Frequently asked questions
Why do I have to keep my eyes closed during meditation?
In meditation we receive cosmic energy. 80% of our energy is lost through the eyes. So in order to conserve this energy, it is important that we keep our eyes closed during meditation. There is no point in doing meditation with your eyes open. It is like trying to fill up a bottle which has a hole at the bottom. The bottle can never be filled up.
For how long should I meditate everyday?
For as long as you want to but the thumb rule is to meditate minimum time as per your age. For example, if you are 30 years old, a minimum 30 minutes of meditation is required in a day and extra minutes are always a bonus to your spiritual journey. When meditating deeply, time passes quickly so do not be surprised if thirty minutes of meditation appears to feel like only five minutes long.
When should I meditate?
One can meditate at any time of the day according to what suits one's convenience. It helps to drink some water before meditating. A gap of half an hour or so after food may also be helpful.
Why should I focus only on my breath during meditation?
The goal of meditation is to reach a thought-free state and for that we need to cultivate the practice of resting our mind on an anchor. Our breath is always with us, wherever we are and it is a powerful anchor to the present moment.
When we attune our mind to be with our natural breath, gradually the density and number of thoughts reduce thereby taking us into the meditative state.
What type of music should I use for meditation?
Any soothing and relaxing instrumental music that will help you to get into a meditative state easily. Try to avoid using music which contains chants and mantras or lyrics as that would be distracting for the mind.
Do I need to keep my back straight for meditation?
Not everyone is accustomed to sitting with a straight back for a period of time. Instead adopt a very comfortable posture. Make sure that your mind will not think about any inconvenience to your body while meditating. By sitting as comfortably as possible, you will not have to think about your body and you can focus on your in-breath and out-breath.
My legs start to feel numb during meditation. What should I do?
You can move or re-position your legs until you feel comfortable, but do not open your eyes while you adjust yourself.
Why do I fall asleep during meditation?
If you can’t hear anything from outside and you have not been distracted, perhaps you have fallen asleep. Lethargy, drowsiness and sleepiness is common. Sometimes falling asleep in meditation speaks about our tamasic nature. In that case we have to examine our lifestyle, food and sleep habits.
Sometimes the sleep is actually ‘yoga nidra’; a thought-free state of mind which feels like sleep. When you wake up the mind automatically goes back to the breath. Here, the meditator has been successful at making the mind quiet, but the feelings of peace, clarity and well being of deep meditation are missing.
If you repeatedly fall asleep during meditation, check your motivation for meditating. If you are really tired, take a rest and meditate later but do not get discouraged. If you wake up hearing yourself snore, don’t feel embarrassed or frustrated; just bring your attention back to inhalation and exhalation. The awareness of snoring also means that you are aware of your relaxed body sleeping. In meditation, too much effort leads to restlessness, while too little effort leads to lethargy. Intention, focus, and balance make our meditation fruitful and rewarding.
Why am I experiencing all sorts of emotions during meditation?
Most thoughts are accompanied by emotions. Emotions like fear, anger, jealousy, pride, and sadness often follow our thoughts. The problem arises when we judge these emotions and then feel frustrated with our effort to meditate.
Don’t label your emotions as good or bad. Simply witness your emotions without getting lost in them. You have to be present with whatever comes up, but then you must come back to the breath. The idea is to allow the breath to be present with whatever is predominant in your experience in any given moment.
Sometimes tears start rolling down the cheeks. These tears may or may not be accompanied by an emotion. All you have to do is, allow the tears to flow. As you become adept at meditation, you will start to notice that while the mind clings to the physical sensations, thoughts and emotions, there is a deeper level of awareness, which observes all the antics of mind without getting affected by them. This is the core of meditation practice.
In meditation, we learn that we are not our physical sensations, thoughts, or emotions. We are that state of pure awareness which watches everything come and go. Our true self is not attached to or identified with anything that arises; it only allows the experiences to flow.
Why do I experience pain during meditation?
Physical pain is a common experience in meditation, primarily because we are not used to sitting in one position for a long period of time. If you experience any pain in your body, acknowledge that pain, but do not immediately move or shift your position at the first sign of discomfort. Don’t worry too much about fixing the pain. Just notice it and bring your attention back to your breath. As you continue with your meditation, observing the pain as well as your breath, the pain will disappear.
