FAQs about meditation and online meditation

What if I’m new to meditation?

Meditation is fairly straightforward and in an online meditation you will be given verbal prompts as to what to do. You will soon pick it up.

What does meditation involve?

This depends on the kind of meditation. All meditations have a beginning and an end sequence, and these can be similar for each meditation.

For the beginning, you make yourself comfortable, and close your eyes. You can then focus on your breathing. Just notice your breathing, and observe it for several breaths. This relaxes you, calms your focus, and reduces mind chatter. You can then become aware of the energy of the meditation, relax, and just observe that.

What happens then depends on the kind of meditation. If it is a meditation held in silence and stillness, you allow yourself to notice the peace and calm. Or if there is an energy flowing while you are being silent and still, you relax, and just notice or feel the energy that is flowing in the meditation.

If the meditation is a guided visualization, you relax, listen and go with the flow of any images, feelings and sensations you might notice. It is like being taken on a journey, where you can relax and enjoy.

Towards the end of a meditation, you once again become aware of your breathing, and stay with that for a few breaths at least. You then become aware of your body, and perhaps notice your fingers and your feet and toes. Then when you are ready, you open your eyes.

What clothes should I wear?

The general idea is that you are comfortable. People will often wear loose clothing. Sometimes people like to wear some clothes that for them means they are going to meditate. It’s rather like having a protocol to follow that tells the mind, “Right, this is a special time, it’s time to step away from distractions, the outside world and busy thoughts and feelings, and meditate.” The clothes set the tone for some people.

How should I sit?

Some people like to sit in a traditional yoga lotus position which goes with Indian based meditation techniques. They would also hold thumb and (say, middle) fingers together to allow the flow of prana through the body. It is worth bearing in mind there are other meditation traditions where this won’t be considered a necessity. Some people like to have their hands, palms up, in their laps.

Some people like to kneel, partly sitting on a cushion, and other people are happy to sit in a chair. I find that sitting in a chair works for me as when the energy comes in during meditation, it accesses various chakras in a way where the lotus position and hand positions aren’t the important factors, whereas just being comfortable and open to the energy are important.

Should I eat or refrain from eating before meditation?

It is personal choice. However, in some kinds of meditation, there can be a lot of energy flowing through, and the body responds by using up resources. Generally it is helpful to make sure blood sugar levels are high enough, and having enough minerals in the diet is also helpful. It is better to feel stable and grounded rather than weak and faint, so a decent diet helps as does food after a meditation if it seems to be necessary. The type of diet depends on what helps your body feel nourished.

How long should I meditate?

As a beginner, 20 minutes or so is a good start for a week or so. Then 40 minutes, then an hour. It depends on the kind of meditation.

Working with energy though, it is possible to notice a start, when the energy starts coming in, a period where the energy of the meditation keeps flowing, and then the energy recedes. In this situation, the amount of time for the meditation then depends on when the energy stops, rather than being a set time.

In everyday life, a maximum of an hour a day is OK, as life is for living and loving and learning, and meditation can be used to support this, rather than be a way of avoiding life (with the caveat that sometimes meditation might be required as an escape and a healing respite for a while).

What benefits are there to meditation?

Once you have a feel of how much meditation to do a day feels right to you, meditation can be beneficial. There has been a fair bit of research done on the beneficial effects of meditation. It has been found to reduce stress and anxiety, and physically to lower blood pressure. People seem to become calmer and more relaxed, and happier. Being more relaxed supports creativity and focus, and so improves effectiveness.

I have found that meditations with a focus on self-esteem improve self-esteem. Also with meditation it is possible to improve body image. People can feel better about themselves with the help of meditation, though this can be achieved in other ways, too, (e.g. doing something you can do well at such as sports, singing, a hobby, learning a new skill, public speaking, finding a job you enjoy, and therapy if required).

