Meditation brings a sense of fullness and completion, and is the only
permanent source of tranquility available to human beings. All other forms
of serenity are temporary and dissolve into conflict and chaos over time.
The euphoria of drugs quickly lead to misery and self-destruction. The
wholesomeness of love, so beautiful and ethereal, is a relatively short
lived and fleeting experience. As J. Krishnamurti said, meditation brings
order and "That order is the order of the universe. It is irrevocable and
doesn't depend on anything." Meditation is the eternal essence of nature
taking on conscious form within the mortal human frame.
Meditation is an adventure of self-discovery. How can you live without
knowing who or what you are? If someone asks you who you are during the
day, you may state your name, as if a temporary label actually means
something important. Ask yourself who you are when you are in deep sleep,
unconscious, and without even a dream to prove that you exist at all. Ask
yourself who you were ten months before you were born, and who you will be
just one moment after your body dies. Meditation increases awareness of the
natural phenomena that is actually going on behind your own eyes.
Self-knowledge has intrinsic value, even without the indescribable bliss
nature generously unleashes in those who practice meditation with sincerity
There are plenty of significant benefits
of meditation . . .
But these are
not the real purpose of meditating. They're just side effects. To understand
the real value, you need to know what is happening when you meditate.
Probably all Witches meditate, more or less. To some degree, we use these
skills when we use a grounding technique, do creative visualization, take a
trance journey, focus on a spell, and create ritual. For now, though, let's
consider pure meditation - the emptying of self in the experience of the
Divine. Many Witches have a meditation practice as well as Wiccan practices.
It is an excellent way to develop skills used in Wicca, especially in
Magick. This practice enhances a Witch's ability to . . .
realm of the Divine,
with deeper reality,
Letting go of
expectation of results,
to flow naturally,
concentration upon an intention,
awareness of subtle levels of existence.
naturally make meditating very alluring to Witches who seek to deepen their
it appears that the building blocks that make up atoms are not really
particles at all. They are nothing more than energy, organized as
information! At the most fundamental level, nothing "real" exists.
Even before quantum physics, we knew that an atom occupies a massive space,
compared to the miniscule amount of solid material in it. So even on the
'normal" physical plane, what we perceive as a solid tabletop is at best a
whirling dance of tiny particles, with much more space in it than solid
matter. The upshot is . . .
What we perceive as reality has little
correlation with what's actually real.
Regardless of how much we may want the world to be
solid and real, and no matter how much the brain and body insist that it is
real . . . nothing can change the fact that the perception of physical
reality is in fact wrong.
This perception of "reality" is the
prison of the mind. We believe what our senses tell us, and so we disbelieve
in the underlying Reality. The Reality of Consciousness. The good news is .
. . The world-cage, which appears so solid, is in fact barely even here.
Only perception builds it around you. You can choose a different perception.
Like a fly which bashes itself against a closed window, you can easily
choose instead to go through the open door. This is spiritual enlightenment.
Which brings us to the Open Door Of
Spiritual Development: -
When you're ready, or when the Goddess calls you, you suddenly find yourself
on the other side . . . .
What's On The Other
Ironically, the same thing that's on this
side. You just see it differently.
Nothing changes when you attain spiritual
enlightenment . . . nothing except your viewpoint. You know how in the
movies, they show a scene, and then the camera pulls back and you realize
you've been watching a reflection in a mirror? It's like that. Spiritual
evolution takes you outside the illusion, where you can see everything you
saw before . . . plus so much more! And what you see makes a lot more sense
than it could when everything was just a backwards mirror-image.
On "the other side" of this prison door, you get an enhanced view of the
universe. This is what is called "expanded consciousness." You are conscious
of so much more than your brain was willing to tell you before. And the
first thing you notice is that once you are free of the limited brain-mind,
there is an Absolute Mind waiting for you. You may experience this Mind as
Light, or Ecstasy, or Peace . . . among other things and in various
combinations. And if you can let go of the brain-mind enough, you realise
that you've been there all along.
In fact, you realise that you are not
"you" . . . and never were! You realise that you are so much more that the
little cosmic, comic illusion of a "person."
How liberating it is to be free of the illusion of being you . . . No longer
can it matter what others expect or think of you. No longer can it matter
what you expect or think of yourself. There is no "you" there to pin
expectations and judgements on! Spiritual enlightenment frees you to be
absolutely true to the Essence of Who you are.
