Inner Peace USA             
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My Inner Peace

"We Are What We Think"


We have all heard this phrase before and there is more truth to this statement than most of us would imagine as this is the ultimate outcome of meditation. We all know that meditation is a good thing. There have been many scientific studies on the benefits of meditation so we all know it is something good and something we should be doing. We know that meditation can bring both physical and mental benefits to our selves. Most of us, however, don't realize that it can also influence and benefit the entire world.

Meditation is not a common practice for westerners. Many see meditation connected strictly to Eastern philosophies or to small independent groups led by individual “gurus”. These groups usually have their own small followings but are not very appealing to most westerners. Most westerners consider them out of the “mainstream” and consider them “cultish” or “hippie” or just too weird! This has led to the misconception that meditation is something only conducive to eastern philosophies or the “new agers”. The truth is actually just the opposite.

Meditation is actually a natural aspect of being a human being. Just like eating or sleeping it has always been a part of us. Meditation allows us to use our minds to create a better reality. Eastern religions have recognized this aspect of meditation and have used it as a tool for their practices. But meditation can also be used to change any aspect of the human condition. This is why meditation works to bring inner peace, good health, or other positive results to those that practice it. Interestingly enough, we now find that western science, through the study of quantum physics, has also discovered that the mind has a direct influence on our reality. We find the same conclusion being drawn by both western scientists and eastern spiritualist: Our reality is created by our consciousness. We are what we think!

Meditation is simply a tool that allows us to use our minds to influence and change the reality around us. We can use it to bring inner peace to ourselves and in turn this can bring peace to the world. We can conclude that meditation is something that should be integrated into all of our daily lives. This is where the Inner Peace program comes into play.

                              

We may think that integrating meditation into our modern lifestyles would be a difficult thing. But actually it is very simple and is being currently done by millions of individuals in modern Thailand. The key is simplicity. Find a simple way of meditation that everyone can do. The Dhammakaya Foundation has developed a simple method of meditation known as the Middle Way meditation technique. It is derived from the actual meditation method used by the Buddha over 2,500 years ago. People all over Thailand practice this method by simply taking a little time each day to sit and still the mind. We in the west similarly do the same thing when we take time out to jog a mile or workout at the gym. Just like taking time to exercise is vital for the body, taking time to meditate is vital for the mind. Middle Way meditation is a simple and effective way for a person to “exercise” their mind on a daily basis and can be easily done individually.

Middle Way meditation can also be practiced in large groups. This method has become so popular in Thailand, the Dhammakaya Foundation has built the Sapha Meditation Hall that covers over 40 acres and can accommodate over 300,000 people. There will usually be 50 -150 thousand people attending the Sunday meditation sessions, with more on special holidays. It has also just completed construction of it's Cetiya and Meditation Stadium that holds over a million! Meditating in large groups has the benefit of creating a stronger consciousness that can have a greater positive influence on reality as a whole.



Middle Way meditation is non-religious, simple, easy to comprehend, and is very appealing. It has proven to be very integrable into a modern society. This is why we use the Middle Way meditation technique for the Inner Peace program.

Middle Way meditation is centered around the practice of stilling the mind through visualizing a bright object and bringing this object to the center of your body. We use this bright object to focus our mind down to a single point and then to let this go so our mind is totally clear and still. This is the point where we will achieve inner peace. It is a simple and easy to comprehend method and has been found to be very effective in developing a sense of inner peace.


Before we actually begin our lesson in Middle Way Meditation, there are a few points that need to be explained.

First is the concept of “mind”. In the west when we say “mind” we immediately think of our “head” or our “brain”. But actually the “mind”, or what we should actually call “self”, “spirit”, or “soul”, is located in the center of the body. More specifically a point in the center of your body two finger widths above the navel. We all know about our “gut feelings” we all feel emotions coming from within the center of our bodies and not our head. This is because our “self” is actually centered there and not in our brain. This is where our “mind” is centered as it relates to meditation. So remember when we use the term “mind” in our meditation we are speaking of the “soul”, “self”, or “spirit” that is centered in your body and not your head or brain.

Second, as we have already mentioned, meditation is already part of being a human. This aspect of humanity has been kept alive and developed in eastern traditions but has been lost to much of western society. You may not realize, however, that we actually do meditate in a very subtle manner everyday. Anytime you focus your concentration on one thing it is a form of meditation. When we read, play music or a sport, create art, or even watching TV we are actually focusing the mind to one point, thus it can be considered a form of meditation. Also, have you noticed when focusing on these specific activities you tend to get feelings that emanate from the center of your body rather than in your head or brain? The act of focusing on one thing automatically brings the mind closer to the center of your body where your true self resides. The trick in true meditation is to bring the focus down to an internal point where the mind becomes clear and still. That is when we truly enter the meditative state and we can achieve inner peace.

Third, as we have already mentioned, the mind actually resides in the center of our bodies but, unfortunately, the western mind is so brain centered we have a tendency to keep everything centered in our heads. We are often told to close our eyes when meditating. This often creates a problem for westerners as the optic nerves in our eyes still will be sending images to our brain. Even with our eyes closed. Thus it is very easy to misinterpret these “visions” of light and darkness created by our optic nerves as the “light” or “brightness” we should be experiencing coming from the center of our bodies. It can be beneficial to actually open your eyes every so often if you find yourself “seeing” what the optic nerves are sending. Open your eyes and simply stare out to space. You can then easily distinguish the difference between the “light” of your eyes and the “brightness” coming from your center.


