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7 Steps to Effective Meditation

By Steve D’Annunzio

1. Commit to twenty minutes daily.

Start out with a commitment to at least ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening.  Wear loose fitting comfortable clothes and sit in a comfortable chair with your back straight.  Choose a place where you’ll be undisturbed by phones, people, etc.

It is recommended not to meditate in bed.  Practicing in the same location is preferable to building a long-term meditation practice.

2. There is no right or wrong

This is a spiritual discipline in which the rules differ from any other activity.  It is the only life exercise where there is nothing specific to accomplish—there is no goal to do. It is spiritual exercise to experience yourself as a Divine Being, not a human doing. Just showing up to do it is the win.

3. Close your eyes and follow your breath.

Close your eyes and begin breathing deeply.  Follow your breath inward, listening to the symphony of your breath.

In meditation, the focus on breath is important because it is the gift of life itself.  The ancient holy sages believed each inhale was a new spiritual opportunity from God, and each exhale symbolized all that no longer served you, and as a kind of death in itself.  Thus, the Latin word spiritus means “breath” and is the root of the word “spiritual.”  Focus deeply on elongating your incoming and outgoing breath.

4. Silently repeat your mantra.

Mantra is a Sanskrit word meaning “thought seed.”  Meditating allows us to plant new seeds in the garden of life via repetition of a mantra.  Pick a phrase (mantra) that inspires you or one that resonates within you as the right one.

After a minute or two of deep, focused breathing, begin repetition of your mantra over and over.  Silently repeat the first half of the phrase on the inhale breath, and then finish the last half of the phrase on the exhale.

A few suggested mantras:

“I am one with the love of God.” (Non-denominational Spiritual)

“The Lord is my shepherd.” (Protestant or Catholic)

“I am one with my Father in Heaven.” (Mormon)

“Thy will be done Lord.” (Christian)

“Om mane padme hum.” (Buddhist)

“Ya Baha’u’lluh Abha.” (Baha’i Faith)

“La illaha il Allah.” (Sufi/Muslim)

“Om Shivaya namah.” (Hindu)

“Sh’ma Yisroel.” (Judaism)

“I am that I am.” (Unity)

5. When thoughts intrude, bless them, and go back to repeating your mantra.

Remember the ego must try to derail your efforts.  It does so with a barrage of random meaningless (or even meaningful) thoughts.

Some days are worse than others, and this is absolutely normal, so don’t judge it—just watch it.  It may take you a moment to even realize you’re in thought.  If you do find yourself thinking, just passively say “Bless you” or “Thanks for sharing” and go back to mantra repetition.

6. Mustering all possible power, fix your awareness firmly on the mind and watch it unrelentingly.

Before ending your meditation, concentrate every iota of your power on peering directly at the mind.  It will stop instantly.  Just stay fully present with intent focus, not exerting undue effort or struggle.

The mind will be stunned into peaceful alignment and you will experience true peace and freedom.  With practice, you will be able to hold this still point longer and longer.  Just experiencing it at first is startlingly joyful and inspirational.  This is the God-Self Awareness Point.

7. When finished, take time to re-enter your day carefully.

Sit quietly for a minute to allow a gentle return to normal consciousness.  Then open your eyes, sitting still for another minute before rising.

How to Practice

If your preferred mantra is “I am one with the love of God,” you will repeat it this way: Recite in your mind the first half of the mantra while inhaling (“I am one with..”), then recite the second half on the exhale (“…the love of God.”).

Continue breathing as you repeat this mantra non-verbally.  After five to ten minutes, you’ll feel the mind get very restless—and this is where most people quit.  If you can stay with it a little longer, the mind will begin to settle down.

At that moment, look with intense focus directly at the mind.  Be the unwavering witness, peering with the light of awareness at the mind.  It will stop completely and you will experience the God-Self Awareness Point.  There will be stillness and complete peace.  Once you find it, you will never lose the ability to reconnect to it again.

In meditation, you are like a jet plane taking off in a torrential rainstorm.  As you begin to meditate, there may be uncertainty—just like the plane taking off in the rain.  The jet climbing through the rain, wind, and thunder is much like the noisy thoughts of fear, doubt, and worry one experiences in meditation.  Then the jet enters the cloud layer, and in meditation this represents the G.A.P.

This point is the leap of faith as you move from ego-self (below the cloud) to God-Self (above the cloud).  When you are flying through clouds it is bumpy and turbulent.  The pilot is visually blind, and flying on instruments only—he is flying on faith. Suddenly the jet breaks out of the clouds and enters a magnificent field of crystal clear blue sky in which the sun is brilliantly shining.

It is interesting to note that the blue sky is there even though you don’t see it when you are beneath the clouds.  Similarly, Soul Purpose exists even though you may not directly see it.

There are other tools to help transcend the thinking mind that can be useful during meditation.  These may include a sacred picture or object, music, incense, or other aids that initiate transcendent energy.

Highly visual people are often guided in reaching deeper meditation by unrelentingly fixing their focus onto an external object of symbolic Divinity.  You may have a favorite picture of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna, or Shiva; a Torah or a Lotus or the Sacred Heart; or some other image sacred to you.

For people who have no such image, another object can work just as well.  It may be a nature scene, a flower, or even a candle. Some religious practices forbid this, but do allow some aspect of traditional chant or repetition that takes the student to deeper levels of consciousness.

These are the pragmatic details for practicing meditation, but the more important idea is the commitment to stay with it.  Some days may be frustrating, some days may be revelation, but showing up every day is the win.

As you utilize higher mind, you have created the connection to the spiritual realm.  By consistently creating a singular focus, you emanate a strong high-frequency vibration that develops spiritual will.  The will is an unstoppable power, in that will and faith are of the spirit and are the two important essences that complete the transcending of the mind.

The mind does not “do” faith, nor does it comprehend the will.

It has been said that faith equals belief minus evidence.  The intellect is based upon logic and is therefore linear.  Because faith is non-linear, the intellect views it as illogical and naively irrelevant.  Will is similar in that it is an aspect of the spirit.  As it gets stronger through the spiritual discipline of meditation, your ability to be more disciplined in other life areas is strengthened tremendously.

This has been confirmed via spiritual healing groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.  Through connecting to their Higher Power via fellowship, prayer, and meditation, the willpower of individual alcoholics is exponentially increased.  With a renewed faith and an increased will, the ability to heal the fatal disease of alcoholism was finally discovered.

The same will occur for you, including the discovery of your Soul Purpose, as you commit to practice meditation.

With practice, one becomes the witness, and then eventually becomes the awareness itself. Witnessing eliminates the personal illusion of perception, replacing it with spiritual vision.  The illusion of me slowly dissolves into the realization of the I Am. This is how the ego-thinking mind is transcended.

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Steve D’Annunzio is the founder of the Soul Purpose Institute, the author of The Prosperity Paradigm, and a productivity trainer and life success coach to Fortune 100 executives, professional athletes, and high-performance entrepreneurs. For twenty years, he has been helping people identify their passion, develop it into a business idea, and deliver it to the world.

A member of the Transformational Leadership Council, Steve has shared the stage with world-changers like Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield, and Barbra-Marx Hubbard.

He uses principles of higher awareness to inspire others to be far greater versions of themselves than they ever knew to be possible. By combining scientific and spiritual truth, he co-creates inner transformations for people to experience more outer prosperity in their life.

He is an author and composer of many books, paradigms, and artistic projects that have the common theme of alleviating human suffering and enhancing joy.

Steve lives with his family in Rochester, New York.

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7 Steps to Effective Meditation