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weatherwitch

Meditation For Beginners

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weatherwitch

These are just some meditations from my files that I posted on the old site but thought I would share them here as well :D

 

When undertaking meditation you should sit or lie down somewhere that you won't be disturbed, so switch your mobile phones off, unplug the landline, lock your doors etc, and make sure you are comfortable. If you are meditating with a view to seeking answers or solutions then make sure you do not fall asleep ;) by making yourself not too comfy since you will be entering a relaxed state, however if the object is to relax then make yourself as comfy as possible. Some people prefer music on in the background, others silence. Do which ever you are happiest with :o_rofl:

 

 

Fountain of Light Meditation.

 

You should be seated for this one :lol:

 

Imagine a stream of light flowing up your spine and leaving your body through the top of the head (or crown chakra if you work with that system). A few inches above your head the stream spreads out and myriads of droplets of light fall down, as though you have a fountain of light at the top of your head.

 

In certain mystic traditions it is thought that these droplets enter the body again at the base of the spine and this is how I tend to work this meditiation.

 

I like this one to relax and gently recharge the batteries as it were :D

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weatherwitch

Rain of Light Meditation.

 

Myriads of droplets of light, glittering in all colours are falling down both on and around you. It is like you are sitting in a rainfall of light or a rain of blossom falling down from above you.

 

Use this rain of light to energise yourself and feel strengthened ;)

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weatherwitch

Problem Solving Meditation.

 

Either sit down or lie down for this one.

 

Picture a huge library with beautiful architecture.

 

There are ten large steps leading up to the front door. Walk up these very slowly counting each one. In front of you is a large door which is closed. You push it open and in front of you is a large private style library with books jammed onto the floor to ceiling shelves. There is an open fire with flames roaring up the chimney, and either side of that is two red leather comfy old armchairs. Here by the fire you state your problem outloud. This can be a question you need guidance with, or a situation, or a general life block. You then go to the book shelves and pick a book, don't search wildly, the book will find you, and this will be appropriate for your situation. Take it back to the chair, sit by the fire and open the book. It may be a book to read or a picture book.

 

You may find that someone joins you in the libary on the other chair and asks what you are reading, this can be a way of assimilating the information have found.

 

When you are ready return the book to the shelf where you found it, thank the library for sharing its knowledge and leave the room closing the door behind you.

 

Walk down the steps counting backwards from ten to one as you go down them and open your eyes as you reach the last step ;)

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weatherwitch

Look into the Small World Exercise.

 

Sit in your garden either on the grass or on a chair where you can look down comfortably. Concentrate on a small piece of lawn about the size of your palm. Study everything there, notice the insects that walk on the ground, and see those which fly in and out of the area. See beneath the earth where other insects and creatures dwell. Remember that the insects and animals that use this tiny area of land see it as their entire world.

 

This one is to help with inner balance and perspective. This exercise aims to help you understand that our world as we know it is only a small window into a much larger reality ;)

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Guest Dave

Having done a little yoga, Tai t,Chi and a lot of martial arts in the past I can relate very strongly to those.

 

One of my favourites is the "warm bath" lying down. Warm water gradually rising up your body starting at the toes and eventually coving the crown of the head.

 

The other being "systematic muscular relaxation" that I'm sure you all know. Although this sounds like purely physical exercise, the effort required to perform it takes you out of body. Combined with "floating mind" type meditations I find this an extremely powerful relaxation technique.

 

I am quite familiar with techniques involving the manipulation and flow of Chakra and Chi. Do you guys generally use the same Phrasioligy as the oriental techniques or are there occidental pagan equivilents?

 

Sorry I did tell you I was a novice but having used oriental meditation techniques for some years and finding them very useful and effective I am bound to very keen to learn a few new paths.

Edited by Dave

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Guest AlonaDragonfly

A Simple Buddhist Meditation

 

In Buddhist meditation, the aim is to see the mind as it is- pure. No imagery, no falseness, no no-thing.

 

So :o_dance: Are you sitting comfortably? Either in the classic lotus position, or in a chair with a straight back and your feet flat on the floor, hands in lap, one cupping the other.

 

Breathe.

 

Relax.

 

Touch nose (no, honestly, this sounds strange but it works)

 

Concentrate on the small spot of feeling at the tip of your nose. Ignore outside distractions. If your mind wanders, shake off the meanderings and return to the present, the feel of the tip of your nose. Concentrate.

