What are your wishes for 2020?
I’ve been dreaming up ideas and including visions in my morning meditations. Having a short daily meditation practice is an essential part of my day, even if its only for a few minutes.
Meditation is a general term for contemplating or reflecting upon something with a quiet mind. According to the Yoga Sutras (a classical text on the philosophy of yoga), there are three stages of meditation: dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Each involves a process of focusing and stilling the mind to a new state of awareness.
Many styles of meditation exist, and most begin with choosing a focus or linking to something that is positive and healing. The Sanskrit word bhavana means intention, attitude or focus.
Bhavana is used as a tool for meditation as it is immensely powerful and helpful to meditate with an intention. Bhavana also includes visualizations. Selecting a focus for your meditation is an intimate choice. Many people choose to simply focus on their breath. Here are some bhavanas, or points of focus, for meditation.
- A feeling of protection or trust in the divine forces in the world.
- An object from nature, such as the sun at dawn or a bright blooming flower. Or taking it further, you could choose to see a calm mountain lake as representing calm and peacefulness inside yourself.
- An idea such as compassion or kindness, for yourself or another.
- A higher force, a feeling of the Divine or God, or a symbol that represents it such as Buddha, Ganesha, or Mary.
- The sounds so hum or other mantras.
Take a few minutes and explore some ideas for meditations.
• Is there something healing and inspiring you would like to link to— perhaps something from the natural world or a positive quality?
• Are there sounds that resonate with you or that a teacher has taught you?
• What is supportive that you would like to visualize for yourself and/ or your family?
Make your own list of bhavanas for meditation. Keep the list near you in the morning or evening. Make a commitment to meditate with a bhavana for the next week and observe how you feel afterward.