Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind and/or induces a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit although it can be argued meditation is a goal in and of itself.

The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices (much like the term sports), which range from techniques designed to promote relaxation, contacting spiritual guides, building internal energy (chi, ki, prana, etc.), receiving psychic visions, getting closer to a god, seeing past lives, taking astral journeys, and so forth, to more technical exercises targeted at developing compassion, love, patience, generosity, forgiveness and more far-reaching goals such as effortless sustained single-pointed concentration,  single-pointed analysis, and an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any and all of life’s activities.

In contrast, we should think about the term “Meditation” as referring to several neighborhoods of New Age practices, shamanistic lucid dreaming and astral journeying, theistic-concentration meditations (Samadhi, clinging to god, Gnosis), contemplation, visualization, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, chakra clearing, kundalini, breathing exercises, training of single-pointed attention, training in mindfulness, training in single-pointed analysis, vision questing, chi building exercises, and so on, developed for various ends.”

Sometimes meditation is an inwardly oriented practice which individuals do by themselves. There are also forms of meditation, however, which require an individual to be walking, moving, talking, eating, or working, such as advanced forms of Zen, Mahamudra, and Vajrayana. Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of the training. Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analyzing that state – such as anger, hatred, etc – or cultivating particular mental response to various phenomena, such as compassion. The term “meditation” can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state.  In brief, there are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice;  the word meditation may carry different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs.

Have you ever watched a sunset, sat by the ocean, or taken a walk in the forest and felt complete inner peace and well-being? That is the same feeling that is experienced during meditation practice.

Meditationis a period of time set aside every day to quiet the mind. Meditation is a way to slow down, chill out, and get in touch with the eternal side of your being. Initially in meditation, thoughts are slowed down, and eventually, thought stops completely.

The height of meditation is a state called samadhi where the mind is completely merged with worlds of perfect light. Meditation recharges you and helps you get in touch with your inner self. It brings clarity and insight into daily life – you can more easily determine what is really right for you.

Meditation makes you happy and bright. It also empowers you to accomplish things in the daily world by connecting you to the power of the universe. Eventually, dedicated meditation practice leads to Enlightenment.

The great news is that the benefits of meditation will be experienced right away, beginning with your first meditation session.

“Meditation is the bridge between this and all other levels of consciousness; Practicing meditation makes you aware of your eternally enlightened nature. By practicing meditation you will come to see that the true nature of the real you, the body of light, is everlasting bliss!” -Rama

Meditation Techinques

There are many forms of meditation, such as chakra, yantra, and mantra meditation. While the forms of meditation vary, they all use concentration techniques, which help us to stop our thoughts. When the mind is calm, like a lake without any ripples, we experience total peace and empowerment.

Meditation Tips

Regardless of the form of meditation, it is a good idea to take a shower, or wash your hands and face before you meditate. You may want to set aside a special place in your room that you only use for meditation. Or you can find a place outside that feels good to you.

It is important to keep the back straight during meditation, whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair. Energy flows up the spine, so we try to create a straight pathway for it. Also, it’s a good idea not to eat too much before you meditate, or you will feel heavy and tired. At the end of a meditation session, always bow in gratitude and offer your meditation back to the universe. This humble sign of gratitude is very important in Buddhist practice.

Many styles of meditation practice exist today. They generally involve focusing on energy centers in the body, concentrating on a picture or image, chanting, or breathing exercises. Regardless of the style, they all share a common goal – to stop thought.

When our thoughts stop, we can connect to worlds of light, power, wisdom, and pure consciousness. Try each style and determine which one feels best to you. You may even want to alternate between the techniques from time to time. Whichever approach you choose, you will find that each meditation session brings a little more clarity and power into your life.

The most important things are perseverance in your practice and the ability to never judge your meditation. Meditation takes practice, so don’t expect too much too soon. If you find your mind wandering away from your meditation, do not get frustrated. Simply bring your mind gently back to the technique. Trust yourself and believe in the practice.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Structured Meditations

Whether we consciously set aside a meditation time and follow a specific procedure or not, meditation, like sleep, is something we need in our lives. It is essential to our balance, sanity and health.

