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    Basics Class 6: Centering

    Teacher: Amaya
    Date: 3/22/2009

    <amaya> Welcome to another session of the Psion Guild online psionics classes.

    <amaya> Tonight’s lesson is going to be on Centering, and if we get to it visualization. As usual, I’d like to see what you already know, so I present the following questions to the class: What is centering? Why is it important to psions? Again, format is /me raises hand (then wait to be called on)

    * Solem raises hand

    * EverLearning raises hand

    <amaya> Solem?

    <Solem> Centering is completely returning you consciousness to yourself. In psionics, this is important because after working with energy you often leave bits of yourself lying around. Sorry if I didn’t explain that very well.

    <amaya> Everlearning?

    <EverLearning> Centering is going through the thoughts, emotions, and such that are in your mind and figuring out what’s yours and what isn’t.

    <amaya> Anyone else?

    * thais raises hand

    <amaya> Thais?

    <thais> I was thinking of something totally different. More like finding balance. maybe it’s my martial arts background but not being top heavy or left or right heavy energy-wise

    <amaya> Actually, all three of you are right.

    * clip raises hand

    <amaya> Clip?

    <clip> Is it similar to the lesser banishing ritual, in that it’s a way of in powering yourself or subconscious?

    <amaya> clip: Its not related to lesser banishing rituals, you’re not banishing anything, or gathering any sort of power.

    * Solet has a note

    <amaya> go on Solet

    <Solet> while you’re not gaining any ‘power’ what power you do have you will be able to use more effectively because you’ll have less field gibberish in the way

    <amaya> Anyways; Centering is all that everyone (other than the lesser banishing comment) indicated. It is a useful tool both in psionics, and in every day life, and should be considered a very important part of a psion’s self care, right up there with orange juice during practice, grounding and shielding.

    <amaya> It is definitely one of the more important aspect of a psion’s well being, all psions, though particularly important to empaths, telepaths, healers, and those who interact with others regularly on a psionic level

    <amaya> In a broad sense, it is calming your mind, and gaining an active awareness of what’s on your mind, and in doing so, increasing your focus and concentration.

    <amaya> These aspects of centering are non-psionic, and can be beneficial to anyone. From a psionic point of view, the awareness of your own thought processes and patterns will help you to be aware of the existence of thought patterns and influences that are not yours, this could be anything from subconsciously created fear and paranoia, the influences of advertisements and propaganda, and the influence of other people poking at your head. (RainSong would point out it would help with knowing when your cat is sending you subliminal commands as well)

    <amaya> Any questions so far?

    <amaya> Ok before I launch into a few techniques, it’s important to note that while someone scanning you will be able to tell if you are completely UN-centered we really can’t tell if you’ve been actively centering. That’s an internal process. We would generally be able to tell if someone is more balanced than someone else, but this is more of a self practice activity. You can ask us for advice, help in modifying it to your learning and thought style, but we aren’t going to be able to say “centering, you’re doing it well” This one, you will know, and be able to feel internally

    <amaya> First we’re going to look at calming your mind. This is FAR more effective in person, when the people you are working with can close their eyes and just listen to a soothing voice. IF you have any softer yoga/meditation music on hand, this can help with the relaxation process.

    <amaya> So, please, bear with me as I bring this to an online format, which will be more of a “read now do after you read it all” method.

    <amaya> Close your eyes, slow your breathing. You don’t need to count, or hold on the inhale, just slow down. As your breathing slows, your heart rate will follow, if you have active control over your heart rate, it is beneficial to slow it as well, to about the rate you have as you’re falling asleep.. or starting to wake up. Let yourself relax, and fill your mind with an image of a place that is relaxing to you. Sandy beach at sunset, deep forest, a grassy meadow, warm bubble bath, a cozy soft bed, whatever is most comfortable to you, whatever your image of a happy place is, let your mind go their, and take in the sensations of it.

    <amaya> This is good for centering, and for just a quick mental recharge during your 15 minute work break. It lets your mind calm, and centers the chaos of your day.

    <amaya> Any questions at this point?

    <amaya> Why don’t you all take about 5 minutes to try this out, and just see how you feel afterward. Its :48 after now, we’ll reconvene at :53 after. Be ready to share comments of how this made you feel.

    <amaya> ok. Lets all let our minds come back to the classroom, and if anyone wishes, raise your hand, and you can share what the experience was like for you

    * thais raises hand

    <amaya> Thais

    <thais> it was easier to notice problem areas today.

    * EverLearning raises hand

    <amaya> Everlearning?

    <EverLearning> A bit more calm; was already fairly calm to start out with. Had trouble picking an image/place, though

    <amaya> That’ll come with more practice, and as you find out what place would work for you

    <amaya> For me, its floating in warm water with a slight wave motion feel

    <amaya> Closely related is what RainSong calls “taking a kitten moment” This works on the premise that while you can hope quickly between many different thoughts, most people can’t simultaneously actively think about two things at once. (kitten moment because kittens are cute and fuzzy, but puppies work if your not a cat person, or anything else that’s calming to you) When you hit times of stress, just focus on that cute thing until you feel the tension drain away

    <amaya> Now we get to the interesting part, which is actively becoming aware of what is on your mind.

    <amaya> Again we start with breathing. slow, calming, inhale, exhale, Not too deep.. but comfortably deep, stomach breathing breaths, like a singer would. If you are having trouble breathing, I recommend the emergency room, other than that, unless you have a tracheotomy, I’m going to assume you all had breathing figured out at birth, or shortly after, and with very few interruptions…

    * Benjiboy87 raises hand

    <amaya> Benji?

    <Benjiboy87> I was away from keyboard for a bit or I would have commented sooner, but to me this sounds almost identical to meditation?

