Opening And Closing A Meditation
Going up and down safely...
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).
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.