nlike my clever cats,
I've had to put in time learning to meditate.
And I must admit I didn't have any grand spiritual
goals when I started. I've always been a very hyperanxious person
and back in high school... when one most wants to show no fear
and come off as supercool, this was Not A Good Thing To Be. Or so
I thought. So when I heard that meditation can help a person
relax and lay back and chill and all that other fashionable
stuff, I got a book and tried to "Still my mind" and "Attain
higher consciousness".. yeah, easy for them to say! Not having a
heckuva lot of patience in those days, I gave up which was a
shame because if I'd gotten the knack of meditation back then I
might not have gone down so many, uh, less healthy roads in
search of inner peace (grin) About five years ago I got the urge
to try meditation again and this time, thank the Universe, I "got
it"! The technique that worked for me is part Shakti Gawain, part
Jon Kabat-Zinn (see booklist!) and part some online friends from
what used to be the Alternative Spirituality section of GEnie's
Religion and Ethics Roundtable back in the early 90s. Anyway, if
you're getting frustrated with your meditation practice or if
you've never tried it but would like to (hey, why not?) here's a
technique that works well for me:
Get yourself into a comfortable position. You don't have to force
your body into a full lotus or even sit upright if you don't want
to. Lying down is fine, tho if you're already a laid-back type or
kinda tired, you just might fall asleep! The important thing is
to find a position that works for you. Sometimes I lie down and
sometimes I sit on the floor in the Mountain position (sitting
with calves tucked under thighs and hands palms down on thighs) I
usually use the sitting pose during open-eyed meditation, with a
mandala or candle flame, and the lying (Corpse... well, that's
what it's called!) pose for a close-eyed meditation session.
If your body feels tight, try some tense-and-release exercises.
Starting with one of your feet, tense the muscles as hard as you
can for a few seconds, then let them go limp. Do this all the way
up your body and include your facial muscles. Yoga can also help
you to relax your body.
Now you're ready... even if you don't think you are try it
anyway!... to begin your meditation. Breathing seems to be the
key to relaxation and spiritual connection for me. Begin to
consciously slow your breathing a little bit at a time. This
should feel natural, not forced. Try to start your breath as far
down your torso as you can, coming from the abdomen rather than
the chest. To make sure you're doing this, put a hand on your
lower belly and feel it rise and fall with your breath. This may
take a little practice if you've never done it before. Feel the
rhythm of your breath. Allow it to keep slowing down naturally.
As you feel your breath traveling up your body, follow it in your
mind imagining that it is energy (it is!) Try to keep your mind
on your breath but if it wanders onto other things, don't sweat
it. Just keep bringing it back to the breath. I usually meditate
in 20 or 30 minute sessions but if this seems like Way Too Long,
try 10 minutes. Or even 5. Eventually you'll start to feel so
good after meditating that you'll WANT to lengthen your sessions
and do more of them. I did, anyway.
Now what about this Higher Consciousness business? Like I said, I
got into meditation for the relaxation but it has given me so
much more than that. I've become more creative, intuitive,
psychic and... I think... a nicer person. It's easier to be nice
when you're not a nervous wreck all the time! My dreams have
become more vivid and sometimes even lucid. I often feel guided
by a Higher Power, connected to Source, or whatever it is you
want to call that feeling of being at one with the
Universe/God/dess. This altered state is also conducive to meeting and working with
angels and spirit guides I believe that meditation puts me... and you,
and anyone... in touch with the Collective Consciousness, the
wellspring of the creative force. Not bad for a half hour of deep
breathing a day, huh? :-)
And if sitting still isn't your thing, maybe you'd prefer exploring altered states of
consciousness through ecstatic dance,
drumming, playing a
Singing Bowl, toning or chanting. These and other trance-inducing
activities are explored on my new Altered States page.
the image above leads to posters and prints of some of my favorite meditative artwork
I'm in the process of assembling a meditation themed Italian charm
Buddha . winged heart . Yin Yang . peace sign . dove of peace . psychic eye
I bought most of these Zoppini Italian charms at
They have so many charms that they're all not pictured so if you don't see
the one you want, scroll
to the bottom of their charm page and search their alphabetical listings.
If you buy three charms, they'll send you a free starter bracelet.
