Lesson II Introduction to the basics.
This lesson is going to cover meditation.
(*Note* this lesson is brought to forums by courtesy from the class that I teach in my coven, in the interest of sharing knowledge freely. Also *Note* that the assignment portion of this lesson was directed for members takeing my class, however you may wish to do so for your own sake of learning or improvemnet, even if you don't mail me.)
As I mentioned previously in the first lesson that meditation is not just a way to clear or empty your mind of all thoughts and feelings; yet it's rather a technique one of which there are many methods of doing so; that should be used rather to help one concentrate or focus on one particular goal or objective. For instance say I was sick or wounded, dismaying to think about, but if I wanted to heal myself or at least fight whatever is going on then I would meditate and focus my thoughts toward healing and getting better creating a healing effect not only emotionally and mentally but if properly done, also on a physical level as well. This particular example is done synonymously or at least some of the time with another basic skill one needs to learn, practice, and use which is called visualization; which we will discuss in another lesson.
Meditation is used for one to train his or her mind, to induce a level of consciousness that suits a particular purpose whether it be peace of mind, calming ones' anger, some use it to realize or discover something they are missing or have not yet realized yet, it can be used to communicate with guides or send or receive cosmic or spiritual messages.
There are hundreds if not thousands of methods of meditation, and there are many variations of techniques employed to achieve the practitioners goal. It all all comes down to what one is trying to accomplish, what he or she "you" is feeling; your emotional state plays an essential role in the practice and effect of meditation.
Meditation is usually done in private or at least a place that is free from as many distractions as possible as have outside influences and disturbances will make it challenging to achieve a meditative quality and state. Meditation is not just about the aforementioned above but is also used to align one spiritual centers, to heal or mend troubles that worry, and depending on your goal can have a very deep impact on your physical well being and health.
Breathing is essential to most life on earth , and to keep help one's respiratory system in balance, or to gain a better sense of control on one's breathing; meditation also helps as practice for controlled breathing and helps improve one's normal breathing rhythms on a normal everyday level without one even realizing there breathing pattern has changed. As there are many methods of meditation it is expected that there is also a vast amount of different breathing patterns one would use to achieve there meditative state of altered consciousness. Such methods can include basic breaths one in and one out "count of one" inhale one exhale two "count two" and so on, and there are even more complicated and potentially dangerous breathing techniques. One I learned particularly the hard way when I was practicing kudalini yoga, in which we were meditating in a half lotus position. The breathing technique we employed for that meditation was called the Breath of Fire, in which we would inhale and exhale in repetitive bursts. Unfortunately my first time using that technique led to me passing out because I wasn't properly prepared and focused. I did not have control, which led to an unpleasant incident. However that can all be avoided with taking precautions, being taught properly, concentrating, and using common sense by not attempting something you don't know if you are ready for. Many people don't think that such occurrences happen and that meditation can be dangerous if proper instruction and practice is done appropriately.
There are many positions in which one can chose to practice their art of meditation. Some include simple laying down with one eyes closed, sitting in a chair with you back and spine aligned constituting an energy flow between your chakras, there are even further advanced positions such as the lotus one particularly difficult and uncomfortable for people to sit and relax in. Whichever meditation technique you decide to do, my honest feeling and instruction for student's is to do what one is comfortable doing, and especially what one is capable of doing. Don't force yourself to do anything, however that doesn't mean stop trying or giving up, by all means no. You must train yourself to work harder and learn more advanced techniques and positions.
Tools used in meditation can depend on what the practitioner wants and desires, how such tools work with the goal and objective, and if they are suiting to such goals. Music for instance is the most common tool in meditative methods and practices, but again it depends on the person and what they feel most comfortable with. Some people are too easily distracted by the music, or the music simply doesn't compliment the occasion. However when music is used appropriately, it can be a guiding light to help facilitate the process. Some individuals cannot meditate without it, and a lot of people first trying meditation as a practice use soothing meditational music to help them get started. Usually the music composition or choice is very calming and harmonious to natures balance. Most pieces are usually classical piano, harps, flutes, violin etc. There are many cd's that specialize in specific meditation music, that is usually very calming, and some pieces can induce or mimic a trance like state. Another common tool used in meditation used by some, but not all is incense or aromatherapy. The sense of smell is very powerful, and it's the strongest sense related to ones mind, as smell has the greatest effect on memory than the rest of the senses. Some people are not aware of that fact, but smells can bring back vivid memories, and smells can also help facilitate ones desire to archive his or her objective. In this case a particular fragrance can bring about a calming effect of inner peace if that is what one is trying to accomplish, if one is trying to discover something or realize something they haven't they might consider using an incense or aroma that is conducive to a psychic connection or something that stimulates psychic or clairvoyant tendencies. Some people also might chose to use candles although those just beginning should not in my opinion and I strongly advise against it because of the potential fire hazards. Candles can easily be knocked over if one gets distracted, or they can easily be forgotten about or left unattended as some people might lose sight or awareness of their immediate surroundings and environment, the candle although it can be useful for those more experienced and aware of the dangers and risks, should be left alone until further advancement is made.
Your Assignment for Lesson II
I want you to research different meditation techniques, find three that you are interested in, and use each technique three to fives times each, one on a separate day from the other, except the last day focus on the one you like the most and feel most comfortable doing. After researching and practicing three different techniques several times I want a one page essay for each of the techniques describing what you learned from your research, your experiences when you tried them and be specific, even small details count such as did it have the desired affect, did you use music or anything, what position were you in etc. This means a three pages total one for each meditation method you chose. Lastly two additional pages describing a cumulative analysis of your assignment, what you learned and gained, what you didn't, and any questions you still have so that I can answer them in future lessons. Again completed assignments are to be mailed to me directly with a typed in subject stating Intro to Basics-Meditation or something clear, that way it will not be viewed as spam or unimportant.
I mentioned this simple meditation exorcize earlier however this is such a basic method I thought I would mention it once more. Go to a quiet place and sit or lay down in a comfortable position, take a moment to breath and be. Slowly start to breath in and out counting your breaths. Inhale and Exhale 1 inhale and exhale 2 and so on. Do ten repetitions of this and take a break, then start over until you can do ten repetitions without having any thoughts, feeling, anxieties, or worries interrupt you.
To find and research methods try the following websites: