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MEDITATION

To begin a process of psychic or intuitive awakening is to initiate deep changes in your life. In many cases, as soon as a student of intuition makes the decision to awaken or reawaken her spirituality, these changes begin. They make take place at the student's workplace or school, in the relationships she fashions at home and with friends, in her own body, and in her own mind.

Perhaps the most important of these are the changes that take place in the mind, for these are changes of perceptions, shifts in beliefs, metamorphoses of thought. Most of us have experienced changes in our jobs, our lives at home, and in our bodies, and we are equipped to manage these changes. When our mind begins to change, priorities shifting and systems of belief slipping around, the change can be alarming, or at least mysterious; and we're not always sure how to deal with it.

When you make the choice to open yourself up to the changes and wonders of a spiritual life, do so with intention, and daily. Each morning you wake up, greet the day that will be like no other day, because you'll be one step closer to leading a more intuitive life. Each night before you go to sleep, remind yourself how safe you are when you trust your intuition; and go expectantly into your dreams. And every day, at least once a day, sit in quiet and stillness - in meditation - to watch as the treasure chest slowly opens before you, revealing the majesty and joy of your deep inner self.

The Practice

ďIn prayer you communicate with God; in meditation, God communicates with you ... In silence lies the ability to listen...Ē - Julia White

Meditation is a stumbling block for many people seeking higher wisdom. Most people feel they cannot meditate at all. This is because we traditionally think of meditation as a quieting of the mind, an activity by which we leave all our thoughts behind and become blank canvases. For those who can achieve this, meditation is a wonderful component of their spiritual lives. But for the rest of us, meditation looks like something reserved for monks, priests, and holy men.

Luckily, meditation doesn't have to be so difficult. Meditation can simply take the form of a focused awareness. Instead of trying to suspend all thoughts, decide to pay attention only to certain thoughts. For instance, when sitting in meditation, listen to your breathing, or listen to your heart - or listen to the way your stomach gurgles! You may also want to focus on feeling the muscles of your feet, then your calves, then your thighs... and so on, all the way up your body. Or you may want to choose a single image to rest your mind on - the image of a dog sleeping, the image of a angel, or perhaps the image of the treasure chest.

While focused during meditation, do not get angry with any thoughts that intrude. In fact, if you find yourself thinking about bills you have to pay, or errands you have to run, just smile. Greet those thoughts and tell them you're glad they visited; promise you'll get back to them soon, and then ask them to please step aside. Then, go back to the image or the focus you had before.

There are two important rules with meditation: First, be patient with yourself and with the meditation. You may want to see results, or you may find that you are always distracted the first several times you sit down to meditate. Be patient. It will get easier and more productive with time. Second, practice every day. There are no two ways about it. No one, but no one, achieves greater spiritual awareness without regular meditation.

Some Basics

How to sit: Sit comfortably. Many meditators prefer to sit in a chair where their feet can rest comfortably on the ground. There's no need to sit in a lotus position or on the floor, unless you are perfectly comfortable that way. You may also lie down, but if you do, prepare to fall asleep.

How to dress: Dress in comfortable clothes. You don't need to go out and buy yourself special yoga or meditation clothes, unless you want to. Pajamas, sweat pants, even loose jeans or a skirt will do the trick. Nothing binding, though. You should wear clothes that won't distract you.

What to eat: Eating right before you meditate isnít recommended. If you eat and then want to meditate, plan to take an hour to let your meal digest. Also, foods such as meats, caffeine, sugar, frozen or processed foods can alter your energy and make it harder to reach a meditative state.

How to begin: Many practitioners will initiate their daily meditation with some kind of ritual or prayer. You can say whatever prayer feels right; or, you can light candles, burn incense, etc. Whatever puts you in the mood. Whatever you do, though, plan to do it every time you meditate.

How long to focus: Start with five to ten minutes a day, with the intention of working your way toward much longer meditation - 20 to 30 minutes. It's a lot easier than you think, once you get used to it. Some people spend an hour a day, or 30 minutes in the morning and at night, meditating. The more you meditate, the stronger your connection to your inner sight will be.

Meditation will help you unlock your intuition at the right pace. You won't become overwhelmed, and you won't feel you're not making progress. Also, as the changes wrought by psychic awareness begin to show in your mind, you'll find that you can better cope with them simply because of your time in meditation.

How to Get Results

So far, meditation sounds pretty great. But how do you get the results that meditation promises? The majority of people have a hard time getting a practice right, or making meditation work for them... So what are the secrets?

In reality, a good meditation practice is not founded on any secrets at all. A meditation practice requires the same thing any practice does: a time, a place, and a process.

Arranging Time

Most people donít believe they have the time to set aside an hour a day to meditating. And thatís fine. You donít need to start with an hour, or even plan to work up to that. You can start with five minutes. Even two minutes will do!

For example, if you take two more minutes each morning when you shower, and you allow yourself to stand under the water and meditate - youíve practiced! Or, before you leave the house for the day, set down all your stuff by the front door, go sit on the couch, and focus on your breath. Two minutes, five minutes, and what do you know - youíve practiced!

The only key is to be consistent and patient. Youíll need to do the same thing every day, so be sure itís something you can accomplish without fail 5-7 days a week. And be patient - not every meditation session will feel the same. Some days youíll feel like youíve succeeded, and other days, you may not feel as good about it. But shrug it off, and get back to it the very next day!

And hereís a little secret: after starting and maintaining a meditation practice, most people find that their practice time lengthens naturally, as a normal outgrowth of their intention... and their enjoyment of meditation!

Finding a Place

Where you practice is as important as how often and how long, at least at first. Down the line, youíll be able to meditate during a traffic jam, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. But for now, itís important to make your meditation sacred. Why? Because if it is, youíre more likely to honor it, and more likely to ask others in your life to honor it.

Where do you want to meditate? Pick some place at home or at the office where you can reliably go for a few minutes to get some peace and time to yourself. Maybe this is the couch in the living room, or maybe this is an unused office in the building where you work. Wherever it may be, make that your meditation space. You can choose to decorate it if you like, with candles, statues, gemstones or crystals - whatever will help make the location sacred to you.

If itís not a place you can decorate, then start carrying around any items you need to create that sacred space - a small quartz crystal, a little statue of Ganesh, a carving of an angel. By bringing those items out, you initiate your meditation in a space that is sacred to you.

Deciding on a Process

How would you like to meditate? Do you want to sit in silence and clear your mind? Do you want to chant a mantra (an ancient one or one of your own)? Do you want to light incense and focus on a candle? Do you want to send your intentions out into the world to help others? Do you want to make contact with your higher self, or with a spiritual being, such as an angel, a guide, or someone who has passed?

All forms of meditation are open to you. All you have to do is choose one, and go with it.

And hereís another little secret: as your meditation practice grows, youíll find that it will change. Donít become too attached to one way of meditating, for as your spiritual self becomes a stronger presence in your life, you will be guided to more and different meditative experiences.