Books, Mood Altering Music & DVDs and Guided Meditations
Here are some of my favorite books and audio tapes on meditation and personal
growth. If you like you can order
any of these titles right here online through that very cool online bookstore,
They're reliable, fast and offer considerable discounts on their more than 3 million (!) stocked
If you'd like to purchase a book or tape, clicking on the title will take
you to the item in Amazon's online catalog.
Brainwave Suite - Dr. Jeffrey Thompson This collection of four CDs or cassettes provides wonderful ambient music to meditate by.
Listening can alter your consciousness as it gently
nudges your brainwaves into configurations that promote relaxation & intuitive understanding.
OM (or AUM) is an ancient Sanskrit word symbolizing the energy vibration of Source.
It is traditionally used to still the mind and expand holistic awareness.
Ultimate Om by
Jonathan Goldman is a healing soundscape of hundreds of OMs in a continuous, fluid wave of
Om - The Reverberation Of Source
by Master Charles Cannon features voice, synthesizer, veena and the meditative sound
of the ocean. It utilizes Alpha level Synchronicity Holodynamic technology which enhances
whole-brain synchronization and unfolds a precision Alpha state of light meditation.
When used with stereo headphones, it quickly delivers a balanced, peaceful and harmonious
state of being.
Master musicians playing Tibetan singing bowls, whether made of the traditional seven metals or of
natural crystal, have created some of the most beautiful
& strongest psychoactive music I've experienced. Some of my favorites are
"Seven Metals" by Benjamin Iobst, "Sounds of Light: The Pure Tones of Crystal Singing Bowls" by
Crystal Voices, "Crystal Portal Singing Crystal Bowl Journeys" and
"Journeys to Wholeness" by the
Crystal Vibrations Music Ensemble the "Tibetan Bells" series by Henry Wolff & Nancy Hennings.
Multimedia Meditation and Mind Altering DVDs
Created by Norman Bosworth, a cinematographer with over 20 year's experience,
the Mindflo DVDs inspire states of relaxation, joy and peace, immersing you
in the breathtaking beauty of the natural world. In blending these images with music, Bosworth has created
three uniquely heartstirring synergistic experiences.
This DVD combines Alpha/Theta brainwave entrainment methods of frequency controlled pulsed light stimulation and
dual independent binaural beat sounds with morphing visuals and soothing soundscapes.
Rich, resilient color patterns merge into ever-changing colorscapes mixed with captivating sounds that saturate the senses.
Dreamy, spacey and expansive, the visuals are simply stunning. The next best thing to a shamanic visionary experience.
Note: There are six separate sessions, running from 6 to 15 minutes for a total of 69 minutes. The light pulses are optional; they
can be turned on or off. (Try it both ways :-)
Yoga and meditation teacher Maritza guides you step-by-step in the practice of mindfulness showing you how to focus
inwardly to shed internal patterns of tension and anxiety and release the boundaries that inhibit your vital force.
With serene Maui Island as a backdrop, she helps you create your own inner sanctuary and leads you through a 15-minute yoga
practice to prepare your body, mind and attention for two 20-minute guided relaxation and meditation sessions.
The deluxe DVD edition includes the complete program, yoga modification guide for beginners and an in-depth interview with
Meditation shows us that nothing is hidden. Sitting down, being still and paying attention reveals much that seems
unknowable and inaccessible. This introductory program teaches you what meditation is, how to do it, how to be
at sustaining a practice, and where that practice might lead you.
Cheri Huber has been a student and teacher of Zen for over 30 years. She leads workshops and retreats at the Zen
Monastery Peace Center in Murphys, California, and is the author of 20 books. Her great strength as a teacher is
making awareness practice relevant to everyday life. This program follows in that tradition.
Relax, breathe deeply and learn the keys to health, vitality and inner peace. Rodney Yee
demonstrates 30 minutes of gentle yoga poses
and another 30 minutes breathing techniques to bring the body and mind to a state of stillness.
Once you've viewed the entire DVD, you can pick the sections that work best for you or mix them up; the menu system on this
DVD is excellent. There's also a short guided meditation session and an insightful interview with Rodney. Recommended for
beginner and intermediate meditators.
This step-by-step course in insight meditation is designed as a complete self-guided
curriculum. Organized into nine lessons, the workbook features more than 75 mindfulness exercises,
question-and-answer sections, glossaries, and photographs illustrating correct meditation
postures. The two 70-minute compact discs include six meditations too help you learn and the
12 insight study cards will reinforce your practice with daily reminders of the
fundamentals of meditation in a convenient, portable form.
