A crash course in meditation
Meditation is proven to bring numerous benefits including health, happiness and productivity. For lucid dreamers it also helps to raise your awareness - an important aid to becoming lucid.
There are many different forms of meditation. The one we want to work on is a quiet mind.
Notice your thoughts
Be aware of your thoughts for a minute. Notice how easily your mind wanders and how you use your inner dialogue . It's your inner dialogue that says "I must remember to pay that bill" or "I hope I didn't offend Jeremy last night".
At times your inner dialogue can be overwhelming. It just won't let you forget that argument, or maybe it's just looping through a line from a song.
OK, now we've introduced the annoying little critter, let's learn to control it and have a break from it.
Before you begin
Arrange to have no interruptions.
Find a quiet room.
Sit down or lie down and get comfortable.
A simple start
Many meditation techniques encourage you to focus on your breath. We're going to avoid that approach because it creates a habit that's hard to brake in more advanced techniques.
Count from 20 to 0 in your mind at any speed you like. What could be easier?
If a thought enters your mind begin again at 20.
If you loose count, your mind has wandered, so start again from 20.
Now count more slowly. Leave at least 2 seconds between each number.
Notice the time between saying each number. This is the quiet mind that we want to spend more time with.
Repeat this exercise until you can do it easily with gaps of 5 seconds or more.
Loose your inner dialogue
You're now aware of what a quite mind feels like. You have good control of your inner dialogue, but it's been quite active. Let's have a break from it all together.
Count from 20 to 0 as before, but don't use your inner dialogue. Visualise the numbers instead.
After visualising a number allow it to quickly fade away.
Notice the absence of inner dialogue and visual thoughts between each number. A very quiet mind.
The same rules apply as above, but if you hear your inner dialogue, start again from 20.
You've mastered your inner dialogue, but the visualisations of the numbers are still distractions.
Repeat the process as in the last stage, but imagine that part of the numbers are obscured by darkness.
Increase the darkness to obscure as much of the numbers as possible.
Notice that without saying the number or seeing the whole image you still know what it is.
Recognising your thoughts
Your thoughts are cluttered with sounds and images, but they exist without either of them. When you speak to someone, a thought fully forms in your mind in an instant. You then start speaking without even knowing how the sentence will end. Consider that initial spark of unexpressed thought.
Sit and quiet your mind.
Loose any inner dialogue and visual thoughts.
Be aware of the silent, formless sparks of thought. The precursors to your inner dialogue and imagery.
Now truley quiet your mind.