In earlier times, when life moved at a slower pace, meditation happened naturally and easily in the many quiet moments our lives contained. These days, however, the demands placed upon us by ourselves and our modern lifestyles just don’t seem to allow much time for unstructured meditation. We now must intentionally make time in our lives for meditation.

Structured meditation is one of the ways we may choose to enrich our meditative lives. Structured meditations come in many forms they may contain a series of defined steps; they may involve contemplation of a concept, thought, or word; or they may focus on some physical function, such as breathing. Given below are some general suggestions that may help you as you embark on the journey of structured meditations.

Creating A Meditating Space

Create a quiet, comfortable place where you can meditate undisturbed. It may be a comfortable chair, a place on the floor, a spot in the garden, or a favorite corner in a park. It’s best if the temperature is comfortable, the noise is low, and the distractions are minimal.

Some people want their favorite things around them, and others want nothing. Some create an altar where they place personal and spiritual symbols, like books, candles, pictures, or a cross. Soothing music may be particularly helpful in establishing a meditative atmosphere and masking distracting sounds. Look inside to find what constitutes a special place for you. Take time developing your meditative place, and have fun with it.

Like most of these suggestions, a special meditation place can be very helpful, but it is not a requirement. The most important ingredient is your openness to experience the peace and solitude which is already within you. As you learn to center your heart and mind, you can meditate almost anywhere, under almost any conditions.

Time

For most people, setting aside time for meditation on a regular schedule is very helpful. Perhaps you want to establish a goal of meditating for twenty minutes twice a day. You might begin with a lesser amount and then add a minute a day until your goal is reached.

Whatever your schedule, allow it to be only a very gentle form of self-discipline. Some days you may only meditate briefly, or you may choose not to meditate at all.

Remember that it is the pleasure of the practice, not the discipline, that leads you into self-introspection and self-awareness. You will probably find that as meditation becomes a part of your life, you will miss it when it’s not there

Posture

You may choose to sit in the traditional and very effective posture: head neck and back straight, feet flat on the floor, and hands with palms cupped upward, indicating your openness to the process. You may choose to lie on the floor or ground, again keeping head, neck, and back straight.

Although it is good to keep your head, neck, and back in a fairly straight line, you may select some other posture which is more natural and comfortable for you. The most important thing is your physical comfort.

Breath

The rhythm and manner of our breath is closely linked to the state of our body, mind, and emotions. A number of recent scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of breathing techniques to help with a variety of health problems including migraine headaches, asthma, back pain, high blood pressure, and tension.

Most of us are fairly unaware of our breathing patterns, and could improve our breathing generally by slowing it, and taking our breaths more deeply into our bodies. When you find yourself tired, stressed, or anxious, try slowing and deepening your breathing. It will almost always provide some relief.

A few deep slow cleansing breaths at the beginning of any meditation will aid you in easing into a meditative state. Maintaining some awareness of your breathing during meditations will help you center and calm, and maintain your meditative focus.

Thoughts

You may notice that as you meditate, your thoughts continue to flow through your mind in a never-ending stream. You are not your thoughts, however, and you should gently return your attention to the focus of your meditation when it wanders into the stream of thoughts. Just let your thoughts be thoughts let them float on down the stream.

Food and Drink

Food, drugs, and alcohol can be counterproductive to meditation. You may want to wait an hour after meals to meditate. Notice the effects different foods, such as sugar and caffeine, have on your ability to meditate. Is it more difficult to meditate after drinking a glass of wine or taking an antihistamine pill? Usually these things interfere with our ability to meditate.

Other Suggestions

Wear comfortable, loose clothing.

Be aware of how prior activities affect your ability to meditate. What happens if you exercise before you meditate, or watch the evening news, or engage in a stressful interchange with a family member?

Be willing to change your meditation format as your interests and needs change.

