Meditation can be used to accomplish many things. In the physical realm you can accomplish three different things: calming, healing, and exciting. In the mental realm you can accomplish two things by meditation: analytical and placement meditation.
First we will discuss the physical aspects of meditation. The vast majority of people who use meditation use it to calm the mind and the soul. The stress of daily life can take its toll, and simply devoting some time to simple breathing exercises and thinking of nothing can provide a tremendous amount of relaxation. Calming meditation can also be used to gain control over your fear, worry of loss, and anger. On the other hand, exciting meditation uses the energy of the Force around you and channels it through your body, providing you with enhanced senses and extra energy.
The mental aspects of meditation are the analytical and placement meditations. When you deeply contemplate on the meaning of the Force or instructions that you have heard or read you are doing analytical meditation. The object of analytical meditation is to reach a specific conclusion or state of mind by analytically studying the Force and its aspects. After you have successfully completed your analytical meditation you will have a result. This result will be the conclusion or state of mind you reached, and this is the subject for your next type of meditation, the placement meditation. In placement meditation you concentrate on your result for as long as possible to become acquainted with it at the deepest levels.
You will usually hear people refer to analytical meditation as contemplation and placement meditation as meditation. Placement meditation comes from analytical meditation or contemplation. Analytical meditation or contemplation comes from your study in the Force and its many aspects.
An important part of meditation is the proper breathing technique. You may think to yourself, “Breathing? Can’t be that hard, I have been doing it all my life.” While that is true, chances are you aren’t breathing naturally, the way you were when you were born. If you have the opportunity, watch a small baby as it sleeps. You will notice that there is little movement in the chest, and that the breathing is accomplished via the diaphragm. You can know this is true by watching the stomach area extend on the inhalation, and retract on the exhalation. While meditating, you want to have that same type of breathing movement. It will require conscious effort to begin with, but with a breathing meditation you can kill two birds with one stone by accomplishing both at the same time.
Ways to Meditate
When you talk about meditation, most people think of someone sitting in the classic lotus pose with incense burning and incessant chanting. While that is indeed a stereotypical way of meditating, it is often considered the first phase of meditation to be learned (minus the incense and chanting. Once the Jedi is able to connect with the Force through sitting meditation, they progress to walking meditation, achieving the same state of mind and connection while walking at a regular rate of speed. Once mastery is gained in walking meditation, the Jedi proceeds to working meditation, such as that achieved by working in your personal garden. The next phase is artistic meditation, and this one encompasses many different aspects. One can practice artistic meditation in the martial arts, practicing with weapons and in hand-to-hand combat. But one can also achieve artistic meditation in the social arts as well, doing such traditional practices such as calligraphy, drawing, painting, and dancing. The Zen samurai of feudal Japan practiced meditation this way, just as the Modern Jedi Knights do.
Learning to Meditate
Be certain to check out our links page and our forum. There we will have all of the information you will need to learn how to properly meditate, given in textual, audio, and video forms.
Some find that a meditation stool works best for them. Click here to get more information on using, purchasing, and creating your own meditation stool.
Knowledge versus Wisdom
Some other important aspects of the Jedi mind is to appreciate the difference between knowledge and wisdom and understand the need for continuous learning. We will discuss this in more detail on the forum.