Four Simple Suggestions to Deepen Your Awakening
You’ve checked out the introduction to meditation, the guided meditation, the written guided meditation, and now you want to keep going. You know that what is most important is simply to practice, but you want more guidance. There are a ton of good resources, styles, and traditions out there; unfortunately we at DailyHap have not tried them all. But we know the following suggestions are good ways to deepen your practice.
Learn From a Trusted Teacher.
Almost all of them have free Youtube videos and audio recordings, extensively researched books, and offer introductory and advanced meditation retreats. Two good examples are Daniel P. Brown*** and Adyashanti. Looking for women? Try Pema Chodron or Mukti, Adyashanti’s wife.
Do It in Community.
You can form your own group, get a group to go to a local Zen Center, Unity Church, or Meetup.com group, or google search “meditation + city name”. I solidified my meditation practice hanging out at Dawn Mountain, a Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Houston, TX run by a Rice professor and her husband. I think most of the crew got up on Sunday mornings to try a new brunch place afterwards, but it got us practicing together either way, and encouraged some really unique and meaningful conversations.
Try Incorporating Technology.
Brainwave entrainment is a technological innovation to help bring your brainwaves to the same frequencies as those measured in experienced meditators. Binaural Beats, one version of this non-invasive technology, simply uses stereo headphones to play a different tones in each ear—the brain splits the difference and attunes to that wave frequency.
I used Holosync for many years, and iAwake has the support of people I respect. They both offer lots of supporting material, though the price and marketing style will turn some off. Try a free smartphone app if you are ready to venture off on your, including the aptly named and easy to use Binaural Beats.
Keep it Fresh and Integrated.
Try not to form a special relationship with it where you “HAVE TO” meditate or your day is ruined, like Ken Wapnick cautions in meditation and A Course in Miracles. Do it for joy, not discipline, as Thich Nhat Hanh says in this video. And whatever your practice is, try to do it in a way that you can integrate into any situation—in traffic, at a funeral, in a concert, etc.
*** It is worth citing Dan Brown’s credentials, because they are extensive. Dr. Daniel P. studied meditation practice for 38 years with a ton of different teachers and lamas, spent 10 years translating meditation texts from Tibetan and Sanskrit, and spent 10 years conducting outcomes research on beginning and advanced meditators as a Western educated psychologist. He has taught intensive meditation retreats internationally for 20 years, alone and in collaboration with a number of Tibetan meditation masters, and is the author of 4 books on meditation including two books in collaboration with H.H. The Dalai Lama. He’s also published with Ken Wilber. His background in both Western psychology and Eastern meditation traditions offers a unique integration of the contemporary Western research on peak performance and positive psychology and the classical Buddhist meditation lineage traditions.