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Author Topic: Meditation  (Read 5016 times)
Tartanlad
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« Topic Start: March 18, 2007, 05:14:53 pm »

I am have a lot of difficulty trying to meditate. I have been very sick and perhaps that is the trouble.
I have some tapes and books that tell me to imagine that I can grow a root deep down into the earth. I just can not do it.
Has anyone had difficulty in this area? And can I get some advice?
Bernie
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« Reply #1: March 18, 2007, 05:50:21 pm »

I am have a lot of difficulty trying to meditate. I have been very sick and perhaps that is the trouble.
I have some tapes and books that tell me to imagine that I can grow a root deep down into the earth. I just can not do it.
Has anyone had difficulty in this area? And can I get some advice?
Bernie

I think the sickness probably has a fair bit to do with it.  What general method have you been using for meditation, and what have you been aiming to achieve?
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« Reply #2: March 18, 2007, 08:58:15 pm »

I am have a lot of difficulty trying to meditate. I have been very sick and perhaps that is the trouble.
I have some tapes and books that tell me to imagine that I can grow a root deep down into the earth. I just can not do it.
Has anyone had difficulty in this area? And can I get some advice?
Bernie

I have  been trying for many months to get back into meditation, and am finding it very difficult.  I have noticed that durring the months when I am most busiest at work (Winter in the south for RV's), it is one of those things that is almost impossible. 

I have not had a meditation in over 3 months now with everything that is going on in the family life.  It seems to affect me in a wierd way spiritually.  I find that unfortunately, it is the spiritual side of my life that suffers the most.  No matter what I try to do it doesn't work for me to try and get my meditations done, because it will inevitability fail no matter what I do, so I let it go for a while until I find that I MUST make myself do it.   Only downfall to that is that it takes me a few days to a week to prepare for a decent meditation.

Not sure if this helped with you question but figured it wouldn't hurt anyway.
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Tartanlad
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« Reply #3: March 19, 2007, 06:49:48 am »

I am new to Wicca and have read several books on the subject.
They all tell me that I must 'Ground', to do this I have to imagine that I have a tap root flowing from my feet or my tail bone into the ground and draw energy up through that root.
Then I most visualize walking though a wood or by a stream. I just do not seem to be able to achieve this.
I was on the old board before I got sick so I should tell you that I am approaching 74 maybe I am just too old to do this.
Also I was a general machinist and worked in engineering most of my life so there again my mind is not used to abstract thinking.
Really I guess that it is something that I am just going to have to keep working at. After all there is no easy way of learning to do anything.
Cheers Bernie
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« Reply #4: March 19, 2007, 07:33:53 am »

I am new to Wicca and have read several books on the subject.
They all tell me that I must 'Ground', to do this I have to imagine that I have a tap root flowing from my feet or my tail bone into the ground and draw energy up through that root.
Then I most visualize walking though a wood or by a stream. I just do not seem to be able to achieve this.
I was on the old board before I got sick so I should tell you that I am approaching 74 maybe I am just too old to do this.
Also I was a general machinist and worked in engineering most of my life so there again my mind is not used to abstract thinking.
Really I guess that it is something that I am just going to have to keep working at. After all there is no easy way of learning to do anything.
Cheers Bernie

There are other ways to meditate besides the "grounding & centering" type exercises one finds in Wicca-type books.  Being able to "visualize" things is certainly useful, and you should continue to practice it.  However, if you can find a different method of meditation that works for you, use that instead.  I'm sure folks here will be able to provide you with some ideas.
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« Reply #5: March 19, 2007, 10:45:49 am »

I am new to Wicca and have read several books on the subject.
They all tell me that I must 'Ground', to do this I have to imagine that I have a tap root flowing from my feet or my tail bone into the ground and draw energy up through that root.
Then I most visualize walking though a wood or by a stream. I just do not seem to be able to achieve this.
I was on the old board before I got sick so I should tell you that I am approaching 74 maybe I am just too old to do this.
Also I was a general machinist and worked in engineering most of my life so there again my mind is not used to abstract thinking.
Really I guess that it is something that I am just going to have to keep working at. After all there is no easy way of learning to do anything.
Cheers Bernie

It sounds like you're being taught to do guided meditations. I don't do those personally.  I have trouble visualising that strongly for extended periods of time, and I have never gotten anything significant out of it.  I generally aim for slowing down my thoughts and finding a still place within.  All that I've needed to do for that was to sit down ina  good posture, and concentrate on my breathing - 3 seconds breathing in, 3 seconds holding, 3 seconds breathing out, 3 seconds holding, etc.  I can't completely cease all thinking, but I can slow my thoughts, and let anything that arises drifts away.

