(by Garuda) It’s hard to get up each morning and meditate. Don’t let any of Rama’s students fool you, it really takes willpower to sit for fifteen minutes, let alone one hour every morning. You might have gotten a sense within Rama’s community that meditating everyday after you awaken is a sign that you are a real player in the world of Buddhism. Of course this is not true. There are many very evolved people who rarely meditate, if at all. There are also balanced, happy people who have never heard of meditation but somehow bring serenity and clarity into their lives. Yet for most of us, the morning meditation is still paramount to leading a happy, empowered, and spiritual life.
The first thing you need to do if you wish to meditate daily is to really want it. To start with, meditate when you can — at sunset, at a power spot, or whenever the mood hits. Then wait until you really enjoy meditating before you decide to try it each morning. Some people just follow instructions as if meditation was like an English class and begin meditating each morning, because they heard it was a great thing to do. Many times they end up forcing themselves to do something that is unpleasant for them. Meditation becomes like homework and the meditation is restless and not profound.
Eventually you will really like meditation and you’ll want to do it each morning. The second trap to avoid is setting too long of a time for your daily meditation. This is the mistake I made. I was meditating for forty five minutes each morning and guess what: it become a chore that I did not enjoy. So instead, I set a minimum time of fifteen minutes and told myself I was going to meditate only as long as I enjoyed it. The strategy worked, and now I am meditating an hour each day and actually looking forward to the process most mornings.
Once you are able to meditate for fifteen minutes each day, how do you bring it up to an hour? During intense spiritual periods of life, we are naturally jazzed about mediation and enlightenment. At these times, meditating for an hour is not difficult at all. But usually we aren’t hitting light speed in our practice – so we need a crutch to help us increase the time we meditate each day. Luckily, Rama created the rock band Zazen and produced albums of meditation music composed to help us reach that one hour plateau.
The two Zazen CDs that will make it possible to bring your meditations up to one hour each morning are Enlightenment and Samurai. Rama’s method was to compose fifteen songs on each of these projects. The idea is to meditate for five songs on the naval center, then five on the heart center, and then focus on the third eye for the last five songs. Rama blasted each of these CDs with light, power and purity. The wonderful thing is that once you have finished listening to the music, viola, an hour has passed.
Rama explains in detail how to meditate for an hour to Zazen music in two of his talks. The first, more for beginners, is Meditation from the Enlightenment Cycle series. This talk explains chakra meditation and how music is used to accelerate the process. The second talk is Intermediate Meditation from the same series. Here you will learn more advanced tricks to help supercharge and refine your hour of morning meditation. If you follow these steps, then someday you will be so good at meditation that you won’t need music to meditate — aside from the natural music of life that will permeate your soul.