Link to original: http://sphynxcatvp.nocturna.org/articles/sc-shielding201.html
Can you use more than one Shielding type at a time?
Yes, absolutely. I use several all the time. :) However, if you're just starting out, you'll need to practice to get the knack of having all of the ones you choose up at once without conflict. (For anyone who's been doing it for a long time, it will seem automatic, like breathing.) Think of it like juggling several objects. Someone who's used to juggling several objects has no problem keeping them up - someone new will keep dropping them left and right, and are lucky if they can get them to "bounce" more than once. Depending on how focused you are will determine how fast you can master this skill.
Or, if you choose to only use one type at a time, that's OK too. You don't *have* to use more than one. It all depends on your comfort level with the idea.
What affects your Shields?
Besides someone else attacking you, they are affected primarily by your belief in their effectiveness. In other words, you need to have faith in yourself and your ability to set the shields. These - truthfully - have nothing to do with anything physical, however if you wish to use something physical as a focus, such as a necklace or an item of clothing ("If I'm wearing this, it means my mind should be protected"), feel free to do so if it will help. Just don't expect working out at the gym to do anything for it. *smiles*
Other factors include your current state of mind - if you're focused, it will be easier than if you're in a panic. How you wish to focus, of course, will be up to you. Spells could be used, I suppose, but they're really just a focus tool, a method of getting your mind to do all the right things. Some people have success using a strong, highly charged emotional state to give an extra "kick" to their psi working. Don't let your emotions run away with you. If you choose to do this, use the strength it gives you but don't let it run rampant. Control is part of being focused.
Several Asian lifestyle philosophies, such as Zen, emphasize a calm or relaxed "no mind" state. I recommend learning something like this if you have trouble keeping your thoughts focused. Your health can also be a factor - because it will influence how well you can concentrate. You'll have to be very focused in order to avoid worrying about your health or to avoid being distracted by your illness symptoms if you happen to be severely sick at the time.
What are some basic Shielding techniques?
I'll start off with a few basic principles here. These are the ones I commonly tell people about in IRC when they're just starting out.
You know the ambient sound of people gets quieter when you walk into the back of a bookstore from a crowded mall? That's the mental effect you're looking for with this technique. It's the mental equivalent of walking into a dense fogbank, separating you from everyone else around you. It's primary purpose is to keep you unnoticed, however if you're sensitive to people's thoughts and/or emotions, you can also use it as a filter so that other people's minds aren't as much of a distraction. For a pretty basic shield, this can be quite versatile.
Shielding vs. PsiVamps and other Energy Feeders
There are several points to remember about shielding against people - or things - that feed off your energy...
- The more energy you pour into your shields, the more noticeable they are. It's like hanging a sign around your neck saying "Free Lunch!" A passive/reactive method of shielding is more appropriate, something that doesn't use a lot of energy until it's needed.
- Don't make yourself stand out from everyone else around you to an energy feeder's casual scan - in fact, the best bet is to make yourself less noticeable. If they don't notice you're there, they (usually) won't bother you.
- Remember that they'll feed on energy - throwing more at them in a return attack isn't exactly going to discourage them. However, if you can make your energy undesirable to them ("Souring the milk", so to speak) that will be more effective in stopping an energy feeder attack.
Rock solid belief
You have to believe your shields are working. Plain and simple. It always seems like I can't say this enough. If you have a shred of doubt about the effectiveness of your shields, then their actual effectiveness is reduced.
It's not "power" that makes you better, it's not "being psychic" that makes you better - it's what you do with it. It's just a tool, like anything else. How you use the tool determines what opinions people have about you.