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Opening And Closing A Meditation

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Going up and down safely...

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rotating dot OPENING.

A peaceful, quiet setting is generally a prerequisite for meditation, although for certain forms of meditation, music, dance and Dionysian revelry are a must! A space in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed will suffice, although the ideal environment is a special room given over entirely to meditative practise. Loose clothes and no shoes generally help things along.

The hope is to avoid delving into different 'belief-systems' too much on this site. However, it's appropriate to mention briefly here that if you do hold a particular set of spiritual/cosmological beliefs then you may find it useful to devise your own internal short 'ritual' at the start of your mediation practise.
For instance, those of an 'occult' or 'wiccan' persuasion have traditionally often used a short 'banishing ritual' as a precursor to any kind of 'working' including meditation. (See the Pentagram Banishing Ritual for ideas if you are unfamiliar with the practise).
Aims here include 'protection', 'mental focus' 'congruence between above and below' and so on. Such rituals are by no means a prerequisite, but (if nothing else) they can help set the mood and prepare you mentally. (Note to beginners: many meditators don't feel the need to anything in particular here).


rotating dot CLOSING.

At the end of a meditation, a number of people I have known invariably use a kind of short 'prayer' at the end of the practise. This, by the way, need NOT be particularly 'religious', it may be more in the way of an 'intention'. One person I know, for instance, will say to themselves 'let the fruit of this meditation, be stored for right usage in accord with the Tao, in this body. So let it be'. As with most 'spiritual' belief, the precise definition of the word 'Tao' here is likely to be very personal. So create your own formula if the idea appeals.
Aims at the end of a meditation may well be around the ideas of 'sealing' and 'earthing' aka 'grounding'.
Always try to end a meditation calmy, slowly bringing your attention back to the everyday world and 'normal' sense perception. The more powerful the experience of meditation, the more important it may be to 'ground' yourself. By being grounded I mean NOT being 'up in the air' or in some quasi(?) or actual(!) 'supra-mundane' state. If your belief system encompasses the idea of 'higher planes' above and beyond the material, then please be wary of getting carried away. If that energy is not earthed it's not much use (though Manicheans may well disagree).
Touch the earth. Connect with the earth. When you finish a meditation you may want to run your hands across the floor for a few seconds, for instance. Some people I have known like to clap their hands lightly together ten times (to symbolise the Earth) as a way of ending a meditation. Enjoy your body. Enjoy your friends, be simple.


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