I can't guarantee success with that method (I forget exactly where I picked it up, but I think there's a variant in Modern Magick), but it may be worth a shot. Smiley
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« Reply #6: March 19, 2007, 11:29:21 am »

Has anyone had difficulty in this area? And can I get some advice?
Bernie

There are tons of ways of to meditate. It sounds like one of the problems you might be having with it is a problem that is very common - and that is that you are trying to truly "see" a scene described in a book or a tape and you just aren't seeing it. Don't get worked up over that, that takes a lot of practice. Other ways to meditate are closer to purposeful daydreaming where you simply let your body relax and your mind take you where it will. The exercise you describe where a root extends from your tail bone to the ground and you pull energy up is a common one in Wicca books, but there are hundreds of exercises that will achieve the same results. It is about intent, and the intent of that grounding and centering exercise is to connect the body to the earth's energies. If you want to connect your body to the earth's energies try going outside, standing barefoot on the ground, close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Instead of trying to visualize or "see" anything, take in what is around you. Maybe you feel the sun on your body, you might hear birds, or wind, pay attention to the natural sounds, smells, and sensations around you - especially the earth under your feet. Do that for a few minutes with the intention of reminding yourself that you are connected to the energies of the earth.

If the classic guided meditation is something that you want to do, it will just take time and practice. You will just want to start small.

Melanie
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« Reply #7: March 19, 2007, 01:42:10 pm »

Has anyone had difficulty in this area? And can I get some advice?

What works for me no matter how I'm feeling is a more simple meditation: Just sit or lie down, whatever's most comfortable, relax your muscles, and follow your breath as it goes in and out of your body from your nostrils down through your diaphragm and back out. It works well to quiet the mind.

I also find walking meditation useful, although if you've been very sick, sitting may be safer and more practical for you. 
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Tartanlad
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« Reply #8: March 19, 2007, 02:00:48 pm »

Thanks Melanie,
I can meditate to the point that I am completely relaxed I think that I am expecting too much.
As you say I do get out into nature. I walk my dog every day in the woods by my home and just marvel at the wonder of it all.
Now that the trees are starting to bud and tiny bits of green begin to show.
There are lots of dead trees that have lived their life and are now home to all kinds of insects that the woodpeckers make a meal of, the life cycle is truly inspiring.
I was at sea for many years and keeping a lookout at night in the bow of a ship in the middle of the ocean with a canopy of stars all round you is overwhelmingly spiritual. Well you can experience the same thing out in the country away from all the lights of the town.
Sorry I am rambling.
Bernie
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« Reply #9: March 23, 2007, 11:14:37 pm »

I was at sea for many years and keeping a lookout at night in the bow of a ship in the middle of the ocean with a canopy of stars all round you is overwhelmingly spiritual. Well you can experience the same thing out in the country away from all the lights of the town.
Sorry I am rambling.
Bernie

That sounds like a lovely experience.  All that ocean air and stars and miles of water...I feel tempted to run off and try pirating. Wink

As far as meditation goes, as some of the others have said, there are a lot of different ways to do it.  I had loads of trouble meditating when I was younger because none of the methods I could find in books worked for me, and I spent a lot of time frustrated.

One of the main things to remember when you're first starting out is not to put too much pressure on yourself.  Don't expect to be able to sit down and meditate for twenty minutes at a time right away; I don't know anyone who could right off the bat.  Set small goals, like five minutes a day, or even less, if you need to; for awhile I was meditating with a small two-minute hourglass (an egg timer, hee hee), and my goal was just to do the two minutes a day, every day. 

Consistancy is also important when you're beginning, IMHO.  A lot of books recommend trying to meditate at the same time every day, if you can, but even just shooting for meditating for a certain amount of time every day, or a certain number of days every week, can help.  You might also try meditating with a certain color candle, or while holding a stone or crystal (amethyst is great for meditating, I've found); if nothing else, it can set up a bit of a Pavlovian-type reflex where once you get your candle lit or your stone in your hand, your mind recognizes that it's time to quiet down.

