Meditation has traditionally been a warrior discipline—a way to train the mind for strength and greatness.
If you struggle to focus or keep your practice consistent, remind yourself why it matters. What would be the benefits of strengthening your mind? How would inner strength, stillness and insight help you in your everyday tasks, your personal interactions and fulfilling your life mission?
What would be the price of slacking? How would it reflect on your health, productivity and feeling in control? What would the consequences be?
You may want to write your answers down as a list. Come up with as many reasons as you can think of—no less than ten.
There is a common misconception that meditation is ‘making your mind empty of thoughts’. This is not true. The kind of meditation (or contemplation) where you can keep your mind still for longer periods of time is an advanced level of mastery. It is something to work towards—and the training may often take years.
Luckily, this level is not necessary for truly benefitting from your practice. There are many different kinds of meditation, as well as purposes for which it can be used. Its greatest gift is the ability to liberate yourself from the confines of your own mind: its limitations and preconceived ideas, and to get to know yourself directly. To meet yourself face to face for the first time. That knowledge is the key that unlocks your true inner power and the realisation of your Purpose. Meditation is your best tool on the path of conscious personal evolution.
This practice is a workout for the mind. Treat it as you would physical training. Access your current level of ‘fitness’ and find a progression routine that is suitable for you.
Two crucial criteria for successful meditation practice is keeping your body fully relaxed while your mind—fully alert throughout. Make sure that your breathing is calm, deep and even, preferably using the muscles of your abdomen.
Allot a realistic amount of time for your daily sessions. If you’re a complete beginner, it’s better to start with five to ten minutes of effective practice than to set yourself an ambitious goal to meditate for half an hour, and then consistently fail to hit that target.
The best time to practice is in morning right after you wake up, or the noon. Meditating in the evening can sometimes be too invigorating and interfere with your sleep afterwards.
Just as you would with your physical body, don’t expect an athletic performance right from the start. Be gentle, reasonable and persistent, and results will show up.
You can start from the simple system of progressions explained below, and modify your routine as you develop a deeper understanding of your mind and needs. Below are the progressions for the Yin type of personality (Earth and Water) because they are safer to start with. Yang types (Fire and Air) include walking, dancing and fighting forms of meditation. 
The Yin types of meditation are performed sitting, standing, or reclining on a flat and reasonably hard surface. Don’t use your bed—it is too soft for that purpose. Also, you should keep a clear distinction between the place where you rest and the place where you practise to avoid troubles going to sleep at night on one hand, and falling asleep during your meditation on the other.
Finding a comfortable spot for your meditation and keeping it consistent will help you get the best and the fastest results.
The steps below are best followed in the order in which they appear. Only move up when you achieve a confident level of mastery with the level that you’re currently working on. Treat them as though there were a mental weightlifting routine, with every step being a greater weight than the one before it.
Skipping over the levels may result in frustration and strain due to insufficient mental strength—and hamper your progress. It is best to take your time and practise safely.
The Septennial Meditation Training System
- Body awareness. Focus your awareness on the top of your head and slowly move down while relaxing all muscles as you progress. Make sure that your breathing remains even, calm and deep throughout, without any strain.
- Mind awareness. Focus your attention on the contents of your mind, without judging or responding to the thoughts and feelings that emerge. Get used to how your mind works and how it feels to have your current thinking patterns.
- Energy awareness. Focus your attention just above your upper lip, where the air enters your nostrils. Notice the sensation of the passing air as you breathe. Do not keep your attention on your skin but on the area above it, staying mindful of the air passing in and out through that point.
- Aura awareness. Allow your awareness to fill the energy field around you, then start gently expanding it in all directions every time you exhale. Notice how your energy feels and scan it for any weak areas or ruptures, then mend them if needed. You can combine this with the Tejas Meditation and also include Mindgates as you progress.
- Concept awareness. Find a concept or a phenomenon you deeply resonate with, or one you would like to develop more within yourself. It can be courage, kindness, love, inner strength, enlightened leadership, integrity and similar. Bring up that concept to the forefront of your consciousness and allow your mind to dwell on different aspects of it—how it feels, how it can be manifested, what it means on a deeper level and to you personally. Visualise embracing it and becoming one with it.
- Stillness awareness. Bring your attention to the pauses between your thoughts. Don’t try to forcefully create or elongate them, just observe. When you exhale, allow your thoughts to dissolve into nothingness. Notice that although thoughts appear, they come and go. Once they depart, only silence remains. In that stillness, the awareness of You—your real essence beyond thoughts—becomes more and more clear and prominent. Where the awareness of I AM enters, the mind becomes quiet. Stay present with that stillness until it becomes your home.
- Contemplation. Once you’ve become accustomed to the sense of your true essence beyond the mind, you can choose to experience it fully. At this level, you can become completely free from your ego—all your ideas and stories of yourself—and step into the highest power of your Being, which is the Universal Light. As you become one with that awareness and power, it transforms you on a deeper level. You can discover your hidden abilities and start serving the world in a greater way than ever before.
When first starting your meditation practice, be prepared for the resistance from your mind. In many cases, it is likely to try and distract you with a sudden onslaught of thoughts, with remembering something that ‘urgently’ needs to be done, or even plain boredom.
This happens because the ego feels threatened by your attempts to awaken your true strength and thus ending its dominance. The ego, although part of you, has a dim awareness of its own and much prefers to be in control than allow you to lead.
Don’t add any emotional value or judgement to this fact; simply be aware of it and keep going. Whenever you realise you got distracted during meditation, don’t be annoyed or disappointed with yourself but calmly bring your focus back to where it should be.
It is like learning to walk for the first time—if you fall, just get back up again and keep on practising.
 You can discover your personal Leading Elements from the Mind Mastery Level I course: The Master of the Elements.