Meditation is a conscious effort to change the way the mind works. It is most famously used by the Buddhist religion as a method to increasing self-awareness and helping us on our journey to enlightenment. However, meditation is used by many as a tool to free us from the stresses and strains of daily life and by others as a means to increase their psychic abilities. Do these different practices mean that different forms of meditation can never unite in a common cause?
Buddhists believe that meditation can help us to change the desires that make us act the way we do, but for the better. It is a means through which we can develop the awareness and the energy needed to transform ingrained patterns of negativity. For example, a man who is impatient with his wife may promise to himself that he will no longer shout at her. An hour later, he may find himself repeating his old habits because he is unaware of the root cause of the problem. Meditating increases our self-awareness and allows us to make profound changes at our cores.
According to Buddhist teachings, although there are many types of meditation, the two most popular are Mindfulness of Breathing and Loving Kindness. Each form of meditation was developed to overcome particular physiological problems. Mindfulness of Breathing is the form that is used most widely by teachers and practitioners whose students are looking for ways to relax. It deals with focusing the mind on the regular inhalation and exhalation of the breath and attempting to put aside all intrusive thoughts and feelings to achieve a state of complete calm. Interestingly, this practice is also used by psychics during times in which they want to access their subconscious minds. However, rather than ignoring thoughts, they will achieve a trance-like state in which they are receptive to the images, thoughts and feelings generated by their higher selves. Through these, they can focus on strengthening their predictive and intuitive abilities.
Loving Kindness Meditation
Loving Kindness Meditation relies on the use of affirmations to invoke positive change. Those who practice this form are asked to wish themselves well and to wish good upon those they may feel indifferent about or even dislike. As a result, practitioners report that they will develop deeper relationships with those they love, make friends with people they previously ignored and feel any ill-will or resentment of others slowly diminish. In addition, they believe that those who practice Loving Kindness Meditation may be able to use their minds to engender positive effects in others. The belief is that, if developed properly, the mind is a very powerful instrument and if we choose to focus our mental energies on others, we can help to transform them, in a positive fashion.
Once again, there are profound similarities between this train of thought and the way that psychics perceive meditation. Positive visualisation is a popular tool for many psychics, both as a tool for self-improvement and a way of helping others. Many psychics believe that regular meditation can help to increase an awareness of your own subconscious and attune your psychic senses to the psychic wavelengths of those around you. It is thought that meditation can increase intuitive and empathic abilities and, by sending out positive energy, increase our abilities to communicate on a telepathic or intuitive level.
What seems to be a general consensus between all the different schools of thought is that meditation can help to improve our mental or psychic abilities. The subconscious mind acts much like a two-way radio transmitter, transmitting both positive and negative energies on a 24 hour basis. We have all experienced the gut feeling of being in someone’s company you either like or dislike for no apparent reason, and most of us have experienced the sensation that someone is watching us – to turn round and find that it is true. These are examples of what psychics would perceive as intuition and Buddhists would perceive as the natural energy that flows between all living beings. Meditation offers the opportunity to heighten those abilities and use them to positive effect.
Many psychics believe that the mind can be likened to the wind or the ocean; a continual flow of thoughts and feelings. However, meditation brings those forces to a standstill, but although the wind might not be blowing, the air is still there and though the waves might not be crashing, the water still exists. It is thought that this state of psychic calm is that of the highest creativity and the deepest intuition.
Without the clutter of the conscious mind to get in our way, the subconscious mind can be truly accessed, allowing us to tune into the latent psychic abilities that we are all born with. Being able to sustain these periods of psychic tranquillity gives us greater control over our psychic gifts and, in time, we can learn to use them when we want to.
There are so many similarities between Buddhist, psychic and relaxing meditation that it can be easy to confuse them. However, it seems that practising any of these forms, under the guidance of an experienced and reputable teacher, can have psychic, emotional and physical benefits. Even the world of science is starting to embrace the idea that our mental outlook can have a positive effect on our physical wellbeing. Patients with a sunny disposition are reported to recover quicker from illnesses than those who feel sorry for themselves. It seems almost inarguable that a healthy mind means a healthy body, proof that our subconscious selves can have some significant impact on the physical world.
Ultimately, Buddhists hope to reach a state of ultimate tranquillity (Nirvana) through which they will be able to perceive the mysteries of life. Psychics aspire to achieve a state through which their psychic abilities can ebb and flow, uninterrupted. While the names of each school of thought may differ, it seems that the goal of ultimate enlightenment is common to both of them.