Safe ways to communicate with spirits

I've noticed that there has always been an interest in using tools for spirit communication. Despite numerous warnings regarding the subject, I know that people are going to go out and try anyway. I figured that it would be common sense to put information onto this forum that would aid in producing a beneficial experience for the person using these spirit tools. This is, of course, what I perceive to be the safe route to spirit communication (please keep that in mind as you read).
The first thing to keep in mind is that spirits are real entities- like people. Don't ever treat them like a novelty or they will most likely get angry or really mess you up psychologically. There are a lot of people out there that really don't understand the concept of a non-physical entity and just use them like toys. Over the years, this has led to a tendency for bad spirits- the ones that like to play mind games, or worse- to congregate around spirit tools. Having said all of this- here is a detailed list of steps on how to communicate with spirits.
1.- Find a suitable environment- Make sure that you feel safe and comfortable in the area where the reading/communication is going to take place. Keep in mind that you are going to have to be relaxed in order for this to work properly. Avoid reading in scary houses, abandoned shacks, factories, mime schools etc. If the spirit is in your own house, then you don't have much in the way of options. Choose the room you're most relaxed in. (Hint: if you're scared and the place feels angry and negative, and you want to leave, then don't communicate with whatever's there. You wouldn't walk up to a shady looking person and start talking, I hope)
2.- Alter the environment to suit your needs- If you're in a cemetery, make sure you have a lantern and something to sit on if you are allergic to water. If you're in an abandoned shack or a factory then you haven't been listening to me- you failed communication 101- go home.
Most likely, you'll be in the comfort of your own home. Use candles or whatever sets the correct type of mood for you. Hint: Contrary to popular belief, dirty laundry and old crusty dishes hinder the process. Make sure it's reasonably neat and free from distractions. (don't watch Ally Mc Beal or Angel while doing this)
If you're in some old house or whatever- make sure you don't sit on nails, broken beer bottles or other sharp things.
3.- Setting up the "ritual" space- You have your place, your assistants (if any), your Ouija board or something like it- you're ready to go. WRONG.
You need to set up a filter around you so that you don't attract the spirits from the wrong side of the tracks. A lot of people will begin this part by praying or calling the corners/elements- do whatever feels right.. i'm here to offer tips, not religious advice. Having done that, you need to set up the actual filter. There are a few ways to do this:

1. Prayer and meditation are very effective. You have to have a clear mind to communicate- this part of the whole communication process should begin to do that (clear your mind, that is). Ask whoever to protect you and make this a beneficial reading/communication. You can figure this out.
The meditation part of this is to clear your mind of outside thoughts. Don't worry about your car insurance or how your lunch wasn't prepared right. If you're angry or sad- put the whole thing off until you're stable.

2.- Visualization. This is an integral part to any occult/mystical undertaking. Learn to do it well - before you attempt it. Imagine a circle (or whatever shape means protection to you) around you. Make it whatever color that means protection and good things to you. While you are doing this you should intend it to protect you from the bad and mischievous spirits in the vicinity. Simple enough.

3.- The use of physical substances. This is usually used in conjunction with the other two, but if you know what you're doing you can use this as a sole means of protection.* I'm not going to tell you everything. If you're really interested in communication, you'll do some real research on this. Look up herbs that are used for protection. Find out which crystals and rocks aid in this sort of thing. If you're heavy into ritual magick, well you know all about "magical weapons." I'll leave it up to you to figure out how to use them.

*These three forms of protection can be combined as well. I'm not telling how. Like I just said above- if you're serious about this then you'll do research. Read a book, for Christ's sake.

4.- The communication. This is the meat of the ritual. Your mind should be quiet by now. If it isn't- make it so. Take your planchette or pencil in your hand/s and ask whatever it was you were going to ask. Hint: You might not think that there is no such thing as a stupid question, but a ghost will. Don't ask silly questions. Remember, this spirit is real. It can get angry and irritated. Above all else, BE SINCERE. If you don't mean what you say the spirit will pick up on it and might be insulted. (that's bad)
Your mind should be silent while you are asking. Quietly record what the spirit is saying (you can analyze it later). Be aware of any thoughts that buzz through your head. If one seems strange and out of place (i.e. you aren't thinking it), it might be the spirit- take note of it.
5.- The end. I personally don't thank the spirit out loud- I think that it's insincere and dismissive. If you're thankful the spirit will know.

Let the spirit know that you're done with the session. WARNING: Do not step outside of or undo your circle or protective area until you are completely finished and back to your regular self. (bring something to eat for after you're done with the session- it helps.)

If I missed anything or was confusing at any part- this is a forum. post things...