Mind Focus as Trance Induction
You can focus your awareness and mind on various objects: pictures, power objects, mirrors or mantras. Mantram meditation is a hybrid form between rhythmic induction and the focussing method of inducing trance-states. The autogenic training and some fundamental techniques of imagination I am counting to the focussing methods, the method of relaxation after Jacobsen, too.
The concentration on pictures became widely known because of tibetan mandalas and thangkas which are being created just for this utilization. You can reach deep trance states by staring on the picture without any motion. You are gazing on the picture without moving the eyeballs or twinkling for as long as possible. Your gaze may wander upwards or downwards. Rest your eyeballs in the position, where this cannot happen anymore and start over with the exercise. After a few moments your eyes are going to water a lot. Just let it happen and ignore it. After the optical feedback set in you can explore your object of staring with open eyes further and deeper. In connection with entheogen substances this point of turning over is being experienced much more intense and the object opens up its spirits gestalt under your gaze. The experiences differ much from object to object. A mandala can become a gate to the spirits world, a mirror can reveal hidden parts of your personality and can help you in analyzing yourself. A black mirror can be used as a gate or window into the spirits world. Gazing on crystals, stones or power objects unlocks the hidden spirits and powers of these items and the allies unfold their ability of altering your consciousness. Sometimes I use the gazing technique with clients to confront them with their own shadow or simply diagnosing. Alongside this technique it is very useful to have a good control over your body which enables to remain in a position for relative long time. Remember the technique of asana used in indian yoga.
You can proceed similar with mantras. Repeat the mantram in your mind as long as it fills your whole soul. Then it unfolds it mind altering effect and time ends. Trance is not necessarily induced in the first moments and attempts. It takes its time to let oneself in the powers of the verbal mantram. Another kind of mantram are the long spells and invocations. As an example I am mentioning the enochian calls. The call shows its effect if vibrated and weaved. Singing of melodies or spirit-songs belongs to the mantric effects and focussing by concentration technique, too. The rhythmic repetition of the few songlines induces a good trance state after some moments. The ghost-dance movement used this effect in combination with dancing and the method of multiactivity, mentioned below.
Autogenic training emphasizes the relaxation and calmness. There are many pages dealing with this very popular and easy to learn technique of relaxation. If you want to read some intro in this method, visit Bearwalkers Page. AT used in the right context endeepens the trance experience.
If you are versed in magical techniques you know of the common way of teaching and attaining imaginatory abilities. You start with imagine single items (such as an apple) and checking it with all your sense subsequently: first try to smell it, then feel it, see it, touch it and so on. Slowly the intensity is being raised on this way. Personally I think this way is rather doubtful of being really succesfull. Our brain has the innate ability of multitasking. Joseph Wilson described in his book "Chaos Ritual" a very interesting alternative way of teaching imagination. His frame of exercises is based upon keeping two or more senses completely active and releasing the third one to itself (being associating freely consequently). The passive watching on this third sense is the trick to be learned because this channel is the channel the spirits will use to communicate. I use this technique in the following way: During my shamanic seances I drum and sing. My inner sight is released and associates freely in the spirits-world - without expectations and ego. Results are astonishing. The ghost-dance movement used singing, rhythmic movements and optical sensations to induce trance.