Ah, Now That's Freedom!
HOW TO MEDITATE
I found this method useful:
Begin by finding a relatively quiet place to meditate where you will not be
disturbed. All forms of classic sitting meditation should be done in
silence, with no background music. You can sit cross legged Asian style on
a meditation pillow on the floor, or use the Recliner Chair Method described
below. Eyes may be fully open, half open, or slightly open, letting in just
two small slits of light. Meditating with eyes fully closed is fine as long
as the room remains brightly lit, so that enough light passes through the
eyelids to keep your brain alert. I use a powerful 500 watt halogen lamp to
illuminate my meditation room, and this lamp projects a pleasing
yellow-orange glow on my closed eyelids.
Meditating in a darkened room presents fundamental physiological
problems. When you sit quietly with your eyes closed in darkness, your
brain interprets this situation as a signal to start shutting itself down
for sleep. Sleep inducing hormones such as melatonin are released at the
same time your heart rate and circulation are reduced due to lack of
movement. You feel swept away on a sea of quiet relaxation. This pleasant
experience may be light sleep state hypnosis, not meditation at all, and
thus does you little more good than taking a nap. Meditation means that you
are relaxed as if sleeping, but your consciousness is fully and intensely
awake. Therefore, if you meditate with your eyes closed, the room must
remain brightly lit, so that a significant amount of light passes through
Meditation is one of the basic tenets of Wicca, in order to be effective in
magickal work, you will need to learn to enter a state of deep relaxation, a
place of calm and balance to align yourself with the natural forces around
you. As you learn to still your mind and enter this state of relaxation, you
are learning to focus your mind, becoming centred, balanced and calm, you
are learning mental discipline. It is here in your inner self that you will
meet your Spirit self and your guide through your journey.
To reach a truly meditative state requires a lot of practice, and it is
important to be patient and take your time. By using a meditation device
repeatedly, such as incense, candles, chanting or drumming, you can
condition your mind to enter a meditative state.
Meditation should be done on a daily basis. It does not have to take very
long; five minutes can be enough. There are no hard and fast rules for the
length of meditation, however it makes sense to ease into it gently. The
same goes for where or how you choose to meditate. Some prefer natural
places, lulled by birdsong or running water and the sounds of the forests.
Others do it at home, your altar may be the ideal place to meditate, or on
the train or bus going to or from work. (Please not while driving though;
you need to be fully aware.) Some prefer to do it whilst walking the dog or
a long solitary walk at sunset.
Whether you choose to sit cross-legged, in a chair, lying on your back with
your knees bent or in the lotus position if you are skilled in yoga, is up
to you and you should choose whichever is most comfortable. You may want to
try a meditation pillow used by many Buddhists, if you are sitting
As with all meditation you should keep a notebook and pen handy to write
down any ideas, thoughts, symbols or imagery.
There are two basic kinds of meditation, the first is active. This means
that you take a symbol, picture or phrase and mull it over in your mind to
the exclusion of all other thoughts. Look at its basic concept, how it is
phrased, how many ways it can be interpreted, what it means to you in terms
of mental images or abstract meaning. The aim is to extract everything you
can from the subject and then to record the essence of your thoughts.
The second kind, is passive, here images and thoughts are allowed to rise in
the mind as they will, formulating around a set mantra, symbol or idea.
It's an easy to
use Meditation Technique that allows you to access (depending upon your
personal thoughts and beliefs on the subject) the subconscious mind, or to
travel to places that are on the Astral Realm. Basically,
it involves the use of a Visualization exercise (that is either taped or if
you have a willing partner, read slowly to you) to prompt the mind to
explore the images that are formed, with the results (hopefully) of learning
more about yourself, giving you guidance in areas that you feel a need,
relax deeply and refresh yourself completely. It is a good
idea to tape the exercise before the time you wish to use it, leave a gap
(or some relaxing music that eventually fades out) at the beginning to give
yourself time to relax, then commence the exercise from that point. Talk in
a low voice, both in volume and tone, and talk slowly, leaving plenty of
time between sentences and the various areas of the exercise. Before
attempting a Guided Visualization exercise, I'd recommend making sure that
you have plenty of time available, that you won't be disturbed, (take the
phone off the hook, tell others that you want to be alone for a while, etc),
make sure you are warm and comfortable, with no tight fitting clothing, and
set the mood as you see fit (light a candle or some incense - though be
careful that they are safe, it would not be a good idea to burn the house
down around you whilst travelling! - play some soft relaxing music, whatever
feels right to yourself! Next, lie
down and relax yourself completely, close your eyes and allow yourself to
drift, if certain muscles will not relax, try tensing them individually, and
then relaxing them again. Go through the whole body, from foot to head this
way and really make sure you are comfortable. Then you can
begin with any of the Exercises below! Always start off from your Sanctuary,
as this is a place that you can always return to, which will allow you to
get back should you wish it at any time. Regular sessions will help you to
find out more about your Inner Self and to explore an absolutely fascinating
world! A really good tip is to tape yourself talking the visualization
through, then play it back as your own guided visualization.
