Basic "Breath" Meditation

serious discussion on magick and energy usages in the world and affects.
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runewulf
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Basic "Breath" Meditation

Post by runewulf » Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:41 pm

Ok, I promised a basic meditation post that works well with magick, energy cultivation, spiritual work and as a general meditation. That's this post.

Meditation

Start off with a comfortable posistion, be it sitting, standing, laying, whatever. One thing to note is that energy flows better through the human body if the spine is straight. I don't mean rigid and tense, but straight.

Now relax your muscles, let the tension in your body go as much as you can. Take several slow, deep breaths and feel relaxation pour into your body with each inhale through your nose and tension and stress leave with each exalation through your mouth. With practice, you'll be able to be relaxed with one to three breaths. Don't be disappointed if it takes a lot more when first starting. Just take as many "cleansing breaths" as you have to.

Now, we are going to focus on our breath. Nothing else, just our breath. Let me take a moment here to talk about proper breathing. When you are breathing properly and naturally, like we see with newborns, you fill your stomach with air before your chest on the inhale and then let the air out of your lungs starting with the chest and finishing with the stomach when you exhale. Breathing properly is important if you want to get the most out of energy work and meditation. Proper breathing leads to a stonger energy flow and overall more energy cultivated.

Now, what I want you to do is this:

Take a slow breath to a count of 5, when you hit 5 your lungs should be full.

Now hold for a count of 3.

Now exhale to a count of 5.

Repeat above until you are comfortable and relaxed with this count, then add 1 to both your inhales and exhales so that the pattern becomes 6-3-6 until you're comfortable with that pattern, then add 1 again, making a pattern of 7-3-7. Keep repeating until you get to a point where you can't go any further without straining yourself. Once you've gotten to a point where you're "maxed out" and can't go any further without straing, then keep that pattern until breathing in it becomes natural and you don't have to think of it any more to keep the pattern.

While breathing, focus only on the count of your breath, nothing else. If something begins to interrupt your thoughts or intrude, don't try and push it away, just return your focus to your counting of breaths.

note: Don't push with this kind of breathing. Given time and regular practice, you'll find yourself breathing slower and slower over time. When I practice regularly, I can take 1 breath every 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 minutes. But it takes time to build up to that, time and practice.

Now, this exercise does several things, which I'll list a few of below:

1) Lowers our brain cycles into alpha, beta or theta (theta is rare) and puts us into an altered state of consciousness. This makes it easier to sense and work with energies, among other things.

2) It helps make our personal power, our internal chi / energy flow better and begins cultivating it and making it "rise" so that we can use it.

3) It relaxes us and puts our conscious mind close to our subconscious mind.

4) It turns off a lot of the "noise" in our conscious mind because we've been focusing on one thing, the counting. This will make it easier to keep our focus on the energy work.

5) It tends to ground us without having to do a seperate grounding exercise (at least for most people).


That's it for this one....

Wassail,

RuneWulf
http://cajungypsy.blogspot.com

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Post by Grumpy » Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:06 pm

Is there anyone else out there besides me who simply can't get anywhere with meditation? I've tried all sorts, secular classroom teaching, books, audio guided meditations, you name it! I either fall asleep or just sit there blank and vaguely bored. Are there any methods that don't rely on breathing techniques? I think that's part of my problem, I have asthma and simply cannot slow my breathing beyond a certain point without coughing. My lungs don't work at full capacity. I've tried some of the active trancing techniques as well, but I just feel silly, and eventually I get tired or distracted. Frustrated,

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Post by Willow » Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:22 pm

Umm there are several meditation techniques
if you find your self getting bored then maybe you should try a walking meditation. Find a sandy space and go barefoot. Then you take measured steps in different shapes depending on what your gaol is in meditation.
My goal is to bring my chakras into alignment so I will often do a straight line back and fourth with one step for each chakra. You can also do a circle reciting a mantra at each step.
Another meditation that might be useful is a visualization. imagine yourself in a white room, and slowly build a calming or spiritual place around you. I tend to find myself in the forest (sans mosquitoes) or on the mountains. Whatever your place is.
My last piece of advice, remember these are just tools. No one is going to fault you if you are one of those who can't meditate. remember it is a discipline. I am great at things like fasting and mediating, but I am terrible at reading up on things, so I dialogue with people. Find what works for you.
Blessings
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Post by scoia » Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:29 pm

Slow breathing is one technique (and thankyou again for the great post runewolf), but simply sitting still in a relaxed position with your spine straight, breathing steadily should be a step.

Meditation (for me) is to clear you and recharge you, but can also be used for guidance in some ways. I don't use meditation in suh a passive wasy as others do I suppose, and now find it hard to do it in a blank state without reaching anything. Gods, I'm bad at describing things.