As I work with chakras and the aura, I have found that meditations that focus on these help to clean up a person’s energy (so they feel better), and I have found it is possible to improve intuition (we all can do it, just needs a bit of preparation and practice).

Meditation can open up someone to the layers of their spirituality, and there is a lot to explore about spirituality through meditation.

Can children meditate?

Yes, though perhaps for shorter times than for adults.

When is the best time of day to meditate?

Any time that suits you or that you can fit into your life if it isn’t possible to prioritise a time. It helps to do meditation when you are not too tired as you might just fall asleep otherwise. Some people like early morning, some people like to meditate at noon, at lunchtime. It is what suits you and when meditations are available if you are doing them online.

There are meditations and articles about meditation and spirituality available on my blog through this link.

How I Got Into Meditation by Jonathan Barber

The author, Jonathan Barber, chilling out.

I started on the path to meditation in the middle of the 1980’s. The first step came about because I was a science teacher in inner-London interested in ways of learning. I came across a book that took a powerful learning technique from Eastern Europe and added in Western style ideas, including creative visualization.

I tried out some of the creative visualisations, liked them and incorporated guided visualization into my science classes. The students loved them, saying they helped them deal with stress. The guided imagery helped too, with learning. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s you didn’t need a certificate or a diploma from some organisation in order to use guided visualization or meditation, and the organisations didn’t exist then anyway.

For myself, I found the techniques really useful for working with the subconscious mind for creativity, and for accessing good ideas.

For the next step, a healer suggested that I should do some Om-ing. I did this, and found that my ability to meditate was deepened. From then on I meditated by sitting in my attempt at a lotus position with eyes closed. First of all I focused on my breathing, become silent, before going into the flow of the meditation.

The meditation work changed me. It opened up my intuition. Along with doing T’ai Chi it helped me become aware of spiritual energy, and it opened up my healing ability.

I started doing healing work, and using breathing techniques and visualization with drug users who wanted to overcome the addictions.

I also accidentally started giving Tarot card readings but without the training. After a while, as I was giving the reading faster than I was looking at the cards, I stopped using them which was somewhat freeing. I put the development of intuition down to the meditation.

Working with people and the energies they brought along which they would release, meant it was necessary to learn and use guided visualizations to clear my aura, polish up my chakras, learn how to protect my aura and chakras, and see off any negative energies, and stay grounded. I would then teach these techniques to others when required.

I found that working with the heart centre helped all the other centres and I worked with the third eye centre, too. This led onto giving Develop Your Intuition workshops, since if I could do it, so could others. Teaching people to use their intuition was a great way to help people find their purpose if they needed to, make better decisions, assess situations, people and their own timeline ahead.

Moving out of London, I kept on meditating and learning more about spirituality, energy, and the possibilities of meditation. I would teach meditation techniques as and when required. I found that the right guided meditation, along with the requisite energy would flow in as I worked with people at that time on a one-to-one basis.

Now in the present moment, wave after wave of new energy is flowing in, which can be expressed through new guided visualization techniques in the moment, brand new; fresh.

I found that spirituality is not static or stagnant. Like a flowing river it is always changing, and each wave of spiritual energy coming in is different just as each wave coming in to the shore is different, and always original. Spirituality is always changing, always fresh. Truth is many layered (think of an onion as a basic analogy). People as spiritual beings are many-layered and always developing spiritually. Newer and newer energies are coming in, and guided visualization and meditations are a way of working with these energies, as the same energies impact on the world around us, bringing change.

I find that using meditation, it is possible to have healing, the right energy and an intuitive sense of the steps to take in life, and an understanding of the order within apparent chaos. Makes life more like surfing a wave rather than falling in it!

For FAQs about meditation, click here.

If you would like to know about online meditation and courses that are available, click here.

You want to learn to meditate, where do you start?

Meditation can mean lots of things depending on what resonates with you.

