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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
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The True Power of Meditation
Article ID: 14841
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: December 4th. 2011
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Meditation is perhaps the simplest yet effective technique in Paganism for achieving spiritual self-actualization, a focused mind, and a balanced life. In this society, the common person would of think meditation as Buddhist monks chanting the mantras with the sound of a gong. This is true to an extent, but stereotyping meditation with only the Eastern world is false. There are many Western cultures that incorporate meditation into their spiritual practices, the most familiar, perhaps, being the Native Americans and Celts. There have been stone and metal engravings of Cernunnos sitting in a lotus position while holding a torque in one hand and a horned serpent in the other.
At its core, meditation involves visualization, concentration, focus, discipline, a clear mind, and spiritual journeying. The goal: spiritual awakening.
Modern medicine seems to only accept meditation for health purposes, which is fine, yet they leave out the spiritual aspect of it. Anyone can practice meditation; no, you don’t have to be a fully initiated Witch to do it correctly. Yes, the techniques take some time to master, so if you’re just starting out, don’t expect something ‘miraculous’ to happen for your first time – it does not happen to everyone.
Another common misconception is that you must be in a lotus position to meditate. Unless if you wish to follow Eastern styles (which is fine) and are really flexible, you may find it hard to get into a lotus. Most people cannot, so don’t worry – it is often best to be in the ‘Indian style’ sitting position – whatever feels the most relaxing to you. There are many different meditation techniques.
You can meditate while sitting, standing, walking, or even lying down on your back (which is perhaps the most comfortable. Because meditational walking is the least known technique, I will cover both Sun and Moon walking in this article as well as steps you need to take to begin meditation.
I find it best to meditate outdoors, somewhere away from the harsh urbanization of the city, since most of my magic is done outdoors. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but be sure to have at least an hour to yourself of quiet time. I am fortunate to live across the street from a 900-acre park, but the overhead planes can be quite annoying. Wherever you meditate, be sure that the area is quiet enough for your concentration, and that you won’t be disturbed. The outdoors is great because you can tap into the richness of Nature easily. I find that forests, ponds, and meadows are especially strong places.
Correct breathing is very important in meditation; it allows energy to flow throughout the body and relaxes tension. To breathe correctly, slowly and deeply inhale through your nose and let the air expand your belly (diaphragm) , and then exhale through your mouth.
It is always best to do a “detox” cleansing (as I call it) , in which you control your breathing to a rhythmic state while visualizing a misty white light enter your body and purify all areas (starting from the toes) . Do not rush this process. With each inhalation, visualize the light rising from your toes upward. See all the negative energy leave your body through your mouth when you exhale and dissolve in the surrounding air. Continue this process until you are filled with this white light.
I sometimes mix different colors for the ‘detox’, using silver and white (for contacting the Goddess) , or gold and white (for contacting the God) . Indigo is another great color, producing almost instant calming effects. You could also use green and white (especially outdoors) for contacting Nature spirits or for relaxation – the choice is yours.
Another method is to visualize white light forming above your head in three rays, with all rays entering your body, starting from the head. With each inhalation, see the rays cascade and purify all areas with the light, and then release the negativity by exhaling through your mouth, where it will dissolve in the surrounding air. Again, do not rush this process – continue breathing until all your body is pure and you gleam in this light. The main purpose for doing either exercise is not only to cleanse you psychically, but also to bring your mind into focus and concentration.
Moon walking is best done at night, when lunar energies are at peak. The stride is very slow, with each step being half the distance of your foot. To begin, step forward on your left foot and inhale deeply at the same time, visualizing a silvery light entering your body. As you exhale, step forward on your right, seeing the silver light grow within you. Continue until your body is immersed in this light of lunar energy. This is very useful for contacting the Goddess, especially if you slowly chant a Goddess name.
Sun walking should be done during the day, when solar energies are at peak. The stride is quicker than the Moon walking stride, and each step is the full distance of your foot. To begin, step forward on your right foot and inhale deeply at the same time, visualizing a gold light entering your body, growing as you exhale while stepping forward on your left. Continue this until your body is immersed in solar energy and light. This exercise is quite useful for contacting the God, especially if you chant a God name.
Now that you have this information, I would like to share with you an experience of my own – it was my first guided meditation. As usual, I did my ‘detox’ cleansing to start, and I began to visualize the Goddess in all her beauty. I found myself in space, looking at the Moon, and the name of Cerridwen came to my mind. It was at that point I felt the love of the Goddess flow within me, and it overwhelmed me to tears. To feel that much love is almost unexplainable – it must be experienced. When I ‘woke up’, I was still in tears.
That is the true power of the Goddess, and that is the true power of meditation. This is what you will experience; it may not happen on your first meditation, but it will happen someday, and when it does, you will be moved spiritually. I can never look at the Moon again without thinking of that meditation. I always see Her face smiling down upon us, and I am at peace.
Blessed be times Three! ) O ( ) O ( ) O ( /l\
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