Guided Ananda Meditation
August 28, 2017
Nayaswami Diksha leads a 16-minute guided meditation. She is a long time meditator and teacher at The Expanding Light Retreat.
Intent of the Meditation
A specific, highly effective technique of meditation (brought to the West by Yogananda) to help you develop greater concentration. With just a little practice each day, you can learn to concentrate, and you can feel more centered, calm, AND happy. You can start with this guided meditation.
My name is Nayaswami Diksha, and I'm the Co-director of the Ananda meditation teacher training. I will guide you through Ananda meditation, a classical meditation technique that reduces stress, improves concentration and calms the mind. You can practice this meditation technique every day.
Meditation Posture and Relaxation
First, find a comfortable sitting position. You can sit on a chair, a pillow, or a bench. Sit upright. With the spine erect and the body relaxed. You can take a few moments to offer a silent prayer for guidance and success in your meditation.
AUM, peace, amen.
So now place your palms facing upward at the junction of thighs and abdomen, chest is lifted, shoulders relaxed, chin parallel to the floor. Soften your belly and the muscles of your face. Close your eyes and lift your gaze slightly up just above the horizon line without strain.
Throughout the practice, keep your gaze lifted to help you attune yourself to your own Higher Consciousness. Let's begin by tensing and relaxing the body with a double breath.
Inhale and tense, exhale and relax. Again, inhale and tense, exhale and relax. Once more. Allow the body to relax completely.
Attention on the Breath
To calm and interiorize the mind. We'll practice equal-count breathing. We'll inhale through the nose to the count of six, hold six and exhale through the nose to the count of six. You can follow me or change the count to a count that works for you. We'll practice six rounds. Let's begin.
[Counting with tap of 6 for each breath phase:] Inhale, hold, exhale. Inhale, hold, exhale. Inhale, hold, exhale. Inhale, hold, exhale. Two more rounds, inhale, hold, exhale. Last round, inhale, hold, exhale.
Now, take a regular inhalation and complete exhalation. Let go of the breath and allow the breath to flow in and out naturally, without control. Become a silent observer of your breath.
Notice the sensation of the breath in your nose wherever you can feel it. Avoid breathing deliberately or forcing the breath.
Surrender to the natural flow of your breath and remain an impartial observer, as if you're watching someone else breathing.
Now, to deepen your concentration we add the mantra "Hong Sau". This mantra has a calming effect on the mind. Hong Sau means I am spirit. When the breath flows in naturally, mentally chant "Hong". When the breath flows out naturally mentally chant "Sau". Repeat the mantra only mentally without moving your lips, tongue, or jaws.
Now, we'll also add the movement of the right index finger. As the breath flows in naturally, mentally chant "Hong" and curl the right index finger only slightly towards your palm. As the breath flows out naturally, mentally chant "Sau"; relax the finger back out.
If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to watching the breath repeating the mantra, and moving the finger.
As you watch the breath without control, the breath may slow down. Enjoy the natural pauses of stillness between breaths. If, instead, the breath becomes shallower then enjoy the increasing sense of quietness.
As the breath becomes calmer, gradually feel it higher and higher in the nose until you're watching the breath high up in the nasal cavity.
Now, feel as your breath enters the point between the eyebrows awakening and energizing your higher consciousness.
Now we'll release the technique. Gently inhale through your nose and exhale three times through your mouth in a quick succession. [Sound of exhalation]
Feel the Stillness
Leave the breath out as long as it's comfortable. Enjoy a brief moment of freedom from breath. When the breath wants to flow again, let it do so. But don't pay attention to it. Sit in the silence, enjoy the stillness as you gaze up at the point between the eyebrows with relaxation.
Feel the Divine Presence within you as Peace, Love, or Joy. Absorb yourself in whatever divine quality you feel and allow it to expand within you.
Period of silence
Now, prepare to come back. Take a deep breath, bring the consciousness back into your body. Before you open your eyes set the intention of radiating peace into your environment and infusing all that you do with peace.
Gently open your eyes.