The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
May 16, 2021, 11:31:36 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 16, 2021, 11:31:36 am

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Meditation Struggles  (Read 2632 times)
darashand
Adept Member
*****
*
*
Last Login:August 28, 2011, 11:46:42 am
United States United States

Religion: Celtic/Germanic Heathenry
TCN ID: darashand
Posts: 1222

Gravatar

Fate favors the Fearless.

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Topic Start: April 04, 2011, 12:02:21 pm »

I've been struggling with meditation.  I am able to relax enough, but I can't seem to be able to focus on a visual or the visual changes into something I don't want.  For example, I was using Mara Freeman's Celtic meditations CD in which she suggested seeing a landscape.  For a while, I saw a sunset on a hilly plain, but then after a few seconds, I saw myself on a cliff. This might seem ok, but it was totally contrary to the objective of the meditation!  I would try to pull myself back into the scene, but my mind would again wonder off.  Also, when she would suggest meeting an ancestor, Deity, or another person speaking, I often cannot hear the person speak.  Could I be blocking this in some way? 

Also, how long does it take to get tangible results in meditation?  I would really like to see pretty colors or you know, feel connected to the Source (Goddess, God, etc).

   
Logged

The only people for me are the mad ones. The ones who are mad to love, mad to talk, mad to be saved. The ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars." -Jack Kerouac

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Tana
Staff
High Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:July 26, 2013, 08:37:48 am
Germany Germany

Religion: I'm my Lady's own
Posts: 3407


fence-riding, free-flowing, shamagic = crazy

Blog entries (4)

WWW
« Reply #1: April 04, 2011, 12:37:29 pm »


In short, you might want to start with 'just' being relaxed and quiet the monkey mind.
That is usually enough for the start. And not easy to accomplish.

The thing with internal pictures is, that sometimes they have meaning.
(Sometimes it's just Monkey Mind, but not always.)

The tricky part on this IME is, that the pictures do not necessarily mean what is obvious.
They can be symbols and methaphors. To figure out what they want to tell you, is up to you, because no one else can know the vocabs your soul is using.

As to guided meditations from CDs...
It never, ever worked for me, if someone suggested that 'Now... yes right now, you are opening a chest and there is a... in it.' I would find just dust bunnies. And the 'Now the Goddess speaks to you words of infinite wisdom' doesn't work either.

I rather follow my own path and see what will come along the way and if someone wants to speak to me.
Active imagination seems a good start for this. It leaves room for your own mind.

I really have problems with pictures others try to squeeze into my imagination.
It just does not work.

Logged

'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

(The FB button in my profile does not work, if you like go and add me: Tana Adaneth, the one with the Doom Kitty avatar Wink)

Only shallow people know themselves. (Oscar Wilde)
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 23, 2020, 06:56:44 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2: April 04, 2011, 01:29:27 pm »

I've been struggling with meditation.  I am able to relax enough, but I can't seem to be able to focus on a visual or the visual changes into something I don't want.  For example, I was using Mara Freeman's Celtic meditations CD in which she suggested seeing a landscape.  For a while, I saw a sunset on a hilly plain, but then after a few seconds, I saw myself on a cliff. This might seem ok, but it was totally contrary to the objective of the meditation!  I would try to pull myself back into the scene, but my mind would again wonder off.  Also, when she would suggest meeting an ancestor, Deity, or another person speaking, I often cannot hear the person speak.  Could I be blocking this in some way? 

What's more likely is that - like most people - you have some modes of taking in information that are easier for you, and some that are harder. The odd thing about meditation is that they can be a bit different than what they are in the physical world.

For me, I'm normally a very strong audio learner and a relatively weak visual one, but I rarely 'hear' stuff in meditation - instead, I tend to see it. Any information I get that's not visual usually sort of shows up in my brain: it's not that I hear a deity (or whoever) talking, but rather that I know what they said. (It's sort of like reading it on a screen, and then knowing what was said, but there's no screen involved.)

It sounds like there's a couple of things you could do to help - first, work on building 'muscles' so to speak to help you to focus on a meditation for longer. There's a bunch of ways to do this, but one that I like is having some way to count how many times you get distracted (like a strand of large wooden beads - they're cheap at craft stores: start at one end, move your fingers down a bead each time you have a stray thought.) When you've worked up to doing 10 minutes or so with few distractions, you're probably ready for more complex meditation work more comfortably. (While you're practicing this, you can do simple stuff - counted breaths, for example - or something like visualising a particular shape (green triangle, blue circle, etc.) When that gets boring, move up to something a little more complex - an orange, for example, or an apple.)

(Incidentally, I and a lot of other people have found that somewhere between about the 8 and 12 minute mark, the body actually settles down and goes "Ok, we're meditating now, right." - for me, it's pretty much smack on the 10 minute line. Up to that point, I have to work a lot harder to keep my focus and concentation where I want it, no matter what kind of meditation it is. After that point, it's immensely easier.)

For guided meditations, generally, the more senses you can build in there, the better - and far too many meditation writers are really lousy at including more sense than sight and maybe some sounds. For people like me, for whom visual stuff is not their prime sense (and it sounds like you might be too...) this can be particularly hard. There's two solutions - get better at the visual stuff (which is worthwhile, but can take quite a while), or find/write meditations that do a better job of including more senses.

You can see an example of a meditation that hits more senses at the end of the page here: http://gleewood.org/seeking/practices/visualisation/ (and there's more ideas for visualisation and meditation practice earlier on that page.) You might find another page on my site helpful too - it talks about different learning styles (with a link to a quiz that can help you figure out yours) with some specific ideas for magical/ritual/meditative practice - that's at http://gleewood.org/seeking/practices/ways-you-learn/ .

