I first learned to meditate shortly after I graduated from college over twenty years ago. I was motivated to learn to relax after I entered the working world for the first time by landing a job in my chosen career in the stressful, competitive and deadline-driven field of advertising. I no longer had the option of a quick afternoon nap to revive myself and refresh my mind as I did in college. (I also became fascinated with eastern philosophies at that time and studied karate in order to learn to focus my mind and body.)
I began my meditation training with classes through a metaphysical organization that involved using guided imagery, such as listening to a recording with a calming voice that led you to some peaceful place such as a cabin in the woods by a babbling brook or springtime meadow. It was nice, but I was dependent on listening to the tape or replaying it in my mind each time that I wanted to reach a calm state. The other method involved focusing on an object such as a lit candle. It usually took at least 15 minutes by either technique to even begin feeling relaxed. Needless to say, I was not motivated to meditate on a regular basis when it was such a tedious process. My meditation practice dwindled as the only time I could meditate was at bedtime, which was very irregular during my party-time twenties.
When I became a Buddhist
My interest in eastern studies grew and I became a Buddhist at age 30 while living in Los Angeles. Their method of meditation involved reciting a small passage from the Lotus Sutra as well as a mantra twice daily. We were encouraged to sit, often in the Japanese style of kneeling on the floor, and chant in front of an altar while holding prayer beads. If we wanted to break through a particular difficulty, we might get together with other members and chant for hours at a time.
It was calming and did clear the mind of chatter, but the meditative state was not very deep because chanting involved sitting for long periods while holding prayer beads to your chest. I kept up this daily assiduous meditative practice, but with few epiphanies or resolved issues. It has always been difficult for me to completely relax while sitting, even with crossed legs.
I had been a devout Buddhist for over ten years when I first encountered the most amazing meditation technique. I attended a holistic health fair and met Swami Ramaraaja, a self-help teacher who combines Eastern (Self-Realization or Vedanta, Taoist) and Western (Mystic Christianity) teachings. She is known for her creation of meditation called Samadhi Nirvana Yoga Meditation or deep trance, cessation, connection to the divine through meditation. I found her meditation amazing because I was able to combine the relaxation of earlier methods with the mental focus I learned in karate to enter a deeper, more mystical meditative state within seconds.
Integrative Healing Methods
In addition, Swami Ramaraaja instructs students in Self-Realization through Vedanta, Taoism and other systems. Her integrative healing methods and workshops were featured in an article in Kansas City Wellness Magazine by Richard Mende, a renowned monk of forty years who stated that “Her years of research have resulted in breakthrough insights that ordinary folks have not experienced.”. In addition, many individuals have testified about transformational experiences that they have had with her meditations and teachings.
Shortly after the holistic health fair, I attended one of her Going Clear Weekends in which Swami Ramaraaja teaches her Samadhi Nirvana Yoga Meditation technique as well as other techniques that help people clear their mind of useless chatter and their lives of long-held fears and erroneous beliefs. What made this meditation so effective for me was that I could finally lower my brain waves and achieve a deeper, calmer state of mind within a few seconds in what used to take several minutes. I believe that this happened because Swami Ramaraaja instructs her meditation students to lie down, cover their eyes with a silk or satin eye pillow and “touch their triggers”. Lying down automatically puts your body in a more relaxed mode. Studies have shown that covering your eyes with an eye pillow during meditation helps slow eye movements which seems to calm the mind. “Touching your trigger” is the final key to achieving a deep trance state.
What Swami Ramaraaja does is use neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) by having her students create a “trigger” by touching their thumb and one of their fingers together when they have achieved a lowered (relaxed) brain wave state during meditation. (This technique is thoroughly explained in the book, “Going Clear: Doorway to the Divine”.) Once you have this NLP trigger, you can not only use this to achieve a deep meditation state such as in Samadhi Nirvana Yoga Meditation but also to calm your mind when in stressful situations such as driving in rush hour traffic, tense moments at the office or dealing with a difficult child. I feel that using an NLP trigger is wonderful because you don’t need to use guided imagery or light a candle to become a more relaxed, focused individual. I have found my NLP trigger very effective to use while driving. You can even have different NLP triggers connected to different brain wave states attained during meditation. People have been known to create an NLP trigger during a massage in order to recreate that calm state during a more stressful situation. I was even able to achieve a deep meditative state using Swami Ramaraaja’s method during a root canal. My dentist was amused that I dozed off during the procedure because I was so relaxed and that I was able to achieve that without any medications or even chamomile tea.
I have also been able to experience epiphanies (too personal to share here) and other mystical states during Samadhi Nirvana Yoga Meditation that I was never able to achieve during meditation prior to using these quick and simple methods. I am no longer a Buddhist because I became dissatisfied with the ineffectiveness of chanting mantras over and over. I have my NLP trigger and deep trance meditation that bring me all the joy and peace of mind that I need to feel fulfilled as a mystical being having a human experience.
Mende, R, 2002. “Getting Stoned: An Alternative Healing Approach with Sharon R. Stone” by Richard Mende, Kansas City Wellness Magazine, August, 2002.
Stone, S. 2009. ‘Going Clear, Doorway to the Divine’, 2009. Light in the Dark Publishing company. Retrieved 2009-12-01.