 

Breathe.

 

That's about it really! After a while, you can feel, well it's hard to describe and you shall have to try it and see. ;)

 

This has been taught to me by a Buddhist ex-teaching monk and I find it strangely energising, refreshing and relaxing

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Guest Julai

This is for self-healing. You imagine going to a special room that is your healing room, and in the room you get whatever treatment you imagine will work. With repetition, you build up the picture of the way to the room, the way the door looks, what it's like inside, etc. You use whatever medicine you relate best to, e.g. you might have a shelf of pills and potions and you take (or a higher authority gives you) the appropriate one. Or you lie on a couch and healing light pours over you. Or healing hands come and soothe your pain. I once had an amazing effect from going into my healing room and starting a treatment, then being distracted and thinking, blow it, I've got to go, but I'll leave part of me here to get on with the healing.

I got this from a book by Betty Shine. :)

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Rhiana

On request Ive begun a series of posts on meditation - hope thats ok with folks :lol:

 

Meditation

 

First and foremost don’t worry about doing it right! There is not one way to meditate and it will not happen overnight.

 

Common mistakes

 

· Trying to clear your mind

 

· Force something to happen

 

· Over analysing the meditation

 

· Putting too much emphasis on doing it right

 

 

 

Find a quiet and comfortable place to meditate. This can be either sat on the floor, on a cushion or in a chair – even on the bed if you are comfortable. You do NOT have to sit cross-legged – just make sure you are comfortable!

 

 

Try to cut down on the amount of noise and distraction.

 

 

Try to sit straight. You can lean against a chair, wall or headboard, or if you cannot sit then lie flat on your back.

 

 

Place your hands in whatever position is comfortable. Many Buddhist meditations suggest that you place your hands cupped, right hand on top of left with thumbs just touching. This allows for a flow of energy throughout the body.

 

 

Meditation is not always a “ religious” experience. You can call on whatever source/ deity you like if it helps.

 

Above all meditation takes time and practice. Having a focus does help but primarily learning to set the scene, take time out and observing breathing is a far more useful method of starting off.

 

 

We all meditate naturally in some way shape or form. An artist or musician will enter into a semi meditative state when creating or performing a work of art or symphony. The concentration and focus lulls them into this state.

 

 

Meditation is a bridge between the inner and outer self, the conscious and unconscious mind, thus the word “ meditation” is akin to “mediatory” meaning the unifying of two aspects.

 

This is a vastly simplistic assessment of what meditation is, but at its most basic form this observation holds true. True meditation, the pursuit of it as a discipline is extremely complex and takes a lifetime to master – remember the Buddhist monks who devote their lives to the pursuit of an enlightened state!

 

 

Wordsworth wrote at Tintern Abbey of this state of mind as:

 

 

“ That serene and blessed mood

 

In which the affections gently lead us on –

 

Until, the breath of this corporeal frame

 

And even the motion of our human blood

 

Almost suspended, we are laid asleep

 

In body, and become a living soul”

 

 

 

Meditation is however a step-by-step process and our motivation in beginning this path are highly individual.

 

You may wish to learn meditation in order to:

 

 

· Clear your mind of an emotion such as anger or frustration

 

· Learn to relax

 

· Pursue a “ guided meditation” which depends upon visualisation. In this a scene is set mentally and a journey undertaken – the tape that I did “ The Three Faces of the Goddess” led me on a pathway and set tasks for the listener.

 

· Perform an intent such as sending out healing or resolving a problem

 

 

There are so many reasons, whys and wherefores – so decide initially what you wish to achieve and then take it slowly.

 

 

The group that I used to run was made up of a number of different people that used varying triggers for meditation. Some brought a piece of poetry or art, a situation they wished to explore or even a simple breathing technique for the group to try. We each took turns to lead and learnt a lot!! Most of the group was experienced in some form of meditation or yoga and so the techniques were already there. We always began with a simple relaxation to set the scene, in a quiet room with candles and NO distractions!

 

 

 

Starters Orders

 

 

· Set the scene – find a calm and quiet place that you feel at ease in. Set the room out as you need. This can be darkening the room, lighting candles, putting on a favourite (relaxing)

 

piece of music. Sit or lie down to that you are comfortable.

 

 

· Use a simple relaxation technique – the clench and release systematically from head to foot is a very useful exercise. Sit or lie and travel through your body a bit at a time, consciously tightening and then releasing till you feel heavy and at ease.

