Many years ago, I came across a book that led me to ask the question “What is Shamantha meditation?”
That book was How To Meditate by Pema Chodron.
I discovered the book one day at a charity book store in my area. At that point, I had been meditating for a few years already.
However, I had never heard about this form of meditation and was quite intrigued to learn more about it. The looming question on my mind was “What is Shamantha meditation?”. It’s a unique method.
Initially, the thing that piqued my interest the most was that this form of meditation is done with the eyes open. I was quite surprised because I thought that meditation was always done with the eyes closed.
The word Shamantha is a Sanskrit term that means calm abiding. This state of calm abiding is gradually realized, as the mind becomes more stable and present in the now.
The foundation for the technique is placing the mind on an object. A point of focus to return to, whenever the mind gets swept away in torrents of thoughts.
The six points of posture
Before beginning the meditation, a strong but comfortable posture is required. One which allows the body to be relaxed and settled.
This is achieved by paying attention to six key points. These are; the seat, hands, torso, eyes, face, and legs.
The seat should be comfortable and stable, and the hands are normally placed palms down on the thighs. In a position that doesn’t take the torso out of alignment. Not too far back, or too far forward. You can also use the Zen mudra, where one palm is placed over the over, with the thumbs almost touching.
The torso should be kept upright and relaxed at the same time. This Keeps the heart open and allows the moods and feelings to flow easily when they arise.
The eyes should be kept open with a relaxed gaze, as this allows us to be alert and focused in the present moment.
By keeping the mouth slightly open, the muscles in the face, jaw, and neck can relax.
The legs should be crossed so that the knees are lower than your waist. If the knee is higher than the waist, it can be uncomfortable. However, If you’re not able to sit cross-legged then you can use a chair.
The breath as the object of meditation
Using the breath as the object of meditation is the primary way to train the mind to remain present. It is also the easiest way to do so.
When you focus on the breath, which is always flowing. You develop your mind’s ability to stay present in the ever-changing nature of thoughts, emotions, and every aspect off life that is unstable.
The thoughts as the object of meditation
Our minds tend to wander in thoughts, and it takes time and practice to move away from this habitual way of not being present.
Thoughts are always changing, and just like the breath, they offer us a way to train the mind in being present.
In the Shamantha method of meditation, we learn to use thoughts as the object of focus, by observing them as they arise, while not being carried away by them.
The emotions as the object of meditation
The emotions offer a very powerful way of awakening. Just as the breath and thoughts they are dynamic and ever-changing.
When we learn to work with our emotions we have a chance to transform our lives and become more empowered.
By working with emotions as the object of meditation. We train ourselves to stay with the emotion without turning to the automatic reactions, we’ve become accustomed to.
Through actively working with the emotions, it becomes easier for them to be fluid, and helps to keep an open heart.
Easily applied in daily life
The Shamantha method of meditation helps to sharpen the ability to remain calm and present each day.
I’ve found that as a result of practising this meditation, I’m more capable of recognizing when my mind has wondered. It is also easier to work through challenging emotions and gradually brings about growth on all levels.
Because we learn to work with the breath, the thoughts, and emotions as points of focus. These techniques are easily transferred to the post-meditation state.
Our daily lives become a meditation. Because whatever we do, and however we may feel, we can come back to the present moment.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the content. Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions below.
Have an awesome day.