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Author Topic: Meditation and Journeying  (Read 464 times)

Uneryx

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Meditation and Journeying
« on: July 29, 2019, 03:40:52 pm »
In your practice, how centrally do you place non-physical work such as trance, meditation, visualization, astral projection, journeying, etc?

What challenges did you face getting started on any of this?

If it's not private/taboo to speak of, what was a fun experience with this that you had?

What advice do you have for others who are starting out?

EclecticWheel

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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2019, 04:48:57 pm »
In your practice, how centrally do you place non-physical work such as trance, meditation, visualization, astral projection, journeying, etc?

What challenges did you face getting started on any of this?

If it's not private/taboo to speak of, what was a fun experience with this that you had?

What advice do you have for others who are starting out?

Of late these things are not a big part of my practice, but some years ago I focused on astral projection every night.  The problem was I kept getting a psychological block, a physical symptom that would break my concentration.

But eventually I did "awaken" within a dream.  I was in a church full of candles, and all the imagery literally melted away around me until I was left in a void, and I was a sphere of awareness with no visible body.  I began accelerating through the void in long sweeping arcs, twirling and dancing, and I felt so at home, and at peace, and I thought "I've been here before.  I can't believe I've forgotten!"

Slowly I became aware of my fingers and toes and gradually the rest of my body until I awoke physically, and I just smiled and went back to sleep.  Since then I've come to semi-awareness in dreams, enough to realize I was dreaming, but not enough to take full control or to prevent lapsing back into the dream state.

Getting back into this practice is one of my goals.  It took me a long time to achieve the experience I have recalled here, over a year.  So my advice to those practicing lucid dreaming or astral projection is to keep trying.
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Ashmire

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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2019, 05:21:43 pm »
In your practice, how centrally do you place non-physical work such as trance, meditation, visualization, astral projection, journeying, etc?

What challenges did you face getting started on any of this?

If it's not private/taboo to speak of, what was a fun experience with this that you had?

What advice do you have for others who are starting out?

It's pretty important.  I'm not sure how you'd really do it otherwise, honestly.  For me it comes pretty naturally (most of the time.  I do have occasional blocked periods), so I don't have a lot of great advice, other than focusing on your breathing and not trying too hard otherwise.

Fun things to do in the astral plane?  Practicing martial arts with Bruce Lee, obviously.  Of course it's still necessary to do the physical work on that to develop strength and stamina, but I find this does actually seem to help the muscle memory come to me faster.

We also have this thing that usually comes up when I'm trying to work through one of my blocked phases, that basically is playing tag, sneaking up on each other in a darkened forest( sometimes the landscape is not quite so clearly defined as an actual "forest" or realistic location, but something like that), which feels like both symbolic of the problem and practice of the skills needed to work through it---sensing one another's presence psychically.


Local Magpie

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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2019, 12:38:07 pm »
In your practice, how centrally do you place non-physical work such as trance, meditation, visualization, astral projection, journeying, etc?

What challenges did you face getting started on any of this?

If it's not private/taboo to speak of, what was a fun experience with this that you had?

What advice do you have for others who are starting out?

I try to do a guided meditation every morning, usually on self love or compassion or any area I feel I need some work in. I used to have a very bad daydream habit, so visualization makes me nervous thought I'm not bad at it. Ideally I'd like to learn how to go into trance states but it's a slow learning process.

RandallS

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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2019, 05:52:19 pm »
In your practice, how centrally do you place non-physical work such as trance, meditation, visualization, astral projection, journeying, etc?

What challenges did you face getting started on any of this?

Meditation has always been important to my practice. The hardest part of learning to meditate for me was learning that the advice in many books and articles from the 1970s (when I was learning) simply would not work for me -- probably due to my low grade ADHD. I more or less had to forge my own path. Thankfully, this is less necessary for people today as many books on meditation suggest many ways to go about it.
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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2019, 07:13:17 pm »
I used to have a very bad daydream habit.

I'm curious about this; what was bad about it? I daydream/visualize all the time and never thought of it as a bad thing.

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 06:19:44 am »
I'm curious about this; what was bad about it? I daydream/visualize all the time and never thought of it as a bad thing.

I guess it depends where and when! Not generally a good idea if you're meant to be working!

I work almost exclusively in trance. Journeying is probably the most central part of of that I personally do.

