MEDITATION TECHNIQUES
1) Choose a regular time: Select a time each day when you can sit undisturbed for 20 minutes. No phones. No
interruptions. No unnecessary stimulus from radio or television.   You will probably find that this becomes the
busiest time of the day. After a few weeks you will suddenly have any number of things that your mind tells you
must be done only during those 20 minutes. Do not give way.  Persevere.  

2) Select a spot: Select a spot in your house or office that you use for your meditation session.  You are creating
your own sacred space. Doing so in conscious awareness that this is what you are doing, is part of the process.

3)) Find a Central Phrase: There is some phrase or sentence you have heard or read that has deeply
impressed you, or with which you resonate or wish to align yourself.  It might be something from the Bible, or a
favorite book. Or a verse in a song, or poem. It should be something that has a strong positive association in
your mind, whether or not it would make sense to another person.

4)  Keep your phrase a secret: If you tell others about this they will say your word, share with you their attitude
about your choice. When you go to say it they may intrude into your mind. Their pronunciation,their intonation may
be what you hear in your mind. By choosing your phrase you empower it as a goal to which you aspire; keep it a
secret.

5) Examine your life: Consider where you are, and where you aspire to be.  Consider this from the physical,
emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Look for patterns. In considering the physical, let's say you overeat. It has
been a life-long problem. This is the negative. The positive is you wish to eat consciously only foods that are
good for you and in appropriate amounts.  I have split the emotional and the mental because research suggests,
and my own experience confirms, that they are often confused. When people are asked how they feel, they often
respond by saying what they think.  How do you feel about what your friend just did?  I don't think she should
have said that to me.  That's thinking.  I feel surprised and hurt that she has never told me this before. That's
feeling.

6) Choose four Words of Power: Reduce those patterns to four words or phrases. Words or phrases that
embody all the energy you have invested in these patterns, and your aspirations to make their positive aspects
the reality of your life. The image on the preceding page may help. You can write in the Words of Power,the
appropriate one for each circle.  An emotional pattern might be that you feel you allow your partners to disregard
your feelings, and then you feel angry. The positive of this might be that you will say what your feelings are, and
choose only to be involved with people who will acknowledge them. Your word might be feelings. Be as honest
as you can, and don't tell anyone about it, or you will lie to yourself.  A mental pattern might be your sense that
you do not think clearly enough about some task you have set yourself, so your word might be clarity.  A spiritual
pattern might be your sense of separation. A existential sense of alienation. In this case your word might be
oneness.  When you have made your Words of Power sheet keep it a secret. For this technique to work you must
be absolutely as honest as you can be, and I have found this is hard for most people to do when others know
these things about them.

7) Once a day be present to meditate for 20 minutes: Sit comfortably. Loosen collars, belts, or shoe laces;
anything that constricts.

8) Look at a watch or clock: Visualize the hands as they will be in 20 minutes:  You will be surprised at how
accurate you become, and this time estimating skill will carry over to other aspects of your life.  Many meditators
regularly give themselves the suggestion to awaken at a certain time, and need no alarm clock.

9) Say your Central Phrase in your mind: Repeat it. Repeat it again. Wait.  For awhile there will be nothing. Then
you will find thoughts bubbling up. If the thoughts pertain to your phrase  whether anyone else would think they
did or not does not matter, think them.   After awhile you will find your thoughts wandering to matters that do not,
in your estimation, have anything to do with your Central Phrase.  When this happens, stop. Clear your mind. Take
a deep breath. Say your Central Phrase again. Then again. Then stop. There will be nothing for awhile. After a bit,
thoughts will bubble up. If the thoughts pertain to your Central Phrase, think them. After awhile they will wander
to other topics. When that happens repeat the process again.  In the course of a single session you may have to
do this several times but, over time, you will find you need to do it less and less often.  Your thoughts may give
you great insight into something going on in your life, or about which you are thinking.  But it is in the periods of
silence that the really interesting events in meditation occur. It is here that the transcendent experiences that
change people's lives take place. When these experiences will happen cannot be predicted, but they will
happen. What happens has to be experienced to be understood.

10) Close with your Words of Power:   At the end of your session slowly say in your mind your physical word or
phrase of power. Pause a moment. Then say your emotional  word or phrase. Then your mental one and, finally,
your spiritual word or phrase. It might help to visualize the words going out like arcs of light, or that you are
plugging into a greater whole.  Whatever works best, do that.  Over time you will find that one or the other of your
words or phrases will go flat, as if the energy has gone out of it. Some words and phrases will go flat in weeks,
others may take years before they need to be retired.  It depends on you and the dance of your life. When this
happens examine your life again. You may find that the goal you sought with that word has been attained. The
change is usually subtle, and the transformation so gradual you have hardly noticed. But now you are there.
When this happens select a new word or phrase in the same way as the earlier one, and begin again. Using this
technique you can transform your life. There will come a time when even your Central Phrase goes flat.  When
this happens consider what has changed. Really come to understand it. Make it part of your conscious life. Then
select a new Central Phrase,and begin the process again. There are a lot of things one might say about what is
happening to you physiologically during meditation, but this can be summed up by saying that your brain
chemistry changes, your blood chemistry changes,your stress level goes down, your muscles relax, your heart
beat slows, your blood pressure decreases, and your sense of well-being increases.  Not bad for 20 minutes.  
Meditation gives you the ability to focus. Its reward is a kind of mental coherence that is hard to achieve in other
ways, and it is this coherence that seems to bestow spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health on longtime
meditators.  If you will commit to a daily practice for just 90 days, I believe you will find good reasons to continue.  
Article Written by:  Stephan A. Schwartz/www.stephanaschwartz.com.