The Art of Meditation – Part II

Having learned how to relax and found a suitable location where we will not be disturbed, the next phase in meditation is the actual meditation itself. In general, there are two or perhaps three methods of meditating;

• Focus on a word, phrase, image and drill down into it;
• Keep the mind blank and allow images to arise;
• Guided meditation – also know as ‘Pathworking’

Let’s look at each in turn.

Focused Meditation
In focused meditation we already know what it is we wish to meditate on. It can be a useful technique when you want to examine something and really drill down into it. An example is perhaps the better way to examine focused meditation. We have read a book and enjoyed it but it really made us think. We decide to meditate and take a key phrase, thought or viewpoint from the book as our area of focus. Having relaxed, we begin to meditate in our mind awake, body asleep state by simply taking that phrase and examining it. In a sense, this is active meditation too because we actively work on the phrase. During this process, thoughts will arise and those thoughts can be followed if they appear to be on target or dismissed if not. It’s like drilling for oil this active, focused technique as we drill into the phrase or words. Images might arise, other words and phrases might come to mind but we stay focused constantly drilling down into the substance, the ideas, the meanings of the phrase.

Active meditation is used by many occult schools to both train the mind and to enable you to extract value from within your self about the topic of study. It is hard work and requires constant focus and re-focus of the mind on the task at hand. It can however be very rewarding.

Here is a personal example. I decided to meditate upon the subject of fire. My approach was to imagine sitting on a beach in front of a driftwood fire and actually see the flames, hear the crackling, smell the smoke and feel the heat on my face. While doing this visualization, I kept asking ‘what is fire’? After a while, it seemed that I became the fire and I became a flame. In that instant, I knew what it was to be fire. What my needs were and how I was. Too hard to explain in words but the technique worked and I hope the example provides some insight as to how this approach might work.

Empty Minded Meditation
Maybe I am just lazy but this is my favorite approach to meditation. Rather than focus on anything, you empty and still the mind. You do not allow any thought to enter but simply stay focused on an empty mind. I don’t know why I believe this to be a lazy approach because it is very difficult to achieve. Imagine not thinking for any length of time.

None the less, if you are successful, you will find that at some point images well up inside the mind and you begin a journey as if in a dream. Again, an example. Once when I used this technique, I saw a pipe extruding from a mud cliff. Out of the pipe streamed water and I became and followed the water into the ocean where I became one with the ocean and everything in it. It was like being inside a dream but awake and in a real sense I could control how the dream unfolded. Go anywhere, do anything.

Guided Meditation
Pathworking or Guided Meditation has become much more popular in recent years and that’s as much to do with Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki as anyone else. Dolores has written several books of guided meditations.

The technique here also involves the ability to visualize. On entering a meditative state one essentially listens to a taped account of the guided meditation and you follow along allowing the guided meditation to drag you along in images in your mind. Again, this is quite difficult and requires practice but can produce astounding results. The best way to do a guided meditation is to tape yourself slowly reading the text of he guided meditation and to sit there with headphones on and play it back to yourself.

What’s Next?
To really get the most out of meditation one must – absolutely must – write down immediately afterwards your impressions. Like dreams, meditational experiences drift away quite quickly in normal consciousness and if you don’t write it down, it is lost to you.

If you write down your experiences, over time, you may see patterns emerge or a trend develop. Try it and you will see….

Some Warnings

A few things NOT to do…

1. Try not to be disturbed. If you suddenly come out of a meditational state because the phone is ringing or something, it can be quite a shock.
2. After completing the meditation session, take some time to come back down to earth. Stamp your feet or something and be sure you are really completely awake. Once stood up immediately after a session and promptly fell and hit my head as my legs gave way…
3. Don’t try too hard. This sounds strange but do stay relaxed and patient. Trying too had somehow seems to get us all tense again.

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