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Archive for the ‘Meditation Journal’ Category

This has been one of those weeks where meditation has felt like I just can’t settle in, so I’ve tried not to force it too much. I’ve done lots of mind-quieting meditations for just a few minutes, and I’ve kept up my daily devotions that I do over my morning cup of tea, but this week has just been too hard to really focus. So I did my meditations by the seat of my pants, and tried not to worry about it too much. Distractions happen, and things will settle back down soon (I hope).

There are several parts of my life that are unraveling at the edges right now, so I’m feeling a bit frantic, and I have several friends and family members who are in need of a lot of support right now.

I’ve actually wished for a sort of Druid prayer or healing or magic circle, where we can go to pray and do magic for each other as we need support. I am feeling like I can’t do all the things that I feel like I need to do right now, without taking a day off work and doing nothing but ritual and magic for a day (and I can’t do that, especially not since I’m already missing a day of work this week for jury duty). Maybe there’s a ritual and healing circle that I can be a part of.  Here’s me looking to be part of some kind of a community again. This is a common thread for me.

Maybe I just need more butt-on-floor time at my altar, and to just let things go.

And maybe I’m just learning the lesson (again) that I can’t do anything to help when bad things happen to people. It’s just very hard to sit by and watch and not be able to help out as friends and family go through hard times.

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A challenging week, but a good one for meditation and prayer. I spent a lot of time at my altar this week, lighting candles and incense. It was trying, especially being so far away from things that are happening, and having no real recourse but to watch and wait (in horror).

As much as I appreciate our ability to know so much about the world we live in, I’m still not sure that 24-hour instant by instant news is really good for us as humans. We’re not wired to experience that kind of anxiety and stress, especially about things we have no ability to impact. It’s certainly not good for my sanity, even with the extra grounding and prayer.

I also had a pretty substantial conversation with a friend this week about the DP, and it was challenging in a good way. Not challenging as in “hard”, but challenging as in “made me think”. Especially about where I’m going and what I intend to do as I travel this Druid path. I think I will probably be re-incorporating some elements of witchcraft back into my path eventually, since there are things I really miss that don’t conflict with ADF and that I think are good skills for me to continue to have as a magic worker.

I still have this lingering feeling that I don’t know really where I’m headed, and that’s a bit unnerving. I certainly have the goal to complete the DP – but I don’t really know if that goal is in order to truly transform myself into a practicing Druid (which I’d argue I probably already am), or just as something I’m doing to learn as much as I can from and then move on to something else. My friend (hi Yngvi!) argues that this is an element of the virtue of Vision, and I can’t say I disagree with him. It’s a question both of “what path am I actually on right now” and “where do I want to be going”? I may revisit that essay as I work on this, but the answer to both questions right now is “I don’t know”.

Maybe I need to focus my meditations on THAT this week, now that crisis management mode is dwindling down.

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I didn’t make my goal of sitting meditation every day this week. Distraction, thy name is Druid. Still, I am working towards the state of emptiness and focus that will help me enter trance states more easily, without being distracted by too many thoughts (I’m not trying NOT to think, only not to be attached to my thoughts, or allow them to break my focus.) I’ve been focusing on my breath most of the time, but I’ve also done some tree meditations that I like.

I picked up a copy of The Book of Nine Moons this week, since its been recommended on various lists. I was delighted to find that it’s designed to go with the Initiates Path, since that’s where I am considering focusing after I finish the DP. I was really encouraged by the first few chapters, as its exactly the kind of thing I’ve been looking for. I don’t think I’ll start early on it, since I do want to finish my DP first, but I am definitely going to tailor my meditation practice towards the eventual IP work. I figure the more I plan ahead, the easier it’ll be and the more I will get out of it.

My devotions this week consisted of sharing incense (and wine) with Freyr and starting to introduce myself to Freya. I am also, as mentioned, working on building an ancestor practice focused on my Disir. I’m encouraged by my early work, which consisted of doing some kitchen work with them in mind, and charging my hearth candle to them specifically. I got a ton of resources to work with from Heather over at Loki’s Bruid that I am working my way through. I really think this will be a big part of my practice, and I’m excited to begin real devotional work. I’m planning one meditation specifically focused on connecting with them this week.

I need to get back to my practice of tea with the kindreds, though I do a miniature version with my morning devotions every day. I sip tea and say a few prayers, and then try (since I’m at work) to get a good solid chunk of clear breathing and listening.

I am definitely working out a Norse path that will work within the ADF framework for now though. I haven’t felt called to Asatru or Vanatru at all, even while I’m directly trying to work with the Norse Gods and traditions. Hopefully I can make it work as well as other ADF members seem to have done!

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Sitting (or lying down) meditation every day this week again, or almost (I may have missed a weeknight). I do these meditations at varying times of day, though most commonly in the evenings. I light cedar and sandalwood incense, do the two powers meditation standing at my altar, and then lay on the floor for 15-30 minutes and try to focus on breathing. I’m definitely feeling a good response (mentally) to the mindfulness parts of my practice.

I haven’t had any close encounters with Freyr (or Anyone else) since I started having some mental health troubles about three weeks ago. I am pretty sure these are related – though I am frequently talking to him, I don’t have the same mental space that I would usually expect to have for him to really speak up. (Also it’s possible that he just said hi, and is content to let me continue with my daily devotionals for now) Still, I’m working to get back to a more balanced mental state so that I can resume more focused meditations.