It is important to avoid the misconception that the more demanding the meditation practice and the more strenuously we follow it, the closer we will be to achieving something called “enlightenment.” In fact, just the opposite is true; like all meditation, structured and guided meditation is best done effortlessly, joyfully, and without a goal.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is another form of meditation. It is meditation in action, and it is how we integrate meditation into all aspects of our daily lives until our whole life itself has become meditation. (Don’t worry, this takes time to accomplish!). It is based on the Buddhist principle that whatever you focus on, you become. In Buddhism, we do not believe that the mind has a particular, solid shape. Instead, Buddhists believe that the mind is fluid. It takes whatever form you put it in. Whatever thought forms you hold in your mind will determine its shape. So if you focus on unhappy things, you will become unhappy, and conversely, if you focus on happy things, you will become happy!

“What you focus on, you become.
So always focus on that which is the highest, brightest,
happiest and most Noble of all Things – Enlightenment.” -Rama

In practical terms therefore, mindfulness is all about being positive! It is a fun game you can play every day. Throughout the day, pay attention to the thoughts you think, the emotions you feel, your reactions, and so on. When something negative comes along, rather than reacting, engaging, or indulging in that negativity, consciously move your mind to something positive.

For example, if you have a negative thought, replace it with a very positive one. In much the same way that your body needs to be worked out in order to become strong, your mind is like a muscle – you have to work it out in order to strengthen it! And eliminating negative thoughts and emotions from your mind is like physical exercise – it’s a good habit to get into! Eventually, you will find that you feel better and happier throughout the day, because you will not be allowing yourself to be brought down by any negativity you may encounter. Then at the end of the day, you will discover that you have more energy for the evening.

“To integrate meditation in action is the whole
ground and point and purpose of meditation.”
-The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

The twin practices of meditation and mindfulness are the key to Buddhist practice.

Chakra Meditation

Chakra meditation involves concentrating on energy centers, called chakras, that are found in the astral (subtle-physical) body. These energy centers are located along a nonphysical energy tube called the sushumna.

The sushumna in the astral body corresponds to the spinal column in the physical body, starting at the base of the spine and ending at the ‘third eye’, between the eyebrows and a little above. Seven primarychakrasare found at different points along the sushumna. Kundalini, also called chi, prana, or raw energy, sits at the base of the spine in the first chakra.

During chakra meditation, the kundalini energy is pulled from the first chakra up through the sushumna to the third eye in the area of the forehead where the sushumna ends. In very advanced meditation practice, when a great deal of energy is generated and held in the third eye, the energy can “jump” from the third eye to the seventh chakra.

The seventh chakra is called the “crown” chakra or the “thousand petaled lotus of light.” When the energy “jumps” to the crown chakra, a state called samadhi occurs in which one is merged with the worlds of light. When a practitioner enters into samadhi, he or she has entered into the first stages of Enlightenment. Entering into samadhi repeatedly will eventually lead a practitioner to a state of complete awareness, in which that person has actually become one with Enlightenment itself.

In chakra meditation, we focus on three of the seven primary energy centers. By “focus”, we mean that we place our attention on the areas of the body which correspond with each chakra, one at a time. We concentrate on the energy center, thereby activating it and releasing its energy. Sometimes it is helpful to place your fingers gently on each center as you meditate to help you feel where they are. Eventually, you will naturally feel the energy centers in your body.

We start with the third chakra, the “navel” or “power” center, which is approximately one inch below the navel. By meditating here, the first three centers are activated and great power is released into your being. This energy gives you the ability to accomplish physical things. This is the center for willpower and strength.

We then move to the fourth chakra, the “heart” center. This center is in the middle of the chest in the general area of the heart. By meditating here, you get the benefits of both the fourth and fifth chakras. This is the center for balance and happiness.

Finally, we focus on the sixth chakra, the “third eye”. This chakra is in the middle of the forehead between the eyebrows and slightly above them. This is the center for wisdom and psychic seeing.

It is generally a good idea to spend an equal amount of time on each chakra. If you meditate for 15 minutes, spend five minutes focusing on each chakra. Likewise, if you meditate for an hour, spend 20 minutes concentrating on each center. By practicing chakra meditation in this way, you will bring power, balance and wisdom into your life.

