Doing Natural Meditation
This short page should give you at least a general idea of what this meditation is.
First, HERE’S WHAT IT IS NOT:
As Ted Phelps says when people ask what Natural Meditation teaching is all about:
“I can teach anyone to meditate in one sentence, even before I even run out of air: Close your eyes and watch what happens for a few minutes. It is real meditation, maybe you can call it mindfulness. And if you do it every day, it will change your life in all kinds of ways, for the better. So if that is all there is, then why do we need a whole course to learn it? Because, that is not at all what it is.
AND HERE’S WHAT IT IS:
The purpose of sitting in Natural Meditation is to allow a natural process to come in and work for our benefit. We are in charge of the session, the way a chief executive is in charge of a large business. We set time aside, start and end the session, and have our own reasons for doing it. No one else handles that. But during the session, we let nature take care of the details while we stand off to the side and watch. It is easy enough to say, but in practice people need to try it out with a teacher to verify their experiences, or to have an excellent teaching guide in writing or video.
HERE IS A PEEK at how it works
- We sit comfortably so that our bodies don’t keep calling for attention.
- We sit in a place that is reasonably stable and safe. It does not need to be silent.
- We sit on anything comfortable that supports the lower back.
- We time the sittings. They usually last 20 or 30 minutes.
- We close or lower the eyes.
- We use a carefully learned method that allows us to be in charge without concentrating, forcing, and fighting with nature.
- To help with that, we use a specific thought or word, one that is kept the same from sitting to sitting, is gently recalled. This type of meditation aid is called a mantra, which is a term from India.
- If in doubt, use the culturally neutral phrase “I am” as a mantra.
- The method is gentle, unforced, and almost transparent. It is this method, and not the mantra, that allows the meditative function to come forth.
- And simple as that sounds, most people need to have it explained several times and from several angles before they feel they have sufficiently understood it. This is why Natural Meditation instruction is carefully constructed and takes longer than might seem necessary.
An ideal daily meditation schedule has two 20-minute meditations, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, both before meals rather than right after.
A typical layout is like this:
- Morning Meditation
- Work, Lunch, Work
- Afternoon Meditation
- Evening activity
Quick Peek Inside If you are curious about what is inside the method, read this text, “10-Step Agenda,” from our book, A Course in Meditation. This will help show why Natural Meditation is called “culturally neutral” and “non-religious.”