 

 

· Breathing – keep it simple and rhythmic. If you find this difficult then count up to eight or ten as you draw in breath, and then release to the same count. If you repeat this 8 or 9 times then a pattern will emerge.

 

 

Visualisation

 

Learning to visualise is one of the most useful methods of active or meditation with intent. It helps us to control the mind and provide a focus.

 

To do this imagine a scene and build it up in detail. Imagine the sight, sound, colours and smells of the place. Then step into that scene – feel the warmth or cold, the sounds and smells.

 

Enjoy this for a short time and then slowly withdraw.

 

 

You can employ this method to deal with situations that you need to resolve. For example, a work or life situation that is causing you problems. Watch yourself deal with the situation as an observer.

 

Neuro linguistic programming calls this the “meta mirror” exercise, whereby you create a scene and stand to one side watching, then take a step back and observe again and so on. You then end up far away and able to deal with a situation with calm rather than being “ plugged in “ as it were to the emotions of the situation!

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weatherwitch

ooh excellent guide Rhi :angry:

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Rhiana

Letting go of surplus rubbish!! :)

 

 

“For countless ages the mind has been turned outwards and has been given a free rein to attach itself to objects of desire, and it is not expected that it will be possible to wrench it away from them at once. A bamboo that has long borne a weight will not be straightened merely by its removal; strenuous effort will be required to neutralize the acquired bend. So it is with the mind” Yoga of Bhagavat Gita

 

This quote epitomises the dilemma that many face when they first attempt meditation.

The fact that our minds are cluttered and running at full speed on so many things, situations and thoughts means that even attempting to clear out the rubbish is a vast task!

 

I have a number of ways of letting go of the crap that’s accumulated or is prodding me persistently when I am trying to meditate. They stem from my own sense of humour but are very effective and a number of the people I used to provide massage therapy for adopted them.

 

1. Winnie the Pooh and his little black rain cloud

 

Do you remember the scene as Pooh holds onto the balloon and rises to the bees nest? The image and the little rain cloud came to my mind as someone told me about a release method for those nagging thoughts!

The little black rain cloud is the thoughts, the balloon the method of release and like Pooh we all hold onto the balloon furiously eh! I imagine as things start to interfere with my train of thought, or I need to resolve something that I tie the thought/ dilemma or whatever it is to a balloon and watch it float away into the ether.

Let them go elsewhere and be rid of them!!

 

 

2. Dustbins!!

 

I suspect this technique was inherited from my father by osmosis as he’s a trained counsellor, and I spent much of my childhood subject to him learning new methods and teaching me them. Been quite useful, but as an 8 year old learning transactional analysis was damned irritating – chuckle!! The dustbins aren’t TA stuff but I’ll explain!

 

Do you have a persistent thought/ worry or garbage that just wont go away and is making your life hell or is blocking you in some way?

Imagine a line of dustbins – for me that’s the black plastic ones and choose one – put the rubbish into it and put the lid on firmly!

That thought is then in there, not in your mind. You can go back to it later take it out, clean it up and deal with it or send it to the rubbish tip with the rest of the junk - mentally that is!

 

You can do either or both of these visualisations as you meditate when things start to trip you up! Embroider the scene so that it tangible and then watch yourself filling the bin, or tying the crap to a balloon then LET GO!!!

 

 

Give it a go!!

 

Anyone else got a method they use that they want to share?? :angry:

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LadyCatCrimson

Heh ! Yes excellent topic Rhiana, thanks for starting it ! Has been so long since I have done any structured form of meditation, apart from sitting down, focussing on something like a candle flame and drifting off, that I welcome the guideline to basics. Loved the Winnie the Pooh one, made me chuckles heartily. I did used to have a few creative visualisation tools that I will try and remember so I can share them here.

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Rhiana

Look forward to that :unsure:

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Guest Dave
Above all meditation takes time and practice. Having a focus does help but primarily learning to set the scene, take time out and observing breathing is a far more useful method of starting off.
I believe that this is the starting point. Successful meditation cannot occurr in anything other than a relaxed physical state. Learning to breath properly is the first point of call. Learning to breath using the diaphragm rather than the upper chest muscles. Learning to breath in this way without conscious effort.

 

Maybe using the developement of a correct breathing technique as a focus or mantra in it's own right, a good focus for the mind, a good way of shifting your focus from our daily baggage.

