The Essence of Meditation Techniques Learning How to Turn Your Attention Inward

Do You Know How to Turn Your Attention Inward?

“The essence of many meditation techniques is learning how to turn your attention inward.” — Guru Tua

It’s a simple concept, but the most straightforward techniques are often the most profound.  Please take a few moments to read about it, then try this simple technique for yourself.  Your attention directs awareness which helps the consciousness shift gears.  It’s easiest to close your eyes, but you can certainly learn to keep this connection when your eyes are open.

The Essence of Meditation Techniques

“The inward journey is the experience of higher states of consciousness. These states exist beyond, waking, dreaming, and sleeping. It is a journey into the transcendent.  Hence, an experience of awareness and existence outside of time. When you are ready, it may also include a journey into other realms and landscapes.  This is the Shamanic Journey.” — Guru Tua

Learning How to Turn Your Attention Inward

Bringing your attention inward is the step that makes most internal meditation techniques possible.  It’s a fundamental skill of meditation, and these are some basic tricks that help you focus attention.  When we close our eyes, our natural tendency is to fall asleep.  So, we must use one of two basic techniques to keep this from happening.

“All that is necessary to awaken to yourself as the radiant emptiness of spirit is to stop seeking something more or better or different, and to turn your attention inward to the awake silence that you are.” – Adyashanti

First, we can sit up.  When the spine is erect, we have more of a tendency to remain awake and alert.  Another method we can use when laying down is to engage the mind with sound and imagination.  This second strategy is the essence of the Shaman Journey, or what some call Guided Meditation.  Rebranding the Shamanic Journey makes it more marketable in the West.  Here, the sound of a drum keeps the traveler from falling asleep.

These two techniques teach you how to turn your attention inward while minimizing the active mind’s interference.   Another complementary process is mindfulness meditationMindfulness meditation has both a seated and moving component.   And, the moving element in this process is the internal aspect of Forest Bathing.

We “miss” this opportunity because of our active minds.  Our culture reinforces the idea that we must always be doing something productive.  So, we train the mind to be in control.  We forget the importance of inner solitude.

Seated and Moving Meditation Techniques

This concept also applies to many forms of moving meditation.  For instance, Tai Chi is a system where one learns to transfer energy from the internal to the external.  It is a way of expanding observational awareness.

When done correctly, you bring internal energy through the body.  When we learn moving meditation, the natural tendency is to focus all our attention outward, but this is only half of the process.  So, we are not grounded or connected.  As the movements become automatic, we must learn how to turn our attention inward while in motion.

First, bring your attention to your breath.  When we focus on our breath, it moves our attention inward.  You don’t want to alter the breath; learn to observe it.  Now, watch the body.  Once you can monitor what’s going on with your physical body and your normally automatic breath actions, you can take it down another level.

The final step involves the visualization of energy.  Picture your spine as a highway filled with energy.  And then radiate this energy to all parts of your body.  While you are doing this, keep observing the body and breath.  It’s the easiest way to bring the silence of meditation into motion.

In Conclusion

Almost all meditation techniques require some level of inward focus.  It makes us present and helps to shut off both the inner dialogue and the outer world.  Learning how to turn your attention inward is an essential life skill.  All we need to do is remember to do it.

“By connecting with the present we turn our attention inward, away from all the chaos and activity, and experience our eternal, unbounded nature.” — Deepak Chopra

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References

(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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