Meditation in the traditional sense doesn't work at all for me.

Jenett

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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2019, 12:40:38 pm »
In your practice, how centrally do you place non-physical work such as trance, meditation, visualization, astral projection, journeying, etc?

For me, those are different pieces, so let me break them out.

In my tradition, visualisation is a skill we start teaching early and reinforce often. Guided pathworkings are a regular part of the tradition practices and training (and a reasonably frequent part of group ritual work - maybe one in four.) There's also some astral work (a communal astral temple, plus many people build/discover/create/inhabit astral spaces of their own.) Meditation, in either the mindfulness sense or the 'clear your mind' is something included, but isn't a central practice, and is up to the individual.

Visualisation, in the sense of 'create thing in your head that is your goal' is part of our regular magical work, and some other more general ritual work in many cases (so, not an every day thing, but - monthly, maybe, depending on what's going on?) I'm not a strongly visual person other than colour, so for me visualisation is much more heavily rooted in spatial sense, proprioception and things like 'what does this emotion or state feel like in my body'. Often with a soundtrack from my brain.

Quote
What challenges did you face getting started on any of this?

So, my initial challenge was that so much of this stuff is taught or described in a way that is heavily visual, and it took me... 6 years and a bunch of video gaming to figure out how to make the visuals go? (One of the reasons I rec Diana Paxson's Trance-Portation so heavily is that she does a really good job not doing that.) The video gaming helped because (at the time, especially, in the early 2000s), it was detailed but less high-res than the world, and between that and the ability to move through space (which I'm much better at),  I could get a better sense of how that worked in trance work with a specific goal.

When I started having noticeable life-altering thyroid issues (as opposed to the somewhat lower-grade but at that point undiagnosed issues I'd been having for 15 years before that), my ability to do any kind of meditation/trance/etc. went basically straight out the window.

This is apparently not that uncommon - once I got a grip on getting stuff somewhat treated, I went out to dinner with my HP and his husband (who has a lot of chronic stuff, though different chronic stuff), and asked them what I should be thinking about that I wasn't, in terms of effect on group work and priestessing for other people in specific, and they both said they'd known several people with that particular problem.

(They hypothesised, and I am inclined to agree, that when your physical resources are that slim, especially something like endocrine issues that affects your entire body in all sorts of subtle ways as well as the more obvious ones, your body wants to conserve all that energy.)

It's since come back a little: I can do a guided meditation now. (And actually, this lunar cycle, I'm seeing what it's like to do meditation for 5-10 minutes every day, hopefully building up over the course of the month, and see what it does.)

Quote
If it's not private/taboo to speak of, what was a fun experience with this that you had?

One of the astral spaces I coem back to a lot (and do guided work with for other people) is what I refer to as the Great Library (think all the libraries ever, with many wings and different styles - I usually start out in the turn of the 20th century style with green glass lampshades and dark wood and lots of shelves of books, but I've been in sections that are all digital holography and screens, and bits that are scrolls, and a lot of other things.)

I use it as a "What information do I need to move forward on this thing", mostly, but shortly after I started it, it became clear that while when I take other people there, they get friendly librarians helping, me, I get an office. (It's a very small office, one of those graduate student style narrow cubicles with against the far wall, desk, a chair, a shelf for books, and just enough space to open a door, sidle in, and close the door again.) It amuses me every time.
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TheGreenWizard

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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 08:42:45 am »
In your practice, how centrally do you place non-physical work such as trance, meditation, visualization, astral projection, journeying, etc?

What challenges did you face getting started on any of this?

If it's not private/taboo to speak of, what was a fun experience with this that you had?