Quote
Also, how long does it take to get tangible results in meditation?  I would really like to see pretty colors or you know, feel connected to the Source (Goddess, God, etc).

Depends. It took me about five years of serious, regular practice, group ritual work and both learning and teaching (so I was regularly having to try to work with other people's learning preferences, rather than my own) to be able to get strong visuals reliably. (Interestingly, one of the things that started getting it to gel for me - though it took a couple years more refinement - was immersive online games with really good art and spatial relationships.)

It took a lot less time - maybe six months? - to be able to navigate a guided group meditation with other people in a way that I got meaningful stuff out of: I focused on the non-visual cues, and didn't stress about what I got (or didn't get) from the visuals.  But that was six months of very regular practice at the beginning of my Dedicant year (3-4 practice sessions of visualisation and mediation skills in multiple senses every week, plus additional time in class and in ritual.)
Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books
Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #3: April 04, 2011, 02:22:14 pm »

   

What Tana said. ("In short, you might want to start with 'just' being relaxed and quiet the monkey mind. That is usually enough for the start. And not easy to accomplish.")

I try (and mostly succeed) to meditate every day, have been doing it for years...and I'm still an absolute novice. I realized that in the Himalayan mountains, where I got a firsthand look at a culture (Tibetan Buddhism) that has spent centuries taking meditation to a high art form. Some of those monks do little but meditate, every day, for their entire lives, "professionally" as you might say. So I think you might want to re-set your expectations of yourself a bit, and stop beating yourself up for a failure to master meditation.

If you think of meditation as learning to control your mind and peel away the layers of consciousness, maybe that makes it clearer just what a giant task you're tackling.

Start by learning to calm the mind. That's a HUGE hurdle and will take time. Other thoughts will try to crowd in, and that's OK. Imagine yourself as transparent, and let the thoughts pass right through you. Don't try to stop them, just let them come and go. Breathe normally and, without trying to alter how you breathe, pay attention to your breathing.

That helps me achieve a calm mind state, anyway. I have my good days and bad days at it; on the good, I'll hit the "calm mind zone" in a quick minute; on the bad, it can take me up to 20, and even then I might not feel like I'm fully there. And then once there, it's hard to stay there. It's all about practice.

I don't know what time of day you meditate, but I find first thing in the morning, before the day's events and concerns have taken hold, works best for me. But I'm a morning person.

After you've gotten good at calming your mind, the next goal should probably be developing focus, but on something simple, like a spot on the wall or the flame of a candle--not a complex image.

But somebody who knows a lot more about meditation, please chime in!

Logged

Zoe Moonchild
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 22, 2011, 06:29:35 am
United States United States

Religion: Celtic Pagan
TCN ID: Zoe Moonchild
Posts: 277


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #4: April 05, 2011, 09:50:44 am »

   

I'm a strong visual learner and meditation was still hard for me to learn and I still have bad days too.  What helps me is doing something relaxing before hand, like a relaxing cup of tea or a hot bath.  I use that time to just let my brain say whatever it wants to and get it out of the way.  Also, using 'cues' helps me as well.  I always use incense (and I try to use the same scent every time too) as well as a candle and I darken all the lights so that I can focus on the flame.  I make sure I am in comfy clothes and in a comfy position.  After a few times of having to deal with the distractions of freezing feet or something poking me or aching from a bad body position I learned this is really important for me.  I also like to put in some sort of relaxing cd.  My favorite is the sounds of a thunderstorm.  I turn it down low and, to me, it is soothing.  Plus it blocks out other distracting noises.  I think what you do to 'get in the mood' and then to 'set the stage' is probably the most important part.  As well, I found that stating out loud what I wanted to do helped to focus my mind. 

When I first started doing mediation I would always go to a specific place in my mind.  I spent a lot of time there focusing on feeling the grass with my hands, the dirt under my feet, the wind on my face, etc.  When I moved on from that place I was always well grounded in the meditation.  This has become my entry point and I always spend a few moments doing these things.  Until I read what Jenett said about the 8 to 12 minute mark I didn't realize that what I was doing was giving myself time to relax and focus.  I can always tell if I'm going to have an easy meditation or if I'm going to struggle through it by my time spent there as well. 

Anyway, these things are what help me.  In the beginning, I didn't have the money to buy books or guided meditations, so I just played around with different things until I found what worked for me.  And although I haven't tried a guided meditation cd (although I've used suggestions for places to go, people to meet, etc. from books) I have to say that I don't think they would work for me.  Unless sound is very soothing and has a good flow it is extremely distracting for me.  And I personally like to have a little bit more control than that, time wise as well as experience wise. 

As for hearing things ... I only do about half of the time.  The other half of my communication is mind to mind.  Usually it is a mix.  I do see colors and always have, but as I said I am a very strong visual learner, so that part comes easily for me. 

Don't give up.  Keep trying different things and you'll find what works for you. 
Logged


Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take,
it is measured by the moments that take your breath away.

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Asking for a little help with meditation etc.
Magic and the Occult for Beginners
KitsuneinDreams 11 4057 Last post February 09, 2009, 04:04:39 am
by KitsuneinDreams
Meditation
Paganism For Beginners
Vella Malachite 9 4246 Last post December 10, 2009, 05:21:20 pm
by Vella Malachite
Meditation
Miscellaneous Religious Discussions
Arienwen 13 3671 Last post August 08, 2010, 11:52:10 am
by RootRealm
Meditation « 1 2 »
Paganism For Beginners
Smoke 17 3786 Last post January 25, 2011, 08:07:08 pm
by Smoke
Second Year Struggles.
Cauldron Cill
Ali 12 5837 Last post March 12, 2011, 01:36:52 pm
by dragonfaerie
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.056 seconds with 43 queries.