You can meditate to experience calm inside you, or to calm yourself with feedback. Or you can meditate to watch your mind, or to discard thoughts, and stay present and not have your attention wander (or wonder). You can be mindful. Or go for an empty mind.

Minds are tricky, and with each lifetime you get a different mind, well, a collection of minds; the unconscious, the personality mind (which is based very much on personal preferences, your culture and language, and experience, and how your feelings are wired up, so it’s quite personal). Then there is a body mind, and a higher mind. Which mind to focus on then?

Or after lifetimes you give up on those minds and start meditating on other things, and there are plenty of other things for a human to meditate on. It very much depends on what you think it means to be human. So, what does it mean to be human?

You can think of yourself as a human and that all that is spiritual about yourself is your mind (or one of your minds, if you see what I mean). But there is much more to people than that.

Now when you incarnated, and came into the fused egg and sperm (the zygote is the biological term), or when your soul touched that physical material with its energy, will and intent, the first part of you to start up was your heart centre or chakra. The heart centre is very much a point of connection for the soul.

The heart centre as it happens, is a very good place to meditate on. What happens there, spreads out into the other centres. These developed after the heart centre.

The heart centre isn’t like the mind in that it’s like the origin, rather than an effect, which the mind is like. So the heart centre is truly a great place to meditate on.

It is also possible to meditate on the full set of centres or chakras as a whole, as a system, including the centres of the head.

What else does it mean to be human? It boils down to sensitivity and openness, which can lead on to personal experience from which you can learn consciously, and also subconsciously. Having another person tell you about something is no substitute for personal experience. Even an advanced spiritual master would get you to test out what you hear from them (and then later, when you figure out the quality of them you may find it is really a good idea to accept their word as it really moves you along spiritually).

Humans have a physical body, an etheric body surrounding this (when people have amputations they often still feel the limb is still there – it is etherically), an astral body, and a mental body surrounding the whole lot. There is a sheath of energy around the these and the centres called the aura. when all these parts are locked into the physically body, a person will feel solid and grounded. If they are not locked, they will feel, and sometimes look spacey and ungrounded. There’s a fair bit to meditate on here.

Then in all of this, there is a physical elemental that drives to keep the physical shell alive. There is a personality which matches a persons karmic package for that lifetime and which can help spiritually as a motivator and anchor, or not. There is a person’s spirit which is a fairly complex mix, the minds as mentioned, and the soul. The soul is very much not as smart or amazing as people think it is, though that is another story. Once again, there is quite a lot to meditate on.

Then a person’s soul, and therefore the person, exist on one of the planes of consciousness, from the lowest, zeroth, to the sixth plane. Depending on the plane, there is physical light, and also astral light of varying frequency, and mental light of varying frequency and speed. “The light” can most definitely be something to meditate on, but it depends on what light.

When people take drugs what they experience is the astral light on the zeroth and first plane at the most. Definitely not where it’s at spiritually. Dullsville.

Meditation can be used to access light from the fifth and sixth plane, which can certainly be something. On these planes there are some wonderful energy which can be in the form of light, which can have very positive effects on you.

Beyond, the fifth and sixth plane energies and light, there are energies and light of a Divine nature, such as the Paramatman light, or first, second and third Divine Journey energies and light. These are amazing to meditate with.

To work with these requires a connection with, say, a Perfect Master or an agent that they can work through, or some other person with access to these energies. There needs to be a connection so they can oversee what is going on and ensure that not too much light is given, or the one on the receiving end is toast! It can take several years to come down to earth from an overload of light, or it can overload the heart and the physical body can’t handle it. So common sense means that a person meditating with this light needs to looked after.

This Divine light has an intelligence, a spirit, so when it goes into the various levels of your being, it can interact with you in ways that are required and allowed at that time. It really is quite amazing, and the Silence and Stillness that comes with Divine light is something else, and can take you into other levels of what it means to be human.

There’s lots more that I haven’t mentioned here, which I’ll leave to later.

