A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

The ultimate goal of meditation is to reach a different state of consciousness.

States of Consciousness

An altered state of consciousness (ASC), also called altered state of mind or mind alteration, is any condition which is significantly different from a normal waking beta wave state.

There are 5 levels of brain frequencies, each representing a different state of consciousness:

Gamma – When you are highly alert and actively taking in information, learning, etc. and your brain is most active.
Beta – The fully awake, alert state that you experience most of the day.
Alpha – Alpha state occurs when you are awake, but your mind is on autopilot. Daydreaming, fantasizing, relaxed or detached.
Theta – Theta state is an even deeper state of consciousness – this is where you are when you are dreaming or during hypnosis.
Delta – Delta is the deepest level of sleep where there is minimal brain activity.

Meditation allows us to reach alpha state most often, and theta state in the most practiced meditators. Each of these states produce a different kind of intuitive experience and allow us to access different levels of our multidimensional self.

Types of Meditation
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the thing with meditation is – it can be whatever you want it to be. Walking in the woods is a form of meditation. Being creative can be meditative. Cleaning your house can be meditative. I listened to an entire podcast that discussed masturbation as a form of meditation. So don’t get caught up the traditional notion of meditation – any activity that allows you to put your brain into an altered state is what you’re after.

I find that most novices don’t realize that there are different types of meditation and each type lends itself to an entirely different purpose.

Non-Thinking Meditation
The most commonly thought of type of meditation is the traditional “non-thinking” meditation where you sit and attempt to have as few thoughts as possible. This type of meditation lends itself easily to alpha state, theta state, and is imperative for delta state which can be reached through transcendental meditation. This is the type of meditation that seems to be most intimidating to people, as a frequently asked question or suggestion for blog topics from my readers seems to be, “How can I stop the chatter in my mind?”

The key with this type of meditation is not to block out all thought, but rather ignore it and give your thoughts no attention, and therein lies the most common misunderstanding about meditation. The purpose is not to stop thinking, but rather distract yourself from it.

This style of meditation is best used for reaching higher states of consciousness and getting in touch with intuition. It can also be used as a form of relaxation.

Chanting or Mantra Meditation
This kind of meditation incorporates repetition as a way to ignore your thoughts and help you achieve alpha, theta, or delta state. You’ll notice that when you are doing a repetitive, monotonous activity, your mind tends to wander into a more detached (alpha) state. This is the goal of mantras and chants during meditation. These are also optimal types of meditation if you are attempting to undo negative thought patterns or solidify an intention for manifestation. Often times mantras and chants are incorporated into the non-thinking meditation as a way to deflect incoming thoughts.

This “repetition” can also be achieved through physical actions, not just sitting still, and I gave several examples of that above – cleaning the house. Creative projects. Walking.

This style of meditation is best used for reaching higher states of consciousness and getting in touch with intuition. It can also be used as a form of relaxation.

Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation uses a form of heightened awareness as a way to ignore your thoughts by bringing all of your awareness down into the physical body. This type of meditation is exceptionally grounding and fantastic for anxiety. If you find yourself feeling “out of body” more often than not, constantly thinking about the future or the past, I would highly recommend this style of meditation to bring you back into the now.

Visualization Meditation
Meditations that use visualizations also use a strategy that focuses your thoughts instead of ignoring them. Most meditations that are specifically used to access intuition use a visualization technique. This style of meditation is also great for setting intentions for manifestation.

Guided Meditation
Guided meditations are when you listen to another person’s voice instead of your own. A guided meditation can be one geared toward visualization, a mantra or chant, or mindfulness. The upside to this type of meditation is that someone else is doing the “thinking” for you, you’re just following along, which makes it somewhat easier to reach a meditative state. Hypnosis, at the most basic level, is a form of guided meditation.

You’ll probably want to explore these various styles of meditation to discover which is right for you – or you may even use different styles of meditation for different purposes.

There’s so much more to be said about states of consciousness and the type of information that can be reached through them, the level of self that can be accessed, etc. but I’ll save that for another day!

