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Meditation Sitemap
Meditation Articles for Kids
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Meditate to Find Answers

collection for adults by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

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Collection Six – 201 to 250

Articles teaching adults about meditation, including prayers for special occasions

201. Meditate to Find Answers

202. Impulse Control Breathing Meditation
203. Sri Sarada Devi (1853-1920)

204. Water Floating Meditation

205. Develop a Loving Attitude Guided Meditation

206. Meditation During Daily Chores

207. Drawing in the Experience of Bliss Meditation

208. Can Meditation Give Me Self Realization?

209. Meditation Is for Everyone

210. Lift Your Vibration by Meditating

211. Finding Direction for What Is Best Using Meditation

212. A Tribute to Satya Sai Baba

213. Meditating During Illness

214. Meditating While on the Move

215. Meditation at Your Desk

216. Walking in the Light of Meditation

217. Illusion, Meditation, Change

218. Meditate and Follow Guideposts for Living

219. Meditation Plus the Greatest Good Feels Peaceful

220. Bodies Without Borders

221. Complicated Issues and Meditation

222. Controlling Behavior and Meditation

223. Why Am I Where I Am?

224. Where Is Meditation?

225. Experiencing Joy by Reflecting and Meditating

226. Hugging and Meditation Are Nurturing

227. Combining Hatha and Raja Sutras with Meditation

228. Gratitude Is an Outcome of Meditation

229. When to Change Your Meditation Routine

230. Spring Meditation in the Garden

231. Combining Prayer and Meditation

232. Meditation Is a Towline to the Divine

233. In Deep Meditation Walk Through the Inner Doorway

234. Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII Canonized

235. Meditation Is a Science

236. Moving from Activity to Quiet Meditation

237. Meditation Can Help Bear Grief

238. Tune into Your Deeper Self in Meditation

239. Meditation and Your Spiritual Spiral

240. Morning Meditation

241. Meditate to Nurture Peace

242. Summer Herb and Meditation Garden

243. Aspirations, Mantras, Meditation

244. Preparing for Evening Meditation

245. Meditate When All Else Fails

246. Ethics, Virtues, Meditation, and Spiritual Growth

247. While Meditating Visualize a Peaceful Life

248. Creative Solutions and Meditation

249. Meditative State of Mind

250. Meditation Can Spiritually Deepen Relationships


more articles

 

 



201. Meditate to Find Answers

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

One way to find an answer is to relax into a deep meditation. As we sit still the body calms and settles. Then by concentrating on breathing and saying a mantra we free space in the depths below the rambling mind to pull out the answer to a problem.

 

Meditation

 

Begin by gathering together a journal and pen to record insights from the meditation. Choose a place where you will have quiet and privacy. Light your meditation candle and burn incense if you wish. I like to fill the air with the scent of sandalwood because it is clearing to me.

 

Sit on a cushion on the floor with your legs bent in, or sit on a chair with the soles of your feet firmly planted on the floor for balance. Keep your back straight but not rigid. Fold your hands in your lap or place them face up or face down on your thighs.

 

Close your eyes and begin even and regular breathing, which means like your everyday breathing. For example, breathe in one count, breathe out one count, breathe in one count and continue this rhythmic pattern throughout your meditation.

 

Do not hold your breath at any time in your practice. If your thoughts stray during meditation gently return to following the course of your breaths in and out, in and out. The photo illustrates the use of mala beads when you use a mantra. Move one bead forward with each mantra repetition. Coordinate saying the syllables of your mantra to fit with the even breathing. If your mantra has 2 syllables breathe in on the first and out on the second syllable. If there are more syllables figure out how to divide them to keep the breathing pattern.

 

All of this figuring out will keep your mind busy in a repetitive way to allow the deeper question the space to work itself out and bring the answer you are needing to the forefront in your consciousness.

 

When the mind is calm and one-pointed, answers have room to swim to the surface of mind without hitting and being delayed by extraneous thoughts.

 

After watching your breathing for a few minutes and saying your mantra if desired ask the question you wish answered.

 

Say a few prayers or affirmations of appreciation for new insights that arise to the surface.

 

Finish your meditation session with a long breath in and a matching exhalation. Open your eyes, stretch out, record your insights in your meditation journal now, while fresh in your mind.



202. Impulse Control Breathing Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

When we stoop to act on the impulse of negative or nasty thoughts we disturb our bodily peace and harmony.

Negativity or nastiness is our own business and not others' fault as we may claim to ourselves. We are the only ones disturbing our peace and upsetting our body. If you find yourself shaking or your body otherwise upset you've lost your balance.

When we let situations escalate to the point we feel upset we're more liable to act negatively to those around us. If we were feeling peaceful and calm in the midst of the same event we would be less likely to blame others.

Instant breathing meditation

This instant meditation is mood and thought changing, with the aim of regaining your peace of mind and center of harmony, before exploding into a volcano of negative words and actions.

You can do this without others even being aware of your secret fix.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, turn your attention to your breath. Breathe in and out evenly like this: breathe in 2 counts, breathe out 2 counts, breathe in 2 counts and continue for at least half a minute.

This interval of calm and control over your actions breaks the train of negative energy and gives you time to regroup your thoughts.

By regaining your balance you can more easily think through a solution to what you were frustrated about. It is helpful to write out in a journal a plan of action to avoid a future negative scene. It is not healthful to raise your blood pressure with negative or nasty actions.

Some more thoughts:
As humans we have developed regions of our brain that are dedicated to creative thinking, planning and problem solving. When we act out on negative emotions we are not using those areas, we are using the lower brain. I've heard the more primitive brain area referred to as our instinctual brain area, controlling the automatic bodily functions.

Everyone wants to be happy and thinks the way they are acting is the way to get to that happiness. But this can be so far from the truth if we resort to negativity or nastiness with others.

It is by maintaining harmonious relationships that we feel happiness and harmony in our body and peace in our mind. Doing good in the world takes us away from thinking about ourselves for the moment, and we find that therein lies the elusive happiness we all want.

Negativity and nastiness play no part in our peace and happiness. When needed, use the instant breathing meditation to calm down and feel good again, then use your journal to write down ways to resolve the situation bothering you.



203. Sri Sarada Devi (1853-1920)

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Ah, dear Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi. 100 years ago the world was benefiting by your holy physical presence, but I have found your work lives on today.
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: photo credit of Vedanta Temple by Susan Kramer
My first contact with the life and story of Sri Sarada Devi was by visiting the Vedanta Temple in Montecito, California, just south of Santa Barbara.

The 45 acre temple grounds house 9 Sarada Convent nuns from the order she established after the passing of her spiritual husband, Sri Ramakrishna.

While visiting the bookstore on the temple grounds, one of the nuns told me the name Sarada is a shortened version of Saraswati, the goddess of music.

Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Sarada Devi enjoyed a spiritual marriage with devotion, but without physical consummation. Each in their own way followed Spirit's dictates in leading a life that to this day benefits humanity.

Before Sri Ramakrishna's passing in 1886, Sri Sarada Devi served her husband and his disciples. It was in widowhood that Sri Sarada Devi came into further prominence by serving more of the humanity at large.

She did not leave huge volumes of writings, but each phrase was a nugget of wisdom that will forever stand on its own.

What can we learn from her life of devotion and simplicity? Make every moment and every act one of meditation.

Sri Sarada Devi's life example has been a constant reminder to me to be kind and caring every day in every way - to really put the softness and sweetness flowing from the meditative state to the test in serving the world with love.

On a personal note, my 5th child, who I named Sarada, was born 60 years from the date and time Sri Sarada Devi passed from this life.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Book - Sri Sarada Devi The Holy Mother: Her Teachings And Conversations

Article and photo of Vedanta Temple in Santa Barbara, California by Susan Helene Kramer


 

204. Water Floating Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

On a hot day there is nothing like a cool dip in the pool or a natural body of water to refresh body, mind and spirit.

 

I’ve lived near a natural body of water all my life, as a child and young adult on a river and now the sea, so I know firsthand the rejuvenating power of submersion in water.

 

To begin your meditation take time to immerse yourself. Do stretching exercises or swimming strokes to get the kinks out and use up nervous energy. Your meditation will be the reward.

 

Ready for the stillness? 

 

Float on your back letting your body go as you would with a deep relaxation on your back on land. Shake out your feet and work your way up your body.

 

Of course you want to stay conscious so you don’t get water in your nostrils.

 

Extend your arms out to the sides for balance and move them as necessary while your body is being fully supported by the water.  The back of your neck and ears will be submersed.

 

Alternately, lay on your back on a raft or flotation device. If you are in the sun lather on enough sunscreen to protect your skin from radiation.

 

Now begin a period of even and regular breathing such as one count to inhale and one count to exhale and continue this rhythmic pattern.

 

Begin listening to the sounds of nature, the repeated chirping of birds, buzzing of bees, whatever is in your environment.

 

After a few minutes of relative stillness stretch out, roll over on your stomach and swim for a minute before coming out to dry off.

 

The effects of meditating in water are so refreshing because you almost lose consciousness of your body, you literally take a load off your body and by relaxing bring peace and harmony to mind.

 

Even in the ocean you can relax into a modified meditation and float up and down on the waves. Also if it is very salty body of water this will aid in supporting you.

 

Enjoy your time in water meditation, especially during the dog days of summer. It is a mini retreat amidst the hub bub of daily life.

 


 

205. Develop a Loving Attitude Guided Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Attitude supersedes thought so we can see how important it is to develop a loving attitude if we wish to have harmonious relationships. And not just with a partner or our family, but with all creation.

 

A loving attitude is like a doorway that opens us to an expanded feeling and point of view in all situations.

 

When faced with a situation where choices for the good need to be made, it is a loving attitude that zeros in on the best option or resolution. When all concerned have the attitude to resolve for the best, the right answers float into our consciousness as an “aha” moment.

 

Meditation to develop a loving attitude

 

Go to your quiet meditation place and have your journal handy to write out any insights.

 

Sit on a blanket or cushion with your legs bent in, or sit upright in a chair with the soles of your feet firmly planted on the floor for balance.

 

Fold your hands in your lap or place them face up or face down on your thighs.

 

Begin even and regular breathing like this for example: breathe in one count; breathe out one count; breathe in one count and continue this pattern throughout the meditation without actually saying the numbers. Do not hold your breath at any time.

