How do you get the most from your meditations?


I felt to create a space here for sharing tips to improve our meditations.

Do you do any rituals before/after meditating? Maybe some specific visualization that you find more efficient than others? Maybe different positions or unusual physical tools?

In my case, those earplugs for sleeping help me a lot. And when I meditate with relaxing music, I use them + headphones. Usually, I start with emotive music and stop it when I'm feeling more relaxed, because after some time the music starts to distract me.

What works best for YOU?

Eduardo The Sun Emoji

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"Softening" is a crucial aspect of getting the most from your meditation - whatever approach and practice you might use. We use the term "softening" a great deal, so what is meant by it?

You'll likely have your own breathing practice for meditation. If not, I would strongly encourage you develop one. Such as the Openhand Breakthrough Breathing for example, which is a modern day way of applying ancient yogic breathing from Kriya Yoga (of the Paramahansa Yogananda lineage). Although it does have a more metaphysical aspect too - expanding in the 8th chakra and breathing the light down through.

It's essential to realise though that the breath is really only a carrier for consciousness by getting you to relax in certain aspects of the bodymind field and focussing mind. It's what happens AFTER that where you get the real benefit. And this is where to explore "softening".

Softening is where you slip past the form of your breathwork discipline and into the formlessness. So the breathwork has taken you to a certain place of focus. Now my suggestion is to let go of the form so you're not specifically controlling it - allow the breath to simply move of its own accord. Then gently explore the subtle feelings you're having throughout the bodymind field. Firstly if there's any tension or tightness anywhere, bring awareness to it and soften into it and through it. Softening in this case means being attentive through the feeling but not tightening in judgment of it - this is a "bad" thing. It's an experience, only that. Become fully intimate with it, then use a gentle breath to feel your way deep into it. Give yourself full permission to unwind and let go. It can sometimes feel like expanding a balloon through the feeling.

If that particular tightness is not ready to move, then I'd suggest that at a convenient moment, you apply the Breakthrough Approach, which is to start to express the tightness - what colour, what shape, what form, what sound? How might it relate to a situation happening in your life right now? Whose involved? Why might that create tightness and tension? Keep working it through, becoming intimate with it, until you'll so surrendered and accepting, you don't need it to go away. It's at this point you can 'open a doorway through it' - into the abode of Pure Presence. From there, you can use your Breakthrough Breathing once more to unleash soul through the unwinding, and then perhaps expressing the integrating beingness through movement to music (here's a deeper exploration of the Breakthrough Approach).

Assuming you're now pretty relaxed internally and there's no noticeable tightness, you can start to explore into the deeper core self. Again, first using the breathwork but then allowing it to settle so it's happening by itself. Now you're looking for the subtle senses of 'rightness'. Perhaps an expansiveness, a timeless sense, a deep peace, or else a warmth that flows through the core of you. If you're starting to pick up senses like this, then bring soft focus to them. Work to become increasingly gentle and aware. Feel the sense of gratitude, love for all life and love of self - visualise something you truly love, or a landscape that deeply moves you. Keep softening into the sense of complete immersion into it, relaxing ever deeper within. If it helps to play some music to deepen into that, then do so. But also be minful that music is a 3D experience and the idea being to go beyond that into higher dimensional experiences - 4D and 5D especially. Music can help you get there, but it's about going beyond the 3D.

So there are my basic suggestions around softening in meditation. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. And likewise, do share your meditation experiences - the community would love to benefit.

In loving support

Open HeartPraying Emoji


OK back on track Thumbs Up Sign After more experimentation, the key for me at this time was to eliminate back support. Going into the resulting discomfort until I was completely immersed and OK in it suddenly propelled me into progressively deeper overlapping realities. It was handy to have my mind on board for conscious reintegration. Thank you:)

Hi Paul,

I would say it's not that your going unconscious, but that your consciousness has moved out of the mind - in which case, the mind is unable to record the experience you're having. This often happens when people dream and can't recall the dream. Clearly it's something to be able to work past, so as not to vacate a particular bodily vehicle.

My sense is to suggest you experiment with having attention also in the body - so putting extra focus there whilst meditating and see how that goes.

Wishing you well

Open Praying Emoji


I’ve noticed recently that my experience in meditation tends to ebb and flow in cycles.  I have been practicing something similar to Breakthrough breathing, and then watch and feel into what the energy stirs up. I went through a lot of dense experiences in meditation last week and have been allowing space in my outer life to integrate them. Of late though I find myself suddenly “coming to” after an indeterminate time period while meditating where I either go unconscious, or I just cannot recall/access the inner experience.  I also received a direct message from my spiritual family to WAKE UP last week that is spiking with this inquiry. Can you provide any feedback on this type of meditation “time travel” where there is a seeming gap in awareness?  Thank you. 


Open, when i said i don't resonate with a disciplined approach , I didn't realize how disciplined my approaches already where and how restricted inside i already was. I would say the last few days i saw some tremendous opening up which gets reflected in the outside as well. This realization dropped with this particular exploration - That its not about feeling the expansiveness through the meditation and then holding on to it but continuously getting into the tightness and opening into the soul. I had a recollection of memories where I was considered as too much and asked to step down. When all i wanted to do was just let it loose and 'show off'.

I wanted to clarify with this experience i had today. Also i just wanted to share. Today when i went to class i was feeling a new sense of confidence and power. Since it was the birthday of one girl , i felt to ask if anyone wanted to sing. This one girl courageously stood up and started to sing. I was surprised myself. This was at six o clock in the morning and we are talking about a very rigid system where children are  literally beaten into submission. With this I simply had to sing too. It was so uplifting for me as well as the students. We were also making other teachers slightly uncomfortable. But at that moment i simply just didn't care. i was rejoicing in the new found confidence and flexibility. This i know happened as a direct result of opening into the tightness yesterday. 

I can see your current post already gives new tightness to work into. I thank you from the heart for sharing the the karmic reflection.

Vimal Praying Emoji

Hi Vimal,

If you're feeling the choke point in the solar plexus, then that would likely relate to a blockage on the plane of the intellect. I would say the key thing, is to first work through the convolution in daily life - what are you resisting, or how is it closing you down (in these specific circumstances)? Then work to open up through the circumstances.

You could also do that with the bow, by regressing into the circumstances and feeling right into them. The important point is not to try to process the energy out before you've confronted and realised what the circumstance is creating in you and what to let go of. The Bow is really an amplification of this realisation/unwinding effect - it supports the movement.

I trust that makes sense.

Open Praying Emoji

That's a fascinating reflection Open. Fortunately i don't resonate with a disciplined approach in this lifetime. I went to a yoga class one year before. I quit after taking in the essence because it felt disciplined and invested in the postures and outcome from it. I remember having some judgements about the approach. Karma well maybe the case. Phew!! I'm also very much indian so a down to earth ashram appeals to me . Perfectionism is a huge distortion i have which i can see everywhere now. Its based on a false belief that i wont be accepted if im not perfect. For instance i recognize there is nothing wrong with wanting to be connected and heard here. Only when i think i need to perfect about it. Richard said something very significant to me along the line - we are already there in the aligned path if we are feeling the tightness. I found it illuminating. Yesterday i had the feeling of coming home with some imperfections.

I had an experience of working with a choke point today myself. It was related to appearing in the matrix (really that's the name of the institution I'm on ) tomorrow. I sat with the tightness for some time and felt the heat. The sunlight there was amplifying the heat. There were also a drone (watching) and a kite which felt significant for me. After sitting with it for some time and accepting i did openhand bow which opened up the choke point and i started to feel expanded and light. I understand now how the experience is defined by where you put your attention. After that there was also an imprint in the same location(solar plexus). Its still there. I tried listening to some emotive music which i couldn't get into. The mind was already filling up with some expectation. Any suggestion how to work with the imprint ?  

Hi Vimal,

You said this...

I experience a perfectionism issue with my meditation. Its a box type belief that if i drop out of my peaceful state then i have made a mistake and now i need to reconnect again.

When people say particular spiking words or sentences, I actually see their past life karma, as imagery. If I share it, I always qualify it by saying.... "this a reflection that I see, the detail is not important, what matters, is how you might resonate, or feel a reaction to what I share, and then to work with that."

That said, what I see is a lot of time in a past life (past lives) sitting in Ashram's with a particular disciplined approach - hence the perfectionism.

If what I say touches something inside, then there might be some past life karma to unwind and unfold.

Much love

Open Praying Emoji

You summed the approach in one Paul...

an open-ended, curious approach to noticing whatever’s going on in my field of awareness, actively scanning for tension, and connecting with whatever comes up and allowing it to unwind simply by feeling into it and staying with it. I say simply although it was anything but simple at the very beginning, and it’s still not easy now. The hardest part is going directly into my tension and then staying there long enough to not need to leave.  Suddenly real magic happens all by itself and I’m just in awe.


Open Praying Emoji

Nowadays i do openhand bow and sit in meditation with some flute music playing in the background and i can feel the joy and connection as a daily experience. I find openhand bow meditation as very powerful to deal with tightness. Otherwise i just with it and sometimes it dissolves and sometimes not.  I experience a perfectionism issue with my meditation. Its a box type belief that if i drop out of my peaceful state then i have made a mistake and now i need to reconnect again. Thus approaching meditation with an intention in mind. And whatever i do out of this state is not worthful enough. It feels like a strong conditioning i picked up somewhere down the line which i cant trace back to at the moment. 

Of course spending plenty of time in meditation is crucial to the integration and infusion of soul, which determines well-being, unleashing of authentic beingness and alignment with the surrounding earth shift's of consciousness, where everything is interconnected.

Personally, I find the best way to approach general meditation to support this alignment, is to begin with no intention, other than to soften and explore into what is.

The breath is a great vehicle for this yes, and progressive deep relaxation. You're scanning through the body, locating tightness and working to soften into it - these will be the unconscious 'choke' points, where there are blind spots - alchemical points where the ego is closing the soul out and taking ownership of your conscious experience. You bring awareness into them, and give yourself permission to unwind. This progressively infuses soul into those places.

This way, the soul is facilitated in flowing more freely through the layers of the bodymind. The meditation can then lead to phenomenal experiences, and also simply much deeper peace and connection.

What's your experience of exploring tight points and softening in? What are the senses you get from it?

In loving support

Open HeartPraying Emoji


In reply to by Open

I’ve wrestled with intention vs non-intention and doing vs non-doing within the context of meditation for a good while, and finally realized today what meditation works best for me - an open-ended, curious approach to noticing whatever’s going on in my field of awareness, actively scanning for tension, and connecting with whatever comes up and allowing it to unwind simply by feeling into it and staying with it. I say simply although it was anything but simple at the very beginning, and it’s still not easy now. The hardest part is going directly into my tension and then staying there long enough to not need to leave.  Suddenly real magic happens all by itself and I’m just in awe.

The awesome part is my physical body doesn’t feel like such a prison anymore.  It inherently carries plenty of tension just by the everyday friction of 3D experience, so it’s not like it’s hard to find something to feel into. Even if I don’t know where to start, the physical tension will often lead me into deeper and deeper layers.  It’s like having my own personal treasure map that leads me to my unconscious blind spots. What a gift!

And for me at least, meditation feels a lot more like “doing” than what I’d read and thought about it. I’d always assumed meditation was about a passive “allowing” that resulted in higher and higher exalted states of consciousness through gradual repetition of breathing techniques and sitting in stillness over long periods of time. Prior to that, I’d try to personally will my mind and body into being still.

Now I view it as a gifted opportunity to catalyze my own realignment, and also the field around me by natural extent -  I might have massive releases and realizations, or I might make no “progress” at all, but I know I can never lose by bringing awareness to my own imbalances, so I’m building trust no matter what!

Of course it took me years of sitting there twice a day for a set time judging myself for sucking at it - to realize that sucking at it is already half the battle won. :) And to realize that the Openhand approach describes all of this in a much better framework already!


Another quick one that sprang to mind in relation to meditation whilst travelling - I do a lot of long haul flights, and I find meditation is key to maintaining a good vibe and balanced rhythms. What I find greatly helps, is where a blind fold and ear plugs - they drown out external distraction and bring my focus within. Something simple, but worth thinking about when you pack.

Open Praying Emoji

Okay, so you won't always be able to pick the ideal location for your meditations, but you can make even small changes by just spending a few moments tuning in and feeling before you begin. The flow will always guide you. Even if you're at your desk, maybe just to move a yard or two away. Maybe best in the centre of the room? Or by a window as the sun comes in. Do switch off as much electricity as possible if you're in doors.

Today I was blessed. I've been out travelling on Dartmoor preparing for firming a new Openhand Doco, called "Paradigm Shift". I needed a place to stay, but the only one available at short notice was in a town; nevertheless it felt right to go. What I didn't know on arriving, was they had a beautiful stream  out back, where the stream drowned out any noise of traffic. It was awesome!

So following the flow will always guide to the right places, or subtle simply changes if you're quite restricted.

Open Praying Emoji

This is a good forum topic. When I am meditating at home, I will lite some incense first. I start off doing some Reiki breathing exercises facing the picture window in my trailer. This is where the morning light shines in and I find it very relaxing. Then I listen to Binary Beats at a low volume as I meditate. Now when I am out in nature, that is a whole different story. I go barefoot for most trips and I talk to everything In sight. Rocks, trees, plants, water, Sentinel life, sky, all that is. If I am far enough away so not to be able to hear traffic or other man-made noises, I will turn my cell phone off, put it in my backpack and leave it a distance away. If I can hear noises I will compromise like Open does and listen to some music at a lower volume. These are just two of many ways I meditate.

Much loveThe Sun Face Emoji


Hi Eduardo - it's a great forum topic to start Thumbs Up Sign

For me, it begins with the space itself - assuming I have the choice. For that, I'll always wish to minimise electronic devices, mobile phones and wifi. Because it helps clear the space of electro-smog. I also enjoy music at times though, so I am prepared to make compromises - music can really help soften the inner world.

I prefer to have minimal clutter, and if possible, I'd clear the space with something like sage, or burning an appropriate oil. I'd also work to create an energy field around the space through heart felt feeling. 

That's a brief insight into the space itself.

Thanks for beginning the thread.

Open Praying Emoji