You may move your body and re-adjust your posture if the pain is constant and unbearable but don’t open your eyes otherwise you will lose the meditative state of mind. Sometimes the pain may abate for a while as you shift your position, but may come back as the new position too becomes uncomfortable. It is advisable to neither push away nor ignore the pain. Just sit through it, observe it and return your attention to your breath.
If the pain bothers you in successive sessions, try gentle stretching exercises, and rotation of joints along with deep breathing before beginning your meditation. You may also consider experimenting with different postures and choosing the one that feels most comfortable. Sometimes the pain is caused due to the push of cosmic energy through blocked energy pathways. Once the blocks are removed and the pathways are cleansed, the pain dissipates.
I regularly spend time contemplating about my life. Is that meditation?
Contemplation means thoughtful observation or inspection. Meditation is a thought-free observation. In contemplation, we engage our mind in enquiring about a certain idea, but in Meditation we go beyond thought. Hence, Meditation is not contemplation. Anything that uses the mind is not meditation.
I heard that prayer, worship and chanting of mantras brings one closer to God and is also a form of meditation. Is that true?
Meditation is not prayer
A prayer is an acknowledgement of God’s power and goodness. It is a request or petition for materialistic or spiritual gains. In prayer, we speak with God, in Meditation we listen to God; hence, Meditation is not prayer. Prayer is a dualistic practice, where we consider ourselves separate from God; Meditation takes us above duality and we become one with God.
Meditation is not worship
Worship is religious devotion to deities. Meditation is about devotion to self-discovery; hence it is not worship. Meditation is about emptying the mind. In prayer and worship, the mind is focused but not empty.
Meditation is not chanting of mantras
A mantra is a sound, word or group of words. Meditation is about inner and outer silence. So it is not about chanting of a mantra or repeating a Divine name. Constant repetition of a name or mantra is known as ‘Japa’, which is commonly resorted to still the mind. However, stilling the mind through Japa is a very long drawn-out process, unlike meditation.
Can I meditate using guided meditations which require me to visualise?
Meditation is not visualization. In visualization we consciously create certain images in our mind and picture them vividly as though they are real. In meditation, we don’t create any mental images intentionally. Visualization encourages imagination, which is a mental activity while meditation is about cessation of all mental activities; hence meditation is not about visualization.
Why do I feel that I am having more thoughts during meditation?
In the initial stages of Meditation when we sit quietly, we become more aware of all our thoughts. Hence, it seems as if our thoughts have increased.
I find it difficult to concentrate on my breathing for more than five minutes.
Concentration requires effort and that creates tension. Meditation is effortless. Concentration means fixing a close, undivided attention on a particular task or activity, while Meditation is only about observation and awareness. Concentration strengthens the mind whereas Meditation is about dis-identification with mind. Meditation loosens the grip of mind on us. Hence meditation is not concentration. Simply relax into your breath and allow yourself to witness it the same way that you would witness a sunrise or sunset.
What should I do if I get distracted from my breath?
Both beginners and seasoned practitioners do get distracted from their breath, by a thought, pain or something else. The moment you become ‘aware’ that you are distracted from your breath, that moment is an important moment in meditation. A great learning happens when you turn your attention back to the breath. Gradually your mind will stop generating unnecessary, distracting thoughts. These are landmark steps in meditation.
So here is what you can do:
• Realize that you have been distracted
• Do not get involved in the distraction or try to fight it
• Do not judge it
• Do not feel annoyed, guilty or frustrated about it
• Be patient with yourself
• Get your focus back to your breath
• Carry on with your Meditation
I continue to get distracted by my thoughts during meditation. What should I do?
Your thoughts are always based on the past or the future and never about the present moment. Whatever the thoughts may be, they arise and disappear on their own accord if you don’t interact with them. As soon as you realize that you have been thinking, just bring the mind’s attention back to your breath.
Sometimes the mind refuses to let go of the thoughts. If that is the case, don’t fight with your mind. Allow it to wander while you focus on your breath. Soon the rebellious mind will subside and calm down.
It is all right if the mind doesn’t stay still. You can be present with it wherever it moves. Gradually meditation will open you to that space within you which is non-dual in nature. When you are in that space, you will be comfortable with both: the stillness of your mind and its movements. You won’t get lost in either one. Meditation is about becoming aware of the nature of your mind.
Can I expect to see results after a few sessions of pyramid meditation?