    <amaya> It can be used in combination with meditation, or as a method to enter meditation, but it, in itself, isn’t actually meditation

    <Benjiboy87> whats the distinction?

    <amaya> meditation encompasses a much broader range of techniques than centering, and is looking for a specific state of mind, focus and concentration, and can include far more purposes than centering. Centering is about calming, finding balance, and knowing what’s on your mind. Its far more specific than meditation.

    <amaya> And for the most part, you’re not entering an altered state of consciousness with centering… just an altered emotional balance state

    <amaya> Ok, so once you have breathing figured out (and as I said, if you’re REALLY struggling with the inhale/exhale process, go back to the planet you came from, or dial 911)

    <amaya> The SECOND step is to count on each exhale.. not necessarily out loud, on your fingers is fine. Inhale, exhale (one while exhaling), Inhale, (two on the exhale) and so forth.

    <amaya> This works best, if you’re English as a second language, count in your own home tongue, as it’s more familiar and instinctive to you. If you can’t count at all, try and get back to me.

    <amaya> If you have a serious learning disability, you are not eliminated from this exercise (or if you share it with someone that has one) a simple tap to the leg with each exhale will suffice for those incapable of counting though counting is preferred

    * Solem raises hand

    <amaya> Solem?

    <Solem> Do you count upwards, or just keep starting at one, then two, the one again?

    <amaya> ok. repeat after me. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… (… is a symbol that indicates “keep going”)

    * Benjiboy87 raises hand

    <amaya> again, this starts with one, then moves to two, then on to three, and so forth

    <amaya> ok, the NEXT step is actually the tricky part.

    <amaya> Stray thoughts are going to enter your head. Ignore them

    <amaya> Don’t prevent them from occurring, just ignore them.

    <amaya> IF you find yourself focusing on those stray thoughts, stop yourself, and start over at one. Along with being a part of this technique, this is a good way to practice expanding your focus

    <amaya> There is no simpler way to explain it, but this one is definitely easier said than done and you’ll need practice with it

    <amaya> Ok, we’ll take about a two minute break, see if you can get to at least 5 without letting yourselves get distracted. Just to get the feel

    * Benjiboy87 raises hand

    <amaya> Benji?

    <Benjiboy87> how high are we supposed to go?

    <amaya> as high as you can without distraction. if your using it for focusing practice, as high as you can.. if you’re using it as part of centering, you want to be able to easily get to 20 without distraction before moving on to step four. MOST of you will need about a week of practicing 2 times a day to get there

    <amaya> Ok, step four: Allow yourself to observe the thoughts. Don’t focus on them, don’t follow where they go, just let yourself be aware of them as they pass. You can count if you need to, or you can abandon counting at this point.

    <amaya> But don’t analyse, don’t think about it, just observe the stray thoughts as they pass.

    <amaya> THIS you’ll want to practice daily for about a week before moving on to step 5

    <amaya> Step 5 is where the analysis comes in.

    <amaya> As you look at each thought, consider where it came from. Ask yourself if its a logical thought to you, if it fits in reasonable with your own thought processes. (another snippet from rain about cats) is it your cat trying to tell you to stop counting and give her food) Is it something that has entered your mind because of advertisements, a song, something you heard on TV?

    <amaya> Steps 5 (and 6) should be a part of your daily centering efforts, but not so great for doing continuously, say like shielding, which once set up, requires little focus on your part, it is an active thought process that will take your focus away from things such as: driving, taking a test, cooking dinner, etc.

    <amaya> Step 6 is a variation of 5, but applied to daily activities rather than to your thoughts. analyse your daily activities… WHY are you doing them the way you are? Are they the best way to do them, or are you doing them that way because your mom and dad did them that way? Why are you doing them at all, how does it feel to do them?

    <amaya> again not something to do all day every day, but focus on it a bit every day, and it’ll help you understand yourself better

    <amaya> Any questions so far?

    * Benjiboy87 raises hand

    <amaya> benji?

    <Benjiboy87> I dunno if its just a personal thing or if it will work for others, but for up through step four (that’s all the farther I’ve tried) I find that over-stimulating my sense of sound helps me focus. I have like three different things of music going at once, so for some reason it makes it easier to focus on breathing and counting.

    <amaya> Benji, the goal is to eventually eliminate this extra stimulation need. Start with it, and as you practice increasing your focus, start cutting back on the stimulation, until you CAN do it for yourself.

    <amaya> Anyone else?

    <amaya> now to answer the burning question: what is all of this supposed to accomplish, whats the point?

    <amaya> With daily practice, over the course of time, (a week, a month *shrugs*) you are going to be intimately familiar with your own thought patterns, the course of your own actions, and you’ll be able to instantly recognize anything that doesn’t belong, is foreign, is new, is invasive, is being influenced in any way by the surrounding world (advertising or other media affecting how you look at things)

    <amaya> Keep in mind that centering is one way for psions to take care of themselves.. just that inner level of self awareness will allow you to recognize when something changes. the daily efforts to calm your mind and bring your thoughts to balance will help with your emotional stability through the day. As psions, taking care of ourselves often comes with challenges that aren’t seen in the rest of the world. Everyone gets emotionally overwhelmed.. but what happens when the emotions overwhelming you aren’t your own, or the thoughts running in your head were stray ones leaked by someone else. What if you have all this extra energy you picked up and you don’t know what to do with it. Grounding, centering, shielding, are basic techniques to lend to better psion health, and better energy field stability. Psions need to also do things such as work harder to get enough sleep, take time out for taking care of themselves, and recognizing (through thought analysis possibly) when you are starting to reach a point where life overwhelms you.

    <amaya> Thank you for coming to another guild class session then, and we’ll see you next week, same time, same place where we will work on visualization (and time permitting, using visualization techniques in psionics, at a very basic level)