If you have never tried any meditation before, the easiest sort is probably either going to be meditation with a mantra, or meditation through visualization. Visualization simply involves imagining you are somewhere else - or something else - and experiencing the scene.
You might be a bird, a piece of sunlight, yourself in a sunny field - any number of things in any number of places. What all meditations involving visualization have in common is that they take you out of your usual head space. That helps settle the mind and relax the body.
Sit down comfortably and shut your eyes. Next, imagine you are seated at the bottom of an enormous bamboo tube being filled by golden sunlight that is shining in from above.
Feel the golden light wash over you until it begins fill you up with its soothing touch. Imagine it continuing to pour down upon you until its light merges with you and causes you to become light.
Your body - now light - continues to be filled by the golden sunlight until you start to expand outwards, growing larger and larger until your light ends up engulfing the entire world.
Sit in this expansive glow and feel yourself healing the world with your light. If you lose concentration or feel it difficult to maintain your expanded state of light, just return with your mind to the bottom of the bamboo tube and feel the sunlight wash over you once more.
When you are ready, feel your light-body expand until your glow is covering the entire world just like before.
Do this exercise for either as long as you can, or until you feel that the fever of your thoughts has dissolved and you are calm once again - master of your own mind.
Imagine flying through space towards the sun. As you approach, instead of being burnt by its rays you slowly merge with them.
You continue to move closer, your body becomes light, and you fly, always lighter, always clearer, first into the outer body of the sun and then into its centre.
At the centre of the sun you let what is now your light body expand until it is one with the sun.
Relax into the sun and feel any negative emotions or impurities getting dissolved by the intense power of the sun.
Soon you a clear and pure, just like the sun. All negativity has been cleansed and you are light and happy.
Float, merged with sun, for as long as you like or until you are relaxed.
If you lose concentration at any point, don't worry. Simply return your mind to where it now is: the centre of the sun! Feel yourself expand out and enjoy the golden glowing energy of the sun radiate throughout every cell in your body.
In Japanese Reiki and many martial arts, the hara (or second chakra - located about 5-8 centimetres below the navel) is considered the key energy centre of the body.
As a result, there are many spiritual practices and meditations designed to strengthen this energy centre.
Breathing into the hara is a key meditation for Reiki practitioners and could be considered a bedrock upon which all other practice can be founded.
Technique: Sit down cofortably and settle yourself with your palms turned upwards on your lap. Breathe in and feel your breath flow down into your hara.
Feel your breath fill up your hara so that it expands (if possible to fill the rest of your body).
On your out breath, feel your hara expand (if possible so that its energy flows through your skin and merges with your surroundings [possibly even the whole universe!]).
Continue breathing in and out for as long as you wish. At first it may be difficult to bring your breath down into your hara; but with practice you will find that your hara grows more and more receptive. Soon you should find your breath fills and expands it with every inhalation.
For those that have done Reiki Level 2, you can draw the power symobl on the front of your body to help bring your breath down into your hara.
This meditation exercise has an amazing ability to heal, possibly by detaching the mind's fixation with its own problems. A similar form is practised by Tibetan Buddhists today.
Exercise: Think of whatever issue it is that is troubling you. Now think of all the other people in the world who are afflicted by the same issue. Allow your awareness to spread out over the planet so that you can feel the anxiety and stress and pain of those suffering from your problem.
Next, imagine that your awareness is healing light. This awareness spreads out to cover the whole of the planet, and everyone on it who is suffering from the same issue as you.
Feel this golden light soothing those who are suffering; feel it sink into them and heal them.
Stay with these people for at least ten minutes (hopefully longer), covering them with your healing light. Then, feel your awareness come back to where you are and say prayer to universe. Ask it to heal everyone who is suffering from the same problem as you.
After that you will probably find that you are not so worried about whatever is troubling you anymore.
Our default mode of behaviour is to shy away from mental / emotional pain. If something is hurting or troubling us we tend to either move away from it or repress it.
The problem with this manoeuvre is that while our problem might disappear in short term, in it is never actually solved.
As a result, what tends to happen is that it simply comes back time and time again to haunt us.
Imagine, for instance, a situation where you have separated from a partner. There is a lot of pain associated with the break-up, so everytime your partner comes into your mind you try to push alll thoughts of her away and forget her.
The result? You will most likely spend a good deal of everyday thinking about her despite your efforts. The moment you get rid of her from your mind she will back to torment you - just as powerful as before.
The best way to actually cure yourself of a painful thought or memory is to do the exact opposite of what we normally do: move towards it.
Instead of pushing away the painful emotions the thought brings with it, open up to them. Feel them to their very core. Offer no resistance. Become like a flower opening up to the sunlight of painful memories.
If you have the courage to do this, you will most likely witness a miracle. The thought that you most likely believed to be so big, powerful and horrible, loses its power. The negativity and pain just seem to dissolve until all that is left is energy - and a pleasant sort of energy, too.
This manoeuvre does take a good deal of guts - because opening up to a painful thought or memory is a bit like leaping into an abyss. But don't be fooled by the mind that screams out not to do it.
Jump and feel the immense freedom it grants you. Your body will thank you for it.
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