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HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR MEDITATION PRACTICE IN A CHAOTIC WORLD...

Updated: Aug 9, 2023


In this blog I will be covering a few helpful tools that can be utilised to support and strengthen your meditation practice, as well as some misconceptions about the valuable art of meditation:

The last two to three years have highlighted the fact that the mental health of the nation requires urgent support. The need to regulate our emotional state is increasing exponentially and meditation is one of the many tools that people are turning to in their quest to find balance and peace in a turbulent world.


But what is meditation and what are the differences between relaxation techniques, mindfulness and meditation? And why is accessing a true meditative state often so difficult?

I have been a practitioner of natural and traditional therapies for 40 years, guiding clients through various methods of meditation and visualisation techniques, and when I ask clients if they have ever attempted meditation the response is often: "I tried, but it was too difficult”, or “It didn’t work for me”. Invariably, this is because people often underestimate what it takes to prepare to reach such a heightened level of awareness, conceptually and practically.

The increased interest in meditation has prompted a stream of information on social media platforms on the subject, ranging from claims to clear emotional trauma through your phone's speakers by playing certain frequencies from a tuning fork or a crystal bowl, to weekend Ayahuasca immersive retreats. Unfortunately, not all of the information is coming from a place of knowledge and wisdom. As someone who has a deep respect for natural therapies, I know only too well that when there is conflicting or misinformation on the subject of natural therapies, the general public can become confused, disenchanted and sometimes dismissive of any or all natural healing modalities.


I am, therefore, writing this blog to help demystify and clarify the practice of meditation by highlighting the challenges one can face whilst developing one of the most powerful disciplines that we can use for self-healing, and sharing a few tips on what we can do to make sure we don't fall at the first hurdle!



The word 'meditation' infiltrated our western language during the 60s when eastern religious traditions - still mainly untouched by industrialisation - quickly gained popularity by the 'New Age' movement. Several decades later and the word ‘meditation’ is often used to describe any practice which helps calm the mind and the body. However, calming the mind and the body achieved by controlling the breath, praying or chanting, does not necessarily give access to that desired higher level of awareness needed for authentic meditation. I regard those practices as relaxation techniques which are valuable tools and fundamental cornerstones for the development of meditation.


Meditation is a skill, an art, and a privilege, perfected by ancient wisdom traditions from both eastern and western cultures over many centuries - before industrialisation, over- population, noise and toxic pollution disrupted our brain frequencies. The level of stimulation that we are exposed to daily makes it almost impossible to exclude this constant bombardment of information. Therefore, the skill of meditation needs even more rigorous preparation than our ancestors required. Like most valuable skills, meditation takes dedicated practise and knowledgeable guidance to attain a level of competence to experience its fuller benefits.


The Merriam Webster dictionary definition of meditation is:


'To reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness.'


The description: “to reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness", is indeed the endgame but there are many levels of negative conditioning that we need to remove from our memories before arriving at a place of wisdom that can reveal a new awareness; an awareness that can be accessed effortlessly at any time - not just for a 10 or 30 minute daily practice.

Book I and Book II of The Legacy of Crystal Island

This is a subject that I cover in my two fantasy novels: The Legacy of Crystal Island book One and Two. These books were written with the intention of bringing to the reader a tangible understanding of the complex and rich tapestry of the wisdom of creation that is buried deep within our memories under centuries of negative conditioning: a wisdom that we all have the potential to access with the correct guidance.


To achieve that heightened state of awareness, often so desperately sought, one needs to understand the challenges involved. Like any skill, there is a developmental process that spans many stages of initiation. One cannot expect to go from being unable to control the breath, or 'emptying' the mind (the hardest exercise at the beginning) to reaching a heightened level of awareness, let alone spiritual awareness, in just one or two sessions or a weekend workshop.



LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR MEDITATION

Meditation is a powerful tool for strengthening our emotional resilience so that we can deal effectively with whatever this chaotic world throws at us. So, what is the correct way to learn the skill of meditation?


Meditation is mostly spoken about in context with the mind, but for meditation to be successful, an understanding and connection of every level of our being needs to be engaged - physical, mental, and emotional. If we are to follow the path of meditation as practiced by wisdom traditions, the physical, mental, and emotional bodies must all be explored, balanced and integrated, otherwise we cannot adequately access the spiritual. Therefore, maintaining the health of the physical body must be a priority to avoid symptoms of ill health becoming yet another distraction from gaining a deeper meditative connection.



MEDITATION AND NATURE - A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN

Nature and the reassuring sounds of nature are a natural accompaniment to acquiring the skill of meditation, but the plant kingdom is depleted in most of our towns and cities; the shadows of trees and plants are all that remains of nature in the expanding ocean of concrete. Being in nature is a tremendous bonus when learning to meditate, but sadly, many of us do not enjoy the privilege of living in green environments. Our highly technical and industrialised environment, coupled with the many fears that we confront on a daily basis, prevent us from clearing and calming our mind in preparation for a deeper meditation practice. As shown in the picture below, accessing Theta brainwave states are linked to a calm and creative focus; a state that is more readily accessed when our senses are immersed in the healing frequencies of nature.


