How To Meditate

Image credit: Hartwig HKD
Image credit: Hartwig HKD

When you first start meditating, it is difficult to do. I couldn’t do, I’ll tell you that much! When I first tried to meditate I consulted books and followed the techniques they described.

I tried on and off for a year. It just didn’t happen.

The problem was, I had expectations of how I should feel and what should happen. And therein was the problem. I didn’t fly off into space, I didn’t become one with the universe and I certainly didn’t feel at peace.

Inevitably I thought this meditation lark was a load of new-age nonsense.

In truth, I still don’t feel I have become one with the Universe in the way the books I read implied. But now when I meditate, I can empty my mind and imagine flying through space. Which is a step forward.

You have to take meditation with a realistic approach. Taking what sages and gurus say point-blank is shooting yourself in the head. Yes, you can connect fully with the Universe, but do you know how that feels? If you don’t then how do you know you are connected?

The difference with my experiences during meditation now is, I understand that thoughts are realities and by simply imagining I am at one with the Universe actually means I am at one with the Universe. There is no special sensation you should have.

But this is the secret nobody wants to tell you. You therefore go to some “guru” and pay to learn how to breathe. The guidance is useful so you can’t grumble, but, in my opinion at least, you can learn to meditate at home on your own just by sitting still and stopping thoughts that come into your head. You don’t even have to sit in a lotus position and “ohm”.

Being mindful in meditation

All you need do is simply still and be aware of your breathing, be aware of your body and be aware of how you feel. Try to quieten your mind by being aware of your thoughts and saying “STOP” whenever distractions enter your mind. You will eventually learn how to be calm and at peace. All you are doing is having an experience – and you do that every minute of every day.

The real trick to meditation is understanding that your mind can travel to alternative realms. Providing your expectations are not fantastical you won’t be disappointed and think you are doing it wrong. It’s best practice not to have any expectation at all.

Brahma is everywhereThe astral plane and the physical plane are interconnected and in meditation one feels very much like the other. It’s complicated to explain, but you will experience it. Just don’t expect a profound experience like some kind of virtual reality mind-movie. Concentrate on your body in the physical plane.

This is what is know as mindfulness, or vipassana as it is known in Buddhism. Vipassana is one of the most commonly practices meditation in the west because of its simplicity. It’s a good place to start, until you become aware of the connection between your physical body and your astral body.

For example, during one meditation experience, I felt my astral body project from my physical body on both sides. I had the impression I was infinitely travelling through space and time, yet my cognitive senses I use in the everyday physical world gave me the sensation of simply laying on my bed.

I think this perhaps this has something to do with photons and electrons existing in multiple states and places. It’s a quantum theory, but the scientific explanation fits the experience I had.

Meditation requires working with your mind; either by keeping it still or by developing visualisation. Both are difficult to perfect, but not impossible.

But we’ll come on to those in a minute. First of all, I want to describe a couple of breathing exercises for you to try which will help you relax and enter into a trance state. If you can breathe correctly, you will improve your ability to slip into a trance-like state and deepen your meditation experience.

The art of breathing

You may think breathing is natural, but there is a right way to breath and a way of breathing that is not as healthy. Eastern yogis have known this for thousands of years, but researchers in the west are only just beginning to understand the adverse effects poor breathing has on the body and mind.

According to alternative health researcher, David Thorpe, “over 90 per cent of us are using less than 50 per cent of our breathing capacity.” Shallow breathing can lead to low energy and high stress levels and stagnate emotional transformation.

When you breathe properly, you take in higher quantities of oxygen which is then passed from your lungs to your heart and pumped around your body. Well oxygenated blood cells replenish your brain and vital organs with essential nutrients.

If you are not breathing properly, you starve your body of the oxygen your blood cells need to nourish your body. A lack of oxygen in your blood can lead to all manner of ailments and diseases. Learning breathing techniques for meditation not only teaches you to enter a trance state, but teaches you to breathe properly on a daily basis.

Types of breathing exercises for meditating

Teachers of meditation are champions of the “circle breath” whereby you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. With practice you gradually become more aware of tension in your muscles and the alignment of your body.

Diaphragmatic breathing: Image courtesy of Wiki Commons The circle breath is popular with meditation “gurus” because their techniques for teaching beginners typically require you to focus on a part of your body, especially when doing chakra meditation.

My personal favourite breathing technique, and the one which I would recommend to meditation newcomers, is diaphragm breathing.

This involves drawing in a deep breath, but when you have filled your lungs keep breathing until you cannot breathe any longer. Then slowly release the air. When you have emptied your lungs keep breathing until your stomach tenses.

The reason I recommend diaphragm breathing is because this is the most powerful technique of bringing air to your brain and helps to clear the mind, another important factor for successful meditation.

So let’s look at the two types of meditation exercises.

Meditating for peace of mind

When I say there are two types of meditation, what I really mean is, there are two things you can do with your mind whilst meditating. There are many different types of meditation, for example, meditation for stress, anxiety, to open and balance chakras, healing etc as well as specific techniques, vipassana, hatha, vedic, yogic etc…

But all the different things you can use meditation for take on two forms of practical exercises; emptying your mind, or visualisation.

When you clear your mind of all thoughts, you leave yourself open to receive all the love and wisdom from your divine self. This is your higher consciousness in its purest form.

With practice clearing your mind during meditation gives you the power to concentrate on your daily activities with greater intensity – which in itself is a form of meditation.

The second type of meditation is visualisation. For visual people with an open third eye, this is natural anyway, even when you empty your mind of all thoughts, images can still appear. You have a movie-screen in your mind.

But it is the intent behind a purposefully designed visualisation meditation that is important. This can help with creating that something special you desire in your life. You have to picture yourself in the position you want to find yourself in.

By being able to visualise the thing you desire, by creating the picture of how you see yourself in the future, you make the desire stronger. This powers your will to succeed until the habitual mind acts instinctively on the things you need to do and your subconscious mind works towards your goal until it becomes reality.

For now, just practice your breathing and being mindful of your experience on the physical plane. Once you can do this, the magic will follow naturally.

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