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There are many meditation techniques. Some of the techniques are quite simple and can be picked up with a little practice. Others require training by an experienced instructor. We will cover some of the simple techniques to get started. Please note that because of the effects of meditation on repressed memories and the psychological impact, you may go through some discomfort initially; hence it is always a good idea to be under the care of a qualified practitioner as you start your meditation. (See the section on Warnings and Precautions).

In Christian spiritual training, meditation means thinking with concentration about some topic. In the Eastern sense, meditation may be viewed as the opposite of thinking about a topic. Here the objective is to become detached from thoughts and images and opening up silent gaps between them. The result is a quietening of our mind and is sometimes called relaxation response. In Christian mystical practice, this practice is called 'contemplation'.

When we look at the basic psychological procedure at the heart of Eastern meditation and Christian contemplation, we can understand why the following activities are relaxing:

Lying back and listening to music on radio or record player
Focusing attention, while sitting still, on a fishing rod float; rapt gazing at a loved person, object, or scene
Fireside contemplation.

All these activities, and many more, involve staying still and passive attention to something.

Next Topic: Four Elements Basic To Traditional Meditation



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