Yantra Meditation

Yantras are ancient geometrical designs. These sacred images are doorways to different worlds of light. Yantra meditation involves focusing on one of these designs. The practice of focusing the mind on something external or internal helps to make the mind quiet. And focusing on a yantra will connect you with the bright worlds that the yantra represents, bringing happiness and clarity into your life.

In yantra meditation, you begin by concentrating on the center of the image. When thoughts come in and out of your mind, refocus on the center of the yantra. As your mind becomes quieter, extend your awareness out toward the edges of the yantra, so that you are now focusing on the entire design. Eventually, you will be able to visualize your yantra completely with your eyes closed. This concentration technique will quiet your mind and connect you to the energy of the universe. Find a yantra that feels good to you for your meditation practice. You can start with the yantra on this page (above).

Mantra Meditation

Mantra meditation is chanting meditation. Mantras are sacred words or phrases which, when repeated in meditation, bring the individual into a higher state of consciousness. The sounds that are produced during mantra meditation are a form of energy, which connect you to worlds of light and spiritual ecstacy.

You can chant a mantra out loud, in a whisper, or mentally. Perhaps the most famous mantra is OM MANI PADME HUM which can be translated as “the jewel in the heart of the lotus” or “Enlightenment is within everything”. Chanting a mantra repeatedly for the duration of your meditation session will, over time, develop your powers of concentration to a high degree, and you will experience great inner peace and clarity of mind.

The trick is to focus on the sacred sounds and the sacred meaning of the mantra. Each time your mind is diverted from pure concentration, bring it back to your meditation by focusing on the mantra.

OM MANI PADME HUM

Breathing

Focusing on the breath is one of the most common and fundamental techniques for accessing the meditative state. Breath is a deep rhythm of the body that connects us intimately with the world around us.

Close your eyes, breathe deeply and regularly, and observe your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Give your full attention to the breath as it comes in, and full attention to the breath as it goes out. Whenever you find your attention wandering away from your breath, gently pull it back to the rising and falling of the breath.

Inhale through your nose slowly and deeply, feeling the lower chest and abdomen inflate like a balloon. Hold for five seconds. Exhale deeply, deflating the lower chest and abdomen like a balloon. Hold for five seconds. Do this three or four times, then allow your breathing to return to a normal rhythm.

You will begin to feel a change come over your entire body. Gradually you will become less aware of your breathing, but not captured in your stream of thoughts. You will become more centered inward. You will just “be there.”

Listening

Sound entrains us in the busy world, but it also whispers of breeze and birds and children playing.

Close your eyes, breathe deeply and regularly, and separate from the chatter of the stream of thoughts which flow through your mind. As your mind quiets and you relax, become aware of the variety of sounds which surround you. There is no need to do anything but listen. Listen with your ears, listen with your heart.

Let your focus gently float among the sounds of the world. Gradually you will flow inward, toward your center. Eventually you will not hear anything.

Deep Centering

This exercise involves going into the very center of your being.

Close your eyes, breathe deeply and regularly, and imagine that you are going deep, deep into a well within your center. Visualize that this beautiful, deep well goes infinitely down and down.

Breathe in as you descend, and absorb all the cool, soothing, healing energy that is buried deep in this bountiful well. Breathe out as you descend, and expel all the negative thoughts and energy which you have accumulated during your day.

Your deep inner world has its own essence, its own reality, its own light. Feel the silence, peace, and calm; no noise can reach you here, no words, no sound. Breathe deeply and slowly, experiencing your deepest, most serene essence in the silence of your deep well. Practice centering in the centering page of this section.

Connecting

This exercise provides balance and connection upward and downward.

Close your eyes and breathe deeply and regularly. Visualize clean white light pouring from above down into the top of your head, down through your body, and out your feet into the center of the earth. As the light flows through you, allow it to illuminate and cleanse every cell of your body. Imagine every cell bright and alive with light.

Visualize bright clear emerald light coming up from the earth, into your feet, up your legs, up your back, out the top of your head. Allow it to swirl through every cell, healing and nourishing and connecting you intimately to the very core of the earth of which you are a part.

