||5. Other Meditations
While this type of meditation is perhaps the most common, similar as it is to the popular vipassana meditation of standard Buddhism as well as some Hindu/Yogic meditations, there are many others.
Samadhi meditation, in particular is one recommended by the Temple of Earth because it is specifically designed to increase the powers of concentration. Samadhi meditation involved determined concentration on a single point of focus often a candle flame or a mandala. Non-visual elements can be used as well your own breath, or a sound. For the purpose of focusing the mind we recommend a simple visual element, e.g. a black spot on a white piece of paper set somewhere in front of you (in a picture frame on a table, or taped to a wall). Devoted practitioners of Samadhi meditation are said to boast incredible powers of concentration and memory. There is a conviction among vipassana schools that too much Samadhi meditation can be dangerous, and that in fact it allows the practitioner to perform black magic. Naturally, we disagree with this.
The Internal Journal Meditation Though not a traditional form of meditation, journal meditation is a sort of “do it yourself” Psychiatry. We have found it to be a very powerful tool in solving day to day problems. In journal meditation we place a notebook and pen next to us and write down any meaningful insights that may come to us during the meditative practice. It is important to give yourself some time to reach a meditative state: you should not expect to have any useful insights immediately after sitting down.
Meditate as usual, allowing thoughts to rise up from the subconscious but acknowledge them and let them drift away. However, if a thought seems useful or pertinent, examine it more closely, all the while maintaining a conscious awareness that you are doing so handling the thought like an object in your hands. Should the thought prove to be one of real value, open your eyes, pick up the pen and notebook sitting next to you and write down what you’ve discovered, making sure to maintain your “witness” mindset all the while. Then carefully place the book down and return to your meditative practice.
One must not force the thoughts to come or grow impatient if they don’t they might not come at all. If they do, that’s fine, and if they don’t you’re just practicing the standard zazen mentioned above.
A more particular alternative to this is when there is an actual, identifiable problem that you must solve and are unsure what direction to take. In this case, Journal meditation is similar to common western prayer in which the one who prays asks God for advice and inspiration. Of course, in that case it is really yourself you are asking, the rational self who sees more clearly than can the grief-stricken emotional ego. In this case the meditator concentrates in a relaxed manner upon the problem itself and merely witnesses the problem as it appears in the mind. Given time, the rational mind will provide inspiration and offer real solutions to the problem. These too you must write down in your notebook.
These insights will prove to be of a higher quality than found in a diary or scrapbook because they come from the wisest and truest part of your mind the part that looks at your own life from above, detached from the emotions, and consequently able to see the big picture.
Kundalini is a technique in which the practitioner aims to simultaneously release energy from all the chakras, an energy that shoots up the spine and, it is said, unites one with god. While actual kundalini meditation is extremely complex and often torturous in its attempts, our form of kundalini is easy, safe and tame.
In the TOE version of kundalini, one merely concentrates on their spine, focusing their energy first at the base, following it up through the back to the mind, and then back down again in a repeating loop. It is of particular importance to maintain a straight back during this type of meditation.
The principle behind this meditation is that the entire nervous system branches out from the spine. By focusing on this channel that runs lengthwise through our center we can develop greater awareness of our body. A pleasant side effect of this meditation is that viscerally ecstatic states can be conjured up as the nerves are stimulated in this manner.
Many will find this the most difficult and boring form of meditation, while others will find it fun. Math meditation is one of the easiest methods to increase concentration and memory. Essentially this is done by solving arithmetic problems in your head. Whether you choose addition and subtraction or more difficult multiplication and division problems, it’s up to you. Of course the more digits in each problem, the more difficultly you’ll have envisioning the whole thing. Try starting by multiplying a few single and a double-digit numbers together (e.g. 45 x 7), slowly work up to two double-digit numbers (e.g. 38 x 29), single and triple-digits(4 x 489), double and triple-digits (89 x 278), and so on. Envisioning all these processes in the mind requires great attention, will and memory, which will all improve with time. Don’t worry about checking the results with a calculator: getting the question right is not as important as finishing the problem and opening your eyes to check a calculator is disruptive.
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