Introduction to Meditation

Aim: To develop basic meditation skills. Meditation is commonly associated with relaxation techniques, or perhaps the repetition of a chanted mantra such as the Om chant. While these are certainly aspects of meditation they are not the only ways to meditate. Meditation can include chanting, visualization, contemplation of concepts, breathing and various other techniques. The duration a meditation should be performed will vary according to the skill of the individual and the purpose for which it is being used. Some meditation ‘Masters’ claim that about 15-20 minutes per day is all that is required to experience a reconnection with the spiritual dimension. However, other ‘Masters’ suggest that meditation of 3-4 hours per day is the objective, and to achieve this you can reduce the amount of time spent sleeping. Stories tell of Yogic Masters who meditate for days on end. As I promote learning through experience, I leave it for you to experiment with duration and types of meditation.

Exercise 1 – Mantra Meditation I

Aim: To learn a common form of the mantra meditation which helps still the mind. A mantra can be chosen by a number of methods. Ideally it should be something you find personally appealing that is associated with a project, magickal working, or your chosen spiritual practices. Some forms of meditation from Eastern sources use the names of Hindu deities. It is generally suggested that you keep any personal mantra secret. More so than “secret” it is worthwhile keeping certain words and associations special or sacred for your own personal use. Talking about the actual mantras or words is unnecessary as the technique is the same no matter what the word. For example, one master of meditation suggests that any word can be used, even common names such as John or Mike. Any sound at all can actually serve the purpose of “training the mind to become sharp.” This form of the mantra meditation does not use concentration or effort. There is no intention or expectation behind this form of the meditation and the mantra is not repeated rhythmically. Preparation

  • This duration of this exercise should be about 20 minutes. You may like to use some form of timer to alert you to when it is time to finish.
  • You will need to choose a mantra that you find personally appealing. Some suggestions include: Om, YHVH (pronounced Yod, Heh, Vah, Heh), Isa.
  • Before beginning, write down any expectations and feelings you have related to this exercise.

Exercise

  • Sit comfortably. Lying down is possible, but due to relaxation you may fall asleep.
  • Close your eyes.
  • ‘Think’ your mantra only once (the equivalent of ‘saying’ it in your head).
  • ‘Listen’ (in your mind) to the sound of the mantra.
  • Do not try to repeat the mantra, just continue listening.
  • Do not try and control your breathing in any way.
  • If you become aware that thoughts are coming to you, gently let go of them, and return to ‘listening’ to the mantra.
  • Do no worry about trying to repeat or remember the mantra, or ‘hear’ it more clearly.
  • Continue to ‘listen’ to the mantra in whatever way it comes to you.
  • The mantra may become distorted in some way, change, become slower or faster, softer or louder, or it may remain unchanged.
  • Do not resist any of the thoughts or changes. Do not force your mind back to the mantra. Any guidance back to the passive “listening” should be gentle.
  • Continue this process for 20 minutes.
  • When the time is up, slowly bring your attention back to the room.
  • Notice your breathing, and any external sounds in the environment around you.
  • Bring your attention back to your body.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • When you are ready open your eyes.
  • When you have completed the exercise write about the experience in your journal.

Exercise 2 – Mantra Meditation II

Aim: To learn another common form of the mantra meditation. Preparation

  • This duration of this exercise should be about 20 minutes. You may like to use some form of timer to alert you to when it is time to finish.
  • You will need to choose a mantra. It can either be the one you used in Exercise 1 or another of your choosing.
  • The mantra can be repeated aloud (spoken), or internally “thought”.
  • Before beginning, write down any expectations and feelings you have related to this exercise.

Exercise

  • Sit comfortably. Lying down is possible, but due to relaxation you may fall asleep.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Begin saying your mantra.
  • Repeat the mantra rhythmically.
  • Do not try and control your breathing in any way.
  • If you become aware that thoughts are coming to you, gently let go of them, and return to repeating the mantra.
  • Continue this process for 20 minutes.
  • When the time is up, slowly bring your attention back to the room.
  • Notice your breathing, and any external sounds in the environment around you.
  • Bring your attention back to your body.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • When you are ready open your eyes.
  • When you have completed the exercise write about the experience in your journal.

Exercise 3 – Thought Watching

Aim: To learn and experience the meditative practice known as “thought watching”. Through practice this method should allow you to still the inner chatter of the mind (i.e. stop inner dialogue). Preparation

  • Before beginning, write down any expectations and feelings you have related to this exercise.

