Why do witches meditate? Simply put, meditation is the exercise that tones the mind, gets it into shape for ritual and magic. Most people aren't aware of the amount of 'noise' that their mind generates; this noise acts as static, interrupting the energy flows that one is manipulating during ritual. Meditation eliminates, or at least reduces, the amount of static in one's mind. This sense of quiet within one's mind acts as a kind of signal to the Universe that one is in balance, both inner and outer realities acting in harmony as one realizes the relationships between the two states. Meditation becomes a kind of bridge between the busy-busy-busy of the mundane world and the centered stillness of the sacred.
The discussion about meditation has two main parts:
1) How to meditate (the process of stilling your mind); and
2) the meditations.
Several of the texts I present here combine the two parts (i.e., they say 'this is how to meditate, now try this meditation.') Part of meditation is relaxation, so I've included some texts to help you relax enough to meditate -- try not to fall asleep!
There are essentially four ways to meditate:
1. Sit still and empty the mind, letting any intrusion go, paying no attention to it.
2. Sit still and focus on a single image, or word, letting any other intrusion go, paying no attention to it.
3. Move your body to music, paying attention only to your movements as you are performing them, with your mind otherwise empty.
4. Walking meditation (this also could be a running meditation).
However I will say that at this moment there are 5.52 billions ways to meditate - one for each person on earth (Note: please adjust your figures accordingly - the number has just gone up). There are two main types...
1) concentration meditation (focusing),
2) insight meditation (mindfullness)
Most kinds of meditation are the concentrative type. One simply focuses his attention upon a single physical object (such as a candle flame); upon a sensation (such as that felt while walking or breathing); upon an emotion (such as reverence or love); upon a mantra spoken aloud* or even silently; or upon a visualization (as in chakra meditation, see below)...Concentration meditation is, simply put, a form of self-hypnosis.
(* A mantra is one or more words or syllables which are repeated -- often chanted -- aloud...A simple yet powerful mantra is to vibrate the mystical word 'OM'. This mantra has long been associated in India with the godhead/unity.)
The other main type of meditaiton -- insight meditation -- is the analysis of thoughts and feelings in such a way as to cause realization of the subjectivity and illusion of experience. This is done in a effort to attain trancendental awareness. Such statements as, 'This body is not me', fall under this category. Buddhist meditations are usually of this type.
Put simply, meditation is nothing more than relaxed concentration. This concentration can be directed toward anything you wish: simple actions (chores), eating (savoring every bite and drink), a deity (visualizing your favorite god), a goal (an OBE or lucid dream), or nothing at all!
Meditation is truly meant to be incorporated into all daily activities: working, eating, showering, making love, etc. To live with meditation is to live in a state of pristine awareness. Keep track of where your feet are. Where your hands are. Notice the texture of the food. Concentrate fully on whatever you're doing, wherever you're at. Put even more simply, stop and smell the roses.
Meditations are a bit more complicated in that they can be just about anything. Some people use meditations like affirmations -- creating a constant awareness of something they wish to change or create in their lives. Others use meditations to facilitate
communion with the Deity. There is personal and guided meditation, meditations to open your awareness and to focus your mental imagery. Sometimes I think that if you can imagine it, there is a meditation related to it.
Maat's Basic Rules of Meditating
There are many books that deal with the subject in greater detail and background than I will (the information would fill volumes of books). But here are some basic rules for meditating.
Meditating daily opens your mind to the possibility of silence. It gets you used to not thinking, to merely being aware, to be-ing, rather than be-coming or go-ing. I recommend staring with five minutes daily, then increase your time gradually until you are able to meditate for a half hour at a sitting.
Meditate at the same time each day.
By meditating at the same time, just when you wake up, for example, you create a habit that prepares your mind as well as increasing the likelihood that you will do it daily.
Meditate at the same place every day.
Create a sacred space, a corner of your physical reality where no one else goes. A place that becomes so imbued with the Divine that to enter it is to feel a calm slip over you, relaxing you by merely stepping into It’s presence. This may be your altar, or your workroom. It may be simply a pillow in a corner, with a candle and an incense burner nearby.
Choose a form of meditation that works best for you.
There are many ways to meditate (see my brief list on the web site for a staring point). There is no reason why you should ‘just sit there’ if it isn’t working for you.
If you get ‘bored’ with meditating, choose another way of meditating.
Sometimes it seems as if you meditate, but its not as ‘good’ as it used to be, it feels more like work than spirituality. In this case, try a different form of meditation.
Track your meditation experiences.
It is heartening to be able to see your progress when you are feeling like meditation isn’t working for you. Tracking also allows you to get into the habit of recording the intuitive impressions that will begin to come to you as you advance in the Craft.
A Quick Meditative Exercise:
Your conscious mind is always thinking. Always rambling on and on. Fortunately, there's always a space between thoughts, a gap where pure awareness resides. All you need to do is widen the gap! Get comfortable, and make a serious effort to avoid clinging on to thoughts. Do not allow your thoughts to develop into full-blown contemplation. Become a void where all that matters is... nothing! Hold the gap between thoughts as long as possible.
~ by Maat, copyright, 2005
© Lisa Mc Sherry 2005, 2016,
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