Meditation Methods

Koan Meditation

Meditation-1024x1024A Koan is a question or a puzzle given to a meditator to contemplate during a meditation session. The object is to think long and hard about the question and try to solve the puzzle. It does not matter whether you are right or wrong in your conclusions, only that you have tried to solve the puzzle in depth. Even if you believe you have the right answer to the puzzle, you need to continue contemplating it from all angles not previously considered. Koan Meditation is an exercise in just being.

Contemplating Koans is said to lead the practitioner to Enlightenment or a state of being fully aware. Meditating on a Koan focuses the mind on one single task. During the meditation, you are expected to ask yourself many questions related to the Koan in attempting to solve the puzzle. The Koan itself is just a tool used to understand the true nature of yourself and all that is.

Examples of puzzles you can ponder on are as follows:

1. What did you look like before you were conceived?

2. When clapping with two hands, a sound is made. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

3. How can the eyes see themselves without using a mirror?

4. If a tree falls in the woods and there is nobody there to see it fall, does it make a sound?

5. Does the mind create all things?

6. Without speaking, without words. How can the truth be expressed?

7. What came first, the chicken or the egg?

8. Show me the source of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water?

9. Is half a cup of water half empty or half full?

10. Does a dog have Buddha nature?

Koans can also be short stories or parables to contemplate. They are not rational questions with rational answers. They are used as catalyst to understand the nature of reality and the self. They are impossible puzzles that can’t be solved, but the journey we take when pondering them leads to great understanding and knowledge in a very profound way.

A Koan is designed to make the mind and ego very unhappy through the frustrating and deep contemplative path we follow in attempting to solve the puzzle. Koans make the brain back flip and leads the practitioner to a place beyond the mind and ego. Upon reaching this point in the meditation, one experiences enlightenment.

To prepare for a Koan Meditation you need to sit comfortably either cross legged on the floor or in a chair. Close your eyes and take three long deep breaths to relax. Follow your respirations with your mind until you reach a point of calmness, effortless breathing and relaxation. Then bring the Koan into focus and contemplate the puzzle from as many angles as you possibly can. If you think you have the correct answer, contemplate it some more. Your objective is to exhaust the mind and your ego of all possibilities until you reach the point of blissful silence. Then you may indeed attain enlightenment.

Author Bio: Sandra Markcrow has been meditating for 20 years and has learnt many techniques for achieving the greatest success in your meditation journey. If you would like to learn more about Meditation techniques, aids to meditation and share in her knowledge and experience, visit 

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Meditation Methods

4 Of The Best Meditation Poses

Mindfulness-MeditationYoga poses are very effective in helping you to meditate. If you are curious, here are some of the best meditation postures that you can try out:

Easy posture

This is the most liked pose because it’s very easy. Here you only need to sit on the floor and reach for the ceiling in order to align and stretch the spine.

At this position you should cross your legs and place one ankle on top of the other while maintaining a straight line with your head, spine and neck.

Prosperous pose

This is another common pose. Here you need to reach up and stretch, and then cross your legs. You should then place one sole of one foot between the opposite thigh and calf and the sole of the other foot between the opposite thigh and calf.

You should then reverse the position after a few minutes by placing the other foot on top.

Lotus pose

This is an advanced pose; therefore, you need to be careful when practicing it. To begin the pose you need to align your spine and then place your ankle on top of the opposite thigh. For ideal results you should ensure that the ankle is as close as possible to the groin.

You should then repeat this move with your other ankle by placing it on the opposite thigh. At this position you should turn your heels to face the ceiling and press the knees towards the floor. You should hold in this position for a few minutes and then unfold your legs and stretch them out.

Lighting pose

Also known as the Zen pose, this posture is very good in meditation. To assume the posture you need to sit on your heels and elongate your spine. For ideal results you should ensure that tops of your feet lay flat on the floor with your heels and knees together. You should hold in this position until you feel tension building.

These are some of the best meditation postures that you should consider doing. To prevent injury, you should always ensure that you prepare yourself before you engage in the poses.

For example, you should ensure that the room where you practice is uncluttered and has a flat surface. To increase concentration you should ensure that you practice in a quiet place.

In case you feel pain while holding the poses, you should unwind your legs and stretch out.

Author: Duncan Lancer. For more about meditation visit us at:

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