Instructions for Dhyan (Meditation) Yoga
The steps written below are how meditation is taught by the teachers in our lineage, to help us meditate in a deeper way.
For a more thorough presentation of these instructions and how this practice unfolds spiritual growth, watch the video below, where Dileepji explains this method of meditating.
- Sit comfortably in your normal meditation spot, with your spine and neck in a straight line (this is important). If you have them and want to, light a candle and incense.
- To help stabilize the mind, start with deep breathing, inhaling and exhaling as rapidly as you can through your nose (bhastrika pranayam). Use your diaphragm to pump, like a bellows, with the chest and lungs passive and your mouth closed. Do as many deep breaths as possible (more is better), but always at a pace that is pain-free and comfortable to you. If you tire, pause for a moment and continue. Do fifty or more deep breaths if you can do so comfortably. If you have any health issues like heart or respiratory difficulties, breathe only as rapidly as is comfortable and do not strain.
- Then take a deep breath and chant out loud the sound OM (sounds like “oh” with an “m” at the end). Repeat this chant for a total of three times.
- Proceed with the meditation technique, which is to concentrate on the breath. Inhale, mentally saying the word OM. Exhale, continuing to focus on your breath. At the end of the exhalation, mentally count “one.” Again inhale, mentally saying the word OM. Exhale again, mentally counting “two,” and so on. (OM…one, OM…two, OM…three…) Continue with this cycle of breathing, counting at the end of each exhalation.
- If you notice that you have lost track of the count while doing the technique, restart from the last number you remember or go back to one. If you go into meditation and the focus technique naturally stops, don’t force yourself to continue with it. The technique is simply a concentration tool to help lead you to meditation.
- During the meditation, keep your body relaxed, eyes closed, and continue breathing normally. Mentally watch the inflow and outflow of your breath while continuing the meditation technique with your body relaxed and spine straight. Emotions, body movements, sensations, temperature changes, sounds, visuals, etc. are a natural part of the process and often are an important part of the energy doing its cleansing work. Allow whatever happens to happen. It is also said that sometimes the best experience is no experience. The energy works subtly and deeply regardless of experiences.
How often should I meditate?
How long should I meditate?
Choose an amount of time that you can comfortably do on a daily basis. It is much more beneficial to meditate 10 minutes daily than an hour every few days.
What time is best to meditate?
If your schedule allows it, meditating at sunrise or between 4:00 – 7:00 AM is best. Next best is sunset or between 6:00 – 9:00 PM.
Where should I meditate?
It is best if an area of a room can be dedicated solely to meditation. If possible, meditate in the same spot every day. The best direction to face is east with north being a second choice. A location that is free from outside distractions is ideal.
What about an altar?
The altar or your meditation space will build up energy over time. Because of this, it will be very easy to go into meditation just by sitting in it.
How should I sit?
It is important to be sitting up with your spine and neck in a straight line. If you can do so comfortably, feel free to meditate sitting on the floor. Placing an asan or meditation mat under you is best.
Ideally the asan is made of wool (best choice) or cotton and is used only for your meditation. You may also sit on a cushion to help keep your spine straight. This pillow or cushion would ideally be used only for meditation.
If you cannot sit on the floor, a chair may be used. When using a chair, you may place a pillow at your lower back to keep your spine straight. You can also place your asan on the chair before sitting on it.
Observe silence while meditating and reciting mantras.
What else do I need to know?
There are many things that can be done to improve your meditation. All things which improve the quality of your life will also improve the quality of your meditation. Among these include a good diet, regular exercise, and harmonious relationships.
- Develop complete faith in God and Guru. It is a fact that they are always working for our welfare.
- Develop the feeling and attitude that the whole world is one family. Since all people are our brothers and sisters, we must promote goodwill and respect all communities and religions. Realizing that God resides in every person, one should not harm or insult anyone. Cultivate a feeling of love and forgiveness to shower equally upon all living beings.
- Speak the truth in a pleasing way. Live each day in the consciousness of love and kindness.
- Do good deeds whenever possible and contribute to the charities or spiritual teachers of your choice.
- Attempt to lead a pure, pious and sattvic life. The body is a temple of God, and therefore one’s food should be pure and nutritious. Intoxicants and smoking restrict spiritual progress. A vegetarian diet will accelerate spiritual development.
- As purity begins with the physical body, cleanse the body before meditation. It is not necessary to bathe before you meditate, but it is good to brush teeth and wash the face, hands and feet.
- Although Guruji is not physically present, his energy can be felt astrally, especially by meditating with other disciples in a group. Regular group meditations are encouraged to further his work and teachings as well as provide a place for disciples to gather, meet and share their experiences.