 

Even, regular breathing is the tie that binds the mind and body in calmness and steadiness. When upset a few minutes of this breathing calm both mind and body, so it is a very useful technique to practice.

 

Once your breathing is even turn your thoughts to the phrase “loving attitude.”  Imagine you are on a sailing ship going through life that is totally controlled by thought. While you are holding a loving attitude the vessel keeps to an even keel and you are invigorated by the ride. But, if you let yourself see the negative sides of an issue repeatedly the keel leans to the side instead of staying upright, and splash, you’re in the water and must struggle to get back onboard.

 

Reflect that with life being like keeping the ship of your life on an even keel through a loving attitude producing positive thoughts, you’ll be able to stay more comfortably dry.

 

Now, while your eyes are still closed practice feeling loving toward a dear one and extend that thought to the world. Hold onto this feeling when you finish your meditation.

 

Take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Open your eyes and stretch out. Write any new insights in your meditation journal for future reflection.

 

For the rest of the day practice holding a loving attitude and gradually let this practice seep into your relationships.

 


 

206. Meditation During Daily Chores

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Yes, washing dishes and other daily chores can seem like a waste of time, because they need to be repeated again and again.

 

What makes dish washing tolerable is holding an attitude of acceptance that it needs to be done and there is no way around it. It is part of the dues we pay for eating.

 

Dish washing meditation

 

Preparation: Scrape and stack dishes in sink that is filled with soapy water. Let dishes soak.

 

Later, lift dishes out to side board leaving cutlery in soapy water. Pour a glass of dish water into any pots so they will be easier to scrub.

 

Take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Immerse hands in soapy water on the next in-breath and while breathing out begin washing each utensil with complete attention. Keep your breath easy and even and keep thinking about cleaning the utensils. After each handful of utensils rinse and stand them up in drain board.

 

Now lower the glasses and cups into the soapy water, and again while breathing evenly concentrate on swishing around inside and on the rims, then rinse and stand open end down in drain board. Take time to dry and put the cutlery away.

 

Put the dishes and bowls in the sink and rejoice that you’re probably over the hump. Swish the surfaces, rinse and stand on edge in the drain board to let gravity pull away the stream of water running off each.

 

Now dry the outsides of the glasses and put away. Dry the dishes and stack for the next use.

 

Immerse the pots in the water and scrub as needed before rinsing and setting in drain board. While washing, swishing and scrubbing keep up your even breathing.

 

You’ll find that the regular even breathing actually brings a state and feeling of calm, so that dish washing, rather than being a nasty chore, becomes an opportunity for quiet meditation, reestablishing harmony in the daily routine.

 

While this at first may read like a spoof meditation, it points out that even the most distasteful chores can be transformed into giving a peaceful and harmonious feeling by accepting they need to be done and breathing evenly throughout.

 


 

207. Drawing in the Experience of Bliss Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Meditating regularly allows an ever wider channel of bliss to flow through our lives. It is not limited to the time spent in sitting but rather, extends outward to encompass more and more aspects of living.

 

It is like learning to play an instrument. For example, when I was about 9 years old I began piano lessons and it was so difficult to get my fingers to move as the notes were telling me too. It was at least 3 years before I could pick up an easy piece of music and play without practicing.

 

Then I could play for the joy of it without struggle.

 

Meditation practice is similar. At first we struggle to hold our body still, and maybe deal with pain from holding a position we are not used to. We may get itches or coughing fits or be tempted to get up and grab a drink or snack; anything but sit still in silence.

 

Then after many practices we notice we can drop into our sitting pose and at once leave body consciousness and feel instead the peace and bliss that is our eternal divine Self having its say; coming forth to replenish and enliven us.

 

To begin your practice find a quiet and private place to sit with your back held straight. If you are on a cushion on the floor fold your legs in; if sitting on a chair plant the soles of your feet firmly on the floor to maintain your balance.

 

Fold your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs.

 

Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Then begin even and regular breathing for the remainder of your meditation. Breathe in one count; breathe out one count; breathe in one count and continue this rhythmic pattern.

 

In your mind silently say an appreciation for the opportunity to sit in meditation and open the doorway to the infinite bliss.

 

Turn your attention to observing the flow of your breath. If your mind strays return it to the task. Be diligent like practicing the scales on the piano. It is the accumulation of practice that results in the outcome of flowing in the stream of bliss.

 

After a few minutes take another deep breath in and slowly release it, renewed and refreshed to carry on your day. With time and practice you’ll reap the reward of being able to choose actions that lead to harmony rather than discord. Then you can say that meditation is well worth the time spent in practice.

 

 


 

208. Can Meditation Give Me Self Realization?

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Maybe you are wondering if the time you spend in meditation will lead to, or open the door to self realization. It is a good question, because it is so important in our journey on earth to make the time to achieve our full human potential.

 

Meditation clears debris from our thinking; takes us from self-centeredness to self-giving. And, it is when our heart is expanding that we grow into our full human nature which is really part of our divine nature.

 

Meditation is an inner journey that has an outer result. We learn more about our expansive nature while meditating and the possibilities to create good, by refining our mind and doing kind works in the world.

 

When we are fully whole in a caring, kind sense we are realizing our self, our transcendent nature, our godly nature. We could say we are self realized in those moments.

 

Meditation does even more beyond self realization, though. After sitting still in the quiet and keeping appreciation in our mind repeatedly, we begin to feel uplifted into a more elevated state.

 

Then our battery is recharged, our body is enlivened by the eternal, internal energy flowing through us that meditation generates.

 

We are feeling a taste of what the Divine may feel in loving all of us so fully, that we have been given the natural world for a lifetime of use in order to grow and become divinely inspired beings.

 

Meditation when done with sincerity can lead to self realization. It is a blessing that is our eternal reward to enjoy. And, we can achieve this fulfillment through sincerity of intention, loving thoughts, a quiet time in mind, combined with good and kind actions in the world.

 

Stick with your goal of self realization through meditation, and then when the special moment comes that God enters your life and fills you with bliss, you’ll know that God Realization, the uppermost goal has dawned.

 

Hold me in your love dear Lord

And everywhere I go

I’ll strew my path with flowers

Caring acts I’ll show.

All will feel your love dear Lord

Your light will radiate through me

Encircling all within your arms

Of Immortality.

 


 

209. Meditation Is for Everyone

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

Meditation is not limited to any group or religion, it is for every one of us. In the photo is my aunt known as Sister Rita, Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart. She left for her heavenly home on January 25, 1970 while sitting in the chapel in her morning meditation.

Different religions may call meditation by different names and use different practices, but the goal is to lead to the same source, which is communion with the Spirit of God in all, which may be called the Holy Spirit, the Holy Comforter, Om, the Amen, Holy Naam, the Holy Vibration, and other names for the same experience.

Whether it is through sitting while in contemplation on a verse of the day, or saying the prayers of a rosary, mantras with a mala, or listening to the rhythm of the breath, the result is the same, union with our deepest purest Self. The Self that is not dependent on anything of the physical world for sustenance.

For ease of communication I will talk about this experience as the Voice of God.

While sitting quietly and holding loving thoughts the bodily energy continues to circulate, and because you are awake and not moving it will eventually spiral up the spine and enliven the entire body. I sometimes begin perspiring with the increase of heat being generated.

Holding the intention of love truly and sincerely while meditating ripens the increasing energy and opens our awareness to the subtle sound of creation, sometimes described as a rushing river seemingly emanating under the top of the skull.

When this soothing and purifying sound comes into your consciousness, suspend thoughts of contemplation or prayer and just listen. Just listen to this creative and harmonious force that sustains all creation.

Science has already shown us that atoms are full of movement. There is nothing standing still in creation.  And by the same reasoning, no matter what your background or quiet time may be called or include, the goal of meditation practice is the same for everyone: experiencing the Divine energy flowing through all.

Use your time in meditation to align with this fundamental force present in all while keeping an attitude of love, so that you’ll fully express your holiness.

Blessed is the Lord in all

I sing praises to his name

Singing will carry me home again

In harmony with the Lord.

 


 

210. Lift Your Vibration by Meditating

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

It is said that our bodies are what we eat, and that as we think so we become.

 

Let’s add to that and say that our vibration is the composite of what we eat, think, say and do.

 

To generate a harmonious life it make sense to vibrate as purely as possible. For example: ingest what is nutritious; keep a positive attitude; think of the best solution that benefits the most; refrain from aggression by substituting kindness; speak purely without putting others down; act with compassion. And to lift consciousness, spend time in meditation.

 

Meditation is medication for the soul. With the combination of appreciative thoughts, kind actions and the quiet stillness of meditation we lay a foundation for a life with a holy vibration.

 

The day will come when we fly away from this earth. By achieving a holy vibration in this lifetime we get to enjoy a foretaste of the heavenly realm to come, as well as enjoying inner peace and satisfaction now.

 

Prepare your meditation spot

 

Choose a place where you will have privacy. Some ideas include a corner of your bedroom or living room surrounded by a folding screen; a cleared space in the attic; an outdoor balcony if you live in a warm climate; a bench in the garden. I’ve used these examples at one time or another over the years.

 

Keep your meditation space fresh. Regularly lay out a clean altar cloth to set a candle, plants, incense or crystals upon. Keep your meditation beads, rosary or mala handy, as well as a meditation journal and pen for recording insights. Store your meditation cushion under your altar along with a light shawl as sometimes the body cools down while meditating.

 

Create a schedule to meditate so that it becomes part of your daily routine. Lifting our vibration through meditation is just as important as a clean diet, positive thinking and kind actions in daily living.

 

Make the most of living

By caring, sharing, giving

From the highest most peak

Of your being.

 


 

211. Finding Direction for What Is Best Using Meditation

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Each meditation session can be divided into several sections. I like to think of them as supplication, prayer, contemplation and appreciation, and application.

 

For instance, by including different aspects in your time for meditation in the evening you can do a mental evaluation of the day and plan for the morrow. You can decide what good came of your actions during the day, and how to change if necessary. It is a good time to fearlessly face the more difficult issues head on in a calm and peaceful manner.

Beginning each meditation by asking your Higher Self for favors or help with resolving issues leaves room in the rest of the meditation time for ideas to float to the surface on how to take action.

