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Mindfulness in 2021

Meditation probably makes you think of a Tibetan monk: a man sitting in a big temple, sunlight on the background, in a beautiful landscape. Beautiful. It can also give the wrong impression that inner peace had more to do with the setting than with oneself.

There is a lot of information out there about meditation, maybe even an overload of it. There are so many benefits to this practice that it may seem unreal when you listen to someone speak about them for the first time.

When I first got interested in spiritual matters, meditation seemed complicated and difficult to approach. I kept thinking that it was necessary, but it took me a while to understand it. Initially, I thought it was like deep thinking, or maybe it was about doing something that calmed the mind, not unlike listening to music or taking a walk. I could not grasp that such a practice could have immense power in one's life. 

The results can be seen relatively fast and in a variety of effects. For instance, I became aware of the thought process in the way they create the next thought. Sekida, the Japanese Zen teacher, called the impulse of the first thought first "nen" and defined it as an inner impulse that can bring an action. Still, the real distraction is the second nen that appears as reflective thinking. This second nen is the one that is triggered by the first. In meditation, the first nen, which can be a feeling, a sense of thirst, cannot be avoided, but if the second nen does not arise, there is no real disturbance. Observation is then genuinely happening.

Starting to meditate does not mean that you must change your diet, nor does it have to do with religion. You can incorporate this practice into your life today; it does not come with a set of rules foreign to your life.

In Eastern traditions, "sati" is a word that refers to an act of direct or "pure" observation. It is "noticing" without adding anything to what we observe. It is not a dialogue with ourselves about what we see, nor is it tainted by concepts such as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. As to what we observe, they may be thoughts, emotions, experiences in general, while keeping an attitude of equanimity.

KEY BENEFITS

  • Increased focus.

Increasing focus is not about forcing the mind in a direction but also freeing it from thoughts' hunger. This happens naturally with meditation.

  • Reduced stress and a naturally calm mind.

The typical response to stress is different for everyone. But it connects with an added "weight," which the mind creates over any situation. A regular meditation practice lifts that weight.

  • A grounded attitude keeps anxiety at bay.

Anxiety brings about stress because it worries about the outcome of everything in our lives—these change for the better once your expectations do not stress you out. I mean, just like your stress with current events diminishes, your anxiety about the future lowers.

  • Heightened senses: music and images are perceived differently, with higher intensity.

The constant background noise of a roaming mind stops lowers its guard, and pure silence appears at different times of your day. It might happen when you walk; when you prepare food, at any time, you can realize that you exist in deep inner silence. This inner silence makes you appreciate music, images, noises even under a new light; they are not fighting your mind to get some attention, because a lot of your attention is free to enjoy them.

  • Improving your spiritual connection.

Meditation helps clear your spiritual connection to your higher self. This will improve any other practice. This is why you will find a variant of meditation in most traditions.

  • Creativity flows in a much more comfortable way.

Creation comes from a place of flexibility; the mind plays a tune that the heart needs to savor to work together. Your brain gets sharper even in this area, as it is juggling with fewer things on its plate.

  • Better sleep.

If the mind is more aware of itself during the daytime, sleep.

HOW DO I START MEDITATING?

Once you decide to start, the only thing you will need is to sit or lie, somewhere comfortable, a couch, or on a bed with a pillow against the wall. You can time yourself, starting with five minutes and increasing gradually until twenty. I use an app that has no advertisement and plays a gong sound as an alarm.

  1. Sit and wait a moment, just listening and seeing whatever is present. Hopefully, the ambient noise is low. It is essential to keep an attitude of acceptance towards sounds, lights, or smells. Try not to get caught in rejecting anything that is happening right now.
  2. Keep your attention on what you hear and in your own presence. If a stream of thoughts takes over, pay attention to them but do not engage, and they will pass. The mind can do other tricks to get your attention away from the present. Peaceful resistance is the key.
  3. If you notice high dispersion, you can focus on other experiences, such as the sensation of your whole body, air, and clothes. Or maybe look at the floor a few feet in front of you. The intention here is not to dominate the mind's activity but to be awareness itself, a boundless, infinite awareness.
  4. When the time's up, open your eyes quietly, and take a moment before doing anything else.

MINDFULNESS AND MAGICK IN BRIEF PRACTICES

As meditation links to everything else in spirituality, these are a few ways to explore that connection's depth. 

  1. When walking, feel the light around you. Allow it to go through you as if your body were transparent. This will stop superficial thoughts and energize you.
  2. Whatever you are doing, focus on your hands and the energy that moves through them. This brings about silence and helps intuition.
  3. Make it a habit to know how you feel in any room or building you enter. Just notice what your body perceives about the place. This exercise builds up a special kind of awareness, useful for divination and lucid dreaming.
  4. Repeat a mantra or make one yourself for any deity. Say it in your head several times, then allow it to slowly fade as if the one repeating it is someone else walking away from you, and it becomes inaudible. You are still saying it, but the words are silent, even in your own mind. This clears the connection with inner power and brings fire to your eyes.

Trying this type of meditations a few times will tell you what is right for you. Meditating as a habit will prove to be even better than what you heard, and the results will clearly improve your other magickal skills and bring immense personal power and freedom. Let me know if this helped you in any way.

Love, light & magick!

Rani

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