As humans in this modern world, we are a mostly projective species- most of the time we are projecting our thoughts, feelings and emotions around us to communicate and express ourselves everyday. Becoming aware of ourselves can help us to reflect on what we are projecting as well as what we are receiving within ourselves.
There are many states of consciousness, and many people are only really aware of a handful of conscious states- being awake, asleep, dreaming, for instance. Other people may have a slightly increased awareness of their states of consciousness- many can relate to when they “zone out” or become “lost in their own thoughts”, often when they are doing an activity (such as housework) or interestingly people who go running or swimming. Because their focus is centred toward their activity, their “everyday consciousness” (the part of our mind that worries about bills, remembers dates, phone numbers and runs on to do lists, etc) is occupied by the task or activity at hand, and while the everyday mind is kept busy, our thoughts then tend to drift and wander. For me, this is one example of natural trance that most people do and don’t realise they’re doing it! During these kinds of trance, one tends to daydream (visualises), or thinks about things from a more detached viewpoint (contemplation and reflection).
When we meditate or go into trance, we are consciously shifting our energies from being projective to receptive. In a receiving state of mind, we are opening ourselves to insights, increased awareness and mindfulness. Those who practise meditation or trance work or similar are aware that there are many other states of consciousness, and learn how to actively switch or tap into their state of consciousness.
Most people have heard of meditation, with many cultures having their own mediation traditions. This ancient practise promotes stillness of the mind and body, supports wellbeing and is also a great way to work with our inner energies.
Physically, mediation helps us to tune into our bodies, and to become more aware of ourselves. Meditation exercises which include breathing techniques can help to lower blood pressure, slow racing heartbeats, and ease anxiety. Many support groups often teach breathing techniques as focusing on breathing helps to clear the mind and stabilise strong emotional states. Activities such as Yoga, may incorporate meditations with empowering stances or poses which gently stretch and strengthen muscles, improving balance, flexibility and posture.
Active meditation, in where we are doing a physical activity, can be a great way to channel mental and emotional energies. Intense activity such as sport or more gentler activities like gardening can help transform negative mental states into more positive and constructive energies.
Doing practical and simple tasks such as cleaning or sorting can also help bring our focus back into physical reality if we are feeling trapped or lost in our thoughts. Meditation should not be seen as “switching off” from the world, but more like “tuning in”- it encourages us to be fully present in the moment. Meditating opens our awareness and receptivity to our inner selves and external surroundings.
Meditation is not the complete absence of thought- it is the conscious choice to focus on something.
When we mediate we become conscious of our emotions, encouraging us to be self-monitoring of our thoughts and feelings. In becoming more aware of emotions and reflecting on our feelings, we can transform negative energy into positive energy. Though observing our thought and emotional patterns, we can understand more about ourselves and discover our true nature. Meditation also stimulates healthy mental activity, improving focus, concentration, imagination through contemplation, awareness and visualisation. Clearing and calming the mind can help us find solutions or insights that we might have otherwise remained unaware of, as thoughts, emotions and internal chatter can cloud our receptivity to new ideas and subconscious thinking.
Making some time to meditate when we feel overwhelmed or anxious can help us regain internal direction, by focusing our attention on ourselves, allowing our mind to think of a topic and then observe the thoughts that gravitate around it as our mind centres itself. Meditations can be grounding or uplifting, healing or inspiring.
With our physical and mental bodies consciously resting, our channel to spiritual energy becomes cleaner, stabilising our vibration and internal frequencies. Our energy points (chakras) are re-energised and healed with vibrations of pure light. We are able to interpret and reflect on information given to us beyond our basic sense or active conscious. During meditation you may receive colours, lights, images, sensations, feelings, or impressions. Even if at the time you do it understand what you are receiving, let it rest in your subconscious as the meanings may become clearer and more relevant with time. Try to put aside any expectations you may have of yourself or the session during mediation to allow you to become fully open to your experience.