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ÆNIMA MEDITATION
by Axon

NOTICE:
This technique requires knlowledge and memory of the music contained in
Tool's Ænima, and is not recommended for beginners - the whole process
takes over an hour. If you consider yourself a beginner, please go back
and read the other techniques and try them out so that you will be more
experienced. The only reason for this is that most beginners can not sit
for more than about 15 minutes without getting bored or becoming cramped.
 

Preparations:
It is best to stretch out before getting into position...check out the Yoga
techniques for further information. Don't do this on a full stomach; I would wait
about 2 hours after eating. You can use a pillow to sit on during meditation if
you like...I prefer sitting on the edge of a pillow with my lower thighs on the
floor.

Posture:
This is best done in either full lotus position or half lotus position, but sitting
crosslegged will work. Fully straighten your spine so that it is parallel to the
walls; imagine it is a cord extending straight from the floor to the ceiling.. Place
your hands on your lap, palms upward, elbows out...one hand should be on top of the
other, and your thumbtips should be lightly touching so that your hands form an oval.
This is known as the Dhyani Mudra. Your head and neck should be straight, and your eyes
should be resting between fully open and fully closed. You can use something to focus your
eyes on, such as a mandala or statue, but it is not vital. If you are going to do this,
I recommend a mandala rather than a statue.

Start the album from the beginning (play it loud), and get into the posture described
above. Breathe deeply through the nose...when you inhale,feel the energy as it makes its
way down to the area of your navel. When you exhale, send it back out. There is no verbal mantra to repeat along with your breathing because the music is the mantra...this is why
you should already know the music, so you can bring it from your memory to join with the
same sound coming from the outside. It is somewhat like Yoga in the fact that the
mind is united with the physical world.

Become aware of everything...your body, your breathing, your thoughts, and the music. And
when I say "become aware of the music", I don't mean to notice that there is music playing,
but to become aware of everything going on in the music...the drums, guitar, bass, and
vocals. Notice everything that is taking place:
 
     The drums create complex patterns that shift from light to full to in-between at the most precise moments. Danny gives a whole new
     meaning to the term "drum fills". If his drums are his mouth he leaves nothing unsaid.
    The vocals are exquisite; it's as though they are a wholesome changing instrument that speaks the most intelligent philosophy 
    and  wisdom. 
    The guitar combines a variety of creative tones with what sometimes sounds like instruments in a symphony. These riffs aren't just
    riffs...the  lead isn't just lead...this goes far beyond normal guitar playing. 
    The bass seems to create the basic structure of  complex atmospheres, and at some points provide a "rolling"  or "flowing" sensation 
    along with the  drums.
    Together they all form a tool that plunges itself deep into your mind, opening it, exposing entire worlds that you never knew existed...one minute you're quietly drifting along, and the next minute your chest is being slammed with powerful energy, while the rest of you is flying over evolving landscapes. Tool will lift you up and carry you to full realizations of things you never even thought about. This is variety. It is perfection. This is what enlightenment sounds like.

    By the End of H. you should be in a deep meditative state. Don't forget to be
fully aware of everything going on around you, but don't keep thinking about the
presence of everything...just feel it. Keep your thoughts focused on uniting your
memory of the music with the actual music from the stereo speakers. Hear everything
from inside your mind as well as through your ears. If you have not experienced any
great physically emotional effects by now, you will most likely during Forty Six & 2,
and the rest of the songs from here on out. At the end of the meditation, when Third Eye
comes to a close, meditate in silence for about 5-10 more minutes, and then slowly rock
from one side to another, and carefully pull your legs out of position. It is normal
for some parts of your body to be numb, especially your feet and legs.
 
 

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