Meditation: The Simple Practice of Samyama

by dena on July 6, 2013

ancestor wall #1, 2012_7 230

Do you want to learn a simple form of meditation? Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned meditator, you are welcome to explore this form of mindfulness meditation.

In 1996, I began training in Samyama. This practice is basic to my life – it has supported me in day-to-day living and in experiencing intensely difficult times.

The practice can be engaged as
* a sitting meditation
* a way of life.

Heartfelt word – I invite you into a brief exercise before we begin. Select a heartfelt word. Examples: compassion, gratitude, peace, forgiveness, joy. I begin what I think of as a “silent chanting” of the word, over and over, until I notice I am feeling the essence of what the word represents. Then, I sit quietly with the feeling for a bit.

Samyama practice – The following is the way I self-coach myself in this practice. It is, also, the way I lead a guided meditation of Samyama in telephone classes. I am offering it in first person (“I”) for it to be easier to follow.

~ * What mood or emotion am I feeling now? I’m willing to feel this, just as it is. I’m not looking for how to describe what is here, I can sink into the physical sensation of whatever emotions are here in this moment.

~ * As soon as I notice I am paying attention to a thought, I ask myself a simple question that points back into the feeling of the present moment. What am I feeling right now? I’m willing to be with this. I’m willing to meet with awareness whatever is showing up in each “now” moment.

I keep repeating this process.

. . .

In this post, I am mainly bringing you the how-to of it. There is more to say about its background and how it works – and I will save it for another day.

For now, I do want to add a few words on thoughts vs. direct experience.

Samyama is a practice for being in direct experience. It redirects away from thoughts and any other activity of the mind. It is our thoughts (aka: stories) that complicate and dilute the actual direct experience of emotions and other physical sensations that are present. Thoughts are interpretations and projections that attempt to make sense of why I am having the experience that is here.

The act of staying engaged in thoughts can keep me stuck in suffering. For instance, if I’m feeling sad, my mind might start letting me know of one or a hundred reasons for the sadness. If I follow these threads, I fall deeper into discomfort. When I invite myself to drop into the feeling itself, and not pay attention to my mind, there is simply being with the feeling – having the direct experience of the feeling. Thoughts remove me at least one step away from the actual experience.

When I stay with the feeling and ignore the mind activity, the experience of the feeling finishes. All that is left is a deep quiet inside. Love.

If you would like to hear my voice guiding you in a Samyama experience, click on the video, below. You might listen to it with eyes closed or with eyes focused gently on the screen with its burning candle and slowly shifting words.

What have you been aware of in your experiences of Samyama and of the heartfelt word? I welcome your questions, comments, and discoveries.


You are welcome to find out about my telephone meditation classes that happen 3 different times weekly.

Blissings, Dena

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  1. […] Links to related posts and resources: * Samyama Meditation and focusing on a heartfelt word; […]

  2. […] more tips on mindfulness, please consider reading Meditation: The Simple Practice of Samyama and Mindfulness: Live More […]

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