 

Following a request for help a period of quiet and sincere prayer, perhaps using a rosary or mala for your praying as shown in the photo, purifies the mind and settles the heart into a receptive mode, for easing into the highest resolve to your issues or carrying out a plan that has come to mind.

 

The period of quiet time that follows prayer is the heart of meditation. Now is the chance to visit the inner recesses of yourself and enjoy the peace that comes of a receptive mind willing to do what is needed for the greatest good. Contemplation and quiet meditation give you the chance to be still in body while thinking over issues on your deepest level.

 

Thoughts of appreciation energize our body to carry out the direction from our Source that arises from deep within, accessible during our quiet time of meditation.

 

And what good is meditation if we don’t put the new directives from our cleared mind into action?

 

Take the energy brought forth from meditation and make change in the world. Carry out the resolves of your heart, do what is best for yourself and those in your life making the world a better place.

 

If we each listened to the Voice of God within and went forth in that direction we’d really create a heaven on earth right now.

 


 

212. A Tribute to Satya Sai Baba

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Satya Sai Baba, named at birth Sathyanarayana Raju was born on November 23, 1926 and died April 24, 2011. He passed away at Puttaparti village in Andhra Pradesh state, India, at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences.

Almost all of Satya Sai Baba's life was dedicated to serving humanity in a way I would call practical spirituality.

The fact that he became known as the saint who performed miracles of materialization did not stop his charitable work for humanity, and not just with spiritual projects, but with health and sanitizing projects.

Here is a story of my experience with Sai Baba's powerful love, which in my opinion is the force that can move mountains.

In 1978 I was living in Santa Barbara, California and a member of a local sanga of spiritual seekers. One of the members was planning a pilgrimage to spend time with Sai Baba in India. Upon his return, this man brought me a packet of sacred ash enclosed in a folded square of paper inside an envelope that Sai Baba had materialized.

I was thrilled and felt uplifted by the vibration of what I was receiving. It reminds me of the words of Jesus to the effect that it is your faith that has saved you.

I kept my packet on my meditation altar until moving to The Netherlands about 10 years ago. At that time I passed the packet of ashes on to my daughter for her altar. I had received the packet before my daughter was conceived and felt my developing devotion to Divine Love was instrumental in bringing forth a spiritually minded child.

I will always be grateful to Satya Sai Baba for coming to me this way to further open my heart to the love of God through service to humanity.

Don't let rumors of false miracles deter you from reading about and studying the life of this saint of India. I felt his love reach out to me to awaken my own path of service to God through humanity.

Here is information on the first book I read and recommend about Satya Sai Baba. The copy I read belonged to my husband.

From Amazon.com:
Sai Baba, Man of Miracles by Howard Murphet

 

 


 

213. Meditating During Illness

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Even when we are ill we can adapt meditation to be a useful tool for relaxing and finding our place of peace.

 

If sitting in a recliner arrange yourself so you’ll be okay if you drift into sleep. Perhaps cover yourself with a light shawl or afghan as your body may cool down while being still.

 

In the background play some gentle music that you like.

 

Fold your hands in your lap or rest them palms down on the armrests of your chair. Close your eyes.

 

Begin to breathe evenly such as 2 counts to breathe in and 2 counts to breathe out and continue this rhythmic pattern throughout your meditation. Keep in mind that breath is the tie between body and mind.

 

When we are emotionally upset a few minutes of regulated even breathing calms our agitation. Even breathing is our every present stress buster. If you are busy counting your breaths in and out you are no longer thinking about a stressful situation.

 

Continue the even breathing pattern, letting your body relax deeply, but stay awake.

 

Visualize yourself on a warm beach with a gentle breeze blowing against your face and the smell of the beach in your nostrils.

 

Feel yourself becoming refreshed by the gifts of mother nature at the beach. Bask quietly in these thoughts and listen to the waves lap the shore and a seagull fly overhead. The creatures at the beach surround and support you in your efforts to rest.

 

Feel the warm sun gently radiating you with warmth and comfort.

 

Now, in your thoughts give an appreciation for at least one loving person in your life or a dear pet that gives you unconditional love. Feel yourself giving love and receiving love.

 

If you wish, say a prayer of appreciation for something positive in your life.

 

For a few minutes imagine warm life force circulating through your systems as you breathe evenly in and out. Feel your body expand beyond its physical borders and enjoy the peace.

 

Finish your meditation with a deep breath in and slowly release it. Either drift into sleep or slowly go on with your activities.

 

A Little Healing Prayer

 

As my body rests

With each breath in and out

May I take in and expand with love.

 


 

214. Meditating While on the Move

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

This is a meditation for when you are a passenger traveling, but not the driver. Examples would be in a car, bus, train, airplane, at any time you have a block of time when you don’t have to be attentive on another task.

 

Begin by folding your hands on your lap or resting them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Place the soles of your feet on the floor for balance. Close your eyes. To further prepare your body tense up your muscles then let go. Repeat.

 

Start breathing evenly such as one count to breathe in and one count to breathe out. Continue this even pattern throughout your traveling meditation. Do not actually count your breaths. Let them be the background of the meditation to steady your thoughts and emotions.

 

Since you are traveling let’s take that as the theme for this meditation. The journey while living can be seen a traveling from one destination to another, ever expanding the soul’s experience with caring and sharing to grow brighter, more radiant.

 

As a baby we begin in all innocence, seemingly perfect already, but with virtuous experiences we only increase the intensity to love more fully.

 

Let the inner destination while traveling help you move toward the goal of growing in radiance, by thinking how you can help out people and the environment.

 

Make a plan to do one thing a day that helps someone besides yourself. In this way you can come to feel how intertwined we all are in each other’s lives in the universe. When we expand and grow in love and radiance we infect those we have contact with our energy and inspire them to grow and glow, also.

 

After thinking about this idea for a few minutes of how you can help out in the world turn your thoughts to appreciation for what you already have in your life, particularly for your blessings. The attitude of appreciation lifts our spirits, relaxes our body, clears thoughts so that you can think clearly.

 

Finish your traveling meditation by taking a deep breath in and slowly releasing it. Open your eyes and focus on where you have come, both in your thoughts and positive plans, and also, on the new scenery you are facing on your journey.

 


 

215. Meditation at Your Desk

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Meditating on virtues is a step toward learning how to lead a virtuous life. We need to understand what we want and its benefits before putting our time and energy into it.

 

Here is a contemplative meditation to make a beginning on virtuous living:

 

Begin by choosing a quiet place to contemplate and meditate where you can write out insights in your journal as they come to you. I do this kind of contemplative meditation at my computer desk by setting up a document to write into before I begin. Without a computer write in a notebook or dedicated meditation journal

 

Since you will be sitting up, keep the soles of your feet firmly planted on the floor for balance. I support my forearms on the arm rests of my computer chair. Open your document or your journal and date it to begin.

 

To prepare, close your eyes and begin even, regular breathing. For example, breathe in counts 1, 2; breathe out counts 3,4; breathe in counts 1, 2 and continue this rhythmic pattern without actually saying the counts throughout your session. Regular rhythmic breathing calms the mind and settles the body, as two ends of a ribbon brought together in harmony in a pretty bow.

 

Take a few moments to contemplate on the virtue you think will assist you in virtuous living. Some choices could be kindness, caring, sharing, or moderation, forbearance, steadfastness. Choose the path that you feel you can stick to.

 

Usually, my choice is kindness. Every January it is my New Year’s resolution to be kinder. I find there is always room for improvement in myself in being kind to others. My biggest challenge is replying to a short temper with patience and kindness; maybe the person is feeling ill or suffering in another way, so I make an effort to return kindness by my words and actions.

 

After some ideas have come to you on how to instill your chosen virtue open your eyes and write them out. This way you can keep track of your progress on a regular basis.

 

Finish your contemplative meditation with thoughts of appreciation for all you have in your life. Be sure to send loving thoughts to at least one person or a pet. Then take those loving feelings and stretch them out to the world and entire creation. Our home is more than the property we live on, it is the whole universe and who knows what beyond.

 

Take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Stretch out and go on with your day with the resolve in mind to act with virtue in your interactions and all you do.

 

 


 

216. Walking in the Light of Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Light of meditation is the experience of enlightenment, first felt in brief bursts of bliss. The stream of Light is nurtured into longer periods by deep meditation. Then, down the road one day, we realize we are always walking in the Light awakened from meditation.

Walking in the radiance or Light of meditation allows us to see clearly. We see with a sharp and clear mind in order to make decisions, and act on them for the higher good.

Start with baby steps, arms outstretched to others for emotional and mental balance, while traversing the uneven terrain of life's ups and downs. As you make headway on the path of Light balance will come easier, to the point that your path will be the one that leads to a light resolve for everyone.

Learning to walk the path of Light, of enlightenment, becomes a habit and then a spontaneous reaction in each moment. For example, when we see a toddler about to fall, we reach out to steady them, without hesitating.

From meditating deeply and often we become able to act spontaneously for what is good and right. We live on an elevated plane of consciousness that improves the world by our presence. Imagine a planet where everyone was enlightened to the point that only good came from them.

In our personal life, in our own family, we have multiple opportunities to choose between selfish and generous acts. Family and friends are our testing ground to see how we are doing on our path to enlightenment.

Cream is a liquid that when churned energetically produces the solid butter. And we produce that solid state of enlightenment by churning our thoughts and actions energetically with the goal of reaching the higher good.

Meditate deeply and often to reach a clear state of consciousness, so acts from enlightenment will light the paths of others in this world. Remember that we are connected as a family of humanity, brothers and sisters all. Walking in the Light of meditation uplifts and benefits the world.

Light of meditation
Awaken my dormant senses
That I may clearly see how
To complete the circle of love
In each instant.

 


 

217. Illusion, Meditation, Change

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Darkness of night is subtly illumined by moon, while brightness of day is subtly muted by clouds.

As with nature, conditions and situations in our lives are in shades and gradations. What is not an illusion of change is unconditional love.

To understand and work within reality requires thoughtful introspection and meditation, followed by action for the highest good. Following our conscience and acting with unconditional love produces the highest good. It cuts through the illusions of change, exposing the ever-permanent state that we all have access to, and in fact live in outside the delusion of illusion: joy and bliss.

