Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Meditation is another key aspect of energy work and magick, but first and foremost it is a key aspect of accessing our subconscious, focus, communication with our higher power, and (most importantly, to me anyways) communication with self.
Meditation is a state of deep concentration. In attaining a meditative state, you block out or quiet the typical mental chatter most people constantly carry around in their mind.
Buddhists speak of the "monkey mind," the mind that darts from topic to topic, and from thing to thing. Meditation is giving the monkey a banana, giving it one focus to keep it from hopping from one thing to the next. That focus can be the breath, the sensations of the body, a mantra or a sound. Or the focus can be a static or moving image.
Mediation can be a HUGE challenge for a lot of people. Nevertheless, be persistent and continue to practice. If you can only clear your mind for 2 or 3 minutes at a sitting, do not worry.....that is completely normal. As with most things, the more you practice, the longer you will be able to hold your thoughts at bay.
When you do begin to meditate there will be distractions. Even now, after practicing it for over 30 years, I get distracted. When that happens, try not to let the interruptions throw you off course too badly, and continue to concentrate on what you have set in your mind. If the distractions are too great, stop. Go about your day, and come back to it later.
When we are in the process of opening our mind up to receive ourselves and the Universe, we tend to be open to outside influence. If something negative pops up, (and this is more common than most want to admit, and something that damn few people will talk about) push it aside and look past it. Continue as if it does not bother you at all. Pretty soon, the distractions will cease.
One of the major key goals here is not only to calm the mind, but communication with whatever Divine energy we hail to. I hail to the God Odin and the Goddess Freya. Some of you pray to God. Some to other deities. Some to the Orishas and Oludumare. Some to the energy that flows throughout. There is no right or wrong person to call to, it is all about what you feel is right in your heart. A meditative state is the perfect place to communicate with who or what we believe in.
Another major goal of meditation is to access our subconscious mind and the truth within. There are things that happen in life that we do not want to acknowledge on a conscious level, that do need to be addressed. The subconscious will hold onto those (sometimes, not necessarily all of the time), and in order to move past it, we need to confront it. One of the best ways to access our subconscious mind is through meditation (and dreams - but we will get into dreams in the future).
In Pagan belief systems, meditation is stressed because most aspects of any magickal working should be done in a particular state of mind. Clarity and focus are side effects of being successful, and, especially with spellwork, the practitioner must hold their goal firm in their mind and not let doubt creep in.
Some of us never seem to quite get the knack for being able to meditate on our own...
But there are a lot of really awesome tools to assist! For example:
1. There are many guided meditations that we can listen to easily. Youtube is an awesome source
2. Music can help also. I really love R. Carlos Nakai's flute music and highly recommend you check it out. I also find that didgeridoo music helps when I am struggling to relax
3. Gongs may help focus on the sound to drone out distractions
4. Staring at the flame of a candle
5. Singing Bowls- I do really love these! The art of getting your wrist movement and arch in the way you hold the stick and you play the bowl is in itself meant to put you into a mediative state
7. Counting Mala Beads
Please do keep in mind, there are many more....
And what works for one person will not work for all.
Once you are ready to begin, try this format for a simple beginning meditation exercise:
Sit or lie down. Get comfortable.
Close your eyes.
Breathe naturally, do not try to control or hold your breath.
Once you are comfortable, allow yourself to open up to observe how your body moves with each breath. Let yourself drift in the rhythm.
Try to clear your mind.
As with most exercises that we will be talking about, practice, practice, PRACTICE! I will never be able to stress that enough! You can only get better along the way!
Hail and Blessings,
And a Most Blessed Full Moon,