“… in the meditation, don’t meditate upon, but listen to the voice within. For prayer is supplication for direction, for understanding. Meditation is listening to the Divine within. — Edgar Cayce reading 1861-19
Step One: Find a comfortable position. Keep your spine straight, legs uncrossed, and relax any tense muscles in your body.
Step Two: Head-and-neck exercises. Do each of the following three times: head forward, head backward, head to the right shoulder, head to the left shoulder, rotate head in a complete circle clockwise, rotate head in a complete circle counterclockwise. Do not strain or force.
Step Three: Deep breathing exercises. Fill lungs from bottom to top, exhale from top to bottom. Breathe in through your right nostril and out through your mouth; repeat three times. Breathe in through your left nostril and out through your right; repeat three times.
Step Four: Special meditation aids can be used as desired. Music, incense, chants, personal rituals, inspirational reading, prayers and the prayer of protection. Send out light and constructive energies to the people on your personal prayer list.
Step Five: Affirmation and prayer for deeper meditation. Move through the three stages of focusing on the affirmation: thinking about it, feeling it, experiencing it. Return to the thinking stage whenever the mind wanders. Allow ten to fifteen minutes for Step Five. Healing prayer.
Step Six: Decision making. Test any tentative decisions you have made according to the decision-making exercise. Breathe into your heart three times, and then see how you feel as you imagine going with a “yes” decision. Also watch for any images that might come to mind. Repeat with a “no” decision. Hold each answer together with your spiritual ideal and your ethical views. Considering all of your answers so far, make a tentative decision: Now, put this tentative decision aside and meditate.
At the conclusion of your quiet time, silently ask your “yes” or “no” question, give the tentative answer you reached earlier, and then wait for any feelings or images that come to mind. What would you say is your “inner” answer? If you are unsure of your inner guidance, you may repeat these steps on another day. However, if you feel confident that your decision is the right one, think about how you might act on your decision.
Take the action, and watch for results.
Step Seven: Health tips for improved meditation. Remember that meditation and a healthy body can work together in a constructive cycle. The practice of meditation is an important element in your overall program for maintaining good health. Good health practices in your daily life will aid your meditation life. Below are areas to which you might want to pay particular attention:
Eat a good, balanced diet, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. The Edgar Cayce readings recommended that 80 percent of the diet consist of non-starchy vegetables and fruits, with the remaining 20 percent provided by proteins, cereals, and starches. He recommended that meat intake consist mainly of fish, fowl, and lamb, with red meat eaten only sparingly and pork rarely or never. Also, it is important that we avoid overly processed foods, all fried foods, and foods containing white flour and/or sugar.
Rest and Recreation
Adequate rest and recreation are essential parts of a balanced lifestyle. Be sure to get adequate sleep in order to avoid fatigue during your meditation experience. Recreation helps to relax both your body and mind, which is important when you sit down to meditate.
Eliminate Toxins from Your Body
The elimination of toxins—the waste products left over after the body has digested and metabolized its food—is crucial to good health. You eliminate toxins through your skin, lungs, bowels, and kidneys. The following practices are all helpful: Breathe deeply and fully, remembering to exhale completely. Breathing exercises before meditation help here, but you should also develop the habit of breathing deeply throughout the day. Drink at least six to eight glasses of pure water daily, which will help remove toxins and wastes from your body. Bowel eliminations should be kept regular through proper diet (including lots of fiber) and exercise, especially walking.
Exercise will help keep your body healthy and aid in stress reduction. Always check with your doctor before embarking on any new program of exercise. Moderate, consistent exercise is more helpful than sporadic, strenuous workouts. Gentle stretching and daily walks will go a long way toward keeping you fit and releasing tensions.
Finally, remember that you are a whole person, with all parts working together. Your attitudes and emotions are vital to good health. As you meditate daily, it will have an impact on your physical health. As you pay attention to basic health practices listed here, you’ll find your meditation life enhanced as well.