompanied by a mantra, which is an expression of pure sound or speech. The purpose of this practice is to develop positive qualities such as compassion and goodwill.

The technique of visualisation is quite different from other forms of meditation, such as shamatha or calm abiding, as it uses our imagination. However, imagination also plays a major part in our deluded experience of life. Everything we encounter and perceive in our daily life is a product of our imagination, and these mental habits are so deeply rooted that we forget they are little more than fantasy. Therefore, visualisation is a powerful tool to change the way we look at our world.

The main purpose of visualisation practice is to purify our ordinary, impure perception of the phenomenal world by developing "pure perception". This means looking at the world through emotional filters that we label as "desire", "jealousy", "pride", "ignorance", and "aggression". Everything we perceive is coloured by myriad variations of these five emotions.

Visualisation practice can also involve traditional symbolism that Westerners may struggle to relate to. For example, Tibetan teachers may ask students to picture the Buddha as he is traditionally depicted in Tibet, adorned with ornaments that are valued by Tibetans and convey specific meanings to them. However, the point of visualisation practice is not to become a perfect Tibetan iconographer, but to transform one's perception.

Visualisation can also be enhanced by a feeling of place. For example, meditating in special places like fast rivers, high mountains, sacred spaces, and cemeteries can enhance the feeling of extraordinariness.

Ultimately, the most important goal of Buddhist meditation, particularly the Bodhisattvayana, is the realisation of nonduality. One of the most effective methods for accomplishing this is the practice of visualisation, central to which is the dissolution of the deities or gurus as they merge with the practitioner. This is an extremely useful tool until we fully realise nonduality, or the absence of separation between appearance and emptiness.

In conclusion, visualisation is a powerful form of meditation that can help us access the limitless power of our minds and transform our impure perception of the world. By imagining ourselves and others as enlightened beings, we can actualise that state more quickly and develop qualities such as compassion and goodwill.

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The role of the Buddha in Tibetan Buddhist meditation

Buddhahood is defined as a state free of the obstructions to liberation as well as those to omniscience (sarvajñana). When one is freed from all mental obscurations, one is said to attain a state of continuous bliss mixed with a simultaneous cognition of emptiness, the true nature of reality.

Tibetan Buddhist meditation teaches practitioners to cleanse their minds of ignorance and the other delusions that spring from it, such as attachment, jealousy, pride and hatred. These delusions obscure the mind’s clear light nature and are the actual cause of all the suffering we experience.

Tibetan Buddhist meditation also teaches practitioners to develop desirable attributes such as love, compassion, tranquility, concentration and divine intelligence, which are the cause of all happiness.

Tibetan Buddhist meditation is of two types: analytical and concentrative. In analytical meditation, practitioners use their powers of logical reasoning to examine the teachings to determine for themselves whether or not they are true, to eradicate doubt, and to come to a clear and unshakable conclusion about the way in which things exist. In concentrative meditation, practitioners learn to focus their mind single-pointedly on a mental object until their mind can rest effortlessly on that object for hours or even days at a time.

The Buddha is said to have identified two paramount mental qualities that arise from wholesome meditative practice: serenity or tranquillity (Pali: samatha) and insight (Pali: vipassanā). Serenity steadies, composes, unifies and concentrates the mind, while insight enables one to see, explore and discern "formations" (conditioned phenomena based on the five aggregates).

Meditation Simplified: Sahaj Marg

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How to focus on the breath in Tibetan Buddhist meditation

Breath control is a powerful technique to calm the mind and gain control over your moods and mental states. The ancient Tibetan meditation traditions teach that the breath and the mind are closely linked. By focusing on the breath, you can moderate your moods, improve your concentration, and overcome mental illness.

Posture

It is important to sit up very straight when practising breath control in Tibetan Buddhist meditation. The subtle energy channels running either side of the spine are an essential feature of this practice. Your posture should be aligned, straight, comfortable, and relaxed. This reflects the state of mind you are trying to achieve: relaxed and focused.

Visualisation

Visualise a ‘central channel’ about 1cm thick from your perineum to the crown of your head, and two ‘side channels’ going in through the nostrils up to the third eye or eyebrow level. Then, visualise these channels going down either side of the central channel, merging just below the navel. All the ‘channels’ are hollow like plumbing pipes.

Breathing

Take a few long, slow breaths. When you breathe in, straighten up, and on the out breath, subtly relax the shoulders, face, and hands but keep good alignment. Visualise yourself as hollow, like a balloon, with your skin glowing and brilliant, and only empty space inside.

Now, gently raise your hand to your face and press on the outside of your left nostril, blocking it. Breathe in a long, deep, smooth breath through your right nostril, imagining drawing in universal white healing light down the right channel to your belly. Hold the breath momentarily in the central channel just below the navel, and then block the right nostril, releasing the air up through the left channel and out through the left nostril. Imagine black smoke representing all negativity, illness, and blockages releasing through the left nostril. Repeat this two more times.

Now, do the opposite: breathe in through the left nostril and out through the right nostril three times, imagining white light filling the channels and then releasing dark smoke.

For the last round, breathe in slowly through both nostrils, imagining white light filling the channels down to the navel, and then release the breath through both nostrils, expelling dark smoke.

Tips

  • When you focus all your concentration on the breath, try to get a sense that your attention or mind is riding on top of the breath.
  • Your breath should be visualised as white light to realise the prana aspect of the practice. Your breath is not just air or oxygen, it is the vital life force.
  • After this meditation, sit quietly and feel and sense your body completely for a few minutes.
  • It is recommended to do two full rounds of this meditation before moving on to other techniques.

Other Techniques

Other techniques for focusing on the breath in Tibetan Buddhist meditation include:

  • Focusing on the rise and fall of the abdomen during the in- and out-breath.
  • Focusing on the tactile sensations, from the nostrils down to the abdomen, that are associated with the respiration.
  • Focusing on the sensations of the breath passing through the apertures of the nostrils and above the upper lip.
  • Counting exhalations in cycles of 10, then counting inhalations in cycles of 10, then focusing on the breath without counting.

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The benefits of Tibetan Buddhist meditation for the nervous system

Tibetan Buddhist meditation has been found to have a wide range of benefits for the nervous system, promoting mental and physical health and well-being. Here are some of the key advantages:

Improved Mental Focus and Stability:

Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques, such as focusing on the breath or visualising the Buddha, help to stabilise and tame the mind, making it easier to concentrate. This mental training is like exercising a muscle, and with practice, one can gain better control over their attention.

Enhanced Cognitive Function:

Studies have shown that long-term practitioners of Tibetan Buddhist meditation exhibit improved cognitive function, including increased attention, perceptual style, and sensory acuity. This suggests that meditation helps develop the full mental potential, leading to enhanced brain processing power.

Stress Reduction and Relaxation:

Meditation practices are known to reduce stress and promote relaxation. By calming the mind and reducing excitement, Tibetan Buddhist meditation can lower agitation and tension, contributing to a more serene and stable mental state.

Improved Emotional Balance:

Practices like compassion meditation help cultivate loving-kindness and compassion, enhancing emotional balance. Regular meditation can lead to a more open heart and a reduction in negative emotions, promoting overall well-being.

Health Benefits:

Tibetan Buddhist meditation has been linked to improved physical health, including reduced insurance costs and lower heart disease-related expenses. It is also said to slow down the ageing process, improve immune function, and contribute to better overall health parameters.

Neuroplasticity:

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to change in response to experience. Research suggests that long-term meditation can physically alter the structure and function of the brain, leading to enhanced connectivity and the development of new neural circuits. This highlights the transformative power of mental training.

Tibetan Buddhist meditation offers a rich array of techniques to explore and develop one's potential. By incorporating these practices into one's life, individuals can experience improved mental clarity, emotional balance, and overall well-being, benefiting their nervous system and overall health.

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How Tibetan Buddhist meditation can help you achieve enlightenment

Tibetan Buddhist meditation is a powerful tool for achieving enlightenment, the highest possible state of mind and everlasting, blissful happiness. Here's how it can help you on your journey:

Calming the Monkey Mind:

Tibetan meditation aims to tame the "monkey mind," helping you control your thoughts and improving your focus. By observing your thoughts without judgement, you can gain insight into the true nature of your mind and reality.

Developing Positive Qualities:

Visualisation practices are common in Tibetan Buddhist meditation. By reimagining yourself and others as benevolent beings in a pure, heavenly realm, you cultivate compassion, goodwill, and loving-kindness. This practice enhances your immune system, opens your heart, and promotes balance in your life.

Stabilising and Training the Mind:

Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques, such as focusing on the breath or visualising the Buddha, help stabilise your mind. This stability allows you to gain insight into the true nature of your mind and reality, which is a crucial step on the path to enlightenment.

Overcoming Suffering:

Tibetan Buddhist meditation teaches you to identify and let go of negative thoughts and emotions, such as greed, anger, jealousy, and fear. By breathing in suffering and breathing out compassion, you can transform negativity into compassion for yourself and others, reducing suffering and increasing happiness.

Improving Health and Wellbeing:

Meditation has been shown to have significant health benefits, including reduced stress, anxiety, and inflammation, as well as improved memory and attention. Long-term practitioners may also experience reduced biological ageing and improved overall health, as meditation helps to optimise the brain's resource utilisation and enhances brain function.

Achieving Enlightenment:

The ultimate goal of Tibetan Buddhist meditation is to attain enlightenment. Through dedicated practice, you can purify your mind, develop wisdom and compassion, and free yourself from ignorance and delusions. This journey requires individual effort and motivation, but it is a path that anyone can walk towards everlasting happiness and liberation from suffering.

Frequently asked questions

Tibetan Buddhist meditation can be broadly divided into two types: analytical meditation and concentrative meditation. In analytical meditation, you use logical reasoning to examine the teachings, eradicating doubt, and coming to clear conclusions about the nature of existence. In concentrative meditation, you focus your mind single-pointedly on a mental object, like your breath, until you can rest your mind on that object for hours.

Tibetan Buddhist meditation can help you to purify your mind of ignorance, attachment, jealousy, pride, and hatred. It can also help you to develop desirable attributes such as love, compassion, tranquility, concentration, and divine intelligence, which are the cause of all happiness.

One common Tibetan Buddhist meditation technique is to focus on an image of the Buddha. First, you gaze at a statue or painting of the Buddha until you are familiar with its appearance. Then, you close your eyes and simulate that image with your imagination. Another technique is to focus your awareness on the breath. You can focus on the rise and fall of the abdomen during the in- and out-breath, the tactile sensations associated with the respiration, or the sensations of the breath passing through the nostrils and above the upper lip.

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