Preparing for Spirit Journeys

Before I begin meditation, I try to deal with any pressing issues that may interrupt me.  That means turn off the phone, get comfortable (being too hot or too cold can be a distraction) and I get some background music going. I pick something that doesn't change tempo or volume drastically.

Start by taking a few very deep breaths.  Inhale deeply through your nose.  Hold it and exhale slowly through your mouth.  Take note of how your body feels.  Where is tension built up?  Start at your toes and begin relaxing your muscles; work your way up to scalp.  This takes a bit of practice, so don't get discouraged if you have a hard time a first.  When you are very relaxed, your body will feel heavier.

Relaxing your mind is the next step.  Focus on the music or your heartbeat.  Close your eyes. Let your worries and thoughts drift away, like little boats on the water.  Don't try to clear your mind (the trying often makes it harder). Acknowledge any thoughts that come to you and put them aside for later.  A good image to focus on is putting them in a jar or box.  This makes them sealed away, but not lost.

You can record yourself reading these journeys, if you think it will help.  Otherwise, picture yourself in a safe place and visualize yourself going wherever you want to be.  Don't control the experience too much. Allow things to come to you, but remember that ultimately, you are safe and in control.  Anything that scares you or is too much right now can be stopped by opening your eyes.