What advice do you have for others who are starting out?
When I first began seriously studying my craft, I would do meditations as a way of meeting/conversing with the Gods that I was praying to. However, over time, I've stopped doing that, and simply started speaking out loud while focusing my attention to Their images I have on my altar. As of late, I'm going through a fallow period and need to figure out what stays and what should go in my practice, but I have a feeling that it won't occur until I get my affairs in order.
Some of the main challenges I have with meditations in general include:
  • What is the goal of this meditation? (No goal? I ain't gonna do it, or I'll see it as pointless)
  • How much time will it take? (Journey meditations - which I'll describe later - take me much longer than simple calming meditations)
  • Clearing my thoughts (I'll almost get to the point of clearing my mind, and then I'll remember that I have to start dinner soon, and... I get derailed).
Over time, I've gotten better at the above points, but now I need to do a mental/physical reset on my practices.
As for a fun time... during a meditation, I journeyed to a hill that was familiar to me from my childhood in a local park. It was sunny, and there was a light breeze that rustled the trees (this I saw, more than heard, because of the shadows that fell on us). On the hill side was a young man with curly brown hair, and a handsome, yet, beautiful visage, dressed in purple. I sat next to him and he grabbed my gaze with his eyes and we stared at each other for some time before he started to make out with me. I have no idea how I knew this, but I knew it was Dionysos, and with that he was saying, "You're mine."

My suggestions for starting out, especially if you have focusing issues: just go slow and do small time increments. Start with 5 minutes (or less if you need to) and try to get the goal of clearing your mind. WHen you've done that, go to 7 minutes, and everytime you hit your goal, add more time.
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TsundokuTeaTime

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Re: Meditation and Journeying
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2019, 05:47:12 pm »
In your practice, how centrally do you place non-physical work such as trance, meditation, visualization, astral projection, journeying, etc?

What challenges did you face getting started on any of this?

If it's not private/taboo to speak of, what was a fun experience with this that you had?

What advice do you have for others who are starting out?

For a long time, it was my ONLY thing. Before I seriously identified as pagan, I was interested in aspects of magic but I didn't really practice anything yet. However, I could easily visualize and go into trances. Nowadays it's a bit more difficult for me to visualize and trance out. Partially because I was dissociating and it was easier for me to be out of the body, I was constantly disconnected. As I got more connected via mindfulness practices, I began to be more in tune with my physical body. At the cost of wandering around the astral and such constantly. I'm back into practicing this again and honing my visualization skills, not sure if I'll ever attain that previous level due to the fact I do need my physical awareness at present. Those silly secular things, y'know...

Non-physical stuff is still at the root of my work, though I'm branching out a bit more and trying different approaches via folk magic. Sometimes meditation will lead into a trance, visualization, or journey. There are many instances where the Divinities have used trance/journeys as their main forms of communication. I've been to their courts and spoken with them, they've even helped me find things like spirits of interest, and have undergone trials. Sometimes though, they just want to tell you something or show you something. At times that can come off as subtle or a striking realization like a koan. Sometimes I visit the more informal ones to just chill and see how my pet reindeer that can grow at random is doing. We also go hunting and have mad campfire dances(sometimes quite boozy). But I trust them so much. Love seeing my tribe, and hope to have a place with a similar feeling in the physical realm.

Besides communicating with the Divine and whatnot, I used to use the method of Ioci and wander around in memory palaces/scapes. To some degree I still use it, but I used to be in them ALL the damn time. I even figured out a way to use it to manually control states of being and emotions. ...to be quite frank, I don't even know how the devil I achieved that anymore. Would love to be able to do that again. In that spirit, I've began looking more formally at it. When I was doing some of the exercises from a book on the subject I had found that most of the things to manifest were already there or needed just a few more seconds to coalesce. They even followed the pattern the matter was supposed to react to. Sometimes this would occur before I even read the visualization instructions.

Advice?

There's already some good advice from others in this post. As for meditation, I really like the advice from Jason Miller in his book Strategic Sorcery. That it is something to be used to overcome the Mechanistic Mind, the "prison" so we can make more conscious choices that aren't simply from our base programming. I find that sometimes I need a purpose to do anything otherwise I get rather lazy with things. I am empowered by this philosophy of overcoming the prison that is the Mechanistic Mind- since I struggle with a lot of bad wiring issues and faulty programming. Beep boop.

Another thing I really liked from that section in the same book was the compassion used towards meditation. That one should stop criticizing oneself and expecting a result. Having no expectations about the result of the meditation, because "lust of result" is one of the biggest obstacles in meditating for me personally. I get caught up in doing X amount of minutes or boxed into a specific way that really doesn't work for me and then it ends up feeling like a wrench in my gears. If something ain't working for you, don't feel bad trying other methods. Sometimes things take time to settle into a habit, don't feel ashamed if you have to work your way up. Even the most trying or seemingly unproductive sessions have things you can learn from them.
“It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself." ~Salvador Dali

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