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Finding Your Own Way

July, 2018

Chapter 4

Western Meditation Techniques

There are thousands of books on eastern meditation, but I wish to concentrate on the western traditions as they are less well documented and require much less time to master. These traditions have been hidden for hundreds of years until the early nineteenth century. Some were the sole province of the religious orders and others were carried on in secret, by various groups and individuals. Although the reasoning behind the various systems may seem flawed to the modern mind, I can assure the reader that these exercises work. My own belief is that these were discovered by trial and error and whichever techniques worked were passed down to others, enmeshed in whatever ideology suited the teacher. Also, I have found, through personal experience, that there is a huge fund of knowledge within the collective unconscious mind (Carl Jung) that we can tap into during dreams and meditations.

The Treeing Exercise

This is a well-known meditation and it covers an important area of western tradition.

It helps us increase our feeling of ‘connectedness’ with the earth and gives us greater control over our altered states of mind as we journey. It is always a good idea to begin any meditations with the treeing exercise. As the name suggests, it helps us anchor ourselves emotionally before exploring our inner worlds. It also gives a great feeling of calm energy and optimism. This can be used anywhere, either sitting, standing or lying down. Sitting against a large mature tree during this meditation will certainly add to its effects.

Close your eyes and breathe as slowly, and as deeply as is comfortable.

Imagine that you are a tree.

Visualise the sun above you are pouring light and warmth onto your crown and branches.

Feel the warmth flowing through you and down into your legs and feet.

Picture your body filling with bright light.

Imagine your feet are rooted to the ground.

In your mind see the light form tendrils which push deep into the earth, like the roots of a tree.

Push the tendrils deep into the earth as the energy of the sun pours through your body.

See the tendrils spread out into tiny roots and anchor firmly into the soil.

Now, as you breathe in, draw the light of the sun down your spine and deep into the earth.

As you breathe out, draw the energies of the earth up through your roots, along your spine, and through the top of our head… sending their vibration through your body and out to the universe.

As you breathe in, feel the light flowing down into the ground and clearing and tension and pain from your body and into the earth to be transformed and healed.

When you feel totally relaxed and energised, then you may continue to another meditation, or slowly open your eyes when you feel ready to do so.

Seeking Peace in a Garden of Roses

Morning sunlight sparkling on a single drop of dew,

Light cascades like a rainbow on a rose.

Toes curling on the cool, wet grass.

The world is still asleep.

You walk in solitary silence, but you are not alone.

You share your thoughts and cares with One who truly Knows.

The One whose Spirit warms your blood and fills your heart.

The One who pours Their love into your very bones.

And you are blessed.

Memories come back to you unbidden,

Happy times that filled your heart with joy.

The chattering of your brain is stilled,

The worries and the sorrows drift away.

Then slowly, gently you become aware of now,

You face the world without the needless furrows on your brow.

And you are blessed.

Touch the rose with tenderness,

Kiss it gently as you taste the dew upon your lips.

Breathe in deeply as you fill your lungs with beauty.

Taste the fragrance of the morning garden,

Heady with the scent of earth and grass and summer flowers.

Stretch and raise your hands up to the sky,

and know that you are blessed.



 

This is an ideal meditation to follow the ‘treeing’ exercise. It can bring a feeling of relaxation, expansiveness, and connection to nature. It will increase our feelings of calm and inner peace.

Sometimes we are not ready to face our feelings head-on. Perhaps we have been under a lot of strain and feel tired and depleted. Too many demands from life may have left us feeling drained and ’empty’. Issues with friends and family that we have avoided dealing with may have exhausted our energy, – leaving us in no fit state to deal with them. Be gentle with yourself. We all hide away from things that are too painful to deal with. Simply take the time to heal and regroup your energies before tackling difficult issues.

We sometimes need to take the time to rest and nurture ourselves. Sadly, it is not always possible to take the time needed to do this. Use this meditation to take your own personal “mini-break” when you get a few spare minutes.

Breathe deeply and relax as you exhale a few times. Then take a few minutes to absorb the poem and gaze at the picture. Then use the relaxation exercise or one of the other meditations in the book and allow your mind to take you to a pleasant safe place where you will find inner healing and often, wisdom and guidance.

***

About the Author:

Patrick W Kavanagh, Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

Writer, poet, Patrick W Kavanagh was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over 40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge

 

Kiara

Distant Shores

From the Muse

MagickalArts

January, 2016

What Is It You Are Joining?

Last month, I wrote about the considerations given before deciding to become part of a magickal group. My own journey since April of this past year has been in forming a new coven and providing the place of community for those seeking a spiritual home that encompasses more than that of solitary practice. To that end a new coven was birthed at the Winter Solstice and a new family of seekers was welcomed.

This month I would like to provide the perspective of the person(s) who are providing the home and space of learning that may become the place of consideration and deciding factor in whether to join (or not).

How A New Coven Comes Into Being…

Forming a new coven requires time, dedication, hard work and commitment. First the thought of what is possible presents itself and the desire to create a place that will serve the larger pagan community takes hold. These first seeds of idea then quickly become the vision of shared experience and spiritual growth achieved in a space of safe haven and support.

Months of planning, meditation and workings of attraction become the central focus. Structure and strong foundations are necessary to attract what will become a purposeful structure of work and foundations from which membership can soar.

The first steps are offering classes that will serve as a foundation for the magickal practice of membership. These classes also offer the opportunity for potential members to interact, share their knowledge and see their points of commonality. Additionally, the classes allow those seeking membership in the new coven to experience first hand the style and methods of teaching that leadership of the new coven uses to inspire and co-create with membership. ?

Activities that will create collective memory are vital to feeding the construct and image of what this new coven’s energetic signature will become. Ultimately, those who become the Charter Members of the new coven, hold the mantle of responsibility as co-creators with leadership of what that Coven looks like, what its work will have potential to be and, most importantly, what the flavor of future members will be.

Just as with any good recipe, there should be flexibility built in to adjust the finished product to what the tastes of those experiencing are; while holding true to the basic idea of what that recipe consistently produces. And, those that will become classic tried and trues become those covens and groups that are sustainable and have the greatest longevity.

There is no finite timeline in the birthing of a new coven. There are markers of historical significance that rise to the surface and of course, all of the “firsts”. First class of the study group that fed the new group. First charter member accepted. First planning meeting together. First group ritual. First open ritual. And, the day of dedication of the new coven, and more. And, the lack of finite determination, leaves room for growth, expansion, contraction and everything in between that ensures that the coven, as well as its membership continue on a path of spiritual growth.

The point of synchronicity is when the seeker finds their place of spiritual home in the group that has been birthed with the intention of attracting those who are just the right fit and resonance for the Great Work of Community.

Blessings of this New Year!