For FAQs about meditation, click here.

If you would like to know about online meditation and courses that are available, click here.

Spiritual Crisis and Meditation in London and Beyond

If someone had said to me when I was a teenager that I would be doing meditation when I was older I would have been completely disbelieving. I liked my sport, going out for a drink, and parties and music. In my early twenties I added nightclubbing to the list along with the culture that could be found in London.

There wasn’t much room for spirituality and not a hint of meditation.

But then my guides intervened. “He is too immersed in low purpose, the glamour of backwards and sideways living, he’s living like a caveman, and going round in circles. Time to wake him up to his higher purpose, and get rid of the glamour and see things for what they really are. Time to wake him up to spirituality. Right, given him a crisis, no, give him two crises, and a good detox (vomiting and diarrhoea) all at the same time. That should do it!”

The guides stand back and rub their esoteric hands together in satisfaction, and watch the entertainment.

So I was propelled to sort myself out and find some answers. By that time I had heard of meditation but still thought it was for rather weird people and cults, which was admittedly a narrow and wrong view.

So I took a route through aromatherapy (really useful for letting go of old emotions and for detoxing as it turned out), shamanic healing (didn’t really work for me but other people like it, and the one real South American shaman I did meet was lovely and could do stuff that really was magical), and rebirthing (healing and great fun, though looking back it seems completely whacky with some crazy ideas flowing around it, I mean, who really would want to live forever? Just showed a complete lack of even basic understanding of karma). So my journey to meditation was terrific fun but took a couple of years.

Then a healer suggested I do some Om-ing. So for the first week I chanted Om or Aum for twenty minutes a day. The next week I chanted for forty minutes and then for sixty minutes the following week. That really cleared my centres and expanded my aura. It cleared my third eye so my intuition opened up. My clairvoyance opened up and I could look at things and see energy and timelines. My heart centre opened up and would glow with a warm, soft feeling.

Then after that preparation I started to meditate. I learnt first of all to put down roots into the earth, deep into the planet.

I learnt to allow down white light into my crown centre and fill this up, and then go down each centre in turn, filling each centre up with white light. Then I would let the white light flow down through the centres, and down through the roots into the earth like a gift.

Afterwards, as a protective sequence I would button up each chakra in turn.

That was it. Nothing too special. But wonderful all the same. That was the basic technique.

I learnt other meditations. I was teaching science and was intrigued by novel ways of teaching. I came across “Superlearning” which was a set of radical ideas on learning derived from a teaching and learning technique called Suggestopedia created by a Bulgarian psychologist (there is a bit of a Cold war story in there). The Superlearning techniques morphed and were diluted and became accelerated learning. Both these Westernized techniques used creative visualization to help with learning. Creative visualization has a lot to do with spiritual meditation, or can do, and is very useful for creatively using the mind in learning, in being creative, and for improving self-confidence and performance. I incorporated a lot of the techniques, including creative visualizations in teaching my students. Life could be hard for some of the inner city students so they referred to the visualizations as de-stressing.

The initial visualization was typically a relaxation one, which often involved moving through a cave, or rooms in a buildings, or through tunnels, or clouds etc., going through red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, and then back. Quite basic but very effective. Also now looking back I can see in it a spiritual dimension that I was unaware of at the time. It is actually a very healing kind of meditation.

I’d then use creative visualization in the lesson, for instance, studying the water cycle, the students would imagine themselves as molecules of water going on a journey through the water cycle, so they would get the feeling of it as well as the idea.

I came across New Age meditations which were interesting and some were useful though the energy of many was empty and more like New Age glamour; fashionable but fleeting and failing to live up to the promise.

At that time I was meditating too much which meant I wasn’t participating enough in life. I wasn’t being practical, and it was pointed out to me that I was using meditation as an escape from life and my practical responsibilities. So I had to consider how to use meditation to help me to live and be a useful member of society.

