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One of my goals this month is to honor my relationship with spirit by taking time to meditate each and everyday.  Because I have just started Robert Bruce's Practical Astral Projection Intensive this goal is particularly important.  

I very much want to explore other dimensions by learning to reliably and consistently astral project.  The key to this, as to most things, however, is to put in the time.  That time is part learning new info, of course.   But the most important part of the process is the practice - which consists of specific meditations, Robert Bruce's energy work and the use of the Monroe Institute hemi-sync recordings.  

I'll be talking more about the type of meditation and energy work in future articles.  What I want to talk about here is the action of establishing a meditation routine.

The course asks us to set up a meditation space and routine.  In doing that I've come up with some recommendations (some are Robert's, some are mine) that I'd like to share:
  1. Find a resource.  Get a book on meditation, take a course or find an online community.  Learn about different types of meditation and then pick an approach that appeals to you.  You may chose to do breath work, mantras, energy or chakra work, visualization, mindfulness meditation, Qi gong, guided meditation, ambient sound, mandala meditation, contemplation, etc.  Don't be afraid to try something and see if it is a good fit.  You will still be creating a routine even if you vary the actual practice.
  2. Establish a meditative space.  Find a spot that is quiet.  This may not be your ideal meditation space (in my case my living room which has a great energy and is very serene when music is playing is just too close to traffic for the silent meditations I enjoy, so I've made a spot in my upstairs office that's working just fine).  Provide yourself with a meditation pillow or comfortable seating.  Consider a setting where you can control the amount of light (curtains or blinds).  Reduce or eliminate any clutter surrounding your area.  Perform a clearing if you feel that it's needed.  Make sure the door closes well and, if necessary, locks.
  3. Set a time.  Be just as serious about this time as you would any other appointment.  Remember that this is not just another line on your daily to-do list.  This is an appointment with spirit, divine energy and / or your higher self.  Write your meditation time in your calendar.  If you absolutely have to reschedule, reschedule for the same day and re-enter that time - just as you would if you were juggling an important visitor or client.
  4. Make sure you won't be disturbed.  Turn off your phone or put it in block mode.  Tell every one you live with that you will be meditating.  If you have pets, let them wait outside the door.  Put a sign on the door so people will remember that you just told them you are going to meditate.  If you have small children work within nap or bedtimes parameters or (ideally) ask someone else to be responsible for an hour or less. 
  5. Plan out your meditation.  If you are doing a structured non-guided meditation make a short outline of your practice that you can keep handy until your routine becomes ingrained.  This may be similar to what we are using in class which is belly breathing, observing the mind, energy work, hemi-sync recording.  Yours may be something like affirmation, focused breathing, chakra work, warming the eyes - or whatever your resource (or intuition) recommends).  If  you're using a recording you don't have to write anything out but you will want to be sure you have everything you are going to need.  I recommend a wall clock (non-ticking) or timer (phones in blocking mode work well), some water, a light blanket and other items as necessary (have ear plugs or an eye mask on  hand if you find you need them).
  6. Set the scene.  Robert recommends the use of scent as a way to signal and reinforce the meditative state and I think that's an excellent idea.  I use Sandalwood incense specifically for meditation because I burn Frankincense, Jasmine, Queen of the Night and others 24/7.  If you're sensitive to incense consider a scented candle or aromatic oil.  You may also wish to place a cleared and charged crystal or crystals inside your space, utilize ambient music or place a mandala or chakra chart within your field of vision.  Again, don't be afraid to experiement to see what works best for you.
  7. Time Yourself.  Set a timer and / or put a non-ticking wall clock across from your space.  Wrist watches work too but because you have to move to look at them they are not the best option.  Not everyone needs to time themselves during meditation, of course.  If you have all morning or evening to meditate and know you won't be wondering if it's time to get the clothes out of the dryer, pick up your child, or return a call, don't bother.  If it's likely these things will intrude, a timer or clock will free you to enjoy your time in meditation.
  8. Consider keeping a record of your experience.  Recording your meditation is a way of honoring your practice.  It helps you remember peak experiences (sometimes even the most profound fade) and note any difficulties or changes that need to be made.  Your meditation journal also creates a record of your progress over time which can be quite valuable.  I suggest recording the date, time, weather and moon phase (if you work with lunar energies in anyway) - as well as a line or two about your experience as a whole.  Sometimes you will have a lot to write.  Usually it will only take a few extra minutes.
And whatever you do, please keep in mind that a meditative practice is not something you do "just" for you.  Time in meditation connects us with the miracle of spiritual energy.  It allows us to be better mothers and fathers and friends.  And the energy raised helps make the world as a whole a better place!

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