Exercise

  • Sit comfortably.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Sit quietly, and allow your mind to wander.
  • Don’t try to force any particular thoughts, just see what floats into your mind.
  • When a thought comes to you, repeat it intentionally, then gently dismiss it.
  • Continue this for an appropriate period of time.
  • When you have finished, bring your attention back to the room.
  • Notice your breathing, and any external sounds in the environment around you.
  • Bring your attention back to your body.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • When you are ready open your eyes.
  • When you have completed the exercise write about the experience in your journal.

Exercise 4 – ‘Sound’ Meditation Aim: To learn a simple form of meditation that is purely non-verbal. Preparation

  • This duration of this exercise should be about 15-20 minutes.
  • Before beginning, write down any expectations and feelings you have related to this exercise.

Exercise

  • Sit or lie comfortably in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
  • Close your eyes and block your ears using your fingers.
  • Now concentrate on the ‘sound’ (internally) you ‘hear’.
  • Just sit quietly and ‘listen’ without any attempt to ‘hear’ anything in particular.
  • If you become aware that thoughts are coming to you, gently let go of them, and return to ‘listening’.
  • When the time is up, slowly bring your attention back to the room.
  • Notice your breathing, and any external sounds in the environment around you.
  • Bring your attention back to your body.
  • Take a few deep breaths
  • When you are ready open your eyes.
  • When you have completed the exercise write about the experience in your journal.

Exercise 5 – Breathing Meditation Aim: To learn a simple breathing technique useful for meditation, relaxation, and stress reduction. Breathing is one of two functions of the body that can easily be controlled by conscious control as well as the autonomic system. This technique can be used with the eyes open to help maintain calm during stressful ‘real world’ situations. Preparation

  • This duration of this exercise should be about 10-15 minutes.
  • Before beginning, write down any expectations and feelings you have related to this exercise.

Exercise

  • Sit comfortably.
  • Close your eyes (alternatively keep your eyes open).
  • Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose, to a count of 4 (approximately 3-4 seconds).
  • Allow the breath to ‘fall’ in your lungs by expanding your stomach (using your diaphragm to breath).
  • Hold your breath momentarily.
  • Breathe out slowly through your mouth, to a count of 4 (approximately 3-4 seconds).
  • Again, use your diaphragm, this time contracting your stomach muscles.
  • Wait momentarily before breathing in again.
  • Continue this breathing in rhythmic manner.
  • Once a rhythm is in place it should be possible to this without consciously counting.
  • When the time is up, slowly bring your attention back to the room.
  • Notice your breathing, and any external sounds in the environment around you.
  • Bring your attention back to your body.
  • Take a few deep breaths
  • When you are ready open your eyes.
  • When you have completed the exercise write about the experience in your journal.

Exercise 6 – Extending Meditation Aim: To show that you understand the concept of meditation and have the ability to adapt the skills to your own needs and requirements. Preparation

  • This exercise should be performed once you are familiar with the basic exercises in this lesson. It is expected that you will practice one the meditations for a period of 3-4 weeks before beginning this final exercise.

Exercise

  • Consider all the previous meditation exercises you have practiced, including any that you have researched from other sources.
  • Using the previous meditations, and your experiences with them, as a basis, formulate a new exercise.
  • Write down any expectations and feelings you have related to the exercise you have just created.
  • Perform the exercise, following each of the steps you wrote down.
  • Write about the experience in your journal.
  • If you are unhappy with the exercise, review it, rewrite the parts you feel are necessary to change, then perform the exercise again. Repeat this until you have achieved the desired result.

Meditation Notes

It is recommended that you choose one meditation form and work with it for a period of 3-4 weeks. Keep detailed notes on your progress and experiences, paying attention to changes that occur over the weeks that you practice. It should be clear from the small variety of basic exercises presented here that there are many more variations and possibilities for meditation. The meditations detailed here are very basic and serve as a starting point for experiencing meditative states. I recommend that you research at least one other form of meditation and practice it at least once.

Free Magic Lessons

Magical Path offers a free introductory magic course. The lessons cover the following topics: Beliefs, The Magic Mirror, Imagination & Will, Inner Work, Higher Self, Synthesis, Magic, and Morality.

Suggested Reading

Books

Online Resources

Leave a Reply