Pagan News and Views Since 1998

Finding Inner Peace: Meditation (PART TWO)

(continued from PART ONE)

Several Different Meditations:

There are many different ways to meditate. One can focus on:
  • A word, phrase or virtue
  • counting, chanting, mantras
  • a guided visualization
  • the breath (pranayama)
  • de-cluttering the mind
  • free-form meditation (like daydreaming)
Very few people can effectively think of "nothing"- you cannot force yourself into a state of "non-thinking". What we try to do during meditation is enter a trance state where our mind is quiet and controlled. One of the best ways of doing this is focusing on a specific thing, repeated over the duration of the meditation or until a trance state is achieved. Meditations can be very simple, or complex. No meditation technique is "better" than any other- pick whatever works for you. Some people meditate the same way every single day, others rotate from time to time with different types. The best idea is to find a technique that is comfortable for you and try to master it. After that you may choose to try a new technique. Feel free to record your own voice on an audio file reading the beginning of the techniques to listen to if you will have hard time remembering each step... After a week or so each step will be second-nature.

MEDITATION 1: The Breath

Prepare to meditate by readying your space and sitting in your chosen position.As you relax your body, try not to hold tension- but do not worry yourself with natural muscle twitches on movements. Feel your toes and fingertips begin to tingle and become numb, feel the tendons and muscles in your elbows and knees gently relax. Feel your pelvis and hips open and relax along with your shoulders and neck muscles. Feel all tension release from the base of your skull and lower back. feel the relaxation move up each vertebrae of your spine, on by one, as it supports itself in perfect, natural alignment. feel your earlobes tingle and numb... feel the same on your cheeks, jaw muscles, nose, eyes, temples, forehead. Feel that all of the muscles on your face are fully relaxed. feel the crown of your head open and relax...

Now shift your focus gently to your abdomen. Try to breath deeply so that you push your belly out with each inhale. Breath air in through your nose, and out through your mouth. With each full breath feel yourself relax even more. Breath in 4 counts and out 4 counts... IN 1, 2, 3, 4.... OUT 1,2,3,4.... continue this tempo.... in your mind say "inhale ... exhale..." allow thoughts to flow in and out of your mind with ease... when your mind strays, dont worry--- just gently come back to the breath....

When you are finished meditating, feel life reenter each of you limbs. Draw up your "roots". slowly wiggle your toes, fingers and your nose. Allow your eyes to flutter open. Gently, carefully stand up. Try to maintain your feeling of content relaxation and inner peace. Don't worry if your meditation was too long or too short, or your mind wandered, or whatever... just feel positive comfort. Go on about your day as normal... BLESSED BE!

coming soon: part 3, more meditation types!

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