Meditation is a practice of finding balance between effort and surrender; balancing the will
power to sustain concentration and detachment from distraction to remain in the heightened
state of awareness, and the ability to relax, surrender and let go of all expectations and desires.
There are many simple techniques for meditation to bring the mind into focus, returning it to
stillness; Slow and steady Pranayama can always be engaged to refresh and revitalize the
mind if it’s feeling tired, fatigued or unfocused. Here are a few examples of meditation
Awareness – Breath or the space between breaths/the 3rd eye/ the sacred space of the heart
/ sounds of the environment
Prayer / Gratitude – Connect with the highest source and get clear on the feeling you wish
fulfilled. “Prayers go up, blessings come down”. Gratitude is another powerful form of prayer
that breeds contentment with life.
Chanting Mantra– Vibration, Aum/Sacred sounds (see section on chanting mantra)
Who Am I? – The main practice of Self-Inquiry as taught by Ramana Maharishi.
Affirmations – Purifying thoughts, using words that benefit and cultivate our highest good
Yantra/Mandala – 2 or 3 dimensional spiritual/Ritual circle that represent the universe,
used to focus meditation and create sacred space
Guided Meditation – e.g. Yoga Nidra, Visualizations
External Objects – e.g. Japa mala (with 108 mala rudraksha or other beads), candle gazing,
Active Meditation– e.g. Asana, walking, dancing, Qi gong, breath observation
Vipassana - Insight meditation, watching the space between breaths
Metta Meditation –Buddhist practice of Loving Kindness - Compassion for Self and
Chakra Meditation – Chanting beej or seed sounds of the chakras or simply focusing on the
physical counterpart location and glands associated with each chakra
Key Meditation Practice Points
• Be Consistent and Create a Habit
• Create a Sacred Space and/or Alter Space
• Time – Most ideal for practice is dawn and dusk, especially Brahmamuhurta
between 3 - 6am when the atmosphere is most clean, charged and unruffled by
the activities of the day
• Establish a comfortable sitting position
• Be mindful of the Breath
Mantra / Chanting
“The aim is spiritual, not denominational. The power of mantra lies in the vibrations, and these vibrations
work on many levels, whether the sayings are pronounced out loud or silently …The simple act of saying a
mantra will still bring the heart and mind into alignment with its subtle goal, which is to bring heightened selfawareness and a deeper sense of peace and calm.” – Alanna Kaivalya
In Bhakti Yoga, or the yoga of devotion, we surrender the ego, our intellect, our doubts,
judgments & fears, and we harness the power of our emotions to help fuel our connection
with the divine. In opening our heart in this way we create greater awareness and
understanding of our true nature, bringing us into deeper levels of contentment, sweetness,
compassion, light and energy.
Mantra Yoga – Man – thinking mind, Tra – to protect or expand. Mantras are powerful
sound vibrations that have the ability to alter consciousness. Through the practice of chanting,
we center consciousness on Spirit through the repetition of powerful incantations and seed
sounds of universal sounds. The power of mantra lies in vibrations, and it works on many
levels, both subtle and overt. We can invoke an intention or the quality or essence of a
Chanting - Chants are uplifting compilations of vibrations that
can be used as prayers for peace, health, wellbeing, to focus the
mind and empower whatever we want to give energy to. Chanting
has the power to awaken our physical and energetic bodies. It can
be used to loosen mental chatter to still the mind, becoming onepointedly focused, and bringing the heart into alignment.
In kirtan, or call and response devotional singing, we lift our
voices to heal our spirits and raise our vibrations by repeating
mantras over and over, shifting our awareness from our heads to our hearts. Singing reminds
us of our essential nature: joyful, openhearted, centered, and blissful.
Aum is the most universal of Hindu symbols and its sound is
used in most yoga traditions to promote body-mind harmony.
We often begin and end each yoga asana class with 3 Aums, to
bring each individual and the collective into this harmony.
The sound of Aum spans the full range of the human voice,
beginning at the base of the spine, moving up to the navel and
slowly vibrating up to the 3rd eye chakra and beyond.
Aum is said to be the primordial sound of creation; the sound
of all things in the universe vibrating simultaneously. Aum is
used to symbolize the universe and the ultimate reality,
representing the three aspects of God: Brahma – Creator (A), Vishnu - Sustainer (U) and
Shiva – liberator/destroyer (M). Aum is a also said to be a prayer of protection, representing:
“a” –the waking experience, “u” – the dream experience, “m” – the deep sleep experience.
Many traditions use this sound to seal or confirm a prayer, for example “Amen” is used in
Judeo-Christian cultures and “Aho” in Native American tradition.
Aum Asatoma Sat Gamaya Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya Mrytor ma Amritam Gamaya
May we be led from untruth to truth, from the darkness of delusion to the brilliant light of true wisdom, from
worldly death to the immortality of the soul