Buddha Inspired Meditation Spaces

Buddha Inspired Meditation Spaces

A‘ve been obsessed lately with creating a meditation space in my office, even though it’s not nearly private enough for such a use.  And my number one focus that would complete my meditation space is a Buddha statue.  Particularly this one from Target, which I’m circling like a vulture waiting for it to go on sale. There’s just something incredibly serene about Buddha – I’m not a Buddhist, but still appreciate his teachings and philosophy – that seems like I SHOULD have a Buddha statue in my meditation space. That said, here’s five Buddha inspired meditation spaces from around the web.  Did any of these inspire you? Let me know in the comments!

buddha-crystal-meditation-room Buddha-meditation-room-inspiration Buddha-meditation-room buddah-statue-meditation-room

1. Buddha Head and Crystals from Igniteyourtruth on Tumblr.   2. From CarolynBakker.com. 3. Buddha Heads found on YogaIndiaLove on Tumblr. 4. Photo from An Indian Summer Design.   5. Found on Pinterest.

Enhanced Kundalini Meditation With Frankincense Essential Oil

Enhanced Kundalini Meditation With Frankincense Essential Oil

Some of you may be familiar with the chakra system and kundalini, others maybe not so much. I’ve touched on Kundalini briefly in a previous post. You can achieve an enhanced kundalini meditation with frankincense essential oil.

The chakra system is made up of seven energy vortices located at varying points along the spine, as depicted by the chart below:
enhanced kundalini meditation with frankincense oil
Each chakra corresponds to a specific color and is intrinsically tied to various emotional states of energy.

enhanced kundalini meditation with frankincense oil

Kundalini is the energy that runs through each vortex, beginning at the base of the spine in the root chakra and rising up through each one until it reaches the top of the crown chakra.

To have a full kundalini awakening is to reach that point where the energy is fully awakened through the crown chakra, resulting in a greater spiritual connection to all that is. Many people experience feelings of peace and spiritual bliss during these experiences, but it’s typically reserved for those who have been meditating deeply on a regular basis for quite some time.

Enhanced Kundalini Meditation

Frankincense essential oil is said to promote spiritual awareness and deeper meditation, a better connection to your higher self and you can achieve an enhanced kundalini meditation with frankincense oil. It also corresponds with the crown chakra, so using it on the top of the head and at the brow is typically recommended to enhance your meditation experience and work directly with the pineal gland.

Some of you may know, my mom is a Young Living distributor, and she gave me some Sacred Frankincense a while back after my appendectomy to help with scarring, because it also has regenerative properties.

enhanced kundalini meditation with frankincense oil

I decided to try it during meditation shortly thereafter and I had an interesting experience.

An excerpt from the previous article I mentioned up above:

When most people think about spirituality, they think about fluffy things like “love” and “light” and “enlightenment.” Not sex. But sex is not completely different than love and light and spiritual understanding. Sexual energy is, more or less, the fabric of the universe.

It’s creation itself. Kundalini, if you are unfamiliar with that term, in yogic theory, is a primal energy, or shakti, located at the base of the spine.

In other cultures it’s know as

  • Ka (Egypt)
  • Chi/Qi (China [Tao])
  • Ki (Japan)
  • Prana (Hindu)
  • Pneuma (Greece)
  • Mana (Polynesia)
  • Ruah (Hebrew)

It’s the basic spiritual essence.

Through meditation, one practices raising Kundalini through each chakra to obtain spiritual awakening. Kundalini is not separate from sexual energy. It’s why many meditation practitioners experience intense sexual energy during meditation and even prolonged orgasm.

That may sound a bit hokey to some skeptics, but I’m fairly skeptical myself and I experienced it. Twice. Both times while using Sacred Frankincense during meditation.

It’s kind of funny because most people associate Frankincense with the story of Jesus being born in the manger. Equating it with orgasmic meditation energy seems somewhat sacrilegious in that context… so naturally, I love it. lol

Given it’s typical association with Christmas, I thought it would be a great time to give a bottle away! So now through December 25th, everyone who subscribes to my blog will be entered in a drawing for a free 15ml bottle of Young Living Frankincense, which typically retails for $96. You read that right… this shit’s expensive.

enhanced kundalini meditation with frankincense oil

I’ll also do a SECOND drawing and give away a bottle of Nutmeg, also a nice holiday flavor.

AND – for those of you who are already subscribed to my daily blog posts, I’ll be giving away a 5ml bottle of Sacred Frankincense, a $55 value. The difference between Frankincense and Sacred Frankincense is the vibratory quality. Sacred Frankincense might be considered “more potent” than the regular stuff. Look for an email from me with instructions on how to enter that drawing in the next few days!

Even if you’re not the lucky winner of any of the drawings, which will be announced via a blog post shortly after Christmas, you can still get your own bottle of Frankincense or Sacred Frankincense at the wholesale price, which is slightly cheaper at $73.50 and $42.25. Check out the details on my mom’s website here.