Some people start their meditation practice with the hope of getting something out of it such as better health, more bliss, peace, happiness, or an enlightening experience. While there is nothing wrong with setting an overall objective for your meditation practice, we risk limiting our experience by making meditation too result oriented. It is better to know all the benefits, set an overall objective, and then leave all expectations aside to meditate sincerely and diligently, in complete trust that our highest good will be delivered to us when we connect with the Divine One Within!
What are the stages of meditation?
There are three Stages of Meditation also referred to as ‘three happenings’.
The first stage ‘happens’ when we stay with our normal, natural, simple, easy, soft, tender, shallow, tranquil, peaceful flow of breath. In this stage, the mind becomes rather empty.
The second stage happens when a huge amount of cosmic energy enters the rather empty mind. Since Nature abhors vacuum, it fills the empty mind with corresponding amounts of cosmic energy. All five senses become very sharp during this stage.
The third stage happens when sufficient amount of cosmic energy enters the physical body and activates the Third Eye or the inner senses. This stage results in Third Eye experiences.
What is the 'lock posture' in Pyramid Meditation?
When sitting in the lock posture, one's energy does not get dissipated.
What is Cosmic Energy?
Cosmic energy is also known as 'chi', 'prana' or life force energy. It is this energy that sustains our body, mind and all our subtle energy bodies. During sleep we receive cosmic energy hence we feel refreshed when we awake. In meditation we have the opportunity to receive abundant cosmic energy. This cosmic energy helps to heal us and pave the way for us to become enlightened beings.
Why should I attend group sessions? Can't I meditate on my own?
Group meditation is 3 times more powerful than 'alone meditation'. It is even better if the group comprises of senior or experienced meditators.
Is meditation alone enough?
By doing meditation, a person will become basically enlightened but that alone is never enough. Alongside meditation, Swadhyaya (study of spiritual books) is necessary to mature our intellect. We also require Sajjana-Sangatya (spiritual company of enlightened masters) to gather spiritual wisdom and hasten our progess in the path of spiritual growth.
Can I meditate lying down?
Meditation should be done in a sitting position. Unless one has a medical condition and is not able to sit, then he/she can lie down to meditate.
Can I use crystals for meditation?
Crystals have the power of receiving and distributing cosmic energy. Crystal energies support our meditation practice.
Why are pyramids used for meditation?
Please click here to learn more about pyramid energies and the beneficial effects on meditation.
How can I obtain a pyramid for my meditation practice?
Is meditation conscious breathing?
Meditation is not conscious breathing but being ‘conscious’ of the breath. It is only awareness of the breath, as there is no effort involved in altering the breathing process in any manner. In meditation, breath only acts as an anchor or a centering point.
Do I need to become a vegetarian in order to practice Pyramid Meditation?
The Buddha had said that Wisdom and Compassion are like two wings of a bird. Just as both wings are required for a bird to fly, both wisdom and compassion are required for humanity. Through meditation we awaken our inner wisdom. We awaken our compassion through Vegetarianism. As we regularly pursue our meditation practice, we expand our awareness and understanding of non-violence and make the switch to a plant based diet.
I feel sensations in between my eyebrows during meditation. What does that mean?
Some people feel pressure, pain, tingling, itching, pulsing, pulling or some other sensations on their forehead. This means that their third eye is being awakened. A full list of meditation experiences can be found here.
I have begun my meditation practice but my loved ones are not joining me?
Meditation is a practice that you do for yourself for your own spiritual growth. We can encourage our loved ones to also practice meditation but we cannot burden them with our expectations to follow suit. Everyone follows the rhythm of their own soul path and so we can strive to be an inspiration at best.
Am I supposed to have meta-physical experiences in meditation?
Some people are disappointed when they don't see visions, colours or glimpse enlightenment when they meditate. Although we can have a variety of meditation experiences, including feelings of peace and bliss when we meditate, these are not the puurpose of the practice.
How do I heal myself with Pyramid Meditation?
During meditation we receive abundant cosmic energy which nourishes our subtle bodies and removes any blockages in our energy tubes. Pyramids intensify our meditation practice making it three times more powerful. Healing can happen at any level - physical, psychological, mental or emotional. Please click here to find out more.
What are the recommended Spiritual books to read?
Please click here for a list of recommended spiritual books to read.
How can I enhance my meditation practice?
Here's what you can do to enhance your meditation practice: