As a student of metaphysics and magik I have been fortunate
to have the opportunity to teach and well as learn from other
teachers and my students alike. The following is a Student Guide
I hand out in my meditation classes. Included in this guide is
a short introduction to meditation methods and it's benefits.
As well as, a step-by-step instruction manual for anyone to follow
to learn meditation on their own.
What is Meditation?
Prayer allows you to talk to the Divine and petition for
assistance. Meditation allows you to become one with the Divine
and discover the divine within your inner being.
Meditation has been practiced around the world in every known
religion, from Buddhism to Christianity. Many people have meditated
for spiritual communication, personal fulfillment, as a form
of worship or just to relax and relieve stress. During this century
western societies have begun to recognize the benefits of meditation.
The breathing and visualizations employed by traditional medicine
help patience fight cancer, physical illnesses, relieve stress
and so on.
Basically meditation is an altered state of consciousness
achieved through controlled breathing and visualization. Webster's
New World Dictionary defines meditation as a deep continued
thought and solemn reflection on sacred matters as a devotional
act. Both definitions are accurate, but meditation is so
Meditation helps the physical conscious mind connect with
the higher or divine consciousness we all have inside ourselves.
Through practice and dedication, this bridging between
our physical and divine selves, opens the doors to a new spiritual
knowledge that has always existed, but that we may not have been
able to tap into.
As you practice your mediation technique, you should begin
noticing a few side effects. You should become a little calmer
and more relaxed during your regular daily activities. You become
better able to handle unexpected events or can think more clearly
when dealing with a problem or trying to find a solution. Some
of the stress and tension you experience should begin to subside
each time you perform your chosen meditation technique. All in
all, less stress and tension will lead to a healthier and happier
On a spiritual side, you may begin to notice an increased
interest in your chosen religious path. A degree of self-discovery
may also begin to happen. People who meditate on a regular basis
report feeling the `need' to improve their attitudes or outlook
on life. They feel as though there's more to life than this physical
existence and they want to know and understand what that is.
I believe this is a result of successfully bridging the conscious
and sub-conscious spiritual minds together.
The How To's Of Meditation
There are numerous forms of meditation. Yoga, Ti-Chi, Mantras,
Gazing and Freeform are the most common types practiced in the
western world (see definitions below). No one way is better than
another. What works for one person may not work for another.
So it's best for a person to choose the type of meditation that
feels the most comfortable for them. Then practice, practice,
Yoga and Ti-Chi
These methods use physical movements or positions to focus
the mind and body away from everyday happenings.
This vocal method uses a personal sound, like a hum or phrase,
to focus and clear the mind.
Using an object, such as a crystal ball or candle, to help
focus and find the meditative state.
This method is generally the most common type of meditation
practiced in the U.S. today. Freeform is just that, it does not
rely on sound, movement or visual stimuli to focus the mind and
body. Rather it uses your own ability to concentrate on nothing.
Soft relaxing music can accompany this form of meditation.
The best way to learn Yoga or Ti-Chi is to find an experienced
teacher or master in your area. These methods require several
physical movements that lead the mind down a relaxing path into
a relaxed state of awareness. There are also many video tapes
on the market for self / home study as well.
The Gazing method is much like the Freeform method, the only
difference being one you do with your eyes closed, the other
you stare at an object. Read the following instructions for the
Freeform method and alter the procedure as needed for the Gazing
How to Meditate with the Freeform
Science has proven that thought is energy, thus what you
think creates energy patterns. The visualizations employed in
the Freeform method help your conscious mind create some of those
energy patterns to physically relax and push out stress from
your body. These visualizations are highlighted in the following
steps, to help you gain the most benefit from your meditation
practice. However, once you learn the basics, you should think
about changing the visualization patterns to best suite your
own needs and interests.
Many people like to use music as a background to lightly
drown out the daily noises that might be around your home or
space. You should chose something from the New Age or classical
genre. You want instrumentals only, as vocal music might interfere
with your concentration.
If you find a piece of music you really like for meditation,
stick with it. If you use the same piece each time you meditate,
you will pre-program your mind to step into a state of relaxation.
Each time you practice, your mind will move into this state with
less effort and more quickly, allowing you more time for greater
Classical and some soft Jazz can be used, but the best form
of music is New Age, much like that performed by Robert Slap,
Yanni or Ed Van Fleet. Your meditation music should be totally
orchestral (no vocals) and should act as a sound barrier between
you and the outside noises of the world. Many music stores are
now carrying New Age music so these should be easy to find. My
personal favorite piece is called Ascension to All That Is
by Robert Slap. You can find it on Amazon.com.
How to Start
Choose a piece of music that you find relaxing to play in
Find a quiet place to sit and relax where you won't be disturbed
for 20 to 30 minutes. Meditations have no time limit, but to
really appreciate the event a minimum of 30 minutes is really
all that's needed.
Sit comfortably, on the floor, in a chair ~ you shouldn't
lay down; doing so might cause you to fall asleep instead of
meditate. In stead find a comfortable upright position and keep
your back straight. Your arms should be placed comfortably in
your lap, or at your sides if your lying down. What ever is most
comfortable for you. But remember, your going to be in this one
position for at least 30 minutes.
Begin your meditation with a deep cleansing breath and close
your eyes as you exhale.
With your eyes closed focus on your breathing. Slowly, take
in 5 long, deep breaths through your nose filling your lungs
to their fullest capacity. Then just as slowly, exhale though
your mouth, allowing your lungs to collapse as much as is comfortable
for you. Visualize: As you exhale, imagine the events of the day
or week being carried out through your mouth on a gray smoky
cloud. Put these worries aside and begin to relax your entire
body and mind.
Return to normal breathing and begin to relax each portion
of your body, especially your muscles. Feel the tension in your
muscles begin to subside. Visualize: With each inhale, imagine a Divine white light
collecting inside your body around the solar plexus. (The Solar
Plexus is a network of nerves in the abdominal cavity behind
the stomach and just below the position where your rib cage meets.)
With each breath you take in, this light grows stronger, more
vibrant and soon begins to increase in size. Within a minute
or two, the light grows so large that it encompasses the entire
mid-section of your body.
Now, begin by pushing the lower portion of the light down
toward your toes slowly. Imagine the white light pushing all
the stress and tension out of your muscles one at a time. Imagine
this stressful energy like a gray smoke being pushed down your
lower extremities until it's pushed out your toes. Now the lower
half of you body is fully surrounded inside and out by this Divine
white light. (This visualization should take approximately 1-2
Use the same technique to push the light from the solar plexus
up your back, neck and head, pushing the `gray' stress out the
top of your head.
This step takes a little practice, don't worry if you can't
do this for any extended period of time, but at least give it
a try. (It gets easier with practice, but even daily practitioners
don't do this step during their entire meditation). Keep your
eyes closed, but look up at the pituitary gland . This is a small
gland located in the middle of your forehead, just above the
brow. Try to keep your eyes focused on this point. The muscles
around your eyes may become sore as you stretch them upward,
so don't over do this at first. As you practice, this step will
become easier and easier to do. For centuries, the pituitary
gland has been considered by many to be the location of the third
eye. This step then is a symbolic gesture to bridge the physical
eyes with that of the Divine eye. Visualize: Imagine the bridge between your physical mind
and your spiritual mind laid out before. See your spirit effortlessly
walking across that bridge. With each step, the bridge becomes
stronger and the effort becomes easier and you feel more assured.
Once you have crossed the bridge, see yourself standing in
the Divine Universe. You are part of this Universe, it surrounds
you, penetrates you and fills your being with peace, love and
security. See yourself sit down in this place that you have created
and imagine yourself totally relaxing and becoming one with your
higher divine mind and the Divine Universal consciousness.
Now the hard part, clear your mind of the nitty gritty. Don't
think about the work on your desk, don't make your grocery list,
just think about being at peace. You are training your mind to
shut down for several minutes and to do nothing. This is a state
of mind foreign to most people But with practice you'll be able
to do it. This step is the key to effective mediation. First
timers may want to concentrate on their breathing instead. Keep
it slow and relaxed.
When you are ready to end your meditation, take a deep breath
and prepare to return to the waking world. Visualize: See yourself standing before your spiritual
bridge As you move across the bridge you become more and more
aware of your surroundings and your body.
