- Introduction: • Benefits of meditation • How Homestudy Works
- Week 1:
- Week 2:
- Week 3
- Week 4:
- A notebook to use as a daily meditation journal
- Time: about ten minutes meditating and fifteen or twenty minutes reading per day
- (Optional) A copy of Sri Chinmoy's Meditation book. Chapter extracts are also available online to read if you cannot order a physical copy.
1. Beginning Meditation: HomeStudy
From time immemorial, humanity has looked up to the heavens or looked within and asked the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”
HomeStudy is designed to teach you the skills you’ll need to find answers to these all-important questions. Through a series of simple exercises which take just a few minutes a day, you’ll discover the key to unlock the hidden mysteries of life, and the potential that lies deep within you.
This course was designed by students of Sri Chinmoy, a contemporary spiritual master whose life and teachings are the inspiration behind HomeStudy. The techniques you will learn here are much the same as those used to teach tens of thousands of people in meditation classes around the world. From our own experience, we can assure you that if you practice these techniques daily, meditation will enhance and enrich your life far beyond your imagination.
2. Benefits of meditation
Some of the many gifts of meditation you will benefit from include:
- Improved physical health – Stress, tension and negative emotions silently erode your life-force. As you decrease these negative influences through your meditation, you will experience profound positive effects on your physical health, from increased vitality to a greater sense of general well-being.
- Deeper sleep – Meditation will have a positive effect on the quality and the quantity of your sleep. As your mind becomes calmer through your practice of meditation, you will fall asleep more easily and sleep more soundly.
- You will be happier – We tend to seek happiness outside ourselves—where we are, what we possess, who we are with—but meditation helps us to realize that real, lasting happiness is an experience which flows from within and exists independently of our outer circumstances.
- Better life decisions – In the whole history of the world, you are unique, and you have a uniquely special path to follow in life. In the silence and stillness of meditation, you will perceive more clearly the still, small voice within that can guide you safely along your life’s path. By bringing you closer to your life’s purpose, meditation sets you free to become more truly and uniquely yourself.
- Spiritual growth – At the very core of your existence lives a being of great beauty, wisdom and delight. This being is none other than your own highest self. Through meditation you will grow into your highest self, and all of its inner wealth will be yours to use in your day-to-day life.
- Inner peace brings outer peace – Everything starts from within! As you develop more inner peace through your practice of meditation, your outer life will become more peaceful as well. Little things start to happen as your outer life is touched by the expanding fragrance of your inner life: problems fall away or are resolved more easily; your dealings with people become deeper and more fulfilling; and you develop new and greater outer capacities.
So get ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery towards the happy, healthy, and fulfilling life you want and deserve!
What lies behind us
And what lies before us
Are tiny matters compared to
What lies within us.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes
3. The Journey of Self-Discovery
Your own sincere search
Will become a synonym
- Sri Chinmoy
Each of us begins meditation with a goal of our own—a desire to know ourselves better, a longing to become more peaceful, or perhaps a yearning for more control of our life. No matter what the goal, and no matter where you are right now, it’s important to keep in mind that meditation is a continual journey. As a flower opens to the sun, even so through meditation will you watch your own infinite potential blossom, your life flower into greater happiness, and your being radiate abiding peace and satisfaction. This is the journey of self-discovery.
Many other seekers have passed this way before us, some journeying to the farthest frontiers of self-awareness. These inner travellers are the spiritual masters, the mystics and pathfinders who appear in every age to guide and inspire humanity. Like expert climbers who have reached the highest peaks, they come back down to guide us quickly and safely to our own highest heights.
Sri Chinmoy is such a guide, a spiritual master who has explored the furthest realms of consciousness. Through literature, art, music, and the profound silence of meditation, he shares his experiences of higher worlds of beauty and delight—worlds that exist within each of us. Sri Chinmoy’s inner experience, and his teachings about that experience, form the basis of HomeStudy.
4. How HomeStudy works
This Home-Study course consists of four one-week sessions. Expect to spend about ten minutes meditating and fifteen or twenty minutes reading per day. Each weekly session consists of several sections, including:
- Goals – At the beginning of each week we’ll summarize the key concepts and skills you’ll be learning in the coming week.
- Notes – We’ll recap the previous week and talk in depth about what you will be learning in the week ahead.
Readings – You’ll be given several short chapters to read from the main text for HomeStudy, Sri Chinmoy's Meditation book. The chapters to read are available online on this site (and will be linked to), or you can order a physical copy on the Sri Chinmoy Books site.
Each week the recommended readings will further clarify your understanding of meditation.
The readings are one of the most important aspects of HomeStudy, so go over them carefully before doing the weekly exercises. You may want to go over them afterwards as well, to help assimilate your meditation experience.
Exercises – Each week there will be a set of recommended meditation exercises to try, as well as optional exercises if you are inspired to explore further.
If you try an exercise and it doesn’t do much for you, no harm. Different exercises work better for different people; that’s why we give lots of exercises. It’s up to you to find the ones that work for you and then practice, practice, practice!
Determination can change your mind.
Determination can change your heart.
Determination can change your life altogether.
~ Sri Chinmoy
Daily Meditation Journal – For this homestudy course, we ask you to keep a notebook for use as a daily meditation journal, with space for logging what techniques you did, how long you did them, and comments about any experiences you had during the meditation. As you go through the exercises during the week, jot down what you did in your Daily Meditation Journal.
Why a journal? Well, like the story of the tortoise and the hare, with meditation it’s slow and steady that wins the race. This means that on a day-to-day basis you may not notice the changes meditation is making in your life. But you can easily look back through your journal and see how much progress you’ve made since you started HomeStudy. The journal is an important part of your daily practice, so please use it!
- Summary – At the end of the week we’ll summarize the main points covered during the week. If anything isn’t clear, this is your chance to go back and re-read key sections of Meditation or try an exercise again.
5. Where to go for assistance
Although Sri Chinmoy’s 'Meditation' book answers many common questions, it’s inevitable that you will have questions about your own unique experiences. When that happens, a local HomeStudy instructor is only a phone call away.
Please see our Free meditation classes page for a map containing meditation class instructors in your area. Even if you can't make it to a class, youre more than welcome to call us with any question about meditation. Whether you need advice, encouragement, or a little inspiration, we’ll be there, always free of charge.
Inner peace is our birthright, and finding this inner peace is the key to establishing lasting peace in the world. That’s why we’re grateful that you’ve taken the time to make meditation part of your life through HomeStudy.
As the countless drops of the boundless ocean
Or the myriad leaves of a huge banyan tree
Peacefully remain side by side
Even so, all human beings will
One day remain side by side
In a perfect oneness-world.
~ Sri Chinmoy