I looked into Meher Baba and how his followers lived their spirituality. It was all so ordinary, in fact there was no meditation, although in a book by Meher Baba called”Discourses” there is a section on meditation and meditation techniques.

A general guideline in the Meher Baba world was and is “Don’t worry, be happy”, and take care of your responsibilities. There is an emphasis on service to others in the world. So it was all very grounding. I was weaned off New Age language as well, as the language used in the community was so ordinary, too.

There were some things in this world that struck me as being related to meditation, but in a very natural way. Visiting the Meher center in Meherabad, which is near Ahmednagar (near Pune), I visited Meher Baba’s tomb daily. The energetic atmosphere there switched me straight into meditation more powerfully than anything else I had experienced. Avataric energy does that. It was filled with immense love and compassion.

There were other places in Meherabad suffused in Meher Baba’s energy that had a similar instant effect. The following is an example.

On the evening of 9th July 1925, before going into one room Meher Baba said He would stop talking from that night on, and then be in silence. The next day He came out in silence, and was silent for the rest of his life. He used an alphabet board to start with to communicate, and then hand gestures that his followers could interpret. (This going into Silence is remembered as Silence day which is observed on the 10th of July.)

I went into that room for a couple of minutes and tried to meditate. The energy was too intensely silent for me, almost burning, and I came out of the room before getting a headache.

The Meher Baba followers would get together for events which included saying prayers that Meher Baba had written. After saying the prayers they stood still. There descended a silence that was like the gates of infinity opening. The silence was deep and vast, and dynamic. My centres would go into instant meditation and work mode. Then after a minute or so, the work done, the silence would lift.

Subsequently I explored meditating with a range of other energies to do with spirituality. A key focus has been on putting roots down into the earth and grounding, again and again, as this is so important in being able to meditate with Avataric light or Perfect Master energy without getting spiritually drunk, or white-lighted and ungrounded, or throwing up!

Then there is the lovely Devic energy which brings healing, nurturing and change. There is Angelic energy (being grounded is essential to work with this), and a whole range of other energies. I explored ways to use energies in healing and in protective ways for myself and others, and for clearing up old negative energies around people and places.

The learning is still a continual ongoing process. We are spiritual beings in a big universe in creation, there is so much to learn about spirituality so we can fully bring it into our lives, and get onto our best timeline, the payoff being that we end up being happy and happier, and can end up making others happier, too.  Also, there are energetic ways to be of service and do something for people as well as physical ways, and for the locality and the earth generally. For instance we can use techniques to clean up energy as a form of healing, or simply send out beautiful and loving thoughts and act with kindness and love.

If you enjoyed this article or found it useful you might want to take a look at “Your Spiritual Awakening And the New Dawn for Humanity” by Jonathan Barber, and also “Meditation: Opening Doorways On A New Reality”, on Kindle and Amazon

For FAQs about meditation, click here.

If you would like to know about online meditation and courses that are available, click here.

You want to learn to meditate, where do you start?

meditate on the above while being rooted in the below, absorbing the dream of what Life can be at its best
meditate on the above while being rooted in the below, absorbing the dream of what Life can be at its best.(Picture represents the Blue Sky above, and the Green Grass below, and the Tree of Life)

Meditation can mean lots of things depending on what resonates with you.

You can meditate to experience calm inside you, or to calm yourself with feedback. Or you can meditate to watch your mind, or to discard thoughts, and stay present and not have your attention wander (or wonder). You can be mindful. Or go for an empty mind.

Minds are tricky, and with each lifetime you get a different mind, well, a collection of minds; the unconscious, the personality mind (which is based very much on personal preferences, your culture and language, and experience, and how your feelings are wired up, so it’s quite personal). Then there is a body mind, and a higher mind. Which mind to focus on then?

Or after lifetimes you give up on those minds and start meditating on other things, and there are plenty of other things for a human to meditate on. It very much depends on what you think it means to be human. So, what does it mean to be human?

You can think of yourself as a human, and that all that is spiritual about yourself is your mind (or one of your minds, if you see what I mean). But there is much more to people than that.

Now when you incarnated, and came into the fused egg and sperm (the zygote is the biological term), or when your soul touched that physical material with its energy, will and intent, the first part of you to start up was your heart centre or chakra. The heart centre is very much a point of connection for the soul.

The heart centre as it happens, is a very good place to meditate on. What happens there, spreads out into the other centres. These developed after the heart centre.

The heart centre isn’t like the mind, in that it’s like the origin, rather than an effect, which the mind is like. So the heart centre is truly a great place to meditate on.

It is also possible to meditate on the full set of centres or chakras as a whole, as a system, including the centres of the head.

What else does it mean to be human? It boils down to sensitivity and openness, which can lead on to personal experience from which you can learn consciously, and also subconsciously. Having another person tell you about something is no substitute for personal experience. Even an advanced spiritual master would get you to test out what you hear from them (and then later, when you figure out the quality of them you may find it is really a good idea to accept their word as it really moves you along spiritually).

Humans have a physical body, an etheric body surrounding this (when people have amputations they often still feel the limb is still there – it is etherically), an astral body, and a mental body surrounding the whole lot. There is a sheath of energy around the these and the centres called the aura. when all these parts are locked into the physically body, a person will feel solid and grounded. If they are not locked, they will feel, and sometimes look spacey and ungrounded. There’s a fair bit to meditate on here.

Then in all of this, there is a physical elemental that drives to keep the physical shell alive. There is a personality which matches a persons karmic package for that lifetime and which can help spiritually as a motivator and anchor, or not. There is a person’s spirit which is a fairly complex mix, the minds as mentioned, and the soul. The soul is very much not as smart or amazing as people think it is. Though that is another story as it develops its level of consciousness over many lives, and an old soul will have more consciousness than a young soul. Once again, there is quite a lot to meditate on.

Then a person’s soul, and therefore the person, exist on one of the planes of consciousness, from the lowest, zeroth, to the sixth plane. Depending on the plane, there is physical light, and also astral light of varying frequency, and mental light of varying frequency and speed. “The light” can most definitely be something to meditate on, but it depends on what light.

When people take drugs what they experience is the astral light on the zeroth and first plane at the most. Definitely not where it’s at spiritually.

Meditation can be used to access light from the fifth and sixth plane, which can certainly be something. On these planes there are some wonderful energy which can be in the form of light, which can have very positive effects on you.

Beyond, the fifth and sixth plane energies and light, there are energies and light of a Divine nature, such as the Paramatman light, or first, second and third Divine Journey energies and light. These are amazing to meditate with.

To work with these requires a connection with, say, a Perfect Master or an agent that they can work through, or some other person with access to these energies. There needs to be a connection so they can oversee what is going on and ensure that not too much light is given, or the one on the receiving end is toast! It can take several years to come down to earth from an overload of light, or it can overload the heart and the physical body can’t handle it. So common sense means that a person meditating with this light needs to be careful.

This Divine light has an intelligence, a spirit, so when it goes into the various levels of your being, it can interact with you in ways that are required and allowed at that time. It really is quite amazing, and the Silence and Stillness that comes with Divine light is something else, and can take you into other levels of what it means to be human.

There’s lots more that I haven’t mentioned here, which I’ll leave to later.

For FAQs about meditation: https://spiritualgrowthadventure.com/2020/12/03/faqs-about-meditation-and-online-meditation/

If you would like to find out about online meditation courses: https://spiritualgrowthadventure.com/online-meditation-courses/

If you enjoyed this article or found it useful you might want to take a look at “Your Spiritual Awakening And the New Dawn for Humanity” by Jonathan Barber, and also “Meditation: Opening Doorways On A New Reality”, on Kindle and Amazon