The word “meditation” gets a lot of play these days in a lot of self-help and spiritual arenas. It’s as if your supposed to automatically know how to do it. However, most often people don’t have any clue how to go about getting started. The concept of meditation (sitting by yourself in a room somewhere doing seemingly nothing) can be a little off putting or feel somewhat odd. So here’s a few tips on getting started.
The ultimate goal of meditation is to become “at one” with the Divine/God/Goddess or a Divine Concept that you are working on developing. Another goal is to become the master of your thoughts in order to establish consistent peace and clarity. We have lots and lots of constant chatter going on which clutters the mind. Another important thing to note is that meditation strengthens your ability to direct your concentration for extended periods of time This is useful when you are working with manifestation and law of attraction techniques. Additionally, meditation is used to raise your personal vibration in order to be open and able to receive divine insights and messages. In essence, meditation is for spiritual development and evolution. Some of the side benefits are the ability to better focus, the ability to think carefully before reacting emotionally, and calming of the nervous system which leads to less stress and better coping abilities. Meditation eventually leads to having a more joyful and peaceful state of being.
The first important thing in meditation is “intention.” Your intention and desire to “be still” and connect with your higher consciousness and higher spiritual realms. The second important thing is breathing technique. With knowledge and implementation of breathing techniques you are able create an internal environment where you will move into the different states of awareness as well as activate your chakras. The third important thing is comfort. Always meditate in a comfortable position, clothing and environment. Make sure you have not eaten anything heavy for at least 1 hours. The fourth important thing is being consistent and regular. Pick times when you can be as regular as possible.
There are different types of meditation. Below are a few of them:
(1) Mantra: This is done by chanting a mantra, over and over again, and thinking about the qualities of the mantra (which should be qualities you are desiring to master.)
(2) Guided: This is where someone is guiding you with words on what to think or visualize. There is usually a theme such as (relaxation, stress release, releasing negative emotions, etc.) There are many recorded ones that are very good. A YouTube search would bring up tons of them up.
(3) Seed thought: This is where you concentrate on a divine concept with supporting visualizations. Such as “I AM, That I AM” or “I am at one with Divine Consciousness”. There would also be accompanying predetermined visualizations. These visualizations often take off on their own once you connect with a higher plane.
(4) Mindfulness: This is where you meditate to gain mastery over your mental chatter and develop an ability to detach from the thoughts and the emotions. This brings about the realization that you are not your thoughts. You are much more than them. You are the one in charge.
(5) Insight meditation: This is for the intermediate and advanced meditators. This is the practice of connecting to your higher self and receiving insights and communications from high level beings (angels, ancestors, guardians, deities, spiritual masters, etc.) This doesn’t mean that you can’t have this happen in any of the other forms of meditation, because it can. It only means it will more than likely happen with this type of meditation.
The above are only guidelines to help bring an understanding of the mechanisms of meditation. Spirituality is a free-flowing process and depending on the person, things progress in their own unique way and the way they are supposed to for that person.
States of Consciousness:
Consciousness: State of awareness used to go about everyday life & activities.
Subconscious: Dreamlike state. This is the level where intuition is found.
Superconscious: Unitive level that sees all things as parts of a whole.
Brain Waves Associated with Conscious States:
Beta: Waking consciousness/ reasoning. Everyday activities are handled during this state.
Alpha: Deep relation.
Theta: Light meditation & sleeping.
Delta: Deep Sleep. When in meditation, awareness is fully detached and the realm of unconscious mind is reached. Gateway to universal mind.
Gamma: Bursts of insight. High-level information processing.
Beginner’s Meditation Technique: Fourfold Breathing
Start out with 5 minutes as the duration. Then build on to this over time as you start to get the hang of it.
Pick a place & time when you can have the most quiet. Wear comfortable clothing. Sitting is recommend. Sitting down on the floor cross legged is good, as long as it’s comfortable. Lying down is not recommended because you may fall asleep.
Sit comfortably with your back as straight as is comfortable for you. Put your hands on top of your thighs. Beginning by pushing all of the air out of your lungs. Then on your next in-breath, begin deep rhythmic breathing. Counting mentally, on the in breath, “breath in 2-3-4 and out, 2-3-4.” Slow moderately slow. You want to do it at a pace where you are not gasping for breath. It should be an easy, comfortable flow.
Repeat this over and over again, breathing deep into your belly so that it expands and then on the out breath, gently release the air by pushing your breath out of your lungs. With each out breath, allow your body to get even more relaxed. Repeat for the entire 5 minutes. You may feel slightly lightheaded because of all the oxygen coming into and out. The deep breathing brings a relaxing and calming effect on the body which in turn relaxes and calms the mind. It is within this circle of calm that other spiritual realms and states can be accessed.
This main purpose of the Fourfold Breathing Technique for Beginners is to use the breathing and counting as a focal point of the meditation. This technique acts as a practice of clearing your mind of all the chatter except for only one or two thoughts. When you are able to get this down pact, you will feel more self-control and calm. The beginnings of self-mastery.
In the beginning, you will find that your mind will start to wander to all kinds of other thoughts. This is perfectly ok. When this happens and you realize it, gently bring your awareness back to your counting and breathing. Don’t get frustrated or feel like you’ve failed. This is totally normal. We are born thinking machines. That’s all we do all day and all the time. It takes lots of lots of practice to be able to stay focused for long periods of time.
The fourfold breathing meditation acts as a jump off point to deeper meditation techniques. Once this becomes a little easier to do, you can move onto any of the other meditations mentioned above. I would give it a couple of weeks of semi-regular practice.
Feel free to add candles, incense, colored cloths to your meditation and anything else that will help you get in a calming and pleasing mindset and make you feel like you want to go within and tap in to your spiritual power center.
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