Let us now explain the Middle Way meditation technique.

Just like you may set aside time everyday for exercise or to check your e-mail, begin by setting aside some time everyday for your meditation. Start by sitting in a cross-legged position, placing your right leg on your left leg. If you find this position uncomfortable or difficult, you can sit on a cushion or a chair. Rest your hands palms up in your lap, right hand on your left hand, with your right index finger touching your left thumb. Close your eyes very gently as if you are about to sleep. Empty your mind of all thoughts. Breath in deeply and gently exhale a few times. Relax every muscle in your body.

Imagine that the inside of your body is hollow with no internal organs. Rest your mind at the center of the body, which is located at two-finger width above the navel. If you find it hard to bring attention to the center of the body, you can rest your mind elsewhere inside the body where you feel most comfortable. Calmly and silently observe whatever image that arises. Whether it is darkness, bright light or anything else, just accept it without any thought.

             

If your mind wanders, you can use visualization to help keep your mind still. To do so, imagine that a bright crystal ball is floating in the middle of your stomach. You can use other neutral objects that you’re familiar with such as an orange, a football or the moon. You can also repeat the mantra ‘Samma Arahang’ which means purify your mind, so that you will be free from the suffering of life.

When resting your mind at the center of the body or anywhere else inside the body, make sure not to strain the eyes. In meditation, we see with the mind, not with the physical eyes. And remember not to let the optic nerves give you false impressions.

Continue to rest your mind at the center of the body and make no judgment or emotional response to whatever you experience. Eventually the object of your visualization may simply dissolve and may be replaced with a sense of brightness. Then, after a while and depending on the degree of stillness and clarity of your mind, you will experience a sense of peacefulness and refreshing joy. You will feel true inner peace.

If you feel tense any time during your meditation, chances are you might be trying too hard. Open your eyes, adjust your sitting position until you feel comfortable, and start over again. If you feel sleepy, perhaps you need to focus more on the center of the body. Take a few deep breaths and silently repeat the mantra ‘samma arahang’. If sleepiness persists, perhaps you are physically tired, just allow yourself to doze off a bit before starting over again.
                                   
                                          


For beginners, we suggest that you practice meditation for 15 to 30 minutes in the morning and near bedtime, and increase the length of time, say up to one hour, as you feel more comfortable.

That's it! Stilling the mind is an art, and it is the key to mastering The Middle Way Meditation. It may not be easy at first, but overall it is a very simple and effective method of meditation that will bring you to a state of inner peace. By achieving inner peace within ourselves we create a condition that will foster the development of overall world peace. World Peace through Inner Peace.

Please watch the Introduction to The Middle Way Meditation video below.



   
For a selection of 30 minute Middle Way Meditation videos please go to the Inner Peace TV on demand video library.

The goal of the Inner Peace program is one of World Peace through Inner Peace. Creating inner peace within ourselves is very important and plays a vital role in bringing World Peace to all of humanity. Through meditation and its incredible power to influence the reality of our existence, world peace can be achieved.
 

We began this discourse with the quote “We are what we think”. We now see that indeed there is more to this statement than we may have ever imagined. Here is the quote in it's entirety.

 

"We are what we Think."

"All that we are, arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world."

- Buddha -




To create a better personal environment for the success of your meditation please watch the Ten Meditation Homeworks video below.  These ten tips will not only help create better meditation experiences but they will also make you a better person!




For more information on the Middle Way Meditation technique we have two different FAQ pages.  Please visit the
Middle Way Meditation FAQ page for some basic FAQS. Or you can view and download the PDF Advanced Middle Way Meditation FAQ for more in depth FAQs.

Please visit
Middle Way Meditation Retreats to learn about international meditation retreats presented in english. To learn about member programs and activities and to become an official Inner Peace USA Member, please visit our Inner Peace Member page.



 

 

                      Online Meditation

Inner Peace USA hosts a weekly Interactive Online Meditation Session for North and South America every Sunday.  It is presented by an English speaking Thai Monk on Sunday at the following time.

Eastern:  8PM STD * 9PM DST
Central:  7PM STD * 8PM DST
Mountain:  6PM STD * 7PM DST
Pacific:  5PM STD * 6PM DST
Hawaii:  3PM STD


You can watch live at Inner Peace TV or you can participate in our online conference room.  Here are instructions on how to login:

1. Go to mdwmeditation.org/ipeacechannel

2. Click the "iPeace Channel 1" banner


3. We would like to know how many people are joining the Online Meditation Session and where you are from so fill in “YOUR USERNAME” as the following code:
Country-City or State-Name-Number of people at your connection
(For Example: USA-Los Angeles-John-1)

4. Click "OK"

5. Fill in “ROOM PASSWORD” as:  innerpeace072

6. Click "OK"


The meeting room is called “Inner Peace Channel 1”.

You can also go directly to the conference room login page here:  http://www.hotconference.com/conference,innerpeace


Here is a Video Instruction on how to Log In:

 





Alternate days and times are also available. Please use the 
"Time Zone Converter" to find out the exact day and time at your location.  The times below are Bangkok, Thailand time.

Day and Broadcast Time in Bangkok, Thailand.


Sunday:  20:00
Monday:  08:00


You can print out an interactive online meditation brochure HERE.

Please join us in our interactive online meditation sessions!



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