I Changed my Meditation Style: See What I Experienced…

I Changed my Meditation Style: See What I Experienced…

Something happened this week. I don’t know why, but it happened. Why I decided to do it, I’m not really sure, but I did it. Here I was, all set to be a TM meditator for the rest of my life, and lo and behold – I changed tack and experimented with a different style. Why would I do this…?

For years, I had being practising a form of meditation known as ‘transcendental meditation’. TM (as it is colloquially known) is a form of mantra-based meditation. You effortlessly repeat a sacred mantra secretly revealed to you (for a vast sum of money) over and over again until you ‘transcend’ into a blissful state of awareness.

Coincidentally,  last week my yoga teacher taught us the key to mantra-based meditation. To Mark, there are 5 key stages:

1. Body should be Steady and Comfortable. (Sthira and sukham)
2. Breath should be Calm, Smooth and Quiet. ( Pure Breathing)
3. As the mind stays focused on the Pure Breathing, the Awareness goes Inwards.
4. Notice this Awareness strongest at the Third Eye Centre.
5. Out of this Third Eye Awareness – Hear your Mantra.
For me, the experience I feel during my TM sessions is one that I can only describe as serenity.  As my mind settles, it arrives at a far away place on a distant horizon – a place so calming and soothing; and peaceful. There is nothing there, only the dull glow of an orange light. In this realm, I enter a simple state of pure awareness.

Deepak Chopra

So why would I want to change all this? I mean, this sounds kinda perfect, no? Nirvana perhaps.
Well, because my curiosity with mindful living and managing my own inner challenges meant that I wished to take my understanding of consciousness to a whole different level.
It goes something like this: if we are to be truly mindful, then we need to be fully aware; and we can only be fully aware when each breath and each bodily sensation becomes an experience. Big words huh. I know. I can hardly believe I’m writing it too. But I guess that is how far I’ve come recently with my practice.
The inspiration for this new mindset comes after a 6 week mindfulness course with Adrian at the Now Project. I also credit Wendy at the Lotus Pad with introducing ‘insight meditation’ to me on retreat last year in Ibiza. I gained ‘insight’ that I could decompose my breath – that any bodily sensations or anxiety that I feel would also be labelled as ‘experiences‘. The de-humanisation of emotion shall we say –  emotion becomes ‘motion’ in a synchronicity of breath and harmony.
Insight meditation is the original meditation taught by the Buddha, from which much of the mindfulness teachings are derived. It involves concentration, bringing the mind gently back to the breath as it passes through each nostril, ever so subtly noting the experience. Each ‘time’ we may get distracted, but each ‘next time’ we slowly reduce the power of habit which has created the distraction in our mind. In this regard, meditation can really help us dissolve our habits (some distractive, some destructive), so that we can truly live in the NOW.

The experience of ‘I’ in pure meditation

In short, I’m distilling every moment into its core components (much as us bankers like to ‘decompose’ everything into its core constituents in order to understand the true nature of risk): To really understand as I recently wrote – that thoughts are just thoughts – formless and just another experience.

Anyway, enough of all this Woo Woo talk, really.










Mindless Meditations


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  • Wow! Not sure what to write really… just wanted you know I read this… will have to go back and read it when I have less distraction around… ?

    April 3, 2017
    • Thanks CJ for your ‘mindful’ thoughts! 🙂 Best wishes, Scott xoxo

      April 3, 2017
      • I’ve only ever managed to meditate successfully once… to be honest… it scared me. I truly felt out of control and if I didn’t take my next breath it would not have mattered… so yeah, it fascinates me, but since that experience I’ve kinda avoided going into it as deep.
        Your post is very interesting!

        April 3, 2017
        • Oh CJ, I’m sorry that guy have felt that way. Perhaps a more basic breathing meditation might help. Hugs ?

          April 6, 2017
  • Nice read 🙂 have you read Daniel Ingram’s stuff?

    April 3, 2017
    • Hi there, I’m sorry that I didn’t reply earlier, I thought I did but it didn’t send. No I haven’t, is there more information about Daniel’s work? Cheers! ?

      April 6, 2017
  • Thanks for this share! In the 7 limbs tradition of yoga, mantra is used to hone the mind to a single point. In the Buddhist tradition, insight or vipassana mediation is a different approach, allowing an opening of the mind to awareness until stillness is found beyond. I find mantra easier to use when I am very distracted. At other times, listening to music or a guided meditation works.
    There is no one path towards inner peace…. although some would tell you otherwise ?

    April 3, 2017
    • Thank you Val and I’m sorry for my late reply! That is very interesting, both method end up at the same point. I agree, mantra meditation is great for reducing distractions in the mind, I have found that very effective too. My meditation teacher always says to stick to one style so I think I will try vipassana for the time being ??

      April 6, 2017
  • Nice one, Scott. Btw don’t know if you’ve seen LivingWise Project lately, but I’ve gone all promotional about it. 😛 Basically with some encouragement from enthusiastic readers, I’ve taken it public (in media speak, not financial!) into a full-blown site and I’ve now opened it up to other writers. The aim is to be a spirituality portal and I’ve surprisingly received good traction so far. I was wondering if you’d like to contribute to LWP too – either with an old post such as this one or something new (or one followed by the other in time)? I have a FB page for it and everything so check it out and let me know! 🙂
    Cheers, Shruti

    May 11, 2017
    • Hi Shruti, Yes, the last time I had a look on your website, I could see that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. Well done!!! It would be a pleasure to contribute to LWP (I’ve had similar ideas for YB, watch this space on that front) so it would be truly great to contribute somehow. If you would like to post this one, that’s totally cool. I can more in the future as my creative brain comes up with them from time to time 🙂 I have one in waiting about mindfulness in the office, but its deeply spiritual (or maybe), but if you are looking for more esoteric posts, then my last two on meditation are a good start. Looking forward to collaborating! Will check out your FB page. You might see a friend request from Scott Robinson as well 🙂 Mine FB page is Cheers, Scott

      May 11, 2017
      • Thanks Scott!! 🙂 Yes have been super busy with the site lately – feel like an accidental entrepreneur suddenly :p Received interest from some pretty cool people in the field and so decided to take the site more seriously and see where it could go. Would be really terrific to collaborate on our ventures – looking forward to seeing YB’s new avatar too ;). I’m glad you’re happy to contribute to LWP! The new article sounds awesome but as you say, I’ll start off with the latest meditation ones. Will let you know when they’ll go up on LWP, mostly likely over next week (learning editorial skills from scratch and have even got myself a publishing schedule :p). Cheers, Shruti

        May 12, 2017
        • HI Shruti, I have a publishing schedule – every Monday AM! :p Its nice for readers to know that something is coming their way.. I’ve had people asking where’s my posts when I didn’t publish over xmas! Look forward to seeing my posts up on the LWP! I wish to create a co-blogging space on my new site too. Im sure there will be opportunities to colloborate :). Good luck with it! Cheers, Scott

          May 14, 2017
          • Thanks Scott and that’s a good tip!

            May 16, 2017
    • btw, I think we have the same WP template on our blogs. Looks great! I really like how you have the blog posts come up as feature items. Really cool! Is yours self hosted or through WP?

      May 11, 2017
      • Yes I noticed that too. For a second when I was commenting on your article I thought what are all these articles on my site?! Haha Thanks, love the featured pics option myself – its keeping me sticking to this theme. I switched over to self-hosting very recently…the technical learning curve has been steep but so far so good!

        May 12, 2017
        • Good stuff!! I think the featured pics option is the best. Good for u self hosting, I’m about to do the same! ?

          May 13, 2017