Cutting through illusion we can hear our voice of conscience, our inner guidance. And, keeping a positive attitude while thinking over issues, aligns us with our knowing voice, producing conscientious plans and actions for the best resolve.

The more we practice being conscientious, the more easily we act conscientiously, expanding our consciousness of the many shades and gradations of a situation.

Shadings appear as temporary circumstances. Their illusions of permanence are shattered with the infusion of our unconditional love.

Spending time in introspection and meditation, when we have doubts, brings more certainty of a good result. Multiple choices equal opportunities for greater possibilities.

Shading of reality
Exposed as temporary illusions
By acting conscientiously
Consistently, unconditionally, lovingly.

 

 


 

218. Meditate and Follow Guideposts for Living

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Outer guideposts are our lifeline until our voice of conscience can be followed consistently.

We live for a reason, we are to live reasonably. To effectuate a life lived consciously in harmony with all, requires us to live each moment for the higher good.

Outer guidelines are provided by religions and society. In either case, these guideposts point the way until we learn to make decisions for highest good of prevailing circumstances consistently and spontaneously.

Harmony in living provides happiness in living. When our actions blend harmoniously into the whole of circumstances, we grow more conscious of the underlying harmony of the universe. We become conscious that we are one of the parts and part of the One. And, that we have a universal role to contribute to the harmonious functioning of the universe, while we individually grow in consciousness of our Self.

We develop our conscience more fully, by more and more often following our inner voice of conscience.

Some methods to develop a strong conscience:
1. Live by the golden rules set forth in religious traditions.
2. Live by the guidelines of society.
3. While living according to religion's or society's guidelines integrate the reasoning behind these guideposts into each act.
4. Take advantage of opportunities to be kind and caring.
5. Pay attention to bodily signs that reflect if an act is for the best resolve of the situation.

Feeling relaxed bodily, and at ease mentally are the inner guideposts of an action aligned with conscience.

Physical and mental stress are the ways our body and mind reminds us that we are not acting in harmony with the situation.

Regular meditation practice, including a period for reflection, gives us the time to consider the best resolves to daily conflicts and problems. Meditation is an oasis of peace to drink from regularly and deeply, quenching our thirst for direct correct knowledge.

We live best
Harmoniously and happily
By learning to follow our conscience spontaneously.

 

 


 

219. Meditation Plus the Greatest Good Feels Peaceful

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Meditating deeply, and living in tune with the greatest good, nurtures personal peace.

When we meditate deeply we naturally quiet our body and senses. In the stillness we have a chance to dive into our inner source and resource. Quiet time is an oasis for refreshing our attitudes, thoughts, and actions - a time to realign for the greater good in our actions after meditation.

Deep personal peace is the outcome of realignment with the greatest good, mentally and in action, moment to moment.

Peace is not just something to pray for when sitting still. To experience personal peace all during the day, we must hold tight to the attitude that we will act for the greater good of situations we face all day long.

When we are faced with several ways to go, it is our inner voice of knowing consciousness that steers us to the highest path, which produces the purest result for the greatest number of people.

It may be tempting to be selfish, but that does not allow peacefulness to wash over us and bath us in the warmth of an inner glow. Whereas, looking at all the options for action from a calm point of view, gives us a chance to choose the purest and happiest way to act.

It is a matter of not disturbing our inner peace by wanting to get something just for ourselves, at the detriment to others.

Personal peace is our anchor that lets us stay tied to divine love, while at the same time being happy in the physical and mental worlds.

Time spent in meditation gives us a taste of divine love. It is up to us, by choosing for the greatest good, to extend feelings of radiant love into our whole day and remain in a mental state of peace.

Personal peace expands to universal peace, as we more and more often live for the greater good, moment to moment.

 

 


 

220. Bodies Without Borders

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Meditation is an opportunity to experience our expansive selves - ourselves without restrictive borders. The restrictive borders I'm talking about are our own physical bodies.

In deep meditation, with the mind fully awake and aware, there comes a state of being when we don't feel our physical body.

An example of what this is like is the feeling of floating in a pool of water, or upon the breast of the ocean, and giving bodily support over to the water below. Then we are making no effort to support our weight, the water takes it off us. We are awake and aware, but without the weight of our body to hold us down.

When body consciousness leaves us in meditation it is as if a weight has been lifted off us. Aches and pains are gone. We are free to mentally soar out into the boundless universe without borders. By conjuring up loving feelings for others we are propelled like a rocket into space, the space that we really live in when we are not worrying about our body with borders.

Unlimited thoughts allow us to grow in radiance if we choose to radiate lovingly. And being in meditation is the propellant that fuels loving thoughts. It is when we zoom past and beyond self-centered thoughts that we make space to become radiant as we truly are and just don't know about.

Once we experience our unlimited radiant selves we find our thought-pattern growing to include others and the world in our care and concern. This takes nothing away from ourselves, rather it includes our consciousness in the radiance, truly a win-win event.

Meditate deeply, allow your consciousness to grow wide, become radiant as your restriction of bodily borders melt away. And when you return to bodily consciousness after meditation take your insights with you for practical action in the world.

 

 


 

221. Complicated Issues and Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Meditation gives you a quiet time to delve deeply into complicated issues. Your body is quiet and not demanding attention. In fact, after you get into your meditation you may be relieved of bodily feeling, almost totally. I describe this as feeling like I'm floating in water - still, relaxed, but fully awake.

In this state of freedom from bodily bothers you can concentrate directly on the problem at hand. Begin your meditation by saying an appreciation for what you have, or a loved one in your life. Then begin even and regular breathing, such as one count to inhale, and one count to exhale. Continue this rhythmic pattern throughout your meditation without actually saying the numbers. The regular breathing calms emotions as well as settling the body.

Now you are ready to turn your attention to the problem you want solved. Start with what you know and dive in from there. Try not to let emotions come into play. That is where your rhythmic breathing can help keep you on an even keel. Look for one idea in your mind about how you could start solving your problem. Just starting with one idea will open the doorway to seeing more possibilities ahead of you. Don't be afraid to consider a new idea - you may be on your way to finding just the solution you need.

Continue considering new ideas as they come up in your mind. After your meditation take time right away to write down your new insights in your journal. Meditation is a practical practice that helps us creatively solve problems in all aspects of living. The more we meditate, the easier it is to slip into a meditation when you need more solutions.

Finish your meditation with thoughts of thanksgiving for new insights and outlooks, and send out thoughts of peace and harmony to creation.

 

 


 

222. Controlling Behavior and Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Meditation exists in our centered balanced place. Therefore, when we are feeling out of sync, a stint of meditation can bring us back into harmony.

If you are out in public and start feeling out of control, you can inconspicuously start a pattern of even and rhythmic breathing without anyone noticing what you are doing. For example, breathe in one count, breathe out one count, and repeat this sequence till you feel calm and relaxed and able to think clearly.

While you are practicing regulated breathing - this short instant meditation - pay attention to the pattern. This takes your mind off the conflict or upset you are going through.

Breath is a bridge connecting body, mind, emotions. By stabilizing the swinging bridge of distress through even breathing, you can think clearly again and feel relaxed.

Trying to Control Another's Behavior

Manipulating others is an upsetting process all around. We first cause stress in our own mind by thinking how to get others to act as we wish. This leads to tension in our interpersonal relationships.

How to get beyond controlling and manipulation is by substituting feelings of respect for how others are living, according to their own instincts and ambitions.

When we wish someone to come around to our way of thinking, we need to stand back and see if that is to please our own desires.

The antidote is to nurture others' plans for their lives in a way that promotes their goals, without thinking what we can get out of their situation.

When we have children it is a temptation to continue trying to mold their actions as they become adults. And it can be just the reverse, that when we are adults we may want to try to get our parents to act according to our plans.

To make progress in relieving the personal stress of control and manipulation, practice periods of meditation. Meditation is the medication that can harmonize our lives, so we can make progress in our own goals without trying to get others to act as we wish.

Meditation helps us remember that we are each on planet earth with personal and planetary missions. And we each get to choose how to walk our path.

Make time for deeper meditations, to come to know that peace and satisfaction come from within, rather than from gaining possessions, or manipulating others to do our bidding.

In summary, controlling behavior is a two way street, where we each need to choose our path without pulling others from theirs. And, that we can remedy controlling behavior by meditating to find our inner treasure of personal peace, joy, and fulfillment.

 

 


 

223. Why Am I Where I Am?

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Why am I here at this moment in time? It is a question I've asked myself occasionally over the years, usually brought poignantly to mind when I'm feeling grief at the loss of a loved one.

Though I don't like to lose people in my life, I take comfort in having known them for a while. I'm led to thoughts about why any of us are here at our different locations and stations in particular moments of our lives.

Usually I come to the conclusion that I am where I am at this moment to best be able to donate my time and energy to my world family. For me, that means using my talents in a way that supports me and benefits the most people.

At different stages of my life my task at hand was well spelled out. In youth I went to public school, and prepared for a career in ballet with classes at the Peabody Institute.

In young adulthood I multitasked by raising several kids and being a dance specialist. In teaching I realized I could give from my talents to children and other adults, too. In my middle years I dove into spiritual practices and ministered, and now in my senior years I'm mostly sitting at the computer writing books about my experiences from years of teaching dance, meditation, and yoga.

I'm where I am because each stage of life has pulled from me what I have best been able to give. And, this is because I've stuck to the attitude that I wish to share the joy flowing through my life at this and every moment with my ever expanding consciousness of being a thread in the warm blanket of our world-wide family.

Why are you where you are at the moment? If necessary, realign your day to fulfill your path while treading on planet earth. Meditate deeply to search out and find the true meaning of your life.

 

 


 

224. Where Is Meditation?

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

The question is - where is meditation? I have come to experience that meditation is a state and place outside of earthly time. One reason meditation holds such an allure and mystery is that we can't pin it down as similar or even in a category with other parts of our world.

The world around us that we perceive through our senses seems to be animal, vegetable, mineral, air, water, fire. But meditation does not fall under those earthly attributes.

Meditation can be experienced while we live on earth by slipping into a reality beyond time into joy.

When we are in the stillness of a deep meditation the first stage we slip into is the loss of physical body awareness, and that is really freeing. Our thinking mind remains fully awake and aware but we are not encumbered by physical sensation.

