I can barely manage seven minutes (my current longest time) without feeling restless and the need to go and do something - anything - else. Or possibly falling asleep. Plus, sometimes muscles start getting stiff and that's never fun. How on earth do you manage to be so still for so long?? D:
There are different forms of meditation, one is lighter and one is much deeper. I'll address both as best as possible because they are equally related to the process of being capable of successful meditation altogether.
When I was training myself to be able to go into deep meditation, it was (and still is, when I want to push boundaries) often in extremely comfortable positions where I wouldn't fear possibly falling asleep or losing track of time.
I've seen a lot of people advise against this in the practice but the reality as far as I'm concerned is that their suggestions are more for the lighter form of meditation, which can be all an adept needs to go into further depth as they're already disciplined. When you're still training yourself and adapting to this kind of thing however, I think it is more of a challenge to progress by.
There is a point, in a deeply relaxed position where you will move between alpha-theta state which is a combination of the state known for light meditation and the state known for deep meditation, going into that place just before sleep.
The next trick is to be capable of prolonging that particular state with a level of lucidity or beta thinking (as in it is not your unconscious dominating, it is your conscious awareness still dominating the state). A beta-alpha fusion (holding onto its seamless transition), input to the theta state, essentially. But don't let this complicated explanation deter you; I'd otherwise describe it as the Crocodile effect.
A crocodile is known to spend time betwixt, below and above water where they can be simultaneously. When this happens, you eventually get to feeling the sensation of being 'out of body' physically, so even if you were to get stiff or uncomfortable you begin to barely notice it and it fades away as an afterthought while you are pulled within this level of consciousness. When the physical body can no longer distract you, not only are you capable of more successful states of deep consciousness but you can also begin to align with your spirit and etheric body where you can have more obvious interactions with beings around you who are also in spirit/etheric.
What would you say your favorite and most effective meditation technique is?
Did you have struggles when learning how to meditate? If so, what kind, and what did you find best helped in working through those blocks?
Furthering what I responded above to Muse, when I am moving into this state I'm not always aware of the techniques I am applying to get there anymore, as it is so much easier for me now and this second-level awareness is a constant. I'm basically meditating any time I am very focused, like as we speak and I am typing this the voices of the spirits and my intuition etc are much 'louder'. It can come spontaneously when you've aligned with this state as well, but I think when our mind is scattered in different directions it will not be as clear. Holding onto a down to earth and very 'present' state of being can be important to work with, rather than stuck in what has been or what will be in any given moment.
Something I know for sure is that there are techniques I've applied to lucid dreaming
which have dually helped with holding focus in meditation.
If you have a specific subject you want to meditate on you might formulate a question in your mind and repeat it almost as a mantra to yourself as you move into the deeper state of consciousness. The more you let go, while retaining that conscious tether of focus, you find yourself accessing an awareness to unfiltered intuitive knowing (which can be impacted by spirits/entities) as well as directly opening up to the voices and visions from those outside forces who would seek to engage you. I think that is the easiest technique I can suggest and it almost sounds too simple, and you could fail many times with it, but keep trying and see what happens.
I have had definite struggles in the past with meditation because I was always trying to do it a certain stereotypical way (ie. sit straight rather than lay). Now those things don't give me trouble at all anymore because I've crossed the problem-threshold. However the rigid focus on meditating itself and getting into a meditative state is a problem. What I mean by that is, attempting to go into it while focused on how you're attempting to go into it or overall, trying too hard to obtain a certain awareness. You need to be able to ease yourself into it and to maintain a genuine openness. This is not to say you cannot go in with an objective, as I detailed above it may be helpful to focus on a particular question or subject but you have to do that with detachment. You shouldn't do it expecting or gunning for answers, or falling into the right state of mind, you should just do it 'as a meditation'.
I think one place where people have trouble then is doing things mentally instead of as a meditation. There is a very subtle distinction here and once you find it, it's like a key unlocking the gate to rapid progress.
For instance, if you wish to obtain feedback in meditative state on how to increase your wealth, you might focus on the mantra 'I seek abundance', over and over, and the point is you're not having a 'thought' which can then veer into a whole string of thoughts to distract you, you're making a statement and your sole focus is on the statement hence you are equally shut off from distraction but open to any/all feedback.
I hope what I'm saying makes sense. It's not easy to teach as you just have to 'get there' mentally. Learning to detach is what I believe helped me a lot through the block of my mind getting restless. For that matter this whole process of becoming successful in meditation significantly helped me with my manic states as a manic depressive person because part of what I experience in mania is restless thinking, rapid thoughts that are almost painful if they go on too long. I'm really grateful for that added bonus.
"There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."