Now allow both lights to flow through you, white from above and green from below, and combine them in a bright blend throughout your being.

Feel the connection to the earth and the heavens, feel the calm nourishment of the energy, feel that the universe is truly your home.

Your Natural Home

Home is where the heart is, and you will find this home in your heart.

Close your eyes and breathe deeply and regularly. Imagine yourself in a beautiful natural place amongst the mountain pines, on a deserted beach, in a spring meadow—anywhere you feel surrounded by the glory of nature.

Sit or recline comfortably, feeling absolutely safe and peaceful, and feel the gentle loving strength of the earth beneath your body. Notice the fragrances and the sounds, feel the gentle breeze on your face. Let your eyes wander about, taking in the beauty of the trees, the birds, and the clouds.

Let your attention roam gently, appreciating the wonder of the environment around you. Settle into a deep appreciation that you are a part of all the glory of nature.

This place is your sanctuary, available to you anytime, through meditation or just a thought.

Meditation Postures

Half Lotus Posture

Benefits: Relaxes the entire nervous system, Lessens the tension and stiffness in the ankles, knees and thighs and Provides a comfortable sitting position for resting the mind for meditation.

Half Lotus sitting position had been used for meditation from time immemorial.

How To Do It?

In a sitting position, stretch your legs straight out before you.

Bend your left leg at the knee and bring it toward you so that you can take hold of your left foot with both hands.

Place your left foot so that the sole rests against the inside of the right thigh. The heel of your left foot should be drawn in as far as possible.

Bend your right leg at the knee so that you can take hold of your right foot with both hands.

Place your right foot in the fold of your left leg. Drop the right knee as far as possible toward the floor. Rest your hands on your knees. Sit in this position as long as needed.

When your legs grow tired, stretch them straight out before you and gently massage your knees. Then repeat the position by reversing the legs so that the right leg is drawn in first and the left leg is on top.

Full Lotus Posture

Benefits: Provides the classical sitting position for meditation during longer periods of time without bodily movement Promotes very great elasticity of the ankles, knees, and legs because of the position which is required.

Note: The full lotus position is an advanced yoga position that requires considerable amount of practice to master. If you cannot do half lotus position, you will not be able to do full lotus position.

How To Do The Full Lotus Position

In a sitting position, stretch your legs straight out before you.

Bend your right leg at the knee and bring it toward you so that you can take hold of your right foot with both hands.

Place your right foot on top of your left thigh. The right foot should be brought toward you as far as is possible so that eventually the right foot is touching the groin. In order to now complete the posture successfully, the right knee will have to rest on the floor.

Bend your left leg at the knee and bring it toward you so that you can take hold of your left foot with both hands.

Place your left foot on top of your right thigh. The left foot should be brought in as far as possible so that eventually the left heel will also touch the groin. Both knees should eventually rest on the floor. Sit in this position as long as you want.

When your legs grow tired, stretch them straight out before you and gently massage your knees. Then repeat the position by reversing the legs so that the left leg is drawn in first and the right leg is on top.

Meditation Technique

Find a place where you will be comfortable and undisturbed – this means if you live with other people, you need to tell them not to bother you during your meditation for any reason. (unless there’s an emergency, of course!) Unplug your telephone, as well. Keep your pets out of the room. Outdoor meditation is preferable, but not always possible.

Dim the lights in the room and light some candles. (don’t make the place so dark that you will fall asleep!)

If you are meditating in your home, play some drumming or other type of soothing, soft music. This helps you focus and it also serves the purpose of drowning out background noises such as neighbor’s music (very distracting if you live in an apartment) or traffic outside.

You may cast a circle if you wish to. Sometimes this will help improve your focus.
Sit upright in a comfortable position, whether in a chair or cross-legged on the floor. I usually find that it’s not very effective to meditate while reclining; too easy to fall asleep!

