1000 Petal Lotus Meditation
This is a very active mental meditation. I am unsure of the source. I got this one during my high school years, and have been doing it for {cough} several years since.

This meditation is superb if you wish to find out what your true thoughts and feelings are on any topic. Unless you are a masochist who likes "bad trips", I would strongly suggest that you use a word, concept, image, or person that is pleasant for you to think on. For the beginner, some concept like "love" or "happiness" or the name of your beloved is the concept to use as a basis. But, use your own judgment and what you, yourself, need or want.
Choose Your Focus
What or who, precisely, do you want to think about and know your true thoughts and feelings regarding? If this meditation is needed this should be an easy question. If you are learning it or want to just "stay in practice of meditation", you can choose whatever you want. Please do not choose something that will be extremely upsetting. Even if you do, you are free to stop this at any time. For the beginner or if you are just doing it for whatever reason, I will repeat what I said above about choosing a pleasant topic to meditate on. If there is a particular need to "think about" something in particular, choose what you need, but always be aware that you are free to stop this at ANY time.

Lotus Pictures Link Lotus Pictures Link
Photos from Lilypons Water Gardens

The Actual Meditation
Strictly speaking, this is a contemplation rather than a meditation. It is in your mind, in the cognitive senses. It interacts with the feelings though too. Envision a lotus, as the pictures seen here, or any other lotus you can think of. If you cannot see the pictures, or cannot envision a lotus, a zinnia or daisy, or any other flower with lots of petals will work fine. Envision the word, concept, or person in the center of the flower. Then, follow up one of the petals to the end, and you will see or feel a word. Remember it, but do not think about it or especially do not judge it. Follow the petal back down to the center and repeat the word in the center of this. Follow the next petal out to the end, and find the word that next comes to mind. Again, remember it but do not judge it. If you need help remembering, it might help to turn on a tape recorder and say the words as they "appear" to you. Otherwise, it might help to have a friend with you who will write down the words so you can look at them after you are finished. Repeat until you feel "done" with this exercise, or you want to stop for any reason.
Do not worry about getting words that repeat. Do not worry about getting words that do not seem to make sense. Do not be at all surprised if you get a color. Personally, I usually go through the rainbow several times while doing this meditation, even when the word in the middle has nothing to do with any color, so far as I can understand.

When you are finished with this, spend a little time going over the words you associated with the word in the middle. These are YOUR associations. They are not anyone else's. They are not "right" or "wrong". They are simply your thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
I will do a short one as I am writing this webpage. For this example, I am going to choose the word "Beauty". I am envisioning a flower like the one on the right. In place of the yellow center, I have the word BEAUTY written. I look at that flower, and think of the word "beauty". I follow out a petal and I get the word "health". I go back to beauty. I follow out the next petal, and find the word "flower". I return to the center, think of "beauty", and find the word "inner". Return to center, follow out the petal, and this time I find "pink". Repeat, the next word is "blue". Then "green". The next time I get "arrange". Okay, I'm done.

Analyzing this, my first association was health. I think of beautiful things as healthy things or people. The next word was "flower", so I evidently think flowers are beautiful. No mystery. I went into a group of colors. That, I usually think of as meaningless, but perhaps I was thinking of pink and blue flowers with green leaves (indicating they are healthy too!) The next word was "arrange". Perhaps I think things are more beautiful if they are nicely arranged.

Clearly, I would have a better understanding of all of my feelings on "beauty" if I had gone farther with this, and no doubt if I were not thinking of writing this web page at the same time. There is enough here for you to get an example of how it works.
Copyright 2004 by Elizabeth Harper
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