When we meditate, the brain is affected by our eye focus, mudra, mantra, breath patterns, movement, and the duration of the meditation. There are hundreds of meditations in the Kundalini Yoga tradition that have specific effects on the body, the brain, the mind, the emotions, the spirit, and the being as a whole.
Meditation is the process of controlling and transcending the waves of the mind, allowing the flow of radiance from the soul. Through the use of refined patterns, meditation creates a communication between you and your mind, and between your mind and your body.
“There are two parts of the body which have to be worked on through meditation. The frontal lobe of the forehead controls your personality. The upper palate of the mouth controls your autonomic systems.
Whenever you meditate on the tip of the nose, the frontal lobe will become hard. As you meditate more, it will become like lead. And the funny thing is, one day automatically it will not be lead. It ‘breaks.’ You will have intuition to see the unseen, know the unknown, and hear the unheard, and your life will not be the same as it is now.”
-Yogi Bhajan, Women’s Camp, July 1994
There are several different places to focus the eyes while meditating, depending on which meridians and parts of the brain are to be stimulated.
The Third Eye Point, also called the Brow Point, and the root of the nose. Here, the eyes are closed and the attention is on the brow. The closed eyes are gently raised as if watching a movie on the inside of the forehead between the eyebrows. The sushmuna, the central nerve force, is stimulated. This stimulates the pituitary; intuition is developed.
The Tip of the Nose. Eyes are slightly open, looking at the tip of the nose. This stimulates the pineal gland and the frontal lobe of the brain. New energy pathways are created in the brain patterns.
The Moon Center. This is the tip of the chin with the eyes closed and rolled down. This is cooling and calming. You see yourself clearly.
The Crown Chakra, also called the Tenth Gate. Eyes are closed and rolled upwards, as if looking through the top of the head. This stimulates the pineal and the crown energy center.
Yogic science says that there are specific lengths of time needed for certain desired effects during meditation. Most meditations are done for 11 or 31 minutes.
3 minutes: affects the electromagnetic field, the circulation and stability of the blood.
11 minutes: begins to change the nerves and the glandular system including the pituitary gland.
22 minutes: balances the three minds, and they begin to work together.
31 minutes: allows the glands, breath, and concentration to affect all the cells and rhythms of the body. It lets the psyche of the meditation affect the 3 gunas (essence, action, and inertia), all 31 tattvas (elements) and all layers of the mind's projections.
62 minutes: changes the gray matter in the brain. The subconscious “shadow mind” and the outer projection are integrated.
2 ½ hours: changes the psyche in its relation with the surrounding magnetic field so that the subconscious mind is held firmly in the new pattern by the surrounding universal mind.
To master the effects of a meditation, practice it as a sadhana, a daily discipline. This will develop a life-promoting habit. Habit controls us so much that it is said that we can actually change our destiny by changing our habits.
According to yogic science, the human mind works in cycles. We can use various cycles to help replace unwanted patterns of behavior (mental or emotional habits), with new, more positive ones. One commits to a particular meditation or kriya for a specific time.
The duration of 40 days of practice lets the meditation provoke your subconscious to release any thoughts and emotional patterns that hinder you. A good meditation will break your old patterns, put in a seed for a new pattern, and clear the subconscious. Try to meditate at the same time each day. It is also helpful to keep a journal of your daily practice.
40 days: change a habit. Practice every day for 40 days straight. This will break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the kriya or mantra.
90 days: confirm the habit. Practice every day for 90 days straight. This will establish a new habit in your conscious and subconscious minds based on the effect of the kriya or mantra. It will change you in a very deep way.
120 days: the new habit is who you are. Practice every day for 120 days straight. This will confirm the new habit of consciousness created by the kriya or mantra. The positive benefits of the kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.
1,000 days: you have mastered the new habit. Practice every day for 1000 days straight. This will allow you to master the new habit of consciousness that the kriya or mantra has promised. No matter what the challenge, you can call on this new habit to serve you.
Remember, a habit is a subconscious chain reaction between the mind, the glandular system and the nervous system. We develop habits at a very young age. Some of them serve our highest destiny. Some of them do not. By doing a 40, 90, 120 or 1000 day special sadhana, you can rewire that chain reaction. You can develop new, deeply ingrained habits that serve your highest good.
Excerpts from the KRI Aquarian Teacher Training Manual Level 1
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan