It's important to take time for ourselves each day to focus on our spiritual nature.
How To Meditate: Spiritual Exercises - An Active Meditation
Excerpted from Practice Meditation, on MSIA.org website, edited by Kevin McMillan
With so much busyness and distraction available in the modern world, it’s important to take time for ourselves each day to focus on our spiritual nature. To drop the physical concerns of the day, and once again become aware that we are spiritual. That we are, through our Soul and our precious life breath, an extension of the Divine.
There are many meditation techniques available for tuning into your Spirit, or higher nature. Here at Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens, one of the primary ways that we learn to attune to and focus on God is through what we call Spiritual Exercises. Spiritual Exercises are an active technique of bypassing the mind and emotions by using a spiritual tone or vibration to connect to the energy that flows from God through all existence.
In Spiritual Exercises (S.E.’s) there is a focus on actively directing the attention inside, rather than attempting to passively quiet the mind. In our experience S.E.’s can assist a person to transcend illusions and limitations and move into the awareness of themselves as Soul: the pure, sacred, loving nature of who we truly are.
A recommended chant for spiritual exercises is the ‘HU,’ which is pronounced like the name Hugh or which can be said by pronouncing the sounds of the individual letters ‘H’ and ‘U.’ The HU tone is an ancient name of God and is a wonderful way of attuning to the higher vibrations of Spirit.
The ANI-HU is a variation of the HU chant. Pronounced (AHN-EYE-HUE), the ANI-HU is also an invocation to God with an added dimension that brings in the quality of empathy and oneness with others. As you chant this tone, you may find the quality of empathy and connection with others increased.
We invite you to follow the instructions below and try doing Spiritual Exercises, and observe the results for yourself.
People who do Spiritual Exercises regularly often report experiencing a deeper peace and relaxation and a greater connection to the Spirit inside. You might try doing Spiritual Exercises daily for 10 or 15 minutes and see if this practice works for you.
Instructions for Spiritual Exercises
- Call yourself forward into the Light of the Holy Spirit for the highest good, and ask for protection and guidance during your S.E.’s.
- Chant the HU (pronounced H-U or HUE) or the Ani-HU (pronounced AHN-EYE-HUE), which are sacred names of God. It’s preferable to do this inwardly (silently).
- While chanting, focus your attention in the “third eye” area, which is near the center of the head directly back from your forehead. It is in this place that the Soul has its seat and the Soul energy gathers.
- After you have chanted for about five minutes, stop and listen within. You are listening for the Sound Current, or audible life stream, which can be very subtle. You may hear it the first time you do this, or it may take years of practice. This is a very individual matter.
- If you find your mind wandering and you lose the focus of listening, you can focus the mind again by chanting.
- After about five minutes of listening, you can return to chanting again. The times are approximate, and the idea is to spend time in S.E.’s both chanting and listening.
For longer periods of S.E.’s, you can expand the time for chanting and listening to fifteen minutes each. For example, in an hour session you can chant for fifteen minutes, listen for fifteen minutes, and then repeat the chanting-and-listening cycle one more time.
All of the above are guidelines, so you can experiment with how you do S.E.’s, using what works for you at a particular time and not getting attached to a certain form. The focus is on doing your Spiritual Exercises with as much loving and devotion to the Spirit within as you can.
Again, we invite you to visit this peaceful place, and while you’re here to go inside in whatever way works for you, and tap into the riches within.