Now, close your eyes and begin to relax every part of your body, starting with your feet and moving upwards to your calves, thighs, hips, stomach, hands, arms, shoulders, neck and finally your face. (be sure to remember to relax your face! A lot of people forget this; make sure your lips, cheeks, jaw and eyebrows are all relaxed)

Focus on each part of your body separately at first, feeling the tension draining away. You should start feeling a tingling sensation throughout your body as you do this, but don’t worry if you do not at first. It takes your body time to learn to relax; most of us spend our whole lives in a state of tension except for when we’re asleep. While you are doing this, breathe deeply; inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. With each breath, feel yourself relax more. Remember to keep breathing deeply throughout the meditation.

When you are fully relaxed, begin visualizing a place that is comfortable and serene to you; a beach, a forest clearing, the bank of a river, a cave – whatever feels right to you. Make this visualization as detailed as possible. You should see it in detail first – notice whether it’s daytime or night time, see the leaves on the trees or the sand on the beach, notice how the water is moving or whether it is still. See the walls of the cave and notice whether they are rock or clay or another type of substance. “Look” all around you, in front, behind, to the sides. See everything that you can see about your safe place.

Once you have the picture in your mind, you can begin to incorporate your other senses. Feel the air on your body – is it warm or cool? Is there a breeze? Feel the sun on your face if it is daytime. Feel the sand or earth or leaves or water beneath your feet. Dig your toes into it and experience how it feels. Smell the air – does it smell salty or fresh? What other smells do you experience in this place? Hear everything around you – the rushing water, the wind blowing in the treetops, the rustle of animals.

Stay in this safe place for as long as you wish. Don’t worry if your mind starts to wander at first; this takes practice. If you find your concentration waning and your mind wandering, let it wander without trying to force it back to your meditation. It will eventually get tired of that train of thought and you can gently bring yourself back into focus.

You may see animals or people while you are meditating. Notice how they react to you. Talk to them if you can or if you feel like it. Don’t worry if they don’t respond at first. Sometimes spirit guides like to check you out for a while before they talk to you. If you don’t see anyone, that’s fine, too. Maybe you just need to be alone in this place.
When you are ready to return, begin noticing things around you in this plane: feel the chair or ground beneath you, listen to the sounds around you, become aware of your heartbeat and your breathing. Become aware of your body again (because once you become skilled at this, your body may go numb during your meditation). When you can feel and hear things around you, slowly open your eyes and sit there quietly for a few minutes. Release the circle if you cast one.

When you are finished meditating, get something to drink and eat – it doesn’t have to be a full meal, but definitely drink some milk or tea or something and eat a bite of cheese or bread. This will help anchor you in this plane and ground you so that you don’t end up feeling drained or jittery.

Meditating with Crystals

Practising meditation can be extremely beneficial. It is a safe and simple way to balance a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states. Meditating with crystals can bring a new dimension to the practice of meditation.

Before beginning a crystal mediation make sure you have cleansed your crystal.

To begin, choose your crystal. Choosing a crystal with fault lines or patterns within it may help you to lose yourself within the crystal while meditating. A crystal sphere which you can hold up to the light is good for this.

Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Hold your chosen crystal or place it in front of you where you can see it clearly. Breath gently. Make each breath out a little longer than the breath in. Look at your crystal, notice it’s colour, pattern, shape.

Hold your crystal in both hands, close your eyes and relax. Imagine you are inside your crystal; let yourself move with the flow of the crystal. Let go of worldly thoughts and emotions and move deep into the centre of your crystal, imagine you are wandering through it exploring its inner beauty.

When you are ready, slowly allow yourself to come back to physical reality. Put your crystal aside and ground yourself by imagining roots coming from your feet and going down into the ground. Twiddle your toes, shake your hands and just sit for a moment reflecting on what you saw and how you felt. You may just want to lie and put your crystal on it’s associated chakra.

Healing Heart Meditation

by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.

Here is a powerful healing meditation to help you lose your fears about love and to cleanse your heart chakra. You may want to tape-record this meditation with soft backgroundmusic, so you can easily listen to it once or twice a day.

1. With your eyes closed, and in a comfortable position, take two or three very deep, cleansing breaths.

2. Visualize a beautiful cloud of emerald green light surrounding you. As you breathe in, you take this healing energy into your lungs, your cells, and your heart. Concentrate on your heart a moment, as you allow the emerald-green light to cleanse away any negativity that may have caused you to feel pain.