We are not held back in any way by the time, place, space continuum of our waking day in the world. Time no longer has a part of our reality and no influence as far as thinking past, present, future. We step right out of the box that we keep ourselves in during daily life, by thinking how the past has made us who we are and what we have to do to improve our future. No more box.

Meditation is different than the continuum. And then the sweeping feelings of joy and bliss come take the place of all the restrictions and regulations we place upon our waking life and what we have done and will do in the world.

Once experienced, joy transforms and even makes the regular compounding events of life fall into the background. We see that we are much more than all the elements and restrictions would have us believe.

And in this lightened state of joy we can still be practical, but no longer caught up in thinking the world will ever be able to hold us back from fully experiencing our eternal nature. Stepping outside the restrictions of the world gives us a taste of eternal reality.

Meditate deeply and discover that meditation is where your eternal home is right now, not some time or place in the future.

 

 


 

225. Experiencing Joy by Reflecting and Meditating

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

As babies, we see the world around us at face value: shapes, colors, dimensions. It is only later that we come to feel gratitude for the unseen but present qualities of love, care, and kindness.

Our growth in consciousness of what is unseen by our eyes and bodily senses is a natural evolutionary process - a process we grow into through experiences in living.

Through our emotional thought process, we see that some parts of life are very real and used by us, even though we can't see them with our eyes. As we learn by reflection, all in this world that we see and perceive with our senses has a hidden underlying structure.

Supporting the seen, is a structure unseen. A house with its walls and floors is an example of the seen supporting structure. If we knock a hole in the wall we would see much more than just looking at the flat surface: studs, insulation, plumbing, electric lines and more.

What is visible and useful on the outside of the wall is supported behind the scenes by more than our eye leads us to believe.

Likewise, our perceptions can become unlimited.

A way to discover our unseen consciousness behind the outer covering of ourselves and everything, is by going within our mind in the stillness of self-analysis, reflection, and meditation.

 

 


 

226. Hugging and Meditation Are Nurturing

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Hugging and meditation are loving acts. Meditation develops divine love which we can express with a loving hug. It feels good to be in the embrace of a hug - to give a hug, and to receive a hug. We are transported back to the warm feeling and security of infancy when we were fed within the embrace of a hug, heart to heart.

Today, we are still fed with feelings of warmth by participating in a loving hug. In interaction with people, pets, and all living forms we feel our individual self, connected to our infinite, all-encompassing Self. We experience that we are one of the parts, and part of the One.

While in our bodies let's make use of them by giving hugs spontaneously, and with intention. This is practical spirituality in action, as it is spiritual to be kind and caring. Hugging shows we care.

Hugging is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual; all the parts of us included in a hug. And, it is such a simple act. Hugging takes us from self-centeredness to Self-centeredness. No one is totally independent from others or the resources provided by others. In hugging we acknowledge our interaction and interdependence within creation.

In recognizing our interdependence with creation we feel more kinship and care for creation, giving us the incentive to be caring with those outside our home, in community, country, and with our environment. In recognizing our interdependence we come to feel the whole world as our home, and in this consciousness we act for the good of the whole world spontaneously.

Hugging one-to-one grows into consciousness that we are interconnected with the world as a whole. And in world consciousness we feel abundant warmth and comfort; that warm family feeling on a grand scale.

 

 


 

227. Combining Hatha and Raja Sutras with Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

The goal of meditation is to find that we are an embodiment of supreme peace.

Practices that lead us to be able to have an easeful and joyful meditation are so necessary for communing with the bliss that resides deep in every one of us.

Hatha prepares the body to sit in meditation, and the sutras of raja give us a step-by-step analysis of how our mind works, to be able to move forward in a positive way.

If we keep the helpfulness of this trio - hatha, raja sutras, and meditation with us always, we can give ourselves a body and mind tune-up as needed to regain a peaceful outlook.

There is a much used saying that when the student is ready the teacher appears

The teacher can be a writing or a person. For example, I was inspired at eleven years old by a priest with an ecumenical outlook, who lived next door to me for a couple of years. In my late twenties I read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, and was opened to inner joy. Then, at age thirty I met Swami Satchidananda in person, and his presence was enough to awaken my inner sight to blissful worlds.

After we are inspired and burning with a fire to know about our expanded self we are motivated to learn all we can, and follow through with practices that lead us up the rocky mountain path to the expansive view. This is the time we may choose to clean up our act, reaping the rewards of a selfless life in service to our highest Self.

It turns out that helping our family and friends, neighbors and the world, is really helping ourselves, because we are all interconnected.

Over the years I have found this philosophy to be true, it is now deeply embedded in my life. I enjoy the bliss that comes from living a wholesome life fine-tuned from hatha, the raja sutras, and meditation
.

 



228. Gratitude Is an Outcome of Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

As we use our mind to dissect our inner workings, and experience the bliss brought up through our time in meditation, we see the inside view of the universe that is working to support the outside objects visible to our sight.

We come to know and understand, first hand, through meditation, that what is behind the outer forms is the stuff that supports all we do in the world. Through meditation we perceive that what is upholding us is energy so vibrant, that when we consciously perceive its presence, our physical body heats up, perhaps perspires, and our mind is filled with joy.

From this inner experience of the energy supporting our bodily systems, we take back contentment and competence into daily living. We come to feel gratitude ever more fully.

The process of diving within takes us to our depths of joy and harmony. Then, we can bring this brilliant harmony out into daily living. Combining a positive attitude that includes gratitude is a built-in place to discover our deeper selves. It insures that our experiences of living will be the best they can be.

As we use the inner aspects of ourselves in our life, we inspire others to dive into the depth of their own consciousness within, they want to be happy and live harmonious lives, too.

As each of us grows in the consciousness of our unseen roots, bringing the inner harmony into the outer focus, we will become more aware and able to use harmony for the good of all people on our planet, and everything in our universe.

The unseen consciousness is ever with us, supporting us. And with gratitude for the love we feel and share in our lives, we are able to enjoy the richness of the unseen in the future.

 

 


 

229. When to Change Your Meditation Routine

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

When your regular meditation schedule no longer is convenient to slip into, change it. That is a better choice than giving up that meditation period.

The standard meditation times are dawn, before lunch, before dinner, before bedtime.

If that has also been your routine, maybe a change of time will get you to stick to meditating regularly. The main point is to meditate sometime. The timing of your session is secondary.

Ask yourself what the ideal time slot is that you can stick to. To help get established, write out your intention to meditate in your daily journal in the part that is your to-do list. I make the left-hand side of the page my to-do items, and record the reality of what I do on the right-hand side. Then you can go back after a few days and look to see if you are comfortably squeezing in your new meditation time.

Meditation is meant as an aid to recovering and establishing peace and harmony in your life. If you put off this time, then you're missing an opportunity to build on the peace that you could be feeling.

Meditation time in itself opens your inner doors of brilliance and creativity, a means of letting joy seep into your conscious mind. And when you are feeling joyful in meditation, it bubbles over and flows into the regular aspects of your waking life.

Experiment with various times when you are looking for a new routine. Give each a trial period and then select what works for you. If you have been used to meditating with alone, try group meditation. I love the group energy, I feel myself part of a large worldwide family.

Above all, stick with your meditation practice until it becomes part of the ebb and flow of your existence, its benefits ever with you.

 

 


 

230. Spring Meditation in the Garden

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

With plants awakening from their slumbers and sunlight lengthening the time of outdoor living, it is an incentive to reawaken a dormant meditation practice.

As the days warm it becomes a comfortable option to sit outdoors and contemplate and meditate.

If you have a back garden that would be perfect for meditation. Pick a time of day when you have that space all to yourself. Perhaps, taking time just before you begin preparing dinner. The calmness and stillness of a garden is a place to calm down after a hectic workday. If you have children let them know you need to be by yourself for five to fifteen minutes, and that you'll see them when you come back in.

For meditation in the garden it is handy to have a wooden bench where you can sit with the soles of your feet firmly planted on the ground and your back held erect. A lounge chair might be too comfortable, sending you to dreamland instead of meditation.

Try to position your bench so you will be shielded from the neighbors' eyes, if possible. The next consideration is whether you want to sit in the sun or shade. A broad-rim hat is useful if you can't avoid sitting in bright sunlight.

Take a shawl or sweater outside to sit on or wear of you begin to cool down from sitting still. Drink water before you begin meditation, but do not eat right beforehand, or your body will be putting energy into digestion instead of taking a time out.

Begin your outdoor meditation with a deep cleansing breath and then close your eyes and begin even regular breathing. For example, take one count to inhale, and one count to exhale. Keep up this rhythmic pattern without actually saying the numbers. Breath calms the body, mind, and emotions, bringing them into harmony. This is useful after a hectic workday.

Stay with your even breathing and pay attention to each breath. This gives you a break from thinking about any problems that may have just been on your mind.

During this period note any answers that come to mind and after you go back indoors record them in your meditation journal.

To finish your meditation take a deep inhalation and slowly exhale. Open your eyes, stand up and stretch and think with appreciation for having a place outdoors to meditate.

 

 


 

231. Combining Prayer and Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Prayer and meditation go hand in hand. Prayer is the asking that comes before the answering in meditation.

Sometime we are reduced to prayer only when we are in dire straits. I sometimes wonder if we get in trouble just to learn about our roots in the Divine.

When you need to feel the warmth and comfort and have advice flow into your waking consciousness, take time for a prayer and meditation session: Sit quietly where you will not be disturbed. Fold your hands in your lap, perhaps holding a mala or rosary, or lay your hands palms facing up or down on your thighs.

Close your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath and slowly release it. Then begin a pattern of even, regular breathing, such as one count to inhale and one count to exhale. Continue this rhythmic breathing all the way through your session without actually saying the counts.

Breath is the tie between body, mind, emotions. Calm breathing calms upset and allows clear thinking to surface.

While breathing evenly, turn your attention to the prayer part of your session. This is the time to ask for clarity on your issue.

Then sit quietly, meditating, paying attention to the rhythm of your breath. After a period of time, when you've quieted your body and emotions the best options will float up to your waking consciousness, ready for you to choose a course of action. After your session, record options in your meditation journal for review as needed.

Finish your quiet time with a prayer of thankfulness for new insights, and send out thoughts of peace to your family, friends, and the world.

Take a deep inhalation and a slow exhalation, open your eyes, stretch out and go on with your day.

 

 


 

232. Meditation Is a Towline to the Divine

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Following the road of meditation takes us to our divine roots once again. Meditation is like the towline between boat and dock. As we pull ourselves hand over hand closer to the pier, we gain sure footing on dry land all the sooner.

While living our daily routine we may seem far away from divine reality, but we find this is far from true when we take time to dive deeply into meditation. Though it may take a while to experience bliss, when we do, we realize that divinity is with us all the time as our home base.

Here we are out in the world, experiencing with the sensory organs, far removed from the stable bliss of ourselves as aspects of divinity. It sometimes takes major problems in the mental and physical realms to motivate us to dive inward to find our eternal anchor, our eternal self.

When we are disappointed enough with the outer world we are ripe to find the inner source of being. And joyously we can use the towline of meditation to pull ourselves back to the permanent part of ourselves. Then we realize we are but extensions of our eternal self, which is firmly placed in the heart of the divine.

Meditate to realize your divinity

Find a quiet spot to sit where you will not be disturbed. Keep your spine erect whether sitting on a straight-back chair, or on a cushion on the floor. This posture keeps you from falling over or dozing. If sitting on a chair, plant the soles of your feet firmly on the floor.

Place your folded hands in your lap or palms up or palms down on your thighs. Close your eyes. Begin to regulate your breathing, for example, take an inhalation on one count, and then an exhalation on one count. Keep us this even and regular rhythm throughout your meditation. It is not necessary to verbally or mentally say the counts. Rather, sink into the pattern.

Begin saying your mantra either with or without using prayer beads or a mala. This steadies your mind and synchronizes your thoughts with the internal and eternal message of your mantra.

Your mantra is your own towline to the divine. By grabbing fast to its repetition you will reach realization of yourself as one with your divine roots. Feel the joy of your steady nature of bliss and whenever you need this period of refreshment, sit for one of these mantra meditations.

Finish your session with a deep inhalation and slowly exhale. Open your eyes and stretch out, ready to go on with your day, knowing that you may be out in the world, but all the while also safely in the bosom of Creator Sustainer.

 

 


 

233. In Deep Meditation Walk Through the Inner Doorway

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Get ready for an adventure through inner space. That's what it is like passing through the outer rooms of meditation, and walking out into the beautiful gardens, bright with sunshine; unlimited sky.

When sitting down in meditation at the beginning you could be mostly preoccupied with feeling comfortable and carefully commandeering your mind to a mantra or even breathing.

There comes a time that you pass through these preliminaries and out into the open vastness within your mind. In a way it is like learning to play the piano, carefully following the written musical notations. The day comes when you can set aside the aid of the music book, and play by heart. And that is a joyful experience that I've had.

All the preparations and beginning stages of meditation lead to the experience within, that is more open and vast than looking out into the physical world.

The secret to opening and walking through the inner doorway into your expansive self is to practice regular meditation, allowing yourself to go deeper over time.

Set fear of the unknown aside. Let your mind travel the inner corridor into the unlimited experience within. You will not pass away, you will, rather, pass into a place that always has the answers you need for living a life in harmony. Harmony within yourself, harmony in relations with others and the world.

Go to this place of harmony in deep meditation and draw from the ever-flowing river of peace and knowledge to bring balance into your life. Always within we can find the answers we need to pressing questions. Take the time to walk through the inner doorway in meditation.

 

 


 

234. Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII Canonized

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII were canonized, recognized as saints, on April 27, 2014, by the current Pope Francis in a ceremony at the Vatican in Italy.

This is an occasion to celebrate, because the world is yearning to become more spiritually aware. And here we are receiving a double dose of blessings and speeded up awareness. By taking the opportunity to look into what these two former popes did with their lives, we can use their examples in our own lives.

Now with the world vulnerable to nuclear attacks we need all the prayers and blessings possible so we may see clearly, and make decisions that benefit and do not harm humanity and our natural environment.

When we pray to a saint for blessings or in supplication, we are not asking that particular saint for help directly. Rather, we are asking that they intercede with the Divine in granting us a favor, a blessing, a healing. This is an important point: to realize that all healing comes through the Divine.

For example, intercession is like when a child asks an older sibling to intercede with a parent to get something or go somewhere. We first usually ask for help from whom we feel most comfortable.

Saints are known to us by their own strengths, and when we have a need that matches that strength, that is the saint we are drawn to.

To make a petition, sit quietly in your meditation pose

Choose a place where you will not be disturbed. Close your eyes and say a prayer of appreciation for what you have in your life. Then mentally state your petition to the saint of your choice for their intercession with the Divine.

Continue to sit still, and begin a period of even and regular breathing, such as one count to breathe in, and one count to breathe out. Continue this rhythmic pattern without actually verbalizing the counts.

While breathing evenly pay attention to the breath flowing in, and breath going out. Concentrate on your breathing to distract your mind from restless thoughts.

It is in this period that an answer may come up in your consciousness to resolve your situation. After this meditation write the answer in your meditation journal for review and action.

Close your meditation with a deep inhalation and exhalation. Open your eyes. Write out your insights and mentally thank the saint you are praying to for their intercession with the Divine.

Keep in mind that the saints intercede for us with the Divine, they are the cheerleaders for our cause if it will benefit us, and the whole world, too.

 

 


 

235. Meditation Is a Science

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Just as surely as any other natural law weaves its way through each molecule of existence, so the science of meditation follows the same science, a spiritual law, too. Meditation follows the science of cause and effect: What is set in force produces a like result.

The more often we meditate the deeper our perceptions take us. This can never be in doubt. And in this assurance we reap the faith and courage to continue our practice.

Meditation is like two plus two equals four, and then some, radiating outward in all directions as joy and bliss. This happens because the more we experience our inner nature, the more of infinite nature is opened to our view, and in time becomes part of our awareness.

Take time to meditate deeply, reap the joy of inner communion, available to those whose heart is steady and full of love. With a clear mind make the choice to find the links to your eternal nature. Use the cause and effect law of practice makes perfect to perfect your entire nature.

Keep your mind clean and wholesome; a positive attitude reaps positive thoughts; act on the positive and set aside the negative; give yourself time to meditate deeply every day and uncover the best of yourself.

Show your best side to others as an inspiration. After all, the child emulates its parents' acts, not just words. Be a child of the entire universe, aligned with good, enjoying a clearer mind and more bliss in the joyful state of meditation.

Remember that meditation is following the scientific maxim pervading the universe which is cause and effect. Do good to reap good. Align with love and feel loved by the universe as harmony.

 

 


 

236. Moving from Activity to Quiet Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

If you have been moving through a set of poses or other physical activity and wish to quiet down, then gently fold into a sitting meditation.

Here is how I do this: Begin with your feet parallel and slightly apart, and arms stretched to sides. While maintaining your balance on one foot, lean body slightly forward and start to bend your knees while sliding one foot behind and under yourself, bending your knees more. Continue sliding down to the floor into a crossed-leg sitting position. That's it. You are now in a position to begin quiet meditation.

All of life alternates between periods of activity and stillness. Meditation is on the stillness end after active movement. Then, after meditation, stretch out and go on with an active part of your day.

The period of quiet meditation can begin with a deep inhalation and slow exhalation, then regulate into a pattern of even rhythmic breathing. For example, breathe in one count and breathe out one count. You need not say the counts to yourself, just keep up the rhythm till the end of your quiet meditation.

While breathing regularly and evenly pay attention to your breaths. This gives your mind something to do besides dwell on problems. It is a refreshing and relaxing break from your busy day.

You may find that after your meditation some thoughts come to you 'on your back burner' to resolve problems. If so, write them out in your meditation journal for review and action.

To summarize, meditation is complete stillness within, so is the opposite of action in the world. Use this quiet and peaceful time to wind down, refresh, recoup your energy. Then go out into the world again with a positive outlook, ready to be active once more.

 

 


 

 

237. Meditation Can Help Bear Grief

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

In the throes of grief we can hardly be comforted. But if we sit in meditation and begin even, regular breathing, we can take a respite from physical, mental, and emotional trauma for a few minutes.

Meditation when grieving

Sit in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Keep your spine erect. If sitting on a cushion bend your legs in. If sitting on a straight-back chair plant the soles of your feet firmly on the floor for balance. Either way, fold your hands in your lap, or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs.

Close your eyes. Begin even, regular breathing, such as one count to inhale and one count to exhale. Continue this pattern throughout your meditation.

Breath is a connection that regulates the interaction of body, mind and emotions. When feeling upset or unrest, begin even breathing as just described to bring harmony back into your life.

For this meditation, pay attention to each aspect of the breath. Listen to your inhalation, listen to your exhalation. This keeps your mind busy for the time being, and gives you a break from feeling emotional in your grief.

After a period of time, continue the even breathing, but think with appreciation for something you do have in your life, such as a person or pet. Feeling appreciation is a comfort in periods of stress and grief.

To finish your meditation take a deep inhalation and exhalation. Open your eyes and stretch out.

Now do something you enjoy. Be good to yourself. Use this meditation often during heavy grief to provide an oasis of comfort for a bit of time.

 

 


 

238. Tune into Your Deeper Self in Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Most of your deeper self is unseen. For example, think of an iceberg, and how the great majority is floating below the surface with only the tip visible. And so, when we look in the mirror we see only our physical self and not our other bodies making up the whole of us, such as mental, emotion, spiritual.

If we didn't have a discriminative mind we would be more like a rock than a person. And emotions carry empathy and compassion to help us realize our intertwining role with people and all in the world.

Our spiritual body, outlasting our bodies of earthly substance, carry us on our journey of discovering who we fully are in relation to everything that is on all levels.

Meditation practice is a means to gradually make friends with and get to know our deeper self, our spiritual self. In meditation we sink deep within and transcend our thinking and emotional states, enjoying our state of bliss. The quality of bliss is like a river of harmony, which elates us with goodness and all the virtues. I find that it is definitely worth it to meditate deeply and float in the state of bliss.

In a practical sense, a solid experience in bliss supports us through ups and downs with our physical, mental and emotional bodies. Once we realize spirit is always a part of us we can turn to it for comfort, and in comfort we rest easier, freeing our mind to work out problems. A win - win situation.

To go deeply into meditation sit for longer and longer periods of time, breathing evenly and easily. Follow the layers of consciousness in, and then further in over time. Enjoy the respite from cares of the outer world. Make meditation your friend and ally in your quest to realize and commune with your deeper self.

 

 


 

239. Meditation and Your Spiritual Spiral

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

The spiritual calling of each of us is more than personal, it is at least twofold. We grow in spiritual consciousness as we give personal service to others. That shows that the personal and planetary service are entwined, like the spiral in the double helix strand of DNA.

There is a saying that no man is an island and that pertains to spiritual growth also. If we isolate ourselves and only tend to our self-serving desires, we are spinning our wheels in place, going nowhere.

Meditation on ways to serve and grow spiritually

Find a quiet place to sit, where you will not be disturbed. If you are sitting on the floor on a cushion, fold your legs in. If sitting on a chair plant the soles of your feet firmly on the floor. Either way hold your back erect. Clasp your hands in your lap or place them palms up or palms down on your thighs. Close your eyes.

Take a deep inhalation to begin and slowly release it. Then begin an even and regular breathing pattern, such as one count to inhale, and one count to exhale. Keep up this rhythm throughout your meditation without actually saying the counts.

Say an opening prayer or make your supplication now. Then think about how you can act to relieve another's distress. The act of caring and following through with action lifts you up while benefitting others. This is how you make your spiritual spiral go around and up in consciousness, realizing we are here to help each other while we spiritually grow.

To finish your meditation take a final deep inhalation and slowly release it. Take a moment to appreciate someone or a pet. Open your eyes, stretch out, and go on with renewed resolve about how you can help someone and at the same time spiral upward your spiritual growth.

 

 


 

240. Morning Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

If you are a morning person, this may be a good choice of time for your regular daily meditation. Let's assume that you wake up refreshed and able to stay awake in a sitting meditation without dozing.

Prepare: After taking care of bathroom needs and washing, finish your grooming, drink some water, but do not take anything with calories, and dress in fresh loose clothing. All of these routines will help you transition from sleep into your wide-awake self.

Choose a place to sit that is peaceful this time of day. I have a meditation place set up in my attic under the skylight. This privacy gives me peace knowing I will not be disturbed.

Keep a light blanket or shawl nearby to wrap around your back and shoulders if there is a likelihood you will cool down while sitting. Also, keep a meditation journal and pen handy to record any insights after your session.

Begin your meditation: If sitting on a cushion bend your legs in. If seated on a straight-back chair place the soles of your feet firmly on the floor to maintain balance. Either way, fold your hands in your lap, or place palms up or palms down on your thighs.

Read a short uplifting verse or say a pray to set the mood and elevate your thoughts. Close your eyes. Then begin even and regular breathing such as one count to inhale, one count to exhale, and continue on in this rhythm throughout your meditation. You don't need to actually say or think the counts, just keep up the pattern for the duration of your quiet time.

Breath is a link between and harmonizes the workings of body, mind, and emotion. It is a useful way to calm yourself when upset, or gain control of your peace when you are stressed.

If you wish, begin mantra meditation, using prayer beads or a rosary. Keep your beads on your meditation altar or handy in a small box so they are ready when you wish to meditate. Coordinate your mantra syllables with your breathing. For example, if your mantra is Om Shanti, inhale on Om, and exhale on Shanti.

Another mantra that is easy to coordinate with the breath is Om Peace. Om, breathe in, and Peace, breathe out. If you use Om Peace you could add the visualization of breathing in fresh energy, and breathing it out to the world as a peaceful thought.

Finish your meditation with thankfulness for all you have in your life and a final wish for world peace. Take a deep inhalation and slowly exhale. Open your eyes. Stretch out. Go forward with your day with the intention to carry peace into your activities.

 

 


 

241. Meditate to Nurture Peace

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

If you could do one activity to nurture peace in yourself and on our planet what would it be? The answer is meditate. Just look at the examples given by those who've come before us. Mahatma Ghandi first comes to my mind. I see him sitting on a veranda spinning thread and feel the emanation of his peace, even from that thought. That's how powerful thought waves are. And thought aligned with the highest good of peace for all is the most powerful, a transmitter sending an unbroken beacon in radiant waves, in all directions.

By meditating with sincere thoughts of love and care for others we are mentally sending love and care to others. We receive one another's thoughts, so, to nurture peace send thoughts of peace.

I think of the sparklers we wave in our hands on Independence Day, and this is the kind of light I see carrying bursts of peace. Each spark lighting up the night carries a message of peace, and for peace to continue. It see light as a symbol used for carrying the message of universal peace.

For example, our sun lights all on our planet without discrimination. All plants receive its light to create food, people use its light for warmth and to see the world. We all depend on the sun. And, we depend on being peaceful mentally, and acting in the world peacefully to maintain harmony on our planet.

Meditate

If you are having trouble being peaceful, sit in a meditation and go deeply within to your core of peace. Feel your breathing slow down and become regular and rhythmic. This is the experience to take from meditation into the world to promote peace. Be an example in your family and with all you have contact with during the day. Peace is practical. Peace is the practical means to create a harmonious world for everyone. Let peace begin with yourself in meditation, and radiate peace through your actions to the world.

 

 


 

242. Summer Herb and Meditation Garden

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Begin by choosing your location. I have a couple I like. First of all, my back garden because of the privacy it affords. But, I also like my recently replanted front garden making space for sitting in meditation.

What I did is clear out the ivy from underneath the central Magnolia Susan tree, and trimmed off the lower branches so about 4 feet high is clear. Then I laid a brick pathway around the circumference, keeping them about an inch above ground level.

I have about six feet of garden area across the circle. I filled this in with 25 liters of potting soil, and planted a mixture of herbs and small blooming azalea perennial bushes. I'm on the 52nd latitude and put in two kinds of mint, rosemary, basil, oregano, chives, parsley, and cilantro. The azaleas, mint, oregano, and chives are perennials, so will come up each year without replanting. The azaleas and rosemary stay green all year. Just a side note: I noticed that my neighbor adapted my plan, and put in a front garden of mixed flowers and herbs.

Then I placed two wooden folding chairs outside the circle facing out to the street with my back to the house. Sitting there I have a photinia tree and lilac bush between me and the street so I am sheltered from those on the sidewalk.

Along the outside perimeter of the herb plantings I nestled in a garden Buddha statue that I backed into a small-leaved evergreen shrub, making an alcove for the Buddha and facing it toward the chairs. This way it is not visible from the front street.

My point was to have a pleasant place to sit and meditate without it being a noticeable activity. I tell you, the smells wafting from the herbs make this an ideal location for me at midday, with the sun shining down over my shoulder. I protect my face by wearing a broad-rimmed sunhat.

If there is a heaven I surely hope that it is full of delicious smells such as a blooming garden and herbs emit. Even as I begin to meditate, my mood is lifted by the scene and warm smells of summer.

 

 


 

243. Aspirations, Mantras, Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

What we're talking about here are a short group of words that inspire us to feel our best, act our best. They clear the mind of the running thoughts that keep us in a worldly loop with no hope of becoming our own shooting star of promise.

Growing up as a Catholic, I often used the phrase "Jesus, Mary, Joseph" repeated over and over to lift myself into a positive mood. As a spiritual mentor, my teacher, Sri Swami Satchidananda, advised me to initiate seekers with a phrase, prayer, or mantra in keeping with their own faith.

When I was first initiated in a dream by Paramahansa Yogananda he gave me "Father Reveal." Later Sw. Satchidananda initiated me with a mantra with similar sounding syllables. That was almost forty years ago and to this day I follow his advice.

If you don't have a spiritual teacher, I advise you to personally pick a short phrase in a faith or language that uplifts you. Feeling devotion to uncovering your Eternal Self, you will be inspired to pick words that contain the sounds suited to your spiritual advancement.

Use your short aspiration or mantra at any time you need to quiet your mind. If you are in a group situation say it silently without moving your lips. When you are alone take a few moments to say your mantra verbally. Begin your meditation with your aspiration or mantra. Feel the energy and power it contains to transform your mood and thoughts from straight line to creative thinking.

All the universe is composed of energy vibrations, that means, on the micro level motion is continuous, nothing stays still. Use your mantra sounds to uplift you into higher thinking, and receive the best resolve to your situation of the moment. As mantra and aspirations are a prayer their energy can also be directed toward the good of others and particularly at this time in history, to world peace.

 


 

244. Preparing for Evening Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

After a busy day it may take time to settle down to a quiet meditation.

Prepare for meditation by first washing yourself and dressing in clean roomy clothes. This ritual washing is like washing your hands before eating, it is a little ceremony of cleaning and making way for a new experience.

I like to wear loose pants and an over-blouse. This is not the time to be annoyed by constrictions from your outfit like tight cuffs. I also keep a shawl or sweater at my side if I think I may get a chill. When the body is still it can cool down.

Fold a wool or other warm blanket to sit upon, to insulate yourself from drafts or cold surfaces below your seat. When you are feeling cozy in your seat it is easier to sit more comfortably.

If you are meditating after a meal, wait an hour to begin your quiet session, to give your body time to get the major digestion moving along. Otherwise you may have an uncomfortable time sitting upright. It is okay to sip water before meditating, but don't drink anything with calories, to avoid your energy going into digestion mode.

To make the transition from active to the complete stillness of meditation, use the first few minutes after sitting to read uplifting verses, poetry, or an inspiring story. This puts you in the mood for prayer. Follow prayer or supplication with the listening portion of meditation.

When sitting still in meditation begin to observe your breathing. Inhale one count and exhale one count. Keep up this pattern for the remainder of your meditation. Regular rhythmic breathing calms and regulates body, mind, emotions. If you came into your meditation feeling agitated this technique can help bring you back to your usual harmony.

After a period of time go through any inner doorways that you see and enjoy the wondrous view within. Meditation is a gift to us and we have every right to make use of it fully. Discover the rich fullness of your inner life, and bring out these qualities into daily living.

To finish your meditation say an appreciation for the good in your life and send thoughts outward for world peace.

Take a deep inhalation and slowly exhale. Open your eyes, stretch out and go forth peacefully.

 

 


 

245. Meditate When All Else Fails

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Meditation is the one practice that will not fail you. No matter what is going on in your outer life, you'll find peace of mind in meditation. Why?

Meditation requires stillness. And in the physical immobility the mind and emotions have more of a chance to calm down, too. What happens is that our native peace arises and lays out the format to absorb stress in its spongy cushion of quietude.

When I'm having a hard time making sense of a problem or events around me, I withdraw into my inner sanctum for meditation. In the inner room I find the answers that I need, to find my place in the cyclone of events swirling in the waking world.

It is by finding my place and holding on to ethical living that I can slip into the groove that will lead me to the proper goal.

Action has reaction in kind. It snowballs for better or worse. When we choose to follow the path for the highest good of the situation and all concerned, we retain our peace of mind and ability to clearly think through problems.

When in doubt about the direction to follow, take time to meditate. Consider the options that come to mind and choose that which feels harmonious. Peace is too precious to knock aside by acting selfishly, and causing disturbance to those affected.

To review: When faced with a problem and unsure what action to take, sit in a quiet place and meditate. Allow options to surface in your mind, then after meditation record them in your journal for review and action. And, live an ethical life to preserve your sense of harmony.

 

 


 

246. Ethics, Virtue, Meditation, and Spiritual Growth

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

An ethical person does what is good for the situation. Good ethics produce good results. An unethical person may have temporary personal gain, but at the expense of others, and will not grow much spiritually.

Ethics underlie virtues. It does no good to practice virtues if you are not ethical. To progress towards self-realization requires an ethical basis, built upon with virtuous living, and the crowning glory of deep meditation.

We learn ethics, good from bad, and how to get along harmoniously, in various ways, including holy scriptures, rules of behavior at school, work, and society. Remember the 'golden rule' of doing unto others as you wish done to you.

On top of maintaining ethics, practicing the virtues gives us an edge in our spiritual quest. For example, when we share with someone, we feel good during the act of giving, right in that moment. A virtuous person is welcome and emulated in society.

Progress on the spiritual path comes when an ethical and virtuous person sits in meditation. Innate harmony is revealed when the mind is free from the stress of ways to gain at the expense of others. And in that clear state the deeper levels of spiritual joy come to mind and emotion. Even the physical body reaps the reward, by feeling warm and energized in this elevated level of realization and consciousness.

Make every effort to live ethically and enjoy a fuller sense of unlimited spiritual connection with others, and the natural world, too. If you find yourself tempted to act unethically for personal gain, avoid places of temptation, or those who do not have ethical goals. Others influence us until we are strong in our own ethical behavior.

In summary, follow the three part plan of living ethically, practicing virtues, and meditating deeply. Then you'll reap the grand reward of enjoying your expansive spiritual nature in the midst of daily living. And, your life becomes a good example for others.

 

 


 

247. While Meditating Visualize a Peaceful Life

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

The active portion of meditation is an opportunity to visualize a peaceful life for yourself, stretching out to all.

Visualization comes before realization in most endeavors. And before visualization a positive attitude sets the scene, provides the background. When you walk out on a meadow full of wild flowers it is easy to visualize a cozy cottage being situated there.

In the same way, when we want a peaceful life we must calm ourselves enough to see ourselves living that way. Meditation is one way to help us bring the visualization of peace into reality, into daily living.

We have choices and can choose to live peacefully.

A meditation to choose peace

Go to your quiet meditation spot and settle in. Close your eyes and begin even and regular breathing, such as one count to inhale and one count to exhale. Continue in this rhythm throughout your meditation, without actually saying the counts.

After a minute of the even rhythmic breathing look at your inner motion picture screen. See yourself out on the meadow as described above. See the flowers bending gently in the breeze. Notice the brightness of the morning sun reflecting off dewdrops from the night.

Now see yourself absorbing all the peace and tranquility of the meadow flowers and the warmth of the sunlight giving you reason to adopt a positive attitude. That is where your peace resides, first on your own inner screen before you can bring it into your waking life.

Now turn your attention to following your even breathing and inhale the peace and breathe it out, nourishing your mind and body.

Finally, take a deep inhalation, slowly release your breath, open your eyes, stretch out, and carry your vision of peace into your life.

 

 


 

248. Creative Solutions and Meditation

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

Meditation gets us in touch with our expanded self. In addition to revealing our spiritual nature, another avenue that it opens is our creativity.

We each have the capacity to work out problems. How effective we are includes our previous input, experiences, and willingness to put various options together to form a new outcome.

On the spiritual path we see results when creatively helping others find solutions and get beyond stumbling blocks. While we are helping we feel good and this gives us the incentive to give and grow through virtues even more. Like creates like and our acts of kindness and goodness mushroom for ourselves and through our example for others.

A meditation

To creatively solve a personal dilemma through meditation begin by sitting in a meditation pose with a journal and pen at your side. Close your eyes and mentally say a prayer or affirmation for insight.

Begin even and regular breathing, such as one count to inhale and one count to exhale. Continue this rhythm throughout your meditation without saying the numbers, just keeping up the pattern.

Now with your rhythmic breathing established and sitting still, pose the question or problem in your thoughts that you wish to solve. Here is where the creative part comes in. When you are physically and emotionally calm the waters of your mind become still and you can see further into issues for answers and ideas. It is similar to seeing deeply into a body of water that is clear and calm, as opposed to seeing nothing under a thrashing surf at the shore.

In the stillness and silence be prepared for new ideas to arise to your conscious mind, and just let them come to you even if they seem unlikely. It is in picking and choosing between new thoughts that pull out the creative solution that will work best for our intent.

Finish your meditation with an affirmation for personal and world peace and betterment. Take a deep inhalation and slowly release it. Open your eyes and write your new ideas in your journal before getting up. Stretch out and go on with your day. You can always develop your creative ideas further by more meditation.

 

 


 

249. Meditative State of Mind

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

The term, meditative state of mind, can refer to several ideas. When someone is sitting quietly and appears to be reflecting we could say they look meditative. Also, when we are sitting in meditation and slip into that quiet place of stillness, we are in a meditative state of mind.

An advantage of nurturing our meditative state is that it is the quietest, while at the same time creative state, where we can draw on new or deeper ideas. Going into a meditative state layer by layer uncovers more information that we can bring out for usefulness in our projects.

A meditative state gives us an expanded view of life and circumstances that we may not see in the regular waking state. We have heard about the different mental states we all have, such as, waking, deep sleep, dreaming, unconscious, super-conscious.

Meditation is our state of consciousness where we are physically at rest, while mentally awake.

Not being bothered with physical, mental, and emotional issues gives us the space to zoom in like a rocket launched into inner space, a place where there are no boundaries to our thinking.

By spending time in meditation we become adept at going deeply within at a moment's notice. For example, I lived at Yogaville, Virginia, for a year. After meditating regularly in the LOTUS, Light of Truth Universal Shrine, even as I would start to sit in meditation pose I would enter the inner light where we all abide without limitation as spiritual brothers and sisters. It was joyful that my time in meditation paid off in being able to commune spiritually with expanded consciousness so easily.

In summary, take time to develop your meditative state to creatively solve problems, and also enjoy the feeling of communion in your spiritual state with others on the planet now, and those who have gone beyond.

We come from expansive spirit
We live in spirit even while in physical form
We return to expansive spirit without physical form
And in a meditative state
We can be conscious while in all forms.

 

 


 

250. Meditation Can Spiritually Deepen Relationships

 

Article by Susan Helene Kramer Shuchi

 

When a relationship is deep, it is bathing in the ever-present waters of spirit. Meditation can both increase our capacity to swim in spiritually deep waters, and commune with like-minded souls in those depths.

When conscious of our expansive spiritual nature, whether we are in deep meditation, just returning from meditation to the everyday world, or feeling the joy of spiritual communion right while going about our everyday life, we come to know that we are essentially part of the same root-structure of God.

For example, an oak tree has multiple limbs, representing each of us. The limbs connect to the trunk, representing the one all-pervading spirit supplying energy to the limbs. And the trunk has a huge root system anchored in the ground, representing our Creator and Sustainer, providing all creation with the necessary elements for form and survival.

Meditation to consciously deepen relationships

Find a quiet and private place to sit in meditation. Fold your hands in your lap and close your eyes. Begin breathing evenly such as one count to inhale, and one count to exhale. Keep up this regular rhythm throughout your session without actually saying the numbers.

Regulated even breathing ties the body, mind, and emotions together as one harmonious unit. It allows the body to remain still and quiet while the mind remains awake and active.

Take advantage of this meditative state to fill your mind with thoughts of peace and send them out in waves to the creation. Allow your mind, emotions, and body to feel joy welling up from your spiritual depths. Enjoy. Be en-joined with all your loved ones in these moments. Dive deeply into your Source and come back up through the trunk of existence refreshed and feeling part of the wholeness of all.

Come back to your waking self slowly with thoughts of love for the depth and expansiveness you and others are, realizing none are separate, rather all are rooted in the Eternal.

Take a deep inhalation and slowly exhale. Open your eyes and stretch out. Go forth into your life peacefully and joyfully, feeling warmth in communion with all.

 

 


 

 

Beginning Steps in Meditation 1. to 40.   http://www.susankramer.com/meditationarticles3.html
Meditation Tempers Ups and Downs 41. to 80.   http://www.susankramer.com/meditationarticles3a.html
Contemplation and Meditation 81. to 120 http://www.susankramer.com/meditationarticles3b.html
Benefits of Daily Meditation 121. to 160 http://www.susankramer.com/meditationarticles3c.html
Meditation and Our Deepest Roots 161. to 200 http://www.susankramer.com/meditationarticles3d.html

Meditate to Find Answers 201. to 250.  http://www.susankramer.com/meditateanswers.html

A Heavenly Garden in Meditation 251. to 300.  http://www.susankramer.com/heavenlygarden.html

Love Is a Constant − 301. to 316.  http://www.susankramer.com/loveconstant.html

 

All content on this site is copyright Susan Helene Kramer
 and may not be used in any manner without express written permission.
Email: susan@susankramer.com

Ebooks or Books - click covers

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Meditation for all Kids by Susan Kramer

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Meditation Lessons for Teens and Adults by Susan Kramer

A meditation and yoga practitioner since 1976, Susan, Shuchi, writes on practical spirituality, meditation, yoga, family and social issues, and dance. Her instructional books are listed at her web site http://www.susankramer.com/books.html


 

page created October 3, 2009; January 28, 2016

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