Imagine your soul walking through the door to your room,
and seeing your physical body right where you left it. As your
soul steps back inside your spiritual body, all the visions sensations
and answers you received merge with your physical brain and are
automatically stored into your conscious mind.
Take in a deep breath, begin to feel your body, become more
and more aware of your surroundings, have a nice long and hard
stretch, then open your eyes.
Before you rise, consider recording your meditation and experience
in a meditation journal.
Quieting the Mind? How do
you do that?
Many people believe they have to see nothing, just blackness.
This in fact is keeping your mind busy and active trying to force
yourself to see darkness. So there is a difference between thinking
of nothing and quieting the mind. It's not as simple as it sounds,
but it can be done. Calming the mind is left up to you, not to
some outside force or mantra. So how do you do it?
The easiest way is through a visualized process. Each time
your brain makes a list of things for you to do, shut it down
by imagining yourself walking down a road away from your cares
and troubles or through a field or along an empty beach. One
favorite visualization is to see a large ocean wave fall over
the list and was it away.
Sometimes it's hard for people to tell which images are from
their conscious mind and which are from their higher self. If
you begin to see strange images, like potted plants or a hand
coming from no where to give you a dozen roses, let it happen.
As long as the image is non-threatening and peaceful, don't force
it away. Practically all people who meditate say they see images,
like daydreams, drifting in and out of their mind.
This is normal. In fact, some psychologist believe these
images can tell you a lot about yourself. They can help you resolve
issues or problems you might be dealing with. Other people believe
these images come from their God, Angels or deceased relatives.
Their interpretation is strictly up to the individual and what
their belief structure is. My favorite explanation of these images
is actually a combination of these two. I think this is the way
our higher conscious mind communicates with us. Through this
symbology we may gain valuable insights or messages from not
only your higher self, but perhaps from our spiritual teachers
So quieting the mind doesn't mean turning the lights out,
basically that's impossible.
Additional Meditation Techniques
A meditative journey is much like a visualization, but with
an specific purpose. You can visualize a specific set of images
to get in touch with your higher consciousness, to travel to
an island and meet your `animal guide', or to examine files in
your Akashic records. The possibilities are endless and are bound
only by the confines of your imagination.
If you have a hard time with visualization, try finding audio
tapes that lead you through a visualized meditation. There are
several on the market at this time, some are even geared toward
specific visualizations to fight illnesses. These are excellent
methods to help the beginner learn how to reach that relaxed
state. Two of my favorite audio tapes come from Shakti
Gawain and Shirley
Or if you have a specific meditative journey you'd like to
take, record your own visualized tape. Just choose you're favorite
music, write out what you want to see and record the two
together. This can be a powerful tool for journeying, and can
help the process along. Instead of imagining on the fly
so to speak, your recording would guide you through a deliberate
path to helping you reach your goal.
Within many religions there is a certain amount of ritual.
Christians light white candles before each service begins, Native
Americans burn sage and other incense to cleanse the environment
for spiritual growth, Buddhists bang a small gong before beginning
their prayers. Humans are sensory creatures, we rely on sights,
smells and sounds to help us retain memories and understanding.
So any combination of ritual can be performed before each meditation
to heighten the experience.
In addition, do the same ritual can almost be like a pre-program
that begins to prepare the conscious mind for relaxation. This
pre-programming can help the meditator get into a relaxed state
much quicker, leaving more time for the meditation itself.
You might like to try our examples on Meditation Prayers
and Exercises to help you add to your rituals, and preparations.
Keep a record or diary of your meditation sessions. Write
down the time, place and weather if you want. Keep track of the
images that float into your mind. Record the differences in sensations
you feel when visualizing the white light, or the relaxation
of the muscles. Make notes on how your attitudes or viewpoints
change. How you handle situations with people or at work. All
this information is important for you to see how far you've grown
over what will be a very short period of time. You'll be amazed
at yourself in just 6 months. But you may not notice, if you
don't write it down.
How Often Should You Meditate?
Well that's entirely up to you. Some people meditate twice
a day, once in the morning, once in the evening. Some people
meditate once a day or once a week. Once a week can still be
beneficial for relieving stress and anxiety, but if you can't
fit once a day into your schedule, at a minimum, you should try
to meditate 3 times a week.
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Created: 10/2/1996 Updated:
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