Home » Religion and Spirituality » Meditation

Meditation: Go Deep Quick! Pt 1

Jul 2, 2008
Meditation can be a very long path. If you are a serious student, you will practice for the rest of your life. Sometimes it takes years to make significant headway. Frequently, students just sit in silence wondering what is supposed to happen... if they do it long enough, eventually the change in consciousness will come. This is why some choose to forsake the rest of the world; this allows them to focus entirely on their inner journey. Of course, there are other ways.

There are quite a few ways to speed up your progress in meditation or any other skill. Stepping into a deeper state of mind is a much more scientifically repeatable process than it used to be. For the purposes of this article, we will just one of these methods: self-hypnosis.

The skills of self-hypnosis are a priceless addition to your practice of meditation. The first useful process from self-hypnosis is the countdown process. To enter the ideal state of focused relaxation, a self-hypnotist will countdown from 5 (or 20, or even 100) to 1. With each descending number, say it out loud, take a deep breath, and feel yourself going deeper (you can even say "relax" or "deeper" with each number). You can also visualize walking down a staircase, swimming deeper in a lake, or any other image that works for you. You are actually exploring the deeper levels of your mind with this method.

Another useful method of self-hypnosis is the anchor. An anchor is basically a word, gesture, image, etc. that is linked with a mind-body state. This concept is based off the work of Pavlov. Pavlov noticed that dogs would salivate when presented with food. Pavlov took the dogs and rang a bell every time he presented them with food. After a while, the dogs would salivate just at the ringing of the bell, when no food was presented.
We all experience anchors all the time. Some examples are the good feelings that come when you hear your favorite song, the memories of childhood that return when you look over an old picture album, and the nervousness (or intense focus) that arise anytime someone tells you "there's going to be a test!"

How can we use this for meditation? You can create your own anchor to enter a state of deep relaxation and focus. Some people just use the word "relax". Some touch the tips of their right thumb to the tip of their right forefinger (and likewise on the left side) as an anchor. To create the anchor, get into the ideal state, then give yourself the mental command "Anytime I hold my fingers together like this, I will enter this same deep state of focus and relaxation" or "Anytime I say the word 'relax', I will return to this same deep state of focus and relaxation."

Now you can just take a deep breath, use your anchor, and immediately step into a space of deep relaxation and intense focus. If from here, you want to use a countdown process to take yourself even deeper, you can. On the other hand, you can simply use this space to practice your meditation. Once you are capable of quickly stepping in and out of meditative states, it is much easier to bring the power of meditation into the rest of your life.
About the Author
Benjamin Langley has been studying and training in meditation, yoga, and other sciences of the mind for over 10 years. He regularly writes and shares powerful insights on his own blog. Come take a look: http://peacefulprosperity.com/blog
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