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Meditation for Beginners

The Seven Bases of the Mind

The sitting posture which which has been found to the most conducive for meditation is the half-lotus position. Sit upright with your back and spine straight, cross-legged with your right leg over the left one. You can sit on a cushion or pillow to make your position more comfortable. Nothing should impede your breathing or circulation. Your hands should rest palms-up on your lap, and the tip of your right index finger should touch your left thumb. Feel as if you are one with the ground on which you sit. Feel that you could sit happily for as long as you like. 
Softly close your eyes as if you were falling asleep. Relax every part of your body, beginning with the muscles of your face, then relax your face, neck shoulders, arms, chest, trunk and legs. Make sure there are no signs of tension on your forehead or across your shoulders 
Close your eyes and stop thinking about the things of the world. Feel as if you are sitting alone ÷ around you is nothing and no-one. Create a feeling of happiness and spaciousness in your mind. 
Before starting, it is necessary to acquaint yourself with the various resting points or bases of the mind inside the body. The first base is at the rim of the nostril, on the right side for men and on the left side for women. The second base is at the bridge of the nose at the corner of the eye ÷ on the right side for men and on the left side for women. The third base is at the centre of the head. The fourth is at the roof of the mouth. The fifth is at the centre of the throat above the Adamâs apple. The sixth base is at a point in the centre of the body at the meeting point of an imaginary line between the navel through the back and the line between the two hips. The seventh base of the mind is two fingers' breadths above the sixth base. This base is the most important point in the body. It is the very centre of the body and the point where the mind can come to a standstill. 
Feel that your body is empty space, without organs, muscles or tissues. Gently and contentedly rest your attention at a point near to the seventh base of the mind -- at the centre of the body. Whatever experience arises in the mind, simply observe without attempting to interfere. In this way your mind will become gradually purer and inner experience will unfold. 
Donât entertain thoughts in your mind. Don't analyze what's going on in the meditation. Allow the mind to come to a standstill -- that's all you need to do for now. If you find that you're not sure about the location of the centre of the body, anywhere in the area of the stomach will do. Persevere because today's daydream is tomorrow's still mind; today's darkness is tomorrow's inner brightness; today's perseverance is tomorrow's fulfillment. Don't be disappointed if you find your mind wandering. It is only natural for beginners. 
Make effort continuously; keep your mind bright, clear and pure, and eventually, you will achieve your goal. A new bright, clear, crystal ball will arise in the mind of its own accord. The crystal ball will sparkle like a diamond. This stage is called pathama magga (primary path). At this stage the shining crystal ball is connected firmly to the mind, and is seated at the centre of the body. You will experience happiness. With continuous observation at the centre of this crystal ball, it will give way to a succession of increasingly purer bodily sheaths until it reaches the ultimate one called "Dhammakaya", the highest level of attainment of supreme happiness.

Last Updated 17 April 2001
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