I am intending to do some focused meditations and ask to be introduced to the other Vanir at some point, but that needs to happen after I get some of my real life issues straightened out. While I can take some amount of comfort from my spiritual practice, I’m not in a place where I can really do challenging things right now.

As an aside – this post marks 5 months since I began journaling my meditation and mental discipline experiences. (My first journal entry was November 5, 2012, and today is April 8, 2013) I haven’t decided fully, but I think I may continue the practice of weekly mental discipline journaling. It both gives me some structured time to reflect on the practice and reminds me to continually think about what I can be doing to deepen my connections. Since this is both about my meditation practice and my practice of spiritual connection with the Kindreds, I think it’s valuable. I’ll be using these five months to write my mental discipline essay, but I think the journaling practice is a good one for me to continue, especially since I’m currently intending to pursue the Initiates Path after completing the DP, and that will require extensive journaling for the Trance and Divination requirements (at least).

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I did sitting meditation every day this week, as part of a re-set of my mindfulness practice and in an attempt to help with some mental health issues. I did 15-30 minute meditations, usually starting with 10 minutes seated and then moving to lying on my back on the floor. I’ve found I definitely have better luck meditating lying down than I do sitting up, at least when it comes to getting to that state of calm half-awareness.  I think partially this would be alleviated by sitting on a cushion instead of on the floor itself, so we’ll see if that helps this coming week.

I usually end my meditations with the Two Powers, which I’ve found feels very different lying down than it does standing up in ritual. Not sure that one is “better”, but I feel more grounded when I’m lying down for sure.

I continue to light incense to Freyr several times a week, and have started including a short prayer to him in my morning devotionals (beyond just saying “good morning”, as He asked).

I have also continued to see the Crane in my mental grove at night before I go to bed. In that light, I’ve downloaded some of the materials for the Order of the Crane and will be reading through them to see if this path is for me. I’d also like to do some focused meditations with Garanus in mind – he is not a Nature Spirit that I’ve worked with much in the past, though I have worked with and talked to local great blue herons and green herons in my area. The one major conversation I had was about the state of the waterway behind where I live, so it was not a devotional relationship like the Order is.

One noteworthy meditation this week had a little visitor. I was lying on the floor, in a sort of half-trance state, moving between my  breath and my mental grove, when something MOVED on my ARM. I looked down, and there was a tiny green anole lizard on my arm, apparently having let himself in through the open window. (I’m not sure how, there’s a screen) It definitely ended the meditation, as I then chased him around the room for 10 minutes before catching him and putting him outside.

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I’ve finished 20 weeks of documented meditation! Yay!

I went back to check though, and my first documentation was on November 5, and I don’t want to lose credit for this because I did “20 weeks” instead of “5 calendar months”, so I’m going to do another two weeks just to make sure. Since I’m doing a lot of meditation right now, that’s not too hard, I just have to remember to write it all down every Monday.

This week I did several sitting meditations (some were very short, so I’m not sure how to count the little 3-5 minute ones, versus the usual 15-30 minute ones). I included one meditation that included the Two Powers, and combined that with Embrace the Tiger, Return to the Mountain moving meditation – I really do wonder if they serve the same purpose. I’ll definitely be writing about that practice as part of my Two Powers/Grounding and Centering essay, since it helps me so much to balance the powers around me, and involves drawing in energy and balancing it within my body.  (I’ve also discovered that there’s enough room in the larger bathroom stall to do this moving meditation at work, which is useful, since I am both very stressed and extremely visible at work. I share a cubicle with three other people, and it opens across from the break room, so it’s a high traffic area.)

I’ve returned to a focus on my mindfulness practice, since I’m struggling with some mental health cycling, so I’m trying to do at least 15 minutes of sitting meditation daily. This, when combined with more trance-like visualization meditation (like the Two Powers, or visiting my Mental Grove) has been really powerful for me, and will probably be the one practice that I continue doing with solid regularity after I finish my “requirement” for the DP.

This week also included my Ostara celebration, and the devotional aspects of that ritual went very well. I’ll have a full write-up tomorrow.

Also, of note this week, when I was sitting in my Mental Grove, I was visited by the Crane. I’m not sure if this is “just” because I’ve been reading about the Order of the Crane (and considering joining it), or because there are bigger subconscious forces at work. I’ll be seeing if I can nurture that relationship. Usually in my Mental Grove I see animals and spirits that I have relationships with, or who are symbolic of the Gods, so this would fit into that pattern if the Crane is seeking me out as well as I am seeking to see if that path will be right for me.

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Three sitting meditations this week, between 15 and 25 minutes each time. I also did a small ritual to share the bottle of raspberry mead that I promised in my Connections post. I poured out a good glass for me and one for him, and his got poured out over the garden while I sipped my own.

I did not do an official Tea with the Kindreds this week, but I got a lot out of my sharing of mead, so I guess that kind of counts. It was a little different in format, but still serves to strengthen my ties to the Kindreds.

Also, for what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure the God I’m talking to in my meditations is Freyr. This is supported both by the interactions I’ve had and the reading I’ve done, and the more I read, the more drawn to him I feel. I’ll be making a special note of this in my equinox ritual this week.

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