Interested in additional essential oils that will work well with other chakras? Check out the article she wrote for me a while back on essential oils for chakra balance and healing.

The Secret Weapon of Mindfulness

The Secret Weapon of Mindfulness

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’m still busy building my new nest! And while I’m occupied, I’ve left my blog in the hands of two very capable guest bloggers.

Today, you’re going to learn about the power of mindfulness from Molly Knight Forde, blogger, spiritual teacher and mindfulness mentor.


The Secret Weapon of Mindfulness
by Molly Knight Forde

The other day someone asked me if I were to name one potent practice above all others for increasing Mindfulness, what would it be?

I truly had to reflect on this question for there are so many tools when working with being present out in the world. In my twelve week course we spend weeks experimenting with different ways to notice how we are not here…and not aware of our awareness.

When we wake up and realize we are here, there are actions to take to reveal more of what is going on inside of us. We can set up cues to remind us to wake up.

Meditation is also important, creating strength in single minded focus, accessing stillness and increasing the ability to watch and observe our inner landscape. Doing meditation will create the play of more refined energy with which to work, but there is something else that I would deem even more helpful out in the world.

Even after 8 years of working in a zen dojo, meditating every morning and night, plus daily yoga sessions, I still noticed that I had a lot of emotional reaction and stories playing out in my head as I went about my day.

It was not until I met my second great teacher, John MacPherson, a student of John Bennett and The Fourth Way Work, that I was shown how to use this secret weapon in ways that would change my world from black and white to color. My expanded awareness increased because I was using that subtle rounded attention to be aware of two things at once. I was not toggling between two things or multi tasking…I was understanding the use of more than one of my centers at the same time.

What am I actually talking about?

The secret weapon is sensation and something you can begin to use right away to understand what it means to be in your body, to be grounded and to access information from the perspective of felt sense.

The body is always in the present moment.

mindfulness-be-present-in-the-body

Asking someone to get in their body is easier said than done. We do all kinds of things to get in our body like exercise, yoga, meditation, walking, and massage. However, being in our body while doing something other than those things can prove rather difficult. One of the reasons is because the intellectual emotional complex steals the energy in the form of habitual association and analysis.
Another reason is that we have neuro pathways grooved into our mode of behavior. Our flow of ordinary associations is so habitual that it takes more attention than usual to break. We are generally not in our bodies as this is happening.

Mindfulness Tools

If there were any tool to help us create space outside of the energy of the psycho-emotional drama it is sensation. Becoming aware of the physical sensation of my hands, for example, in the midst of another activity can bring breadth and perspective on what is happening within me.

One of the easiest ways to work with sensation is to maintain an awareness of a body part while doing mundane repetitive activities like folding the laundry, chopping vegetables, or gardening. This is one of the reasons we do these kinds of activities regularly during our retreats, giving the student a chance to develop skills in intentional conditions higher in energies but mimicking daily life. Once this practice is strengthened, there is a chance of developing an observer who can catch emotional wind up before it begins to happen. This takes practice, so we start with the subtle awareness of our hands and maintain that while doing something less charged like chopping wood.

The other important result of using sensation is that we are grounded and able to accumulate higher energies and transform our attention into food for the soul. Grounding is more than contact with the earth, although this is very very important. When we incorporate literally, we have a new impression of the energy of not only the body, but also the energy of emotion, thought, like and dislike, our environment and nature. We are able to take in a new mode of information in terms of felt sense of these energies. We are open to a new way of seeing called Self Observation.

We are meant to be in these bodies of ours, incarnating to the degree that we have new understanding and actual transformation. Working with this kind of expanded awareness generates sensitive energy which is conducive to connecting us with the here and now. The more that happens, the more we experience objective awareness which leads to a higher order of experience.

molly-knight-fordeMolly Knight Forde, professional classical pianist and spiritual mentor, leads people to personal freedom using wisdom teachings and unique mindfulness methods practiced out in the world, not just on the cushion. As founder of the Awareness School, she teaches the Art of Self Observation and facilitates global retreats, courses as well as one on one mentoring. Her greatest wish is to contribute to the New Epoch by assisting individual transformation through expanded awareness, meditation, Sacred Dance and music. Click here to download Molly’s free ebook, The Abundance Mindset. For more information, visit www.mollyknightforde.com.

I look for article contributions from spiritual and metaphysical professionals or otherwise people who know their stuff. Are you a published author? Do you have a blog of your own? If so, you can submit an article to be featured as a guest post In My Sacred Space.

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