Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, translation by Stephen Mitchell
1. Recognize that the voice in your head is not “you”
2. Learn to observe that voice and its effect upon emotion
3. Recognize that that voice is under your control
4. Through practice learn to control that voice and to quiet it at will
Yogic meditation is a technique for reining in the inner voice and obtaining a state known as mindfulness. First described nearly 3000 years ago it is practiced by Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists and anybody else who seeks a quiet mind.
A British band and a group of scientists have made the most relaxing tune in the history of man.
Sound therapists and Manchester band Marconi Union compiled the song. Scientists played it to 40 women and found it to be more effective at helping them relax than songs by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay.
Weightless works by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. A continuous rhythm of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm: a process known as ‘entrainment’. Low underlying bass tones relax the listener and a low whooshing sound with a trance-like quality takes the listener into an even deeper state of calm.
Dr. David Lewis, one of the UK’s leading stress specialists said: “‘Weightless’ induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested. Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.”
The study - commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa - found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea. So relaxing is the tune, apparently, that people are being advised against listening to it while driving.
The top 10 most relaxing tunes were: 1. Marconi Union - Weightless 2. Airstream - Electra 3. DJ Shah - Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) 4. Enya - Watermark 5. Coldplay - Strawberry Swing 6. Barcelona - Please Don’t Go 7. All Saints - Pure Shores 8. AdelevSomeone Like You 9. Mozart - Canzonetta Sull’aria 10. Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly
“Zazen ([Zen [sitting] meditation]) is not “step-by-step meditation”. Rather it is simply the easy and pleasant practice of a Buddha, the realization of the Buddha’s Wisdom. The Truth appears, there being no delusion. If you understand this, you are completely free, like a dragon that has obtained water or a tiger that reclines on a mountain. The supreme Law will then appear of itself, and you will be free of weariness and confusion.”
Yet another study is suggesting that just a few hours of meditation training may change your brain—this time its white matter—for the better.
Awareness cannot be taught, and when it is present it has no context. All contexts are created by thought and are therefore corruptible by thought. Awareness simply throws light on what is, without any separation whatsoever.
Awareness, insight, enlightenment, wholeness — whatever words one may pick to label what cannot be caught in words — is not the effect of a cause. Activity does not destroy it and sitting does not create it. It isn’t a product of anything — no technique, method, environment, tradition, posture, activity, or non-activity can create it. It is there, uncreated, freely functioning in wisdom and love, when self-centered conditioning is clearly revealed in all its grossness and subtleness and defused in the light of understanding.
Can the inner noise be entirely left alone while attending? When the changing states of body-mind are simply left to themselves without any choice or judgment — left unreacted to by a controlling or repressive will — a new quietness emerges by itself.
Sitting motionlessly quiet, for minutes or hours, regardless of length of time, is being in touch with the movements of the body-mind, gross and subtle, dull and clear, shallow and deep, without any opposition, resistance, grasping, or escape. It is being in intimate touch with the whole network of thoughts, sensations, feelings, and emotions without judging them good or bad, right or wrong — without wanting anything to continue or stop. It is an inward seeing without knowing, an open sensitivity to what is going on inside and out — flowing without grasping or accumulation. Stillness in the midst of motion and commotion is free of will, direction, and time. It is a complete letting be of what is from moment to moment.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, not knowing what is next and not concerned with what was or what may be next, a new mind is operating that is not connected with the conditioned past and yet perceives and understands the whole mechanism of conditioning. It is the unmasking of the self that is nothing but masks — images, memories of past experiences, fears, hopes, and the ceaseless demand to be something or become somebody. This new mind that is no-mind is free of duality — there is no doer in it and nothing to be done.
Thich Nhat Hanh