3. With a deep breath, be willing to allow the light to carry away any fears you may have about love. Be willing to release the fear of feeling love. You need do nothing else except breathe and hold the intention to heal yourself of the fear of love. Just be willing to be healed, and God and the angels will do everything else. Take another deep breath, as you become willing to release the fear of being loved, including the fear that if you are loved, you could be manipulated, tricked, used, abandoned, rejected, persecuted, or hurt. With another deep breath, allow all of these fears from any lifetime to be lifted and carried away.

4. Now, allow the light to cleanse you of any fears you may have about giving love. With a deep breath, be willing to release the fear that if you give love, you could be controlled, abused, deceived, betrayed, maimed, or hurt in any way. Allow all of these fears to be lifted completely, and feel your heart expanding to its natural loving state.

5. Allow yourself to release any old unforgiveness you may be harboring toward those who seem to have hurt you in a love relationship. Become willing to release unforgiveness toward your mother … toward your father … toward other parental figures … toward your siblings … toward your childhood friends …towardyour adolescent friends … toward your first love … toward those whom you dated and loved … toward anyone you lived with or married…. Allow all of your hurts and disappointments associated with love to be cleansed and fully carried away. You don’t want the hurt, you don’t need it, and with another deep breath, it is lifted to the light where it is transmuted and purified. Only the lessons remain, and the pure essence of love contained within each relationship, since that is the only thing that was ever eternal and real within each of your relationships.

6. Now, with another deep breath, allow the light to cleanse you completely. Be willing to release any unforgiveness you may hold toward yourself connected to love. Be willing to forgive yourself for betraying yourself, for ignoring your intuition, or for not looking out for your highest interests. Give yourself a hug, either in your mind or with your arms. Reassure your inner self that you will never again engage in self-betrayal.

7. You now commit to following your intuition and discernment, so you could never be or stay in any relationship that would hurt you. Fully release the unforgiveness for any mistakes that you think you may have made in any relationship, including your relationship with yourself. And with another very deep cleansing breath, feel yourself healed, whole, and ready to enjoy the love that is the truth about who you really are.

As we lose the fear of love, we become more aware of the rich range of feelings that are part of our human experience.

Breathing Techniques

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 comfortablewith “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

Sit, stand or lie comfortably with your back in a good posture. Slumping forward inhibits your ability to breathe deeply and fully. 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. Consciously relax your arms and shoulders. Place one hand on your abdomen.

Slowly exhale through your nose, expelling all the air you can without strain. Take a deep breath, filling first your abdomen, then your chest. Feel your abdomen inflate like a soft balloon, but not distend. Exhale slowly through your nose again. 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.

Tension Release Breathing

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.

Begin breathing deeply, filling your abdomen first, then your chest. Sit quietly, scan your body for tension, and consciously tell any tense muscles to relax (tension often accumulates in shoulders, neck and back). Inhale deeply through your nose, pause, then exhale, countone.Repeat, counting your exhalations to five. Begin again, counting exhalations one to five. 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.

Sit or stand comfortably. Inhale a complete, natural breath through your nose. Hold the breath for a few seconds. 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. With each puff out, visualize an pollutants, negativity and detrimental germs going with the air, and falling harmlessly to the floor. Repeat until you have emptied your lungs via these short, strong puffs. Inhale, visualizing pure, cleansing air entering your body, filling you with purity. Repeat about 6-10 times.

Energizing Breath

Stand comfortably. Stretch several times, reaching higher each time. Trigger your yawn reflex while stretching. Begin breathing deeply and naturally, as above.

Spin your arms backward, all the way around. Switch directions, spinning them forward. This will re-energize you!

Healing Breath

Lie comfortably. Practice natural breathing for a few minutes. Place your dominant hand on the part of the body that is injured or infected. Place your other hand (receptive) on your abdomen. 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. Continue this until your feel ready to be finished. 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.

This exercise may be repeated as needed.

 

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