You Might Prefer an Active Meditationabracad, · Categories: externally authored, meditation
by Catherine Auman
When most people hear the word “meditation,” they envision a serenely calm person sitting blissfully, probably with their legs crossed in the lotus position. What is going on inside that meditator’s head, however, may be a different story. Their mind is most likely struggling and overwhelmed with its many dramas, anxieties, and infatuations. Many people can’t stick with a meditation practice because it is just too darn uncomfortable.
The benefits of meditation have been well documented: reduced stress, better health, concentration, spontaneity and creativity. There are purported psychological and spiritual benefits, such as helping to keep things in perspective, developing intuition, greater tolerance of others and self, and even enlightenment. Nearly everybody who learns about it agrees that meditation is a good thing.
Then why do so few practice it? Certainly the modern lifestyle of constant activity does not value sitting silently doing nothing. And it is difficult for us to drop into silence with so much on our minds.
Osho, the great spiritual teacher, invented active meditations because he said people today are different that they were when meditation was invented. Never before were people so identified with their minds as we are today. For modern people, it is necessary to first energize the body and then throw off accumulated thoughts and emotions before one can benefit from silence. Once this is done, silence comes on its own without struggle.
The most famous Osho meditations are Dynamic and Kundalini. Dynamic begins with a chaotic breath technique, followed by catharsis - throwing off repressed feelings and emotions. If you practice with others you may see someone crying or calling out to their mother, and another person celebrating the release of repressed joy. (This person might even be you.) Following this is a Sufi technique, silence, and finally a brief dance of celebration and joy, welcoming the day. Silence has come on its own, not by being forced or endured.
Kundalini Meditation begins with shaking the pelvis which most Westerners hold tensely thus stopping its natural energy flow. Dancing and celebration follow, then the delicious utter relaxation and silence. Margot Anand, the famous tantra teacher, once said that if a woman has problems achieving orgasm, if she does Kundalini Meditation for a month, she will become able to surrender.
Osho invented many other popular meditations, such as Nadabrahma, No Mind, Chakra Sounds, Gourishankar, and my favorite, Natararaj. All that is important is to choose one and try it out for yourself. Bliss awaits.
© 2014 Catherine Auman
Catherine is author of Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth
Filed in: externally authored, meditation