Guidance & Meditation

Connections to Guidance: The Role of Meditation

If you want to connect with “Guidance” and Your “Intuition,” the place to start is with Meditation. Meditation allows you to quiet your mind and reduce distractions while it moves you into the Present moment. As you quiet your mind, for many people known as “Monkey Mind,” you can focus on messages which will bubble up from your Divine Spirit in whatever form it will manifest for you.

Let’s break this down a bit.
Quieting your mind and reducing distractions allows you to connect with the “quiet” feelings and thoughts which can move forward into your consciousness. I have a hearing problem due to a damage done to my ears. If I want to hear a conversation or the television, I may have to ask that background conversations or noise from the environment be reduced or eliminated so my hearing aids do not amplify all the extra sounds and prevent me from hearing my partner or the TV. Well Guidance and Intuition are easier to hear if the environmental distractions, internal or external, are reduced or eliminated.

This leads to better Focus. Until you are very familiar with your connection and pathway of communication with Guidance, you are better able to hear it or feel it or see it when internal and external distractions are reduced. This is simple as a concept but often difficult to achieve. If you are studying difficult materials for a test in school, most people (if they are honest) find that a quieter environment helps interpret the material and store in the memory when external noise is less. In the beginning of your process searching for and then listening to Guidance, it is easier to pick this information out if your mind is not racing around.

Being “Present” is the ability to release the memories and the motions tied to these memories from the past while minimizing the fear or anxiety about the “unknowns” of the future. It is a gift to be “Present.” One of he reasons we like to meditate in front of a fireplace as we watch the flames or we lose ourselves while watching waves break upon the shore is because we become more fully “Present” watching, “thoughtlessly,” as these random but predictable actions occur. The subtle messages coming up from Spirit are in the “present” and the most accurate filter will be found in a mind which is in the “present” moment.

There is a strong phenomenon that happens when you meditate, stay present, and reduce distractions in your mind. You become more sensitive to the subtle messages. As if you get “tuned in” to the vibration that was always there but hidden behind all the backgrounds noise. You are more open and more sensitive when you practice mediation. I have shared (or will share) some major messages from Guidance that happened for me during meditation. I refer to the NDE experience when I was 19 years old and the feeling of Oneness in the “River of Life” which occurred during and afternoon meditation when I was 23 years old.

Now when I sit down to write a blog which is coming from Guidance, I get better results if I have recently come in from a walk in nature or just completed a meditation practice. A thought will come and then the supporting words and information flow from the “tap” of Guidance. It appears to be easier for me to do when I am not disturbed by phone calls, social media, roommates, or noises from media or traffic.

There are many ways to meditate and you need to find the ones that work best for you.
Betty Bethards (A Psychic Mentor) – Taught me a version of Kundalini Meditation
Autogenic Training
Zen with open eyes to: nature, candles or mandala
An Altar with Your Meditation objects
Formal chanting or mantra repetition (certain types of Praying)
Breath work and Yogic Breathing
Guided Visualization or Hypnosis
Meditation Music or Tones
Self-awareness (Progressive Relaxations)
Movement: Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong
Biofeedback
Even, Pendulum or Dowsing Work
Focusing on Chakras (especially Heart Chakra 4th, Third Eye 6th and Crown Chakra 7th – and then beyond/above into higher chakras above the physical body…)

Regular practice for 15-20 minutes is what I recommend but for many people 5 minutes will work for some people or for other people 30 minutes or more may be the best amount of time. Ongoing repetition and developing this skill will improve your results in connecting with Guidance and your Intuition. Though meditating in a cave for 20 years is NOT usually required. It takes practice to learn to quiet “the Monkey Mind” and to learn how to release the physical distractions that occur so often. Some people can learn to have a brief one minute meditation practice that can work well for them. From my experience, 20 minutes of deep relaxation from meditation can take the place of as much as 2 hours of sleep. So meditation, though requiring time, can save you time in the long run.

Meditations led me to “awakenings” which included visiting: Death (a NDE on the other side of the Veil,) the “River of Life” (to experience connection and “oneness” as Buddha may have experience,) Guides with Healing advice and insights, and connecting with Divine Wisdom. No small things, though not an every day experience. Beginners Mind and innocence in my early years seemed to assist these epiphanies. (More about innocence and Beginner’s Mind in future, and past, Blogs.)

There comes a time when you learn to feel the Guidance and then you learn to trust the Guidance more effectively. This can take some trial and error. If your “Gut” begins to get your attention, it is trying to tell you something. For me, this has been true. Even when seemingly irrational, the message is worth paying attention to. YOU have a choice to follow this suggested path or not. YOU are the one who responds and be responsible for your choices and actions. When my “Gut” told me to drop out of UCLA in 1970 and to get out of Los Angeles, I did not know where it would lead me. Looking back, it was one of the best decision I have ever made! Think back and YOU will find “gut feelings” offering choices which assisted you into the profound changes you needed and which you have learned from.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master!

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Breathe and Be Present!

When all else fails and you find yourself emotionally spinning or anxious or angry, STOP, take a deep slow breath. Feel the cool air as you inhale and the warm air exhale as you slowly breathe out… Be present! Release the anger or resentment from the past. Let the future wait, without the fear and anxiety of the unknown. Sure this is easier said than done but with some practice, and willingness, you can learn to live more in the appreciation of the present moment.