The Sanctuary is the
starting point for all guided visualization exercises, a place where you
feel completely at home, happy, relaxed and confident. Depending upon your
own beliefs it is either located within your own mind, or on the Astral
Realm, whichever you feel it to be doesn't really matter, as long as you can
use the technique for your own benefit!
It can be
any place that you are able to see in your minds eye, a place you visited as
a child and felt happy with, a non-existent place that is totally a
construct of your imagination, whatever, it doesn't really matter, except to
yourself! Make sure you get to know it well before you then journey onwards,
as you may need to return to it quickly (should anything untowards happen -
not something I've ever come across personally, but it's best to be
prepared). The passage below is one way of finding your Sanctuary, though
you may well be able to write a more personal one that works for you,
whichever, it should always be used (at first) to give you a starting point
for any exercise you wish to use!
your eyes, relax and take a deep breath. Allow your body to relax
completely, starting with the feet, then the calves, feel them become heavy
and the muscles relax, feel the heaviness moving up your body a it relaxes
fully. Allow your whole being to come to rest, perfect rest, perfectly
relaxed. Allow your mind to drift, if thoughts enter, allow them to pass on
and just relax.
Now you are
relaxed, think back to a time when you were totally happy, perhaps as a
child in your room, perhaps on a holiday. Whilst feeling this happiness,
allow an image to form of the most perfect place you could ever want to be
in, perhaps it's a room, possibly a temple, perhaps a cave, maybe a beach or
even a woodland grove. Wherever it is, allow it to come into sharp focus,
allow yourself to see the place in it's finest details. What colour is the
floor, the walls, the roof, what are they made of? Are their any features
that stand out, is there a door, windows, plants, any furniture or other
things that you notice? Where is the light coming from, and what colour is
it? What is the temperature or weather like?
This is your
Sanctuary, you may visit it anytime you feel you have a need to. By closing
your eyes for a few seconds at any time in the day you may return here to
find peace, solace and relaxation, to de-stress when you have need of it!
returning, allow yourself a few seconds before getting up, take a few deep
breaths and then open your eyes. Note down straight away what you saw in
your BOS or Grimoire, make notes of things you wish to explore next time.
Your Spirit Guide(s)
sanctuary. Allow the feelings of peace, tranquility, and safety to
surround you. Know that you are about to embark on an important
experience. Continue to feel completely relaxed and calm.
sanctuary a flight of shallow, wide, white steps leads up into a soft
mist. Mist surrounds the steps on either side. You may not have noticed
these steps before. Whatever form your sanctuary takes, theses steps lead
up from it. Walk to the foot of the stairs. Do you do you want to go up
answer is ‘yes’, then start to climb the steps, slowly upwards, higher and
higher, feeling a sense of deep peace and expectation. The mist
above you is glowing softly. You may see special objects or artifacts on
the steps-take note of these.
realize you are getting to the top. Now the mist is becoming thinner.
You hear faint music, like distant bells or wind chimes. As you climb
higher you can hear the music more clearly. It seems to be all around you
and inside you, soft, and gentle. It is like a waterfall, a rushing
stream, a cascade to temple bells, yet it is still gentle, soft, and
yourself at the top and all the mist disappears. You are in a lush
meadow. The sun is shining, the grass is emerald green- all the colours
you see have extra depth and beauty. Look around you and notice plants,
trees, and animals. The music still surrounds you and you look ahead,
where a glistening waterfall cascades over rocks and runs into a clear
coming towards you from the direction of the waterfall. You feel a sense
of warmth and recognition. This is your guide. Greet him or her and
listen attentively to anything she or he has to say. This is your friend,
guardian, and spiritual mentor. Ask him or her any questions you wish.
for ten minutes. Relax and make no attempt to control what unfolds. Let
everything develop in its own way.