 

The Chinese would describe it as "learning to breath like a baby". Yes it might sound strange but a baby breaths correctly, without conscious effort, we forget how to do this as we grow from baby to child to adult and often need to learn it afresh. Just ask someone to take a deep breath and watch their upper chest expand. This is not correct breathing. Correct breathing visibly extends the area of stomach from the diaphragm downwards, not the upper chest. A perfect example of most adults inability to breath correctly.

Meditation is not always a “ religious” experience. You can call on whatever source/ deity you like if it helps.
Absolutely...meditation can be a totally non-religious experience and yet still offer the same benefits as to someone approaching it from a spiritual viewpoint.
2. Dustbins!!
This is pretty much identical to the Japanese idea of locked boxes. i.e. when we have a problem that cannot be dealt with immediately, we put it in a box and lock it in until the time occurrs when we can do something constructive about that problem, unlocking th box only then and dealing with it rather than continuously cluttering our minds with things that we have little control over until the appropriate time.This kind of control however only comes with much practice and mental training, the kind of training that can be performed via meditation.

 

One step at a time, Rhianas advice is excellent, don't expect to much to soon and the value of a good experienced teacher cannot be over stated.

 

The problem of course is in finding such a teacher, even within the Yoga and Martial Arts fraternities, really good teachers are not common.

 

The rewards however, of persistence and practice can be very great.

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Rhiana

Ta Dave :P Wrote that between xmas and new year at work :o_youpi: Twas quiet like :o_wink2:

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Guest Themis690218

Thank you ,that was very helpful. Concentrating on the breathing tends to occupy the mind, which is strange, but then it is deep cleansing breaths. Themis

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Guest solstice 3

Very helpful thanks.

 

I try not to lie down when meditating unless I want to fall asleep, but have been told if I sleep then I needed too. Sometimes meditating just before I sleep gives me interesting dreams. In fact if I have trouble sleeping I use the breathing technicque which sometimes helps.

 

Do you know where I can get some good guided meditation tapes, pagan based?

 

I have toyed with the idea of buying a dictaphone and taping my own but am not sure of the practicalities regarding playback.

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Guest Crow

When I meditate I lie in the yoga "corpse" position - lying on the back, all muscles relaxed, arms slightly out from the sides. The positon is so called because eventually breathing becomes so slow it's hardly noticeable. Very, very relaxing.

 

I'd also love to hear where I could get some guided meditation tapes; I've been really getting into trance work lately.

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Guest Nightcelt

A good technques to use is a candle.

 

put a candle in front of you, watch the candle for awhile then close you eyes. Try visualize the candle. how it moves and flickers. (the candle will leave an after image on your retinal to help you.) Breath in and out in a regular fashion. (you can use a rose, a sigil (or elemental sign) or a picutre to help you).

 

Mediation and visualization will help you in your ritual work.

 

A good one for the ladies on the site is a bar of chocolate. Visualize a bar of chocolate, how it looks, how it smells. take a bite of it, how does it taste, what is the texture of it.

 

Music can be a distraction for some people.

Turn off your phone and ignore the doorbell.

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Guest DragonMaster

When meditating, I prefer to listen to music thats... not fast, but has a rhythm. I tend to find it just helps me tune into myself better. Am I weird?

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Guest solstice 3

I sometimes listen to Native American Chants and such like. I find it very useful but would like something a bit more structural, some sort of pathworking.

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Guest La_H

This is all very helpful. Thank you. :D I also find music helpful when meditating, but really enjoy guided meditation. Where would one suggest finding good guided meditation pagan based tapes? Rhiana, you mentioned "The Three Faces of the Goddess" was that a tape you made or a tape you found?

 

Heather

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Rhiana

No twas sent to me by Pomona - might be an idea to pm her and ask where it came from! :D

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Pomona

I'm pretty sure it was Mesmerize - but having looked at their site I can't see that they stock CDs and tapes any more - the whole site seems to have changed... :D

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Moonhunter

I remember being taught most of these techniques by Zen teachers and it coming to nothing for me at the time. But they all came back years later when I found another method.

 

Basically, I went away to stay somewhere without distractions for a weekend. If you can't do this, but you do live alone (or can get the house to yourself for 48 hours) it's easy to do a crash course. How?

