Dear Jasmine: Meditation

Dear Jasmine,

I am relatively new on my pagan path and one thing that I am having a lot of problems with is Meditating. I hear many people say that it is the first step in beginning magical workings and helping to connect to my deity, it just goes on and on! I have never meditated and I just do not know how? How do you get your mind to slow down and not get all the mundane stuff in the way?

Sincerely,

Lovely

Dear Lovely,

What a great question! First lets look at the definition of Meditation:

intransitive verb

1: to engage in contemplation or reflection

2: to engage in mental exercise (as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness

transitive verb

1: to focus one’s thoughts on : reflect on or ponder over

2: to plan or project in the mind : intend, purpose” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meditating)

Now that we have that definition at hand we can break down the uses of meditation in different formats. Many people have the idea that to meditate you must try to be like a monk who sits all day staring into space completely clearing the mind. That is great if you can do that, but meditation does not have to be that way, nor is it easy to do that. Limiting meditation to that mindset can be very daunting and I can completely understand the frustration you may be feeling and the pressure. Meditation can be as simple as laying down on the couch and listening to relaxation music, to doing a guided group meditation or sitting for long periods of time to contemplate life or connect to your deity or path. There is so much you can do with meditation.

First you will want to figure out the goal of your meditation. This could be anything from finding a closer connection to nature, to connecting to your deity, the list goes on and on. Once you have this goal set in your mind, you can cater the meditation to your needs. Some of them work in a personal setting while others work better as a guided meditation. Remember that this meditation is for you, so finding what works best for you will be crucial.

Personal meditations give you an opportunity to experiment, and I suggest you take it. Try different types of music or background noises such as wind chimes or a fountain. Try candles and incense. Try laying down, in a chair or even in lotus position. Start out slow with simple relaxation and move towards more goal oriented meditations. Don’t be shy about over doing it if you need to. Feel free to experiment with meditation tools such as mala beads, singing bowls, or baoding balls. You can also use crystals and tumbled stones to hold or even focal pieces like deity statues or pictures. And lets not forget to mention mantra’s and chants, some people have found them to be invaluable. There is no limit to the things you can try to find a peaceful place in yourself to meditate.

Guided meditations have benefits as well. They provide you an opportunity to full let yourself go and only have to follow the words of the person reading the meditation. They tend to have a specific goal in mind, such as setting up a protection shield or finding your spirit guides. I suggest finding a person whose voice is soothing to you, or someone experienced in hypnosis. I am lucky to have a close friend who is trained in the later. Finding a script for the person to read can be easy as well, I know I have a few pagan and new age books that have these meditations written and ready to go. If you do not have any on hand, you can look them up in a “guided meditation script’ Google search. Even better write your own when you are more familiar with your personal meditation style.

Group meditations are always the most difficult. Everyone should be on the same page, goal, and in the same mind frame. I have done a few where we sat together and meditated, contemplated and even chatted on very deep levels without judgment. Having the bond of a shared meditation with someone can be very powerful and meaningful to any friendship or relationship. In my experience we always did group meditations as a way to bond and get familiar with the energy we had as group. There are more uses I am sure, but for me this was the primary reason.

Best of luck to you in your explorations of meditation. May you find inner peace in wisdom in your journey.

Sincerely,

Jasmine

About Jasmine LunaMadre

Jasmine is one of the founders of a The Prairie Earth Society, a local pagan group in Eastern Iowa. She is also a mother of a 3 year old son, and a wife to an agnostic. Jasmine is one of the rare pagans that can say that Paganism was her first faith. She was raised in an Italian-American, Roman-Catholic family, that decided to let her choose her own path. They were not expecting her to start studying Wicca when she was in her late teens, or to continue for over 15 years and counting. When she went on to college she studied Anthropology and Education. While there she also began studying the Gardnerian Tradition, and was initiated in 2001 at the age of 21. Jasmine was further trained about folk magic by her mentor who is a master herbalist and family traditional kitchen witch. She moved to Iowa and began to practice as a kitchen witch herself, specializing in incense making and Italian-American cuisine. She is now a 2nd degree High Priestess of Enchanted Fire Dance Grove and teacher of the Gardnerian Tradition. Jasmine is also the Author of the blog, www.TheSpiritualMother.com. Jasmine has also attended many pagan festivals over the years such as Phoenix Phyre and Pagan Spirit Gathering and numerous British Traditionalist Wiccan fests and local gatherings. She also plans local workshops and classes and runs a local New Age Book Club. She is experienced in networking and conversing with many pagans from all over the country.

  • Anonymous

     No pain, no gain. A change of heart requires a tearing down of that which covers the heart. This is not easy. Listening to nice music will only pacify you for a while until you try the next escape. Real meditation is never for sissies. 

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

       Dang, I’ve never heard meditation trash talk before…

      • http://www.facebook.com/JasmineLunaMadre Jasmine Lunamadre

        sounds like they need to meditate more…

  • M.A.

    Also, if you get too twitchy just staring into space, try some kind of repetitive handcraft — spinning, knitting, embroidery, woodcarving (carefully; sharp tools and tender skin close together require steady focus, but then that’s what you’re meditating for, right?)


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