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Native American Meditation Techniques

Native American Meditation Techniques
A woman burning a bundle of sage. Photo Credit: Leea_G/iStock/Getty Images

Native American Indian spirituality is based on the connection between humanity and the natural world. Nature is accorded great respect, with animals and trees, for example, revered as sacred entities. Animals, indeed, are seen as teachers and guides in meditation. In the American Indian belief system, meditation is a way to transcend the material world and obtain divine wisdom.

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Cleansing and Purifying

Before you meditate, native American Indian tradition calls for purifying your aura by burning sage. Tie a very small bundle of dried sage together and light it to produce a small amount of smoke and a purifying scent. Using the smoking sage as a wand, circle your head and body to cleanse your aura. To purify the area in which you'll be meditating, hold up the lit sage bundle in all four corners of the structure, and smudge some ash from the burnt sage on doorways. Be very careful when handling burning sage or hot ash.

Totem Meditation

A typical native American Indian meditation technique is totem meditation. When meditating, think of the qualities you would like to bring about in yourself in the coming year. Then meditate on any animal that you think can help you to achieve your goals. Ask the animal for assistance in providing wisdom and guidance. Different animals symbolize different traits in American Indian culture, so do some research before deciding on an animal on which to focus.


A common American Indian meditation technique is drumming. The drum is a key tool for an Indian shaman, as it increases his intuition and heightens his perceptions of the supernatural. In addition, according to belief, the drum can release and balance spiritual energy, and the hypnotic rhythms can help calm your mind and relax your body in a manner conducive to achieving a meditative state.

Music and Relaxation

Another technique that is used to put your mind in a meditative state is native American Indian music. Stylistically, American Indian meditative music runs the gamut from traditional chants to modern New Age-style music intended to reduce stress and encourage relaxation. When preparing to meditate, get comfortable and create a safe, relaxing atmosphere free of distractions. Low, subdued lighting is preferable; if you wish, light some aromatherapy candles that emit a soothing, relaxing scent.

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