 

OK, the first thing is to unplug the phone and the alarm clock. Put away all the remote controls and all reading material. Allow yourself only a notebook in which you can write what you feel, and one slim book of spiritual material such as guided meditations. Nothing else. You're also allowed to go walking, but not in town (too many distractions!) and you can't drive, either. And no answering the door!

 

Set yourself a regime of reading from the book four or five times a day at set times, for a period of no more than 45 minutes. The rest of the time you can think - about anything you want, for however long. Try to think about what you have read. You can write down whatever comes into your head. You'll get bored; you'll get tired but, at some point, it's likely you'll begin to hear silence like a living thing, as a friend. Once you get to this state you'll want to spend more time hearing the silence. First you'll hear it, as though it has a sound, and then you'll stop hearing it and feel it. Once you get to this state, once the weekend is over, you'll find you can access the silence wherever you are, once you free yourself from distractions.

 

The silence is inside you. Like a tardis, the silence inside you is bigger than you are. Like the wardrobe, once you step into it, you can walk into another world.

 

If you can't do the crash course don't worry - you can still get there by the slower route, as already described by Rhiana. It doesn't matter how long it takes you - every method leads to the same place, however you personally experience it. But what you will find is that, once you learn how to go to where you wish to be, how to enter that other place, you never lose that.

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Guest cygfa

to all, thanks for the useful information.

 

perhaps a strange question, but can you meditate without consciously setting out to do it?

The reason for this, occasionally I start pondering about certain things to find myself "waking up" (not from sleeping) after a significant stretch of time, while it feels like it was only a minute ago. Strangely enough I always feel very relaxed after this.

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Guest Seeker
to all, thanks for the useful information.

 

perhaps a strange question, but can you meditate without consciously setting out to do it?

The reason for this, occasionally I start pondering about certain things to find myself "waking up" (not from sleeping) after a significant stretch of time, while it feels like it was only a minute ago. Strangely enough I always feel very relaxed after this.

69776[/snapback]

 

 

Hmmm, Cygfa, I have had this experience too - unfortunately usually while driving! I'll be heading home from work, leave the parking lot, and then suddenly "wake up" and be almost home... Usually my thought is not if I had been in a meditative state, but "Gawd, how did I manage not to wreck!" ;) lol!!! But now that you mention it, it is an interesting thought, and yes, maybe it is a meditative state...

 

Hugs,

Seeker

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Guest ickledink

an interesting and informative read... thanks :o_rainbow:

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Guest Whitgar

Personally I would avoid any tapes and the like. Putting on music, particularly music that is meant to be 'spiritual', can result in you being sent down a particular route. It also tends to fill the space and 'silence' and can drown out other things that may be experienced. For meditation to be effective a person needs to be comfortable with themselves and their 'position' in the 'universe' at the moment of meditation, music etc. can distract from that. Meditation is about discovery, the freer you are from external stimuli, the more you will discover. Concentration on breathing is useful just so far as it can get you to the point where you are no longer concentrating on anything which is the point where meditation begins. As has been previously said, if you try to 'force' things you will achieve little.

 

This is of course just my opinion.

Edited by Whitgar

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Pomona

Which is a fair enough point, but if you're relatively inexperienced, then pathworking can be a good way of helping you "open up" your consciousness and connect. Just because you're being directed in the meditation doesn't mean that whatever message you receive, or whatever you experience is any less valid or worthwhile. It also helps focus the mind whereas with "freeform" meditation, it takes a lot of practice to keep your mind off the mundane and from fretting. Each to their own, I haven't meditated as much as I used to, but I like having something to keep my mind focussed on in the first stages until my consciousness starts to flow, either music or a guided pathworking. (that all sounded very new age but it's the best way I can think of to describe!) :blink:

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Guest Whitgar
Which is a fair enough point, but if you're relatively inexperienced, then pathworking can be a good way of helping you "open up" your consciousness and connect. 

75078[/snapback]

 

That is also a fair point, but so long as the person sitting is aware this is pathworking and not really meditation.

 

Personally I find such 'guided meditation' a bit concerning as you are to an extent getting onto a vehicle that is being driven (and often by someone other than yourself). Meditation in this way therefore heads down a certain path and has only limited value.

 

Meditation requires you to practice and work at it, its not always a comfortable experience, and sometimes you are unable to do it at all. It doesn't happen successfully overnight, patience is called for. Focussing on the experience of breathing is a good method as beginners should be able to do this without too much trouble, and with practice they can eventually get past this point.

 

Anyway these are only my opinions.

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