Here is my Reiki 1 & Self Healing Manual that you can download free (1MB). It has been constantly updated over the past few years and has much of this website content in it.
Meditation can be done in many different ways and for many different reasons, but it normally entails switching off the normal chatter in the conscious mind so that different parts of the consciousness can be engaged. Meditation does not necessarily entail a deep or hypnotic state and during meditation you may still be conscious of sounds and events around you, but the awareness is not drawn to them. For instance gardening and walking can be done in meditative states when the mind is quiet.
Meditation is truly an essential part of a path to understanding the self and to spiritual growth. Meditation combined with prayer is a powerful way of bringing love, peace and healing to the self and others. Through meditation we can direct our consciousness for a multitude of good purposes to promote happiness and wellbeing.
Meditation can be a way of becoming conscious of different aspects of the self, of our many levels of consciousness (see the article on chakras) but it can also be used to become conscious of things outside ourselves on these planes of consciousness. So meditation can be about an inner journey or an outer journey. We can learn to meditate on specific aspects of consciousness through directing ourselves to feelings connected with that aspect. For instance the heart chakra and its planes of consciousness can be stimulated by focusing on love and compassion for ourselves and all beings. Meditating on the crown chakra may involve our spiritual connection and meditating on God, the universe or the absolute, however we conceive of it. However, we should be careful before directing the consciousness to certain aspects of consciousness. We may not fully realise or understand the full aspects or scope connected with different planes. I believe that it is a good idea to begin with an inner journey to discover aspects of our consciousness and the fears that we have (and we all do) connected with different parts of our being. Our inner fears create blockages that can block out aspects of our consciousness and it is a good idea to at least have an understanding of these, even if it takes time to resolve them. Without this understanding our meditation may always be incomplete or avoid important aspects that have unresolved problems. I have known experienced meditators who concentrate on certain aspects of consciousness, such as the crown chakra, but who don't want to meditate on other chakras that have blatant problems. Without trying to resolve major blockages we can never achieve true harmony. I am not suggesting that meditating on certain aspects is wrong, merely that meditation on the whole being is usually wiser.
To learn meditation may best be done at first in a class or a group while being guided through the process. Meditating alone may be a little more difficult but this varies tremendously between people. I advise learning to meditate through experienced and well regarded professionals. If you have questions or would like to learn to meditate then contact me.