It really is not that difficult to pay close attention to the cool air as you breathe in, then pause a moment, and then slowly release the breath while allowing the unnecessary thoughts and emotions to slowly, but freely, flow out and away. You have to breathe anyway. Why not do it consciously? And, while you slowly breathe, why not learn to take responsibility for YOUR role in creating the life drama that may be upsetting to you… Sure, there are annoying people and  incidents, but you have a choice to get sucked in to the drama or to not get sucked in. Yes, you can just watch the drama unfold and wonder what your lesson is and what you are supposed to be learning from the weird turn of events.

There are styles of meditation which are practiced for years and built around focusing on slowly breathing. It can take people years to master these styles but it does not have to take years to have important benefits for you in the present moment! In fact, if you walk out into a beautiful natural setting like by the ocean, or by a river/stream, or by the majesty of the mountains with the sky above reaching up to the heavens, you can use your slow breathing to find the beauty and appreciation of the present moment. This will change your attitude quickly, if you let it! You can let go of the fear and be present, basking in the love that accompanies the beauty of the present moment in nature. If you can not get out into nature then use a candle to focus on or maybe a beautiful photograph or painting as a natural mandala to soothe your mind and soul. Even a pleasant memory of a time basking in the beauty of nature will help to soothe you in the present moment if you find yourself slowly breathing deeply with the willingness to “let go.”

You can close your eyes and go inward to feel the cool air as you inhale, pause, and release the warm exhale, slowly. String together 8-12 slow breaths and your heart rate will begin to slow and your muscles will begin to relax. As you slow down, your mind will gently follow into a more peaceful and pleasant state. This is a great skill to share with the people you care the most about… And, also it is worth sharing with people who you do not care the most about. The calming with gently spread like a chain reaction and offer calmness to all of your environment.

The Stress Education Center has information at www.dstress.com . The Masters of the Journey has information and ways to find a spiritual tribe to support you at www.mastersofthejourney.com  Please take good care of yourself and find ways to be “Present.”

Meditation for Stress Management

For thousands of years practitioners of meditation have used various forms of meditation for stress management and as a tool leading toward “enlightenment.” I have had personal experience using 4 forms of meditation for stress management and to a lesser degree for personal “enlightenment.” Each form has been described as an “Eastern” philosophical approach but all have been researched and used successful in Western cultures without religious or deep philosophical barriers. In fact, I would not put these techniques into a box that creates limitation for religious or philosophical reasons.

I will describe these 4 forms and the benefits that I have experienced without deep historical or philosophical backgrounds.

1. A Yogic breathing practice. At the core of every stress management technique that I teach, I ask clients to become fully “present” by breathing slowly and diaphragmatically. Yoga is an ideal form of reflection that asks the user to focus upon their bodies in positive ways while remaining in the present moment. It has been used for maybe 5,000 years. I ask my clients to lie back comfortably in a peaceful environment and to breathe slowly, focusing on cool air coming in with the inhale and then the warm breath as they exhale. To gradually slow breathing to 4 or 5 breaths per minute will gradually slow their heart rate and can help to reduce blood pressure (researched by Western scientists.) This is simple and effective.

2. Zen meditation is a mindfulness exercise that asks the user to keep their eyes open and to learn how to “soft focus” on the world which surrounds them. Breathing slowly and watching a candle burn or bubbles in the fish tank or the waves rolling up unto the beach or a campfire or a stream flowing will all give a similar result. A good exercise is to go for a short walk, moving at about 2/3’s of your normal pace, and feel the pressure of your toes and heels landing on the ground. Taking 50 slow steps can help create a more peaceful consciousness especially if you can also feel for the warmth of the sun or smell the fragrance of the woods/grass or listen for the soothing sounds of running water.

3. TM (Transcendental Meditation) was very popular in the 60’s and early 1970’s. It was a form process of sitting for 20 minutes (or longer) and holding your attention on a word or phrase by repeating this word over and over. Sanskrit words like “Ram ma” were assigned based on your “vibrational pattern” by your teacher. I like to use a word like love or peace. The difficulty for many Western people is that it requires a lot of mental discipline to “quiet the mind” and remain on the simple word/phrase. The skill of concentration requires motivation and lots of practice.

4. I learned a form of Kundalini meditation that was very “enlightening” to me in my mid-20’s. It was a 20 minute exercise that has 3 parts. The first 10 minutes, “focusing,” are spent holding my attention on an “uplifting” word or phrase. I used the words love, peace, or calm. After 3 months my mind cooperated better and was not so distracted. The second 10 minutes, “meditation,” are spent letting the mind watch images flow through as if I were watching a blank movie screen or blank TV. Thoughts that flowed through my consciousness during this section of the meditation were sometimes very revealing and interesting. The third section, “closing down,” was to take 3 deep breaths at the end, picturing myself surrounded and protected by white light. This ritual was useful for me and I had some pleasantly surprising revelations using this technique.

If you require instruction or support with getting started and using meditation, look for classes or workshops in your area. Some people find coaches or teachers to learn meditation. I found a group to meditate with (one time per week) and over several months this was very beneficial for me.

Meditation does not have to be a religion or dogmatic philosophy. It can be a mental, physical, and spiritual practice which allows you to “connect” your mind and body, in the present moment. Studies have indicated that even 20 minutes of meditation can take the place of up to 2 hours of sleep and you can be more focused and productive in your daily activities.

Western style meditation can be found in practices such as Autogenic Training and visualizations. Consider learning more at the Stress Education Center’s website at www.dstress.com.