SERIOUS PREPARATION for HPT
Many are concerned about where they should meditate, and perhaps the time has come to take another look, at HPT Meditation:
Meditation can take place anywhere, so long as the conditions are right.
In this respect it should be understood that HPT is non-denominational.
It can be done every morning, say on the way to work in a bus, train or plane, so long as you are not the one driving, and have a trigger to get off at the right stop.
At home, it is good for one to wear soft comfortable clothes like a jogger suit.
It is important that the space is also comfortable and familiar, so that there is nothing new to take away the concentration, just like the same old journey to work.
In this respect, it will be seen that your own room, at a time when there will be the least chance of disruption is most desirable. Which is why most will find the early morning the best time for them, before the brain gets going on the everyday things of life, and the rest of the house begins to wake up and cause distraction.
In your own space it will be relatively easy for you to have a picture of your favourite spiritual figure, if you wish, which if it is likely to upset anyone else coming in to your room, having the picture on the reverse of an acceptable photograph or print, which can easily be turned round, is useful.
Of course if you have constructed a shrine to your god, prophet or saint this can also be hidden in the interior of a cupboard or wardrobe, only viewable during your HPT.
Soft music with the pleasant scent of incense should upset no one, again if you wish.
Imagination in preparation is invaluable for most activities, including HPT meditation.
Many an Ashram or college of meditation will encourage students or visitors to wear their house robes and to rise at 05.30 hrs to partake in the first session of the day, brining to the event a similarity, a familiarity.
We recommend that meditation is followed in a familiar, comfortable place as early as suits you , which is why we refer to it as your:
Highly Precious Time (HPT).
Having had a taste of what meditation is about, through say following a guided meditation, as in previous posts, it is important to understand that the word meditate comes from the Greek meaning, from within, and therefore, meditation should eventually come from within your own mind.
As we say preferably in a place where you will not be disturbed, and at a time when there will be the least interruption from outside or in a situation where the concentration can slip below the threshold of constant noise, such as the engine noise in most forms of transport, or the buzz from the world outside, so that it becomes your meditation, your HPT.
You get the picture? But eyes and ears can both be distractions to your concentration, unless you subscribe to the form that involves constant sound that goes nowhere, or involves a recognised chant. However, rather than just closing the eyes it may also be recommended that the eyes are lowered, to focus on say the skirting board or on the feet of the Buddha, as in some Buddhist traditions, like the Serene Reflection Meditation – I have to admit that I love that title.
It is important for any spiritual practice to ground yourself before and also at the completion of your practice. It has many recommended methods, but the following will suffice if you have not done this before:
A simple method is to imagine your consciousness descending from your mind down through your body to the extremities of your hands and feet.
Or, something perhaps a little easier to imagine could be: with a calm mind imagine a white light entering the top of your head and descending through the torso down through the limbs to the extremities thus filling the body with light and flowing our through the soles of the feet into the earth, to the earth the whole body.
The other essential aid is to settle yourself, by breathing in through the nose to a count of 4, hold the breath for 7 and to breath out through pursed lips for a count of 8 – this may extend over time to suit you.
Having completed the preparation to your liking and comfort, the first stage of your HPT proper will be given in the next HPT post.
Hanukah & the Angel