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Posts Tagged ‘mental discipline’

Three sitting meditations this week, plus tea with the kindreds. Nothing particularly noteworthy about any of it. I’m becoming more sure of the spirit that has been visiting during my meditations, though I didn’t feel like I made particularly strong contact this week.

I think mostly this exercise has become very perfunctory – I’m doing the exercises to complete a requirement, but I’m not getting a ton out of it right now, because I haven’t had a ton to actually put into it. This is a common thread in most of my practice of Druidry over the last few weeks, related directly to other things in my life. I’ve got some thoughts about that to post later.

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Not a lot to report this week. I did two sitting meditations that went reasonably well. I spent more time this week thinking about meditation than I did actually meditating. While this is somewhat fruitful and brings some measure of insight, I think I need to channel that impulse into actually doing more meditations.

I did not do Tea with the Kindreds this week, simply because I forgot on Sunday to sit down and do it. I remembered as I was getting into bed last night, and by then it was late, and I start work very early. I’ll be sure to do it this week, maybe more than once. I’m hoping to have a little extra time tonight after work, so I will probably do a mini-Tea then. Since I usually do my weekly rune drawing while I’m doing tea with the kindreds, I didn’t do that part either. Yesterday was just nuts! I’ll do that drawing tonight instead.

Last week’s rune was Kenaz, which I read as “pain” – which turned out to be actually pretty applicable to my week. I had an appointment with one of my doctors. It was a rather surreal sort of visit, as I was told that I should continue to do something (in this case strength training exercises) even though they caused me increased joint pain, since it would be protective in the long run. While I understand the point, it’s still pretty hard to get up the enthusiasm to exercise when I know I’ll just be taking pain medication to help deal with the aftermath (not muscle soreness, actual joint pain).

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3/4 of the way done recording my meditation experiences for my mental discipline requirement!

Another 3 sitting meditations this week, plus Tea with the Kindreds. All went well enough, though my focus is still inconsistent. I did a slightly different version of the two powers this week, this time combining the two powers script with a tree visualization (roots stretching down, leaves reaching upwards). I think I liked it better than without the tree visualization. I like trees, and I’ve been doing various tree visualizations for years, so the combination feels very familiar in a good way.

I encountered the same presence in Tea with the Kindreds this week that I’ve encountered a few times before. Mostly I just said hello and that I was pleased he was there. He and one of my cats have now been introduced as well, since Max came and sat on me in the middle of my tea. I get a very positive energy feeling from these encounters, which is encouraging.

I also thought I might start drawing a rune a week, to help familiarize myself with them more. This week, of course, I drew Kenaz – a notoriously difficult rune to interpret. The question I asked was “What do I need to focus on this week?”.

Kenaz: Torch, Ulcer, Cheer, Pain, Death

Kenaz can be read either as torch (from some rune poems) or ulcer (from other rune poems). I get a generally negative feeling from this rune this time, so I’m not going to jump immediately to the more positive interpretation. I think, though, I understand what this particular rune drawing is trying to say. Not that I am supposed to focus on pain in a wallowing, self-defeating sort of way, but that I should focus on managing and dealing with pain (something I deal with frequently, as I have chronic pain from a joint disorder, as well as dealing with mental illness). It’s not exactly a happy omen, but one that I probably needed to hear.

I’ll try to remember to check back in with this rune throughout the week, and see if my gut reading about it is correct. (On a much more mundane note, I’m going this week to see the specialist who is helping me with pain management as well, so there may be some of that referenced in the reading.)

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Three sitting meditations this week, with varying degrees of focus. The only one that really didn’t work was done when my husband was on the phone in the next room, and the cats were trying to claw open the door/yowling outside the door. It was just too much distraction, so after 10 minutes of that I was more annoyed than when I’d sat down. I don’t usually need true quiet to meditate, but I was already agitated, so I couldn’t even get focused on my breath.

I’m not doing the Two Powers meditations as much lately, at least not “officially” – I do still ground and center in my sitting meditation, but it’s less of a visualization than the full Two Powers. I still visit my mental grove each night before I fall asleep, using it as a way to help me relax and not get too caught up in thinking.

I also did Tea with the Kindreds this week, and it went OK. No great revelations, but I am definitely feeling a presence(s) while I do it. More so than in my formal Ewemeolc ritual, which is interesting. I’m hesitant to name them, since I don’t want to be wrong or jump to conclusions, and since they tend to be slightly different each time. I’m trying to be as communicative as possible, and make frequent incense and food offerings to try to open up the connection. I don’t know if this will end up as a patron relationship or just someone I develop a working relationship with.

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More sitting meditation this week! I have some mental health issues that are cropping up (as they are wont to do a few times a year), and the sitting meditation is, as always, helpful. I’ve had my husband helping to remind me to do it, which is also helpful. I’ve taken up lighting incense as well, so I’m doing most of my meditation sitting in front of my altar.

I had one moment in meditation this week where I was absolutely certain that I was being visited by one of the Gods, though I’m not sure which one. I thought to myself “I wonder if this rose incense is ok?” and I got a very clear “It’s alright, but the cedar is better.” answer that I’m quite sure wasn’t me answering myself (because while I like cedar, I personally kind of prefer the rose). I did not do a tea with the Kindreds, but I will be doing that again this week. I need to find out who likes my cedar incense!

I did the two powers meditation during my Imbolc ritual on Friday (more on that tomorrow), and found that swapping from “work mode” to “ritual mode” was kind of hard. I need to allow more time for meditation if I’m going to do my rituals after work in the evenings.  I’m still working with my mental grove exercises as well, usually in bed just as I’m falling asleep. It helps me to relax and unwind from the day really effectively.

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Nothing new and exciting to report. I did a 10-15 minute seated meditation three times this week, and found that my focus is getting better again. Also that I tend to focus better when I meditate sitting in front of my altar – which is probably a combination of quiet space, a place that I’m used to doing work, and something about sitting on the floor feeling more “meditation-y”.

Also, this week, one of my cats has decided that he wants to try meditation too. Or rather, he finds my sitting on the floor to be a good excuse to bug me for pats. I’ve had to start locking him out of the room when I want to really focus, though at one point I just made HIM the focus of the meditation and tried to be really in the moment about it. Both approaches worked alright.

I did the full Two Powers meditation once this week as well. I’m getting better at feeling the sky power consistently – aided by the fact that it’s been very warm and sunny this week.

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I’m feeling a little bit of a slow down in my meditation practice, here at the halfway point of my mental discipline requirement (5 months = 20 weeks, more or less). I did a walking meditation early in the week, which didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. On Friday, though, I was sent a link to Andy Puddicombe’s TED talk about meditation and mindfulness that inspired me to get back to my 10 minute sitting meditation practice.

I recommend it highly, as a good introduction to the benefits of meditation. You can see it here.

While this is mindfulness meditation (as opposed to trance meditation or visualization meditation, both of which are more directly related to the practice of Druidry), I got a lot out of renewing the practice as a way to combat stress and difficult mental states, and the mental training is useful for other types of meditation. The ability to focus on the present moment, without distraction, feeds into being able to focus on a visualization or magical intent without distraction as well. Since I frequently deal with difficult mental states, which are (among other things) hindrances to focus and causes of distraction, I really like and benefit from the practice of mindfulness, even in little 10 minute chunks.

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