It is time
to leave. Listen to your guide’s final words. She or he may give you a
gift or some special advice. This is something to treasure.
wish also to give a gift-perhaps a pledge or merely a thank-you. Turn
back into the mist and slowly go down the steps, carrying your gift back
into your sanctuary, where you can place your gift for safe-keeping.
your eyes and come back to everyday awareness. Be sure to right down what
you have experienced. The guide that you met is you inner guide, a
teacher who can help you with any issue that troubles you, from the most
mundane to the most esoteric. Visit him or her frequently, so the
relationship becomes deep and habitual-this is an important step on your
spiritual path, and you will come to look forward to these encounters with
Explore Dream Symbols
Relax and enter
your sanctuary. Within your sanctuary there is a soft robe of a
colour you associate with safety. Brown is a good earth colour.
Put on your robe. This robe will protect you on any journeys you
take. When you are ready, step out your sanctuary into a green
to examine the field. It is smooth and lush. Fragrant clover and daisies
are scattered over the grass. Bees buzz, birds sing this is a peaceful
place. Now notice there is a path leading towards one corner of the
field. Sit comfortably beside the path and ask your dream symbol to come
to you along it. When it is in front of you ask it what its message is
for you – you can ask, even if it is an inanimate object, for the answer
will simply form in your mind.
It is best not to invite dream imagery
into your sanctuary. It can have all sorts of meanings and your sanctuary
is your own safe and special place. If you do not obtain an answer you
may get better results by approaching your inner guide, as the first
Meet The Elemental Spirits
Step into your sanctuary into the field you
visualized above and follow the path as described to the corner of the
field. Come out of the field through a wooden gate and hedgerows
feel the wind and the warmth of the sun on your face. Take time to
observe anything you see on your way. There are trees growing at
either side of the path, branches touching gently above you.
On your left the ground rises, so you
are walking beside a steep hill, that seems to be becoming more and more
sheer. Overhead the branches tangle closer and the path beneath your feet
becomes rougher and narrower. Rounding a you come upon a cave. Breathe
deeply, inhaling the ancient smell of moss, damp and darkness. This cave
leads to the heart of the earth. Sit quietly beside it feeling conscious
of the firm soil beneath your feet and the depth and deep piece of the
you tape this leave 5 minutes at this point)
When your time with the earth spirits
is over, thank them and move on. Soon you come to where a great crystal
waterfall plunges into an emerald lake. Sit near this waterfall, hold out
your arms to it, hear the water splashing and lapping. Feel the tiny
silver drops on your face. Breathe in the freshness, the purity. This is
a place of great tranquility and beauty. Look towards where the water
cascades on to the smooth face of the lake and ask the water spirits to
come to you.
are ready, thank the water spirits for their company and move on.
part, the ground now rises and you have to climb steadily. The path
becomes more rocky and the wind freshens. Higher, higher and higher you
climb, until you find yourself at the top of a steep hill. Looking around
you, you see miles of undulating countryside, shimmering in a blue haze.
There is a feeling of freedom and clarity. As the wind blows straight into
your face, sweeping back your hair, open your arms towards it and ask the
spirits of the air to come to you, borne on the breeze.
(5 min pause)
on, along the crest of this high ridge, towards the sun. it is midday and
the heat falls upon your face. In the distance you see a great glowing
fire. The flames leap in a triangle of many colours. Come closer and
closer to this fire. You feel comfortably warm and there is an air of
tremendous vitality. All around the sparks are dancing, spangling the air
and the rocks. Look deep into the red heart of this fire and ask the
spirits of the fire to be with you.
(5 min pause)
are ready, glide back to your sanctuary. Remain there for a while, if you
wish, to reflect on what you have experienced.
It matters not whether you consider the journey is spent entirely within
your own mind, or whether you are travelling to another Plane, nor does it
matter whether you believe the Guides you have met are actual Spirit Guides
or just your own Inner Self (subconscious) talking to you, what matters is
that you gain, grow personally and learn from the experience!
Source - The above
visualizations are from a variety of sources, including Teresa Mooney's
excellent Sanctuary and To Meet Your Spirit Guides, both featured within her
book, A Beginners Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft!