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Great Meditations of the World - Part 1

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Article by Blue Banyan Meditation Products

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There are millions of prayers, meditations, sutras and holy works that are worth practicing.

As we move forward, we will be looking at many of the great meditations of the world. Before we begin, we should explain some of the methodology for choosing these items.

For our purposes, we will treat prayer, meditation, reading of holy texts and studying great saints as equal. For many of us, meditation is a secular activity. For still others, we take inspiration from our own faith or the faith of others. For this series, since we are speaking to a diverse, international audience, we will take all of these things as equal, as long as they inspire compassion, enlightenment and love for those around us.

In most faiths, prayer and meditation are synonymous. Praying the Rosary is as much a mediation as a prayer. Buddhist Sutras are as valid as sources of inspiration as the words of Muhammad. Tai chi, done as a moving meditation, is as valid as sitting in Shi Ne meditation.

One of the most important activities that is used as meditation is repetition. We will introduce several mantras, as well as prayers, that are used by the faithful to move toward enlightenment and strengthen their connection with their world.

Gratitude Meditation – Islamic Meditation

Gratitude is large part of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS ["sallallahu alayhi wa salaam" (may God's blessings and peace be with him)). He taught that gratitude for forgiveness and the many blessings of God was the highest calling of the faithful.

This is precisely the same teaching that many others have taught.

As a simple mediation for all of us, especially those who are not Muslim, we can spend some time looking at the great works in the Universe.

There are so many miracles that surround us every day that we forget to look at. "Stop and smell the roses" is not about botany, but about understanding the abundance that we have been blessed with. Even those who are not among the faithful can recognise the wonder of our world. Even the simple fact that we can observe and understand this amazing blessing is subject to our gratitude.

Starting with this idea from the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), let's try a gratitude meditation:

It can be helpful to set a timer that will ring every three to five minutes to draw you back to the next step or allow you to catch yourself getting distracted.

Begin by sitting comfortably in any position you choose.

Breathe deeply three times, exhaling the stress of the day and inhaling calm, cleansing air.

Begin by saying quietly to yourself, "I am grateful for the ability to feel gratitude." Take a three to five minutes to meditate on this concept: the idea that you are able to consider this at all.

Next, say to yourself: "I am grateful for this life that I have been given where I am able to advance my spirit." Take three to five minutes to meditate on this concept: You have the time and ability to spend time advancing your spirituality and move toward enlightenment.

Next, say to yourself: "I am grateful that I have the ability to learn from great teachers from around the world and from many faiths." Take three to five minutes to meditate on this concept: You were born in a time when information from all over the world is readily available.

Next, repeat this word over and over: "shukran". This is thank you in Arabic.

Repeat this word as a mantra for 10 minutes or so.

Think about these quotes while you repeat this mantra:

"It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when ye knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections: that ye may give thanks." – Qur'an 16:78

"Oh Allah, do not demand from us that we thank You adequately for the Blessings You give to us." – Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal

"Indeed blessings are attained through gratitude and gratitude is related to increase and these two are linked so that increase from Allah does not diminish until gratitude from the servant diminishes. – Ali [d. 40 AH/661 CE]

Complete your meditation by repeating "Thank you" in you native language three times.

Inhale and exhale three times, each time dedicating your meditation and how you feel right now to all beings on the Earth.

Meditation throughout the Week

Everywhere we go there is cause for gratitude. Something as simple as hearing children playing outside, waking up to the sound of birds or logging into our computer to read a message from someone on the other side of the planet are all cause to live with gratitude.

As a mindfulness training, try the "Constant Gratitude" training:

As you move through your day, every day for a week, express your gratitude for the things that are around you. Be thankful for your family, as they stand behind you as you move your life forward. Be thankful for your friends, as they choose to be in your life. Be thankful for your ability to learn and think. Be thankful for each meal you eat, knowing that you don't need to experience hunger.

Once every day, thank someone or something sincerely for their/its contribution to your life. Thank a coworker for being a reliable business partner. Thank your spouse for loving you. Thank a tree for cleaning the air and shading the ground. Thank your pet for the unconditional love they give you. Thank the Universe for bringing you into the world.

For our part, we are very grateful for each and every one of you that takes the time to read our words and share our journey with us.

Wishing you all the blessings that the Universe can provide you,

Namaste

11 Apr 2013

Article/Information supplied by Blue Banyan Meditation Products

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.

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