What are Active Meditations?

The essence of all meditation is to sit silently, and allow thoughts, feelings, moods, and sensations  to flow through the inner sky of the consciousness without concern.  As experiences come to feel more and more peripheral, we become more and more aware of the consciousness which is aware of them; this consciousness is our inner nature. It is not psychological peacefulness, but something silent, blissful, of the beyond. People experience it in different ways;  some refer to it as “the peace which passes understanding.” In the time of Gautam Buddha,  it was easy to attain such meditation simply by sitting and watching the breath.  The world then was so very much simpler than today, and people lived active physical lives in supportive communities and in harmony with nature. Our lives today are complex, fragmented, non-physical, directed to things outside ourself, and alienated from nature.  Meditation is no longer easy.

“Active meditations” are meditations designed to help people in the modern world to meditate easily. They were created by the enlightened Indian teacher Osho. But there is no need to feel an interest in Osho to benefit from his meditations. They are stand-alone experiences. If you already practise some other form of meditation, then doing active meditations will support and deepen your existing practice.

Osho Active Meditations are structured meditation exercises, commonly one hour long, with several stages. Typically the first stage(s) involve movement, ranging from the gentle to the highly energetic –  dance, shaking, deep breathing, emotional catharsis, running on the spot. Then the structure progresses to end in the silent awareness we more conventionally think of as “meditation.”

Anybody can use the meditations in their lives in their own way. The meditations rely on no dogma,  or cultural (Indian, Chinese, Tibetan) system of thought.  They form a complete system in themselves, or any of them can be added to an existing meditation practice.

Active meditations are equally suitable if

  • You’ve tried to meditate and found it hard
  • You’ve never meditated but want to explore it
  • You love to meditate and want to try new methods
  • You have a meditation practice and you’d like to go deeper.

For example, Osho Nataraj meditation consists of 40 minutes of  dancing, then  lie on the ground for 20 minutes and watch your thoughts and feelings, then 5 minutes of soft dance music to celebrate the inner peacefulness.

The most famous active meditation is Osho Dynamic Meditation:

• 10 minutes deep, fast, unstructured breathing to awaken supressed energies in the unconscious. These are what make ordinary sitting meditation hard; unconscious tensions in the body manifest as thoughts we can’t silence.

• 10 minutes going consciously and playfully crazy – letting the body and the voice do whatever they want to: laugh, cry, scream, jump, sit, roll, shout, go mad, go crazy. And all the time being conscious and watchful; this is meditative madness.

• 10 minutes jumping continuously in the air with the arms raised, shouting “HOO”.  This grounds you and brings you back into here-and-now reality. Then a voice on the CD says “STOP!” ….

• … and for 15 minutes you freeze in whatever position your body is in, no sound, no movement. Be totally still, totally silent, and watch, meditate, be aware.  When the supressed energies have been thrown out, the silence can be very deep.

• Finally 15 minutes of joyful dance to celebrate the inner silence.

Perhaps the most popular active meditation is Osho Kundalini Meditation: 15 minutes shaking the whole body, 15 minutes dance, 15 minutes sitting in meditation listening to quiet music, 15 minutes lying down in silence. This is a great meditation to do at the end of the day.

More information: Maneesha James’s site:

www.activemeditation.com

has good information especially about Osho Dynamic.

There is complete information on many of Osho’s meditations on www.osho.com, including video demonstations you can watch.

On that site, you need to click on “Meditations” (on the front page), then on “Active meditations” in the left-hand panel; the site doens’t have permalinks.

Everyone is very welcome at all Osho Meditation Bristol events. Each meditation class is complete in itself. You are welcome to drop in, or to attend regularly. All classes are suitable for newcomers or for experienced meditators. All meditations have a stage with gentle or active movement and expression, followed by a period of silence. Please allow enough time to park, and arrive early. We will start on time, and it’s not possible to enter once the first meditation has started.

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