Ok- I had trouble meditating until I found certain kinds of imagery that assisted my progress into a more trance like state. Try to imagine yourself stilled by a natural current of some kind. Something that hold you, feeds into you, strengthens you, takes you away from where ever you are.

*sigh* This is probably less than no help. Apologies, I think it's something you really do have to try at for a while.

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:15 pm

Hmmm

If you are falling asleep, notice which part you are falling asleep at (is there a similarity at these points in different meditations?).

I wonder... are your meditations are just sitting? Have you tried any of the really exciting ones?
It is hard at first to get your mind focussed. Maybe try other things that require focus first?
My last piece of advice, remember these are just tools. No one is going to fault you if you are one of those who can't meditate. remember it is a discipline.
Good advice. It is just a tool. Some may say it is necessary to spiritual development. Meh. It depends, really.

Ever thought of creating your own meditations? I'm sure there's a way you can incorporate things that keep your attention (explosions?? lol).

Honestly, though, once you get it, you got it. If you can keep it going once, it gets much much easier.
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Post by Grumpy » Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:39 pm

Really exciting ones? Like what?

As per chakras, the first thing in any book, discussion or lesson about chakras is always how you can feel the ball of energy/light whichever metaphor they use. I can never find the darn things! I sort of lump them in with meditation in my Completely Baffled folder, unfortunately. Its comforting to know there ARE people who can't meditate, though, it seems so foundational for some people. I suspect some of the people in a class I took were just pretending, though.

Can you do walking meditation an a treadmill? What about a guided tape meditation on a treadmill? I never tried that, combining the two. If I walk outside I'm too distracted by nature in general. Who wouldn't rather smell the wind or watch clouds than study themselves? If you're losing yourself outward instead of inward does that count? No, probably not. I do that a lot, I can watch a bug for hours, I just can't go in as easily as I go out.

Oh well, thanks for the suggestions, it seems to be such an integral part of so many people's spiritual journeys that I wish I could do it. I might just have to go the long way 'round!

Grumpy :finga:

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Post by Willow » Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:30 pm

I have never thought about walking meditation a treadmill but I don't see why it shouldn't work.
As for the Chakras, I find many thing hide the more you look for them. If you can't find the light, for the light to show itself too you.
Also, I think you meditate more than you know. While walking, if you are experiencing nature that is a filling meditation versus an emptying one, it is still meditating. Have you ever tried concentrating on a flame?
So maybe you re closer than you think.
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Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:57 pm

I have only recently started being able to feel them, after about 8 yrs of meditation, unless you count when my solar plexus was HURTING so badly. It was mostly visualization, and feeling the energy shifts. as I have been doing really intensive work lately, for the last few months I have been able to feel my chakras open.

It takes a lot of time and practice.
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Post by Grumpy » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:56 pm

there...see?....feeling your chakras open?

Eeeesh...no thanks, gives me willies! How can I make any progress when it gives me the screaming heebee jeebees? Don't ask me why, it just does. I'm afraid something might fall out. Seriously. Not rational, but true.

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:06 am

:lol:

awwww

Nothing will fall out! There's nothing that will fall out, other than blockages, which is a good thing, as long as you don't just leave them lying there ;) They need a place to go to be turned to useful energy.

"Wow, I... I can feel my solar plexus open..."
*splat*
"Oh GOD! MY LIVER!"

Understandable if it gives you the heebie jeebies, though :-x I'm just poking fun
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Post by Willow » Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:27 pm

LOL

Obviously your liver was causing a blockage of some sort :lol:

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Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Post by Grumpy » Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:44 pm

Maybe I've come to rely on those blockages, I can't help but think that I like them right where they are. {sound of jeebies heebee-ing)

Grumpy

lol that mental imagery is going to stick around for a long time! *thunk*

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:53 pm

Maybe I've come to rely on those blockages
To keep your liver inside! :lol:

(Why is that so insanely funny to me right now??)
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Post by Odbe » Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:57 pm

*makes sure liver is still there*

I've experimented with "moving meditation". Ever heard of Stav stances? Google it.
Also one I did once was spinning a pole. No, really! As in the handle of a broom, without the broom. Just passing it hand over hand in slow motion, then getting faster until it's spinning like a windmill. When I get it really fast I can't concentrate on anything but the pole (call it a staff) so it's kind of meditative.
Actually I've never been great shakes at meditation. I'm going to try and get back into it again. Now I have more time I'm trying to get into a routine.
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Post by Kelreth » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:00 pm

It would be nice to have my solar plex open up and things to fall out
i am prone to free association. Basically whatever i think i type, so sorry if things get really erratic...

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