MEDITATING TO REDUCE STRESS
The following is a simple form of meditation to release stress which can be practiced at home or at the office. Sit quietly and comfortably, close your eyes and begin to breathe to a count of one to five. Focus on nothing else but the counting (either aloud or in your mind). Breathe in 1,2,3,4,5 hold your breath, 1,2,3,4, 5 breathe out 1,2,3,4,5 hold your breath 1,2,3,4,5 breathe in 1,2,3,4,5 and so on. Carry on with the counting and breathing until your mind is free of all thought, completely quiet and you feel totally relaxed. Try to meditate in this way for at least twenty seconds, a few times each day.
FIRST-PERSON IMAGERY MEDITATION
When engaging in visualization, try to further develop your abilities by shifting your vision to the ‘first-person’. In other words, strive to no longer see yourself as a separate figure in the imagery, but place yourself in the body of the figure and begin to look through his or her eyes into the scene. You should begin to see only your hands and feet as you occupy the imaginary body, see and feel the grass beneath your feet or your hand touching a bush or tree as you walk in the visualized scene. It will take a while before your mind adjusts to the change, but if you keep practicing you will achieve this first-person perspective and radically increase your sensory experiences during visualization.
SPONTANEOUS IMAGERY MEDITATION
Enter into visualization and see yourself entering a beautiful garden. Try to use the first-person perspective if at all possible and see the grass, flowers and bushes through imagined ‘eyes’.
Move slowly through the garden scene. At this point you will still be actively generating each image and holding the whole scene together. Once you have succeeded in producing a three-dimensional scene together with feelings, scents and textures, begin to let go of your rigid control of the scene, allowing it to drift very lightly in your imagination.
Your subconscious should take over at this point and you will find that the scene seems to be taking on a life of its own. This enables you to peer around with a little more freedom. What you are looking for, are any forms, images or objects which you, yourself, did not introduce into the scene. You may now be amazed to find that the scene has become more fluid and images, emotions or impressions are spontaneously presenting themselves to you. These spontaneous feelings or images have only two possible sources. Either they are symbolic messages from your own subconscious mind or higher self, or are originating outside of your consciousness and may be a message from an angel or guide.
Once you begin to see strange impressions or images ‘popping up’ in your scene, note what is happening and slowly withdraw from your visualisation to reflect on their meaning. Later on you may even find that whole scenes begin to unfold spontaneously and everything becomes almost like a continuous dream, although you are still fully awake.
A MEDITATION ON YOUR INNER ORACLE (This requires a prior knowledge of spontaneous imagery)
Begin by visualising yourself standing and facing a high hill or mountain, engage spontaneous imagery and slowly begin a climb to the top. This climb should take a few minutes of real-time.
Note any obstacles such as boulders along your path. They all have a special meaning and will indicate issues that are holding you back on your spiritual path.
Once you we reach the top of the mountain (or hill), see an old figure sitting on a rock a short distance in front of you. This is your vision of the oracle. As I said previously, he or she should represent your highest concept of God, wisdom or your higher self.
Move slowly towards him (or her) with your head bowed and pose a question (or questions) simply and unambiguously. See and hear the oracle providing you with an answer(s) to your question(s). These answers will generally be short, but do not consider them at this time, merely give thanks, walk backwards away from the oracle and descend the mountain or hill.
Once you have returned to your starting point, consider what was said and write it down for further interpretation. You can use this visualisation over and over during the following weeks or even months to obtain any answers you seek.
A MEDITATION ON THE HIGHER SELF
Begin with a meditation and the total relaxation of your mind and body and set your intention to experience a moment in which you will remember your higher or true self.
Lift your hands up, look at them and repeat the words, ‘I’m alive’ a few times. Turn your hands towards your chest and focus on the area between your hands and chest.
Change the affirmation to the words ‘I am’, repeating them over and over again. Now change the words ‘I am’ to the word, ‘I’.
Repeat the affirmation of ‘I’ a number of times, slowly and deliberately. Continue until you are suddenly moved to take a quick, deep breath. This indicates a connection to your higher or true self.
Remain in this state as long as you can, enjoying each moment.Open to the experience of a new sense of wonder and vitality. This is what you were meant to be, a being of light, not a body of pain and a mind filled with fear and suffering.
Note your experiences and slowly end your meditation, become conscious of your body and return to normal awareness.
A MEDITATION TO PREPARE YOUR MIND TO ACCESS HIGHER REALITIES
Find a quiet space and enter into meditation with a view to totally relaxing your mind (keep your eyes closed at this point).Set an intention to shift your perception between a created reality and the real-life world.
Enter into visualization and mentally create a scenario in which you which you visit a strange planet with zero gravity. You disembark from your ship to see a world where rocks are floating suspended in the air a meter or two above the ground.The images you create should be clear, precise, three-dimensional and in full colour.
Engage spontaneous imagery by letting go of active control of the scene. Note that some of the rocks are turning slowly, but always remaining at the same height and position relative to the others.
See yourself walking amongst them and when you reach out and touch or push them, they respond by moving or spinning slightly, but once again, always returning to their original position.
Relax into this visualization completely by letting your unconscious take over and enjoy the feeling of total peace and balance as the rocks continue to float and twirl slowly on all sides of you. After a while, slowly open your eyes.
Notice that the images of the floating rocks are still visible, even in the room where you are sitting.
Try to shift your attention back and forth between the reality of your room and your created world of floating rocks.
When you have succeeded in shifting your perception a number of times, withdraw slowly from the meditation and visualization and return to normal consciousness.
MEDITATION TO WORK WITH ENERGY
Begin by sitting comfortably and entering into a light meditation. Raise your right arm slightly and turn your right hand palm upwards at about shoulder height, curling your fingers in the same way as if a large grapefruit was resting in your hand.
Hold it like this until you feel the energy accumulating in your palm. Now set your intention to release any negative energies and concerns through this hand and engage spontaneous imagery.
Focus your practiced intention lightly on the area about 20 cm above your upturned hand and see the energy radiating upwards and immediately transforming into images of birds flying out of your hand, as if they have been set free.
You will notice that initially that the birds may have broken wings, are dark in colour or take the form of aggressive birds such as crows, suggesting that the energy leaving your hand is not pure.
Continue with your practiced Intention to release the negative energy and let it radiate from your hand in this way until you see the colour and form of the birds changing.
They should become white in colour and change into more gentle and beautiful birds, such as doves. Once this has occurred, it means that you have succeeded in releasing the negativity and are radiating energy that is more pure and loving. Give thanks and end your meditation.
Jimmy Henderson is based in Durban, South Africa and has a Masters degree in Psychology from the University of South Africa. He also has an Honours degree in Philosophy and a post-graduate certificate in trauma counselling. He is a long-standing member of the Rosicrucian Order, an ancient brotherhood involved in intensive spiritual and mental studies.
He has retired after 30 years in the government service and now devotes his time to volunteer counselling work and further study and teaching in the psychology of Mind. He will be starting his doctorate in Cognitive Psychology in 2013 and presently offers his services as a human behaviour specialist.
He is the published author of a number of books and articles on self-development and the power of the mind and has spoken many times on local SA radio stations as a guest speaker on his books, as well as emotional/psychological issues. His articles and books are available though his website www.jimmyhendersonbooks.com