Hypnosis has a strong reputation for being an excellent tools for changing habits. It is also a popular stage show activity that results in some fascinating displays of mental manipulation. Many psychologists will also use hypnosis as a means for treating mental dysfunction. And success coaches will use hypnosis for aiding in personal development. But hypnosis can be used for even greater purposes than these, including spiritual development.
The process of hypnosis is relatively easy, which is surprising to most, considering the power that is associated with this phenomenon. In short, the process is one of distracting the conscious mind long enough to implant alternate suggestions to the inner mind. Many people think that hypnosis is a process of putting the conscious mind asleep, but this is a common misconception of hypnosis. Hypnosis is not sleep, but rather a form of tightly focused concentration.
Many spiritual traditions use meditation as a vehicle for development. Meditation too, is a process of focusing the mind, but usually at a lower level of intensity. This lower level of intensity makes meditation easier for the individual to attain and control. Once the mind is focused to the degree common in hypnosis, the ability to direct the course of activity is usually lost. This is one of the major difficulties in trying to use hypnosis by yourself. To reach a deep level, you have to have an outside source of direction.
But there are relatively simple methods of overcoming this difficulty.
Having another person direct you through the process is a common method. This is the way many of us view hypnosis - as a process of one person leading another through a series of steps. If this person is trustworthy, and has a solid grounding in psychology and the spiritual beliefs you hold, then this is the best option, as any variation that comes up during the process of hypnosis can be dealt with effectively.
If your purpose of using hypnosis were to stop smoking, lose weight, control procrastination, or a host of many other common goals, then you would be able to use one of the many pre-recorded hypnotic tapes that are being sold on the market. Unfortunately, there aren't many hypnotic recordings for spiritual development, and the ones that do exist are somewhat expensive (the ecomonics of supply and demand in action).
It is possible to create your own hypnotic recordings, and by doing this you also end up with a hypnotic session that is custom tailored to your exact goals. Using a recording device, such as a tape recorder, mini-disc recorder, or MP3 device, you can record a series of steps that you intend to follow while in the hypnotic state. This way, you can create your own hypnotic program that will help you acheive the exact results you want.
But what do you record to create a hypnotic session for spiritual development? Beyond the basics of directing yourself to relax your physical body, focus your mind through a series of steps to attain the level of focus required, and the ending sequence of coming back to normal consciousness, the progression of the working session can follow a number of different formats.
Spiritual growth and development takes many forms depending on the culture in which you live. The content of the hypnotic session depends greatly on the belief system of the person undertaking it. If you believe that spiritual growth takes place when you live according to a prescribed set of rules without deviation, then you would use hypnosis to instill a 'natural' tendency to live according to those rules. This is the same as the habit control usage of hypnosis applied to those habits seen as being spiritual. Your recording will be a series of statements such as "You enjoy ....." and "You will always .......".
If you believe that spiritual development takes place when you are able to make a strong connection to a higher power, then you would use hypnosis to find and control the inner mechanisms responsible for making that connection. (Incidentally, this is my belief regarding spiritual development.) In this format, hypnosis becomes a 'practice session' for learning how to make that connection better and stronger. Your recording will generally be a guided daydream in which you take the actions which lead to the stronger connection.
And if you believe that spiritual growth and development happens as you become more like the Supreme Being, then you would use hypnosis to create whatever internal changes that need to happen to bring yourself closer to that state. This format of hypnosis is a combination of the other two formats.