Meditation is the key to get in touch with yourself.
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How to Meditate
The goal of meditation is to focus and quiet your mind, eventually reaching a higher level of awareness and inner calm. It may come as a surprise to learn that you can meditate anywhere and at any time, allowing yourself to access a sense of tranquility and peace no matter what’s going on around you. This article will introduce you to the basics of meditation, allowing you to begin your journey on the path of enlightenment.
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Choose a peaceful environment. Meditation should be practiced somewhere calming and peaceful. This will enable you to focus exclusively on the task at hand and avoid bombarding your mind with outside stimuli. Try to find somewhere that you will not be interrupted for the duration of your meditation – whether it’s five minutes or half an hour.

The space does not need to be very large – a walk-in closet or even your office can be used for meditation, as long as it’s somewhere private.
Wear comfortable clothes. One of the major goals of meditation is to calm the mind and block out external factors – however, this can be difficult if you feel physically uncomfortable due to tight or restrictive clothing. Try to wear loose clothing during meditation practice and make sure to remove your shoes.

Decide how long you want to meditate for. Before you begin, you should decide how long you are going to meditate for. While many seasoned meditators recommend twenty minute sessions twice a day, beginners can start out doing as little as five minutes, once a day.
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Stretch out. Meditation involves sitting in one spot for a certain period of time, so it is important to minimize any tension or tightness before you begin. Doing a couple of minutes of light stretching can really help to loosen you up and prepare both your body and mind for meditation. It will also prevent you from focusing on any sore spots instead of relaxing your mind.

Sit in a comfortable position. As stated above, it is very important that you are comfortable while you meditate, which is why finding the best position for you is essential. Traditionally, meditation is practiced by sitting on a cushion on the ground, in a lotus, or half-lotus position. Unless your legs, hips, and low back are very flexible, lotus postures tend to bow your low back and prevent you from balancing your torso around your spine. Choose a posture that allows you to be balanced tall and straight.

Follow your breathing. The most basic and universal of all meditation techniques, breathing meditation is a great place to start your practice. Pick a spot above your navel and focus on that spot with your mind. Become aware of the rising and falling of your abdomen as you breathe in and out. Don’t make a conscious effort to change your breathing patterns, just breathe normally.
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Concentrate on a simple visual object. In a similar way to using a mantra, you can use a simple visual object to fill your mind and allow you to reach a level of deeper consciousness. This is a form of open-eye meditation, which many people find easier when they have something to focus their gaze on.

Practice visualization. Visualization is another popular meditation technique, which involves creating a peaceful place in your mind and exploring it, until you reach a state of complete calm. The place can be anywhere you like – however, it should not be entirely real, it should be unique and personalized for you.

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For the purposes of the relaxation techniques on this site, here are the definitions I am using:

Visualization – visualizing something for relaxation or making positive changes. This may include visualizing a relaxing scene, visualizing healing occurring, visualizing the stages of a breath, or other mental images.

Guided imagery – the process of being guided through calming or helpful mental images. Includes following along with a description of a peaceful place or calming scene, healing process, or other guided images.

Meditation – focusing the mind for the purposes of relaxation or making positive changes.

Relaxation techniques usually involve all three of these processes.

The main differences between meditation, visualization and guided imagery:

– Visualization can be guided or unguided. You can visualize mental images all on your own, with or without a script.

– Guided imagery is directed, either by a written, video, or audio script.

– Meditation involves focusing the mind on passive observation or on making positive changes.

BREATHING EXERCISES

astraltravelling

Here are several types of intentional breathing exercises. It is important to be aware of your breathing, and be able to switch in to abdominal breathing for all of them, so I suggest you become comfortable with “relaxing breath” first. While breathing exercises can be learned quickly, it often takes months of practice to realize the full benefits of them, so don’t give up! Breathing exercises are important for meditation magick and healing. Breath is used by many mental health professionals as a healing technique for such conditions as anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, depression and stress symptoms such as tension headaches, tight muscles, irritability and fatigue. It is also great for PMS! 🙂 –Zaratyst

Basic Natural Breathing

  1. Sit, stand or lie comfortably with your back in a good posture. Slumping forward inhibits your ability to breathe deeply and fully.
  2. Identify anything that is stressing or worrying you. Only think about this for a few seconds, then let it all go. Imagine the tension taking flight like a flock of doves soaring into the sky. Hear their wings flapping as your worries leave you, lighter, freer.
  3. Consciously relax your arms and shoulders. Place one hand on your abdomen.
  4. Slowly exhale through your nose, expelling all the air you can without strain.
  5. Take a deep breath, filling first your abdomen, then your chest. Feel your abdomen inflate like a soft balloon, but not distend.
  6. Exhale slowly through your nose again.
  7. Repeat this, being cognizant of each breath until your breathing is steady and natural feeling.

Notice how relaxed you have become. You are ready to proceed with grounding and centering, meditation, more advanced breathing exercises (below) or other activities.


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Tension Release Breathing

  1. Do not let yourself think about any worries or anxiety provoking issues while doing this exercise. If the thoughts creep in, stop them by re-focusing on the breathing and counting.
  2. Begin breathing deeply, filling your abdomen first, then your chest.
  3. Sit quietly, scan your body for tension, and consciously tell any tense muscles to relax (tension often accumulates in shoulders, neck and back).
  4. Inhale deeply through your nose, pause, then exhale, count one.
  5. Repeat, counting your exhalations to five.
  6. Begin again, counting exhalations one to five.
  7. Continue this exercise 5-10 minutes.

You should be relaxed and the anxiety or tension greatly diminished.

 


 

Purifying Breath

This breathing exercise is used to tone your respiratory system and to send renewed energy to your whole body. If you have been sitting and feeling stagnant, this one will reawaken you. It can be used as part of a pre-ritual cleansing as well.

  1. Sit or stand comfortably.
  2. Inhale a complete, natural breath through your nose.
  3. Hold the breath for a few seconds.
  4. Pretend you have a straw in your mouth, and exhale a short burst of air forcefully, through the small opening. Stop, then do it again.
  5. With each puff out, visualize an pollutants, negativity and detrimental germs going with the air, and falling harmlessly to the floor.
  6. Repeat until you have emptied your lungs via these short, strong puffs.
  7. Inhale, visualizing pure, cleansing air entering your body, filling you with purity.
  8. Repeat about 6-10 times.

 


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Energizing Breath

  1. Stand comfortably.
  2. Stretch several times, reaching higher each time.
  3. Trigger your yawn reflex while stretching.
  4. Begin breathing deeply and naturally, as above.
  5. Spin your arms backward, all the way around.
  6. Switch directions, spinning them forward.
  7. This will re-energize you!

 


 

Healing Breath

  1. Lie comfortably.
  2. Practice natural breathing for a few minutes.
  3. Place your dominant hand on the part of the body that is injured or infected. Place your other hand (receptive) on your abdomen.
  4. Visualize energy flowing into you with each inhalation, filling a reservoir in your solar plexus. Imagine this energy flowing into the selected area, washing through it, driving out the pain or infection. Cleansing, purifying, disinfecting energy being drawn from the universe and being channeled into healing light.
  5. Continue this until your feel ready to be finished.
  6. Place both arms at your sides, palms turned downward and let the excess energy in you hands flow back into the surface/ground beneath you.
  7. This exercise may be repeated as needed.