Meditation can be done in many different ways and for many different reasons, but one thing that most meditation techniques have in common is that the normal chatter in the conscious mind is stopped. This is easier said than done and this part alone can take much practice. The stillness of not thinking, not imagining or trying to do anything is the essence of meditation and through this we can transform our lives. Meditation does not necessarily entail a deep or hypnotic state, for example gardening and walking can be done in meditative states when the mind is quiet.
My own experiences of meditation and those of my clients have demonstrated that in a meditative state inner conflicts, within our souls become resolved and issues get healed. When we let go of who we are and are willing to just be, we engage parts of us which might have been ignored, downtrodden by the ego or hidden because they are too painful to see. Even in meditation we may be largely unaware of what issues are surfacing or being resolved but we may have feelings as things surface or are released.
With a quiet mind and stillness comes the ability to hear and experience different aspects of the consciousness. Although meditation is about not doing, hearing and experiencing are sometimes unavoidable. Advanced meditators would say that visions and other experiences are the chatter of the soul and should largely be ignored but they can also be indicators of what is happening within. I guide my clients to focus on their chakras in meditation, as a way of helping us to understand where there are issues that need resolving and healing.
Meditation is truly an essential part of a path to understanding the self and to spiritual growth. Meditation combined with prayer is a powerful way of bringing love, peace and healing to the self and others. Meditation can incorporate devotional practice through prayer, worship or reciting mantras or religious texts which can displace the chatter in the mind and elevate the consciousness in different ways. Many spiritual disciplines incorporate meditative practices that may be prescriptive and related to specific rituals or levels of practice or mastership. I find that prayers before meditating help most people: I pray for help and guidance in my meditation and for insight and understanding into myself and the world and universe around me. My intention is to affirm, reinforce or expand my divine union at all levels of consciousness from the physical to the highest and to become more loving and wise.
Meditation can be a way of becoming conscious of different aspects of the self - of our many levels of consciousness but it can also be used to become conscious of things outside ourselves on these planes of consciousness. So meditation can be about both an inner journey and an outer journey. The planes of consciousness of the human soul expand ever outwards so that we connect with each other and the universe.
We can learn to meditate on specific aspects of consciousness through directing ourselves to feelings connected with that aspect. For instance the heart chakra and its planes of consciousness can be stimulated by focusing on love and compassion for ourselves and all beings. Meditating on the crown chakra can involve our connection to the universe or the absolute, however we conceive of it. Meditating on the base chakra and on the physical realms can help us to become more grounded and connect with divine principles of our bodies and the Earth.
Through meditation it is possible to engage more fully with our own intuition and guidance from higher parts of our consciousness (the higher self). Likewise it is also more easy to discern divine guidance from outside ourselves, from divine guides. Meditating with a quiet mind and being in a receptive and open state can help to connect with spirit guides and other divine beings.
I believe that the inner journey is as important as the outer journey and that wise meditation practice should involve both of these aspects. It is our inner fears that can create conflict within the consciousness and it is a good idea to try to understand these, even if it takes time to resolve them. Without this understanding our meditation may always be incomplete or avoid important aspects that have unresolved problems. I have known experienced meditators who concentrate on certain aspects of consciousness, such as the crown chakra, while ignoring other aspects that have blatant problems. Without self-awareness and an intent of inner balance our meditation practice may always be incomplete or we may not achieve the greatest benefit. Furthermore spiritual practice should always be tempered with grounding practice - connecting the base chakra and feet to the Earth - otherwise we can become disconnected from life and create a host of physical, mental and emotional problems.
- Don't recall - let go of what has passed;
- Don't imagine - let go of what may come;
- Don't think - let go of what is happening now;
- Don't examine - don't try to figure anything out;
- Don't control - don't try to make anything happen;
- Rest - relax right now and rest.
To learn meditation may best be done at first in a class or a group while being guided through the process or there are also a multitude of guided meditations available on video and audio. Meditating alone may be a little more difficult to start with but this varies tremendously between people and gets easier with practice.
See my webpage with guided meditations at www.healingpeople.net/guidedmeditations. I can help you to learn meditation and guide you through a variety of meditations via Skype and if you have questions or would like to learn to meditate then contact me.