Basic Meditation Instructions


Get Ready for the Journey
You didn't arrive at your present life position suddenly -- you have been slowly moving toward it all of your life. As a result, you can't expect to move to a new state of consciousness in a few days or weeks. It is like going from California to New York. You can't get onto a train in California and pop instantly over to New York. You have to ride through Kansas, Ohio and a number of other states. You may even decide to stay in Kansas for a while. It is your choice as to how far you want to go. The same is true when moving from one state of consciousness to another. You have to pass through various stages before you reach your destination.

What You Need
When you go on a journey of consciousness, pack lightly and leave your past behind. All you really need to take with you is a positive attitude, faith in your future and a strong desire to change.
Anything else you drag along is extra. Slowly but surely, your past is going to fade away as you approach new horizons. There may be some bumpy roads and some stormy weather along the way -- these are part of the process. But as you work through each challenge, you'll come out stronger than before -- more sure of yourself and your ability to take care of yourself.

You have the power of The Universe within you, and you can
accomplish anything you want if you set your mind to it.

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The Vehicle
Travelling into higher realms of consciousness requires a vehicle for the journey. Meditation is a time-honored technique that can take you into infinite dimensions of consciousness.

Many people say, "I've tried to meditate, but I just can't seem to do it." They seem to think that in order to meditate, they have to completely quiet their mind. Quieting the mind comes as a result of meditating over a long period of time, but any time you are looking within, you are meditating. There are many meditation methods. Some are passive and others are active -- not in the physical sense, but in the sense that you actually do something during meditation. All of the meditations that you will find at this sight will help you develop spiritually.

Create a Space
First, prepare a space to use on a regular basis for your meditations. Doing this conditions your mind to relax and ascend to other dimensions. In time, just sitting in your meditation space will immediately relax you.

Your meditation space can be a separate room or small area in your home where you can sit with your eyes closed for at least a few minutes each day. Choose a clean, quiet place away from all distractions where you can sit on a chair or on the floor. If you use a chair, choose one that allows you to keep your back as straight as possible. If you sit on the floor, you may want to lean your back against something so that you can keep it straight. If you are too sick or weak to sit up, you can lie on your bed, but sit as soon as you are able.

You will need a shelf, table or surface of some kind. If you are sitting on the floor, an inverted carton or wooden crate will do. Place any, or all, of the following items on the surface that you choose:

I often hold a crystal or stone when I meditate and I keep a selection of them on my altar. I believe that these treasures from Mother Nature help to amplify the energy of our Inner Being. This makes it easier for us to travel deep into our consciousness and connect to our True Selves. For more information about this see Gems and Minerals or Meditating with Crystals and Stones

Don't be in a hurry to create your meditation space. You might want to start with something as simple as a candle. Let your intuition guide you. Be patient and wait until you get a strong urge to add something. When you get the urge, follow it.

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Getting Started
For a few days just sit quietly in your space for five to ten minutes.
This will help establish your energy. Before you sit, light a candle and/or some incense, if you like. Eventually, lighting the candle or incense will signal your brain that it's time for meditation.

Fold your hands gently in your lap and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Then just sit. If you have never meditated before, you will probably feel as if your mind is just a jumble of thoughts. Don't try to stop the thoughts, just watch them. Imagine that you are on the bank of a river and that your thoughts are the river going by. Don't try to stop the river, just watch it. Within a week, you will see the river begin to slow down. You may become impatient, or even bored. That's okay. If you find yourself complaining, just watch the thoughts pass by.

Do this for 5 to 10 minutes.

You may find that you fall asleep because you are so relaxed. In the beginning that's okay. Eventually, you will be able to stay awake. If you're afraid that you will miss something if you fall asleep, set a timer for 20 minutes. Doing this allows you to relax and forget about time.

A Basic Meditation
The Watching-the-River Exercise is an excellent way to quiet your thoughts. You can either stay with this exercise or move on to something else, such as the basic meditation described below or any of the other meditations that will be appearing on these pages. All of these can help you on your journey to higher consciousness.

I highly recommend that you begin each inner session with the following meditation. It serves the purpose of placing you in the energies of The Light, which can be protective.

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If You Resist
At first, it may seem as if you can't fit all of this new activity into your life. Even though we are only talking about ten to thirty minutes a day, establishing a new habit pattern can take time (21 days on average), and you may find yourself resisting. It would be perfectly natural for you to avoid meditation and then feel guilty.

You can eliminate the guilt by telling yourself that there is no hurry and it does not matter if you miss a few days. Even if you meditate only once a week, you have made progress. You are more apt to continue if you take away the self-criticism. No one is judging your performance -- there is no right way or wrong way to meditate -- and no one else cares if you meditate.

You may find yourself saying, "I haven't got the time to spend with all of this." If you haven't got the time to sit quietly with yourself for ten to twenty minutes a day, you are probably too busy or you aren't using your time well. If you are always in a hurry to do the next activity, you're in the future and missing the now, which is where your life is happening.

It is a matter of priorities. If making money and getting it all while you can are the focus of your life, then you probably don't have the time to spend with yourself. But if you would honestly like to find more meaning in life and you hope to feel prosperous, then you will have to slow down and get into the flow of life. The idea is to stop trying to make everything happen and allow your life to happen. The purpose of meditation is to help you build a better life for yourself. If you want that, then somehow you will find the time to do it.

If you have a strong desire to meditate but find that you are really resistant, examine the following reasons that keep people from travelling into their inner world. These happen on a subconscious level, but if they apply to you, you will know.

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Breathing is essential to life and when you breathe properly, it can help you clear your mind and reach higher states of consciousness. Although breathing is an instinct and everyone does it, most people don't breathe correctly. Many people develop bad breathing habits and as they age, their breathing becomes shallow and incomplete. Bad breathing habits not only contribute to ill health, but they also keep you from realizing your full potential. When your system is denied the oxygen it needs, it can't function properly. Learning to breathe properly will help you both physically and with the inner work we'll be doing.

To check your breathing:

If you're breathing properly your abdomen will expand when you inhale and contract as you exhale. Breathing this way allows your lungs to fill properly. If your chest expands and your shoulders rise during inhalation, your breath is incomplete.

Belly Breathing
Belly breathing can help you relax any time you are tense. When you feel anxious about something, just close your eyes and take 5 to 10 deep breaths. Deep breathing can also energize you. When you are feeling tired or drained, do a few belly breaths. If you are breathing from your chest, I strongly suggest that you retrain your body to breathe properly, which means breathing from your diaphragm or belly.

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Candle Gazing
Meditating will help you develop discipline and concentration, two valuable skills that are found in successful people. Candle gazing is an exercise that can help you learn to concentrate. It will also accustom you to sitting quietly and focusing on something other than your outer world. If possible, do candle gazing in your meditation space.

To do this exercise, place a lighted candle at eye level about two feet away from where you are sitting. Focus your gaze on the flame of the candle and just watch it. Try not to blink your eyes, but don't force them to stay open. Continue to watch the candle flame for 5 to 10 minutes. If your gaze wanders, slowly bring it back. As you do this, be aware of your thoughts without trying to change them.

Some Guidelines

Adapted from Prosperity Is an Inside Job

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Copyright © 1996 by Joan Sotkin.