Of course there are as many ways to meditate as there are those who meditate, a cliché - which happens to be true. Here is a guide with methods that are tested and used by the Webmistress. Her favourite way of entering an altered state and guides to what can be done once it is achieved. These are methods you can grow with, they will develop as your skill increases. Best of luck with your inner journeys!
the Alpha Countdown
Close your eyes and clear your mental screen.
Then create the following numbers one by one in its respective color on your screen.
7 - red
6 - orange
5 - yellow
4 - green
3 - blue
2 - indigo
1 - hite/purple/orchid.
Keep the numbers on the screen for as long as you like, but keep focused on the number and how you sink deeper and deeper for every step/number.
Once you have reached alpha, I suggest you do some kind of cleansing before you continue your meditation, such as saying "I am now in alpha and I am giving myself a complete cleansing", or washing yourself with white light, or pulling all negativity out of your body and throwing it into a well/toilet/river beneath a bridge.
If you want to put a more advanced touch to this, you can make these numbers appear on the steps of a spiral staircase going down. Then each step will really take you deeper down into alpha! When I do this, for every step I take on my murky stone staricase I say "deepest psychic and magical level". When you get to the bottom you reach your meditational kingdom and only you can tell what you'll find there...
This very basic but oh so useful method of reaching alpha is based on many things, the colors and numbers corresponds to the rainbow and also to the chakras. Meaning you can use this to incorporate it into chakra healing, which i discussed below.
-rid yourself of negativity at the well
-your sacred glade
Use your favourite way of reaching alpha. From experience it is best to do some cleansing and affirmation before you continue. An affirmation could be sometging like "I have now entered alpha, and everything I do while here will be correct and good and harm no one. I give myself a complete cleansing." Then try to pull out every negative thought and all the negative things from your everyday life that seem to weigh you down. Draw them out of your body and mind and feel how it is all pulled out, leaving a fresh you in its track! Then throw these things away and make sure they don't come back. Do this visually - they can be flushed down the toilet, thrown into a well with the lid put back on, or thrown into a river from a bridge while you watch your worries float away or sink to the bottom. Use your imagination to (at least temporarily) throw away your poverty, a nagging boss, a stalking ex, ect.
Once you feel you have rid yourself of all that extra baggage you are ready to move into your own little world. Turn away from the well/toilet/bridge/whatever and visualize yourself walking along a forest path. What would be the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon? A glade in the forest? A crystal cave? A deserted beach? We will use the glade in this example but choose whichever scene you would like as your own favourite sacred spot. The forest path is leading you towards the glade. Have a look around to see what you might pass along the way. (Keeping a journal of your meditations is a good idea, you might begin to see patterns, symbols and messages in your journeys after a while.) Then let the path open up and reach your sacred glade. Have a look around and get a feel for the place. Focus on the atmosphere, and the way it makes you feel. What do you find there? Maybe there is a tree or a bench where you can sit, or perhaps you will want to lie down on the grass and feel its texture on your skin. Use all your senses to explore the glade.
Where you go from here is up to you. There are endless possibilities. You can use the glade as your safe starting point and journey further to other places and learn new things and see new places. Or you can choose to stay in this place during most of your journeys. After all, you can do almost anything right here. Meet and play with your totem animal, meet with a spritual guide, perform rituals and celebrate sabbats/esbats with otherworldly effects... The latter is a good alternative if you live in a non-pagan environment with a non-understanding spouse/roommate/parent, or if you are just too stressed out with too little time to perform a fullblown ritual in flesh! You can go all out and practise skyclad with beautiful athames, candles and statues.
The important thing about the sacred glade is that it is a safe and positive environment, which makes it safe for the beginner and a good place to start out from for the advanced.
There is a lot of room for growing and advancing within this framework. But as always, keep on reading as much as you can from as many sources as possible if this is something you wish to practise. See the [bookstore] for tips!
Chakra healing meditation
-well (rid yourself of negativity)
-chakras from red to white, focusing on special areas and special problems.
Chakra healing isn't very hard or time consuming once you've learned it, and can be done as often or as seldom as you like, but you'll always feel very revitilised.
When I do it I use my usual favourite staircase to take me down to alpha state, you can use whatever way is best for you. When you've reached alpha and are totally relaxed, rid yourself of negativity but pulling/drawing it out of your body and throwing it in a well/toilet/river beneath a bridge.
Then focus on each of the chakras in turn. Start from the bottom and go up. For each chakra envision it as a centre filled with its respective color and try to cleanse that color of all it's impurities. You can visualise this as vacuum-cleaning or dusting off with a broom or whatever feels best. I tumble dry mine in a fast tornado that sucks up all the negative spots... Do this until you feel the chakra is cleansed of all negativity and feels revitilised, then move on to the next chakra. When you're done with them all you can either continue your meditation with other things you wanted to do, or you can take yourself up from the alpha state and wake up in the real world again - with lots more energy!
For a guide of the chakras - where they are, their respective colors and what they affect in your body and in your life - see the [chakra correspondence table].
Of course it is a good idea to study this further if you want to work with it in the future. As with everything, studying will always bring you more knowledge, and knowing more about what you do will always be safer and more efficient. See the [bookstore] for tips!
If you have problems 'seeing' things in your mind while attempting the meditation exercises, try to practise simple visualization for a while. When you master that, have a go at it again and you'll see the difference. Visualization is a pillar in both meditation and spellwork, so if you want to delve into those areas, try this simple visualization exercise.
-Focus on an object for some time. Then close your eyes and 'see' it on your eyelids in as much detail as you can. Hold the image for as long as you can without loosing focus. Concentrate on shapes and colors.
-As you get better, try to manipulate/animate the object to make it do what you wish it to do.
-When you master that let all your senses explore the object. What kind of texture does it have? Does it have a fragrance? Can you hear it? etc.
Now you can recreate the object completely in your mind!
The webmistress would be happy to hear of your queries or comments.