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Meditation Techniques

 

"If one approach doesn't work try another. If meditation appeals to you, but you won't take 20 to 30 minutes twice a day, try just five minutes. You'll still receive some benefits and may be encouraged to devote more time later" - James Gordon.M.D., Director for Mind-Body Medicine, Washington, D.C.


The key is patience and persistence -- repetition and practice. Meditation is a means to deepen the understanding of your own spirituality and become more aware. As a result the peacefulness of life can be more widely enjoyed and there will be a greater willingness for the benefit of others. And inspiration in your own spiritual life is strengthened as you come to realize the profound happiness that can be found through meditation. Mediation is simple but powerful. There are many meditation methods, but most have several elements in common, beginning with deep relaxation of body, mind, and spirit.

First, prepare a space to use on a regular basis for your meditations. Doing this conditions your mind to relax and go into a meditative state. In time, just sitting in your meditation space will immediately relax you. Your meditation space can be a separate room or small area in your home where you can sit quietly with your eyes closed for at least a few minutes each day.

Choose a clean, quiet place away from all distractions where you can sit on a chair or on the floor. In the beginning, you should learn to practice meditation skillfully while sitting. Later, you can apply the principles learned during sitting meditation to the practice of meditation in any other position; walking, standing or lying down. When you sit for meditation, you should sit in a posture which will help you to achieve tranquility quickly.

The important thing is to keep your body relaxed. Finding the best position that allows you to sit still for a period of time without the risk of falling asleep. While sitting with your spine erect, you are aligning your energy to the universal forces of nature. Try to meditate every day in your meditation space, and aim at meditating at the same time every day. In the beginning, you may skip some days as you begin to develop the meditation habit. Don't be hard on yourself if you do. It's okay -- there is plenty of time. When you first start these inner activities, you may aim for three times a week or more.

You might want to begin by standing and stretching while taking a few deep breaths and mentally scanning your body for tension, aches or pains, paying attention to the eyes, jaws, neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, buttocks, calves, and feet. Stretch to the left, then to the right, then stand on your toes and reach up high, then roll your shoulders in a big circle.

You may want to repeat this stretching. Analyze and become aware of what part of your body experiences or holds physical tension which can accumulate without your even realizing it. Holding the tensions of stress takes ENERGY. So meditation relaxes your entire body from head to foot and frees up all that energy. Even if you work 8 hours a day, you still have 14 hours left.

Practicing a deep relaxation technique for 15 or 20 minutes can easily be the equivalent of two or three hours of sleep. Breathing is essential to life and when you breathe properly, it can help you clear your mind and reach higher states of consciousness. If you are breathing from your chest, consider retraining your body to breathe from your diaphragm or belly by doing conscious breathing every day. Deep breathing energizes you and is an excellent way to begin a meditation.

Belly breathing can help you relax. When you feel anxious about something, just close your eyes and take 5 to 10 deep breaths. Any time you are tense, tired or drained, do a few belly breaths. If you have had a hectic experience recently, you can review the situation, see what your positive lesson was, and visualize how you would like to have handled it. This way, next time it comes up, as it will until the lesson is learned, you will handle it with love.

Hold yourself up into the light of loving kindness, and include anyone with whom you wish to align or have a healing. Before you go into a deep state of meditation, you might invoke spiritual guides or invoke a white light to guide, guard, and protect you, knowing that should any need arise you will naturally go back to full waking consciousness feeling refreshed and invigorated, just as if you had been fully rested.

Scientific studies have shown that seeds prayed over germinate more successfully. "Thy will be done," was the most effective prayer. As far as method is concerned it is a good idea to establish some rituals to signal your subconscious that it is time to connect. An easy way to get started meditating is to listen to tranquil songs and music. After that, you may want for a few days just sit quietly in your space for five to ten minutes. This will help establish your energy.

Besides just sitting quietly in a chair in your meditation space, lighting a candle, burning incense, doing some breathing exercises are activities that can be part of your ritual to signal your brain that it's time for meditation. Sitting quietly and gazing at a candle is an exercise that may help you learn to concentrate. It may also accustom you to focusing on something. Anything that makes you feel good can be used as an aid to meditation, such as an incense burner, a picture of someone who inspires you, a picture of yourself (especially a childhood photo), a rock, a plant or flowers, or some other object from a place in nature that you enjoy.

You may hold a crystal or stone when you meditate or keep a selection of them on your altar. Some believe that these treasures from Mother Nature help to amplify the energy of our Inner Being, and make it easier for us to travel deep into our consciousness and connect to our True Selves.