Brainwave States - Theta is the frequency closest to Planet Earth

However, without the daily gifts of nature to help us access the correct brain frequencies conducive to meditation, we need tools to assist us on our journey. For the last 35 years, in a quest to bring nature to my clients, I have used essential oils via olfaction to assist and enhance their meditation (molecules of essential oils connect directly to the brain through the olfactory bulb which is above the nasal cavities). Modern research has proven that medicinal grade essential oils, through olfaction, have a direct effect on mood and emotional balance and more and more information is surfacing about the communication symbiosis between the human brain and the plant world. As an experienced clinical essential oil practitioner, I have a deep understanding and respect for the way in which specific essential oils can harmonise brain chemistry and brain frequencies, whilst also having the capability to remove trauma and fear from experienced and genetic memory. But, like all natural therapies, we must use essential oils with respect and wisdom. Whilst essential oils are natural, their active ingredients are chemicals, some of which should carry a hazard warning, and unfortunately many have become endangered.




SUPPORT FROM THE PLANT KINGDOM

Ancient Memory Meditation Range

In a quest to give as much support as I can to individuals on their development journey, I have created a range of products specifically designed to enhance your meditation practice. My Ancient Memory meditation range includes:

All the products in this range are produced according to a classical alchemical process which ensures the active ingredients of the plants (the totem) are retained; guaranteeing their vibrational and therapeutic integrity. Quality and sustainability are of paramount importance and I only use the finest quality ingredients sourced from producers and farmers that work in 'right relationship' with the plant kingdom, many of whom have handed down valuable knowledge and wisdom from generation to generation.


I need to mention here that when I talk about using the support of the plant kingdom I am most definitely not including ayahuasca-retreats. The use of hallucinogenic plants to attain a deeper level of consciousness/understanding is a shamanic practice, a practice that demands the student be in right relationship with the plant. It cannot be conducted as a quick fix tool - it takes longer than a weekend or 10 days, or even a year long retreat to fully integrate this type of experience. The shamanic practice of using plants to access the 'spirit' was created in a time when the world was more in tune with the laws of nature where a longer preparation and, indeed, recovery time was built into the experience.


SUPPORT FROM THE MINERAL KINGDOM - OLIGOTHERAPY

As mentioned above, to achieve a deep state of meditation the physical body must be healthy. To support my clients' physical health and balance brain chemistry which is often disrupted by stress and poor lifestyle choices, I use Oligotherapy complexes to strengthen the background condition of the individual. The complex No. 7 is globally accepted to balance the nervous system and was the subject of successful clinical trials which measured its effect on:

  • Mood

  • Improvement of temperament

  • Quality of sleep

  • Fatigue

  • Vitality

  • Associated gastro-intestinal problems



*Further details about Oligotherapy can be obtained from The Institute of Oligotherapy.


SUPPORT FROM GUIDED MEDITATION

I use guided meditation for specific emotional and genetic memory healing to support my clients' development, which I will go into more detail about in my next blog on the Art of Visualisation. These meditations are specifically created and adapted for the individual to ensure progress and to avoid any unpleasant side effects. Sometimes if the individual goes too deep too fast, there are physiological and emotional consequences. Guided meditation when conducted at the right level for the participant is a powerful tool for deep inner enquiry. However, because it is so powerful, guided meditation must be applied with knowledge and experience, particularly when using symbols or imagery. The unconscious mind, at the level of the emotional memory, is a labyrinth of archetypes codified from memories - genetic and experienced - that demands intelligent navigation to avoid being left:

"Emotionally bleeding on the sidewalk"


This is a phrase that I came across many years ago in the US which I think describes graphically what can happen if you are left in a state of confusion after any session of deep enquiry that uses, symbols, archetypes, metaphor or sound frequencies.


Accessing the emotional memory for healing was originally facilitated by wisdom tradition practitioners. Their training was long and rigorous but they were not given the authority to practice until being able to confidently demonstrate qualities of responsibility, knowledge, wisdom, authority and humility - humility being one of the most important qualities when accessing and transforming the emotional memory. The emotional memory is the place where all our fears are stored - experienced and genetic, but it is only through acknowledging and integrating those fears that we can access an authentic higher level of consciousness.



SUPPORT FROM SOUND - VIBRATIONAL MEDICINE

Vibrational medicine has been practiced for centuries and many scientific studies have been conducted confirming its powerful healing effects on the mind and body. However not all sound is equal. For sound to have the ability to heal it must incorporate the correct frequencies. I have always been highly selective when applying sound in any healing session as I am conscious that it must complement, support and assist the energy of the client. My daughter, Siobhan, who is a talented musician and composer has spent a great deal of time dedicated to the research of sound frequencies and vibrational medicine held within music. At my request she has created a project specifically for healing which is appropriate for all levels of meditation, which I am incorporating into my sessions. Recently she released 'Ancient Memory'- a piece of music specifically designed to help the listener access the correct brainwave states necessary to reach a higher state of consciousness - part of the Ancient Memory meditation range. This beautiful piece of choral music was created and recorded live during her meditation practice. I think it's a beautiful example of what can be achieved if we learn how to meditate correctly and develop this skill alongside any creative practice. Some examples of her healing music can be found through her website: www.siobhanoflahertyhilder.com.



In conclusion my message is yes, meditation is an amazingly powerful tool to access our individual higher consciousness, and we all have the potential to achieve the highest level of awareness. But, it is a skill and as such requires the necessary preparation, support and guidance, particularly in our fast-paced modern world with so many distractions.


To achieve a true state of meditation, we must put in the required work where we aim to transform our ego and our material-world, fear-based conditioning. Only then can we surrender to our higher intelligence and reveal our Truth and access the Courage to make a valuable contribution to the work of healing the planet. A burgeoning priority which we can no longer ignore.




I am now holding a free monthly sound healing, meditation & visualisation session via YouTube Live to help nurture and develop your meditation practice.


If you would like to explore this subject further, please subscribe to my newsletter which will keep you informed of upcoming events, trainings, free offerings and much more health and wellness education for all levels.

































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