Daily Meditation

Meditation (source unknown)Meditation is a very important part of my spiritual path. I remember when I was a student with Bobcat (Emma Restall Orr) back in 2007, and the amount of meditation that she suggested was the minimum we do each day – it had seemed like a lot at the time (I had only begun to delve in Zen meditation at this point). She said that we should spend more time at our altars, at least with two twenty minute sessions per day. At first it was hard to get into, but then became easier at it became part of my life, part of my daily routine.

I took the sessions to longer periods of time, two thirty minute sessions. It meant getting up earlier and finding time when I came home from work before cooking dinner, or if that wasn’t possible finding time in the evening whenever it could fit in. There was great value in spending time before my altar, sitting in silence and communing with the gods, the ancestors and the spirits of place. It is often said that prayer is talking, and meditation is listening.

Learning more and more about meditation in its various forms, I realised that it could be done anytime, anywhere really – it didn’t have to be in front of the altar in a seated position. Seated meditation is still, for me, the best form, as quieting our bodies and our minds allows us a chance to get beyond our talking selves and into a space of pure being, where in stillness we settle even as the dusk falls upon the land. Like mud being churned in a pond, if we allow it to settle things become clear.

However, meditation could be taken out of that space and into the wider world. If I was away from home, and had no altar, I could take a walk and do some walking meditation. Lying in a bath, I could meditate there, fully aware of the water against my skin, the sounds and scents. In essence, meditation is simply giving your full attention to something, whether it is a stillness of the mind, the working through of a problem, walking down the street or paying attention to your breath. Work can become meditation – washing the dishes is meditation for me, as are other house chores. They are much more pleasant that way.

Riding my bike, driving my car, paddling my canoe – all these can be meditation. With meditation, if you are doing mindfulness meditation, you are not “zoning out” so to speak – you are fully aware of everything, allowing the illusion of the self to fade away in order to hear the wider world around you. Stopping the incessant internal dialogue, we step beyond our selves, allowing us a break from our egos. The more we do this, the more we are not ruled by our egos, living a life that is not reactive but completely and fully active: lived with intention.

Meditation is not all about sitting on a cushion chanting Om. It is living with full awareness, using techniques such as seated meditation to help you begin your journey. I would always advise seated meditation first, and then take that into other aspects of your life. Pretty soon you will find that you are living with much more awareness, much more mindfully. It’s not difficult to do.

Often people say that with the raising of a family they do not have the time to meditate. What I would suggest is that raising your family becomes a meditation. Pay attention to cooking the meals, when your children are speaking, when you are reading them a bedtime story. Be fully present with them and you are meditating. Be aware of your actions and reactions and you are meditating. Be aware of your breathing and you are meditating. You can do it.

Explore the many ways you can meditate. From finding that still centre, explore journeying, guided meditation, trancework and so on, keeping coming back to the simpler forms and the still centre. It will be well worth it.

10 thoughts on “Daily Meditation

  1. I too like to sit early morning with lit candles around my alter and commune with Goddess and my animal guide. However, I always do an early morning walk, every morning between 5.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. by the river, in the country only myself and the animals and the birds and maybe that is where I get my most insights, answers to problems or enter into a state of calmness and peace. xx

  2. As well as formal seated meditation, I also find running and cycling a form of meditation. I use a small number of trails through ancient woodland which I repeat regularly throughout the year. Like sitting, one works with the breath and ones awareness of the passing sensations, and in this case the passing sights, sounds and smells. From a Druidical point of view, one notices the subtle passing of the seasons, throughout the year. I see this as a rather yang form of meditation, and sitting a yin form.

  3. I like a nice walk in a forest where I can daydream. It’s nice to do and it’s a form of meditation for me. It takes me to a other place, feeling relax and calm, nothing around me can touch me. Only Nature is with me and when am back I can feel the difference within me.

  4. I find that walking meditation works better for me, most of the time. It is a time of communing with those who are not me because I am in their midst and more able to be one with them. I am able to be more conscious of my breathing when I walk and out of the house I hear better, as it were. I am able to find my centre more easily and thus to let go, expand and be filled. I do a quiet time before my altar before I go to bed as well, but that is mostly to express my gratitude for the day and its gifts, to remember those I care about, but I also listen to hear if there are any ‘messages’ I need to hear before I go to sleep.

    • I’ve often wondered if it’s easier for us, especially along the Druid path, to find that sense of ease within the forest. Could it be due to the fact that when we’re in a forest, we are IN it, not upon it? We have been consumed in a way, that allows us to let go of some of our humanity, perhaps, to become more a part of the flow of the forest… it’s just a thought. x

  5. I was introduced to Eastern-style, Zen meditation when I was a kid via my study of Japanese martial arts. I enjoyed it, enjoyed being able to eventually range between total focus and empty mindedness. I do still employ meditation; but not of the ‘typical’ Eastern (or even conventional) variety: I work a lot with lucid dreaming (or, in continuation with the theme of this post, maintaining awareness and presence while sleeping). My favorite place to fall asleep is under a tree; and I always found it interesting that Siddhartha Gautama found his enlightenment while meditating under a fig tree.

    • How interesting! And yes – I have often wondered about the power that seems inherent in trees – roots that delve beneath the ground, canopies that reach towards the heavens, existing it seems, on so many levels… x

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