So you may want to concentrate the mind upon a single object of a single idea, image or sound. For example a crystal ball as an object of meditation has the inherent qualities of brightness and clarity, and will encourage the mind to be bright and clear and keep the mind flowing towards a state of happiness and calm.

Or you can visualize instead, the bright, clear image of the full moon, floating in front of your face. Reduce the size of the crystal ball (or full moon disc) until its size is equal to the tip of your little finger. You might picture the crystal ball floating in front of you. Then, slowly move the light deep down into your body. It floats slowly and gently downwards, like a bubble, deeper into your throat, deeper into your chest, deeper into your body.

Focusing on an image such as a crystal or a lotus isn't just some ritual. It's purpose is to make you pay less attention to the busy outside world that's clamoring for your attention. If you are busy thinking about a lotus you aren't thinking about doing your laundry, washing the car, etc. Now while you are doing this, you'll tend to automatically slip into an alpha state. So, you really don't have to try hard to get there. Day-dreaming is an alpha state and you get there just fine! Envision your life as a journey.

Only you can determine the destination. If you focus on the direction of your life that you choose rather than directed by others or by circumstances, positive results will be accomplished, especially if you are open to solutions, to awareness, to perfect wisdom. You can enjoy not only awareness but bodily bliss and even a transformation of the body and getting rid of disease.

Relax your mind from every thought and continue to maintain this state for as long as you can, with your eyes closed. You will find that your mind travels from one idea to another, and the ideas upon which the mind dwells, will influence the feelings, the emotions and the state of happiness. If your mind wanders just acknowledge that it has wandered and bring it back to the image you want.

Don't be too serious or try too hard: maintain a light attention and a happy mind. Fold your hands gently in your lap and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Then just sit. If you have never meditated before, you will probably feel as if your mind is just a jumble of thoughts. Don't try to stop the thoughts, just watch them.

Imagine that you are on the bank of a river and that your thoughts are the river going by. Don't try to stop the river, just watch it. Within a week, you will see the river begin to slow down. You may become impatient, or even bored. That's okay. If your mind wanders when you are meditating, gently bring it back. If you find yourself resisting, just watch the thoughts pass by. It would be perfectly natural for you to avoid meditation and then feel guilty. You can eliminate the guilt by telling yourself that there is no hurry and it does not matter if you miss a few days.

Even if you meditate only once a week, you have made progress. You are more apt to continue if you take away the self-criticism. No one is judging your performance. Be patient with yourself. You might want to consider making your own meditation tapes. Take a few notes for cue cards.

Just like anything else you might be learning, meditation techniques take time to develop. Enjoy the process as well as the results. Some people think that in order to meditate, they have to completely quiet their mind. But really quieting the mind comes as a result of meditating over a period of time. Don't have elaborate expectations about your meditation; don't go into meditation with too many preconceived ideas about what is going to happen. After ten minutes, open your hands, palms up, laying them gently in your lap.

Keep your focus on the object, mantra, or the music. At the end of this second ten minute period, when your energy is at its highest, most centered point, you can do your affirmations and visualizations, such as "The perfect career is manifesting in my life now," or whatever you are choosing to create in your life, such as wisdom clarity, or prosperity.

After completing your affirmations and visualizations, close your hands into a fist and feel a balloon of white light all around you so that you're at the center and see it as a buffer stress and negativity from coming in to you. As you enlarge it, send love and healing out to the masses. Practice the meditation attitude, watching your thoughts and behavior, throughout each day. It is your greatest free tool for self-growth and self understanding. Meditation will also help you get a recall on dreams.

Meditation can thus help you to be more fully involved in life because you can watch how we set up our experiences. Sometimes changes are subtle and sometimes dramatic. Meditation does change your life because it changes you. In the refining and returning to the true self through meditation, important decisions will cause less worry because you will better understands the outcome of your actions and refrain from harmful actions and decisions, instead being content and confident about choices you make.

The quality of daily life will be increased. The results of work or study will be much more successful. The mind will feel more at ease, calm and peaceful with the lessening of stress. Memory will also improve and self-confidence will be improved. The true nature of calm will be apparent. Anger will diminish, leaving only the feeling of kindness towards others.

Life will be more peaceful, through the increased ability of each person to maintain self- discipline and respect towards each other. And whenever problems arise, you can calmly co-operate to towards solving them. Honesty will improve the atmosphere of trust and life will be of a better quality. If many people learn to meditate and live peacefully, "endemic" problems like crime and drug abuse could be diminished.

Meditation is a tried and true technique for contacting your inner Self and achieving the state of inner peace which facilitates Spiritual growth.. You have the power of The Universe within you, and you can accomplish anything you want if you set your mind to it. It is your choice as to how far you want to go.

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