This tool kit for transcendence offers easy-to-use items to support routine spiritual practice.
The kit includes a brass bell; incense and a holder; a sandalwood chanting mala and silk cloth;
16 illustrated worship cards; an achman cup and spoon; sacred body clay; a mantra chanting
CD and meditation guide; and exercises for mantra meditation, purification, and food offerings.
Creative Visualization is the art of using mental imagery and affirmation to produce positive change. Employing her proven method, Shakti Gawain teaches how to trust intuition and act on our inner truth as a means of both releasing and developing creativity in every area of life. This kit offers her dynamic tools for transformation: a supportive guidebook, a visualization journal, 25 printed affirmation cards, and 25 illustration-only cards for individually-customized affirmation cards, all packaged in an elegant portable box.
Create sacred art to facilitate the unfolding of your Divine potential. Judith Cornell, artist,
seasoned workshop leader and founder/director of Manifesting Inner Light of Sausalito, Calif.,
provides a series of step-by-step exercises for healing through the creation of, and meditations
upon, mandalas. A truly inspirational book with many beautiful color photographs.
If you're not in the mood to make your own mandala from scratch but still want to
do something creative, try this book of outline-only mandala designs. This coloring book contains
designs drawn by hand by Monique Mandali. They have a lovely Eastern feel inspired by
classical Nepalese, Tibetan and Chinese mandalas. And
Everyone's Mandala Coloring Book, Volume Two
is full of equally beautiful, inspiring designs to color.
Another beautiful collection of images of sacred geometry to color.
Each one graphically represents energy moving to or from a central point, symmetry, and
oneness, as is customary for a mandala. When colored for pure enjoyment, they evoke the
pleasure that comes from working with universal patterns of line and form. When colored
for healing purposes, they can alleviate tension and boredom while enhancing serenity and
mental activity, and when colored for purposes of spiritual exploration, they help provide
an awareness of the universe and the oneness of all life.
Learn to create designs that tap into subconscious energies for centering, healing
and relaxtion. Anneke suggests shapes, symbols, colors, and numbers with their
so that you can combine personal and ancient iconography to fully express yourself.
The book ends with a chapter of relaxation and visualization exercises that will help you
make manifest your subconscious in the form of a mandala.
This beautiful book offers over
400 breathtaking color photographs of mandalas in manifestations from art, architecture
& nature. It explores
how the mandala has been used throughout history and is still relevant today as a tool for
meditation, personal growth & expression and provides exercises & examples of
techniques for making one's own mandalas.
A practical guide to living in the present and making
each moment count. Anyone can learn to use this method of relaxation to reduce anxiety,
inner peace, and enrich the quality of life. This was one of the first books I read
on meditation and I still refer to it. I can open it at any page and "be inspired" :-)
Long-term meditators experience 80 percent less heart disease and 50 percent less cancer than
nonmediators, according to a large body of studies. Meditation has been shown to improve sleep
and reduce chronic pain. Not all meditation is equally effective, however. Dharma Singh Khalsa,
M.D., has developed a form of advanced meditation he calls "Medical Meditation," which "more
fully addresses every element of our physical and ethereal makeup... a full-service approach."
Medical Meditation is an adaptation of kundalini yoga combined with meditation,
using specific breathing patterns, posture and movements, mantras, and mental focus.
The contributors here are experts in relaxation techniques, packing their recommendations into chapters which provide practical step-by-step approaches to different therapies and options. From yoga and meditation techniques to conscious exercise and visualization techniques, the writers provide a wealth of explicit advice.
Revised and updated by the author to accompany
her classic text
this workbook offers
powerful, effective techniques presented in an easy-to-use fashion that assist you in designing
your own individual blueprint for positive change and growth.
Includes important new material not found in Creative Visualization, such as the clearing and
"core belief" processes.
This exquisitely illustrated work has more than 100 mandalas, with an accompanying meditation for each one...a stunning collection of images in nature, mandalas that may be found all over the world; of American Indians and many other significant mandalas in history.
Wise, whimsical, witty, and when it's called for, deliciously wicked, America's favorite witch stirs up an empowering brew for working women everywhere.
From receptionist to CEO and everyone in between, what woman wouldn't want to improve something (or many things) about her hectic seven-day work week?
In this gift-worthy guide, Z. Budapest combines down-to-earth tips and traditional magic to help women employ their powers.