That is always a challenge for me: getting my mind to bloody shut up.  As soon as I sit down to meditate, I usually get a mysterious itch somewhere that becomes irresistable if I give it any attention, and before I know it I'm miles away from any sort of inner quiet.  Try to acknowledge thoughts and annoyances, but don't attach any feeling to them; just realize that they're there and let them go.  Usually, once the thought/distraction gets the idea that you're not going to focus on it, it fades away on its own.

I've found the breath a very handy focal point.  I just sit down somewhere quiet and comfortable, with soft music playing (or a recording of ocean waves, etc) and focus on inhaling slowly, holding for a second, and exhaling slowly.  When I find my thoughts have wandered, I return my focus to my breathing; focus on the coolness of the air coming into your body, and the warmth on your lips or around your nose as it leaves you.  Feel your lungs fill and empty.  That sort of thing.

And I wouldn't try to force yourself to ground and center before meditating if it's not working for you.  I always ground before I do pretty much anything, but that's because I'm rather high-strung and it doesn't take much to have me freaking out and all in a tizzy.  Some people never ground, though, and as long as you feel comfortable, I don't think it's strictly necessary.

I hope one of these tricks can help you out, in any case. Smiley
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« Reply #10: March 24, 2007, 07:05:00 am »

I do get out into nature. I walk my dog every day in the woods by my home and just marvel at the wonder of it all.
Now that the trees are starting to bud and tiny bits of green begin to show.

I know the meditation you're referring to (root) and I had similar trouble when I started.  The next time you take the pooch for a walk, see if you can find a small, grassy area where you can sit down for a few minutes.  Then look ... I mean really LOOK/STUDY kinda close up the blades of grass, weeds, dirt, whatever right in front of you.  Perhaps even use your finger(s) to dig into the ground just a small bit ... observe how the green of the stem/blade changes in color, etc. just beneath the dirt.  Yes, I know it sounds a little strange, my personal experience happened when I was digging out a couple of weeds in my backyard lawn.

Some of your difficulty visualizing in your mind might come from "never really seeing" this visual with your eyes.  Once your eyes have examined the ground, like putting it under a microscope, those closeup images are sort of "mapped" to your brain/memory and you might find them easier to recall when trying to visualize that "root" from your feet/spine growing/extending down into the ground.

Now when I "ground", that little mental "home video" immediately is crystal clear right down to the couple of ants that happened to wander by that morning, to hearing some of the birds chirping and even sort of "feeling" the warmth of the sun on my shoulders.  It's become very easy for me to visualize my roots extending downward into that scene.

On another thought (and others may disagree), since you're an "old salt" so to speak, perhaps you need to try grounding "through water" ... that is, can you recall a memory of perhaps wading barefoot along a shore, maybe ankle deep in water?  Can you feel the mushy/sandy bottom between your toes?  Can you imagine those "roots" sprouting from the soles of your feet down into that gushy hidden goo?  Am I making any sense???  It's early Saturday morn, I worked late last night and I have to work almost a full day again today, so I might be a little more brain dead than normal.
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« Reply #11: March 24, 2007, 11:17:53 pm »

On another thought (and others may disagree), since you're an "old salt" so to speak, perhaps you need to try grounding "through water" ... that is, can you recall a memory of perhaps wading barefoot along a shore, maybe ankle deep in water?  Can you feel the mushy/sandy bottom between your toes?  Can you imagine those "roots" sprouting from the soles of your feet down into that gushy hidden goo?  Am I making any sense???  It's early Saturday morn, I worked late last night and I have to work almost a full day again today, so I might be a little more brain dead than normal.

That's a really interesting idea! I've never heard of that before, and it strikes me as something that would work well. I mean, sinking in soft sand pretty much puts us a little more into the earth, no?
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« Reply #12: March 25, 2007, 05:09:13 am »

That's a really interesting idea! I've never heard of that before, and it strikes me as something that would work well. I mean, sinking in soft sand pretty much puts us a little more into the earth, no?

In another thread, there is a discussion about correspondences, associations, etc.  Personally, I've found it much easier to meditate/ground if I can start those processes off with a first-hand memory (mental jump-start of the cranial battery).  Since it sounds like he has some beautiful memories of evenings aboard ship, etc. he has a mental association already established with: water, God/universe, etc.  If he is having difficulty with the tie-in to hard ground, it seems like it would be worth a try or two to focus on where water and earth meet ... and, yes, digging one's tootsies into the wet sand is getting "into" the earth!

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