Transcribed by Maria Morelli and edited by Dianne
Hoffman Transcribed by Maria Morelli and edited by Dianne
Meditation is like medication -- medication is for
physical sickness and meditation is for spiritual
sickness, to cure our negative habits. When we start living in the
present moment, then it is said that we are in meditation. Meditation
is relaxation; and afterwards, meditation should leave you feeling
fresh, not tired. So, meditation is not something to
do, meditation is an act of being.
There are many different techniques of meditation. Today, we will
learn about breathing meditation, visualization meditation, and mantra
As long as we are alive, we breathe. Breath will not stop until we
die. Each and every moment we need to be aware that we are living so
we can appreciate life. We are being deeply in meditation when we are
having awareness of our living, of our breathing. Just feeling the
breath going out and coming in. The average person breathes 21,600
times a day. Our breath binds our physical body with our
consciousness. When we die our physical body remains but the
consciousness leaves somewhere. Our breath holds our mind and body
together. Appreciate that we are breathing right now.
We can use our five senses in breathing meditation by being aware
and by being in the present moment and feeling it. Let go of the past
and do not wonder about the future. Start living here and use this
present moment as much as you can. Then you will not waste your life.
Breathing meditation leads us into being in the present moment. You
start enjoying your life now. Living in the past or in the future is
our habit. We almost forget to live in the present moment. The reality
is the present moment, the past is just memory, the future is unknown.
You can be in the present moment with your breathing.
You should visualize yourself as a happy person if you want to do
this kind of meditation. When you are happy, you feel very light. Your
mind is full of brightness. Your face and chin go up, your eyes look
up. Your shoulders look a bit more confident. Your heart feels soft,
you just feel great inside. If you practice this meditation you are
creating some positive habits. It may not be comfortable at first, but
with time, it will feel very natural. If you have a problem with
depression, this kind of meditation is very helpful! You are not
visualizing other things; you are visualizing yourself as a happy
person. If you practice this kind of meditation for at least three
weeks you are creating a positive habit.
Then there are many Tantric traditional visualization meditations,
like Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, or Heruka, or Vajrayoguini or
Vajrapani. All of these deities are just the role models of happy
persons. You and your deity are one, you are not a duality, not
separated, and the deity is part of you. So that is the visualization
The word Mantra (man-tra): "man" means mind, and "tra" means
getting near. So we are getting closer to our mind and our mind is
getting closer to the higher being.
A mala is used for mantra meditation. Some have 108 beads and some
have 111 beads: 108 beads because the Buddhist scriptures have 108
volumes. Some traditional retreat malas have 111 beads. One round is
counted as 100. Each 10 needs an extra 1 to make it complete. The
mantra for Manjushri is OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHI... The mantra for Green
Tara is OM TASRE TUTTARE TURE SOHA... The mantra for Avalokiteshvara
is OM MANI PEME HUM... This is the love and compassion mantra. You
send compassion energy to other sentient beings, visualize that your
heart opens and the light in the form of the mantra goes from your
heart and touches everybody's heart, and their hearts open. That is
You can combine all three types of meditation together. You can
visualize yourself as a happy person, at the same time you are aware
of your breathing and at the same time you can recite a mantra. The
benefit of meditation is that you will become more alive and you will
become a happy person. We practice meditation so that we benefit other
sentient beings. Real meditation will bring us out of this samsaric
cycle; it will take us into a real spiritual cycle. Don't forget it.