One of the questions I find myself asking clients again and again during counseling sessions is this:
“Do you meditate…?”
And most of the time, the answer is an uneasy and somewhat apologetic or guilty-looking, “No…”
Our society gives us a somewhat inaccurate and often unhelpful picture of what meditation is, can be, and “should” be. Meditation can actually take many forms, and very few of them demand that you remain in lotus position for hours on end while levitating.
Later today, I’ll be hosting a guided meditation at a local nexus of benevolence here in the greater Providence, RI area called The Empowerment Factory. TEF lies within the confines of the Hope Artiste Village complex in the town of Pawtucket.
The event will run from 6:30pm – 8:00pm, although we won’t be sitting in silence or chanting without pause for 90 minutes straight. This is meant to be a beginner-friendly, undemanding session. All are welcome, and this is a donation-based gathering (in other words, if you want to contribute something to help TEF defray costs of operations, that will be cheerfully accepted, but it’s not required).
Last night, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to lead a Reiki share event at The Empowerment Factory, a non-profit organization working to help the underprivileged in the Providence, RI area. This was the second such share in what we now expect to be a monthly series.
At the beginning of last night’s share, we entered into a sort of group meditation…only instead of the more typical variety of meditation you might expect to encounter at an event like this, everyone indulged me in my desire to experiment with our ability to perceive different varieties of energy. I had brought along the three crystal wands pictured in the accompanying photo, and I wanted to see if any of the group might be sensitive to the different energy-signatures of these three very different substances.
I asked everyone to close their eyes and link hands, and then I picked up the first of the wands. I described its characteristics, and then I asked the group to take note of any changes they might be experiencing in terms of their incoming impressions while I was holding the wand, including any sensations, thoughts, and emotions that might be cropping up.
After a minute or two of focusing on that first wand, I let the group know I was setting it down, and I gave us all a minute to sort of cleanse our energetic palates of the “taste” of the first wand. Next, I repeated the process with the second, and then the third wand.
It was a very interesting exercise! I, myself, am not extraordinarily sensitive to input of this nature, but as it turned out, some of the people in the group are, and they had some very vivid and significant responses to the different wands. Because we were all connected by touch, it had seemed possible to me that this could be a possible outcome, but it was fascinating to see it play out with real feedback from real people!
After the exercise, we held the share itself, and it was a terrific session. We had several newcomers to Reiki joining us, and as always, it was very gratifying to see people coming together with positive and selfless intentions. It was also fun to pass the wands around during the Reiki share to see if anyone could sense greater stimuli through the wands (like the difference between listening to someone’s heartbeat with your unaided ear, and then trying it again with a stethoscope), or if the wands might enhance the ability to channel the Reiki energy outward. Again, some of the attendees got really good results from this technique! Reiki and crystals do tend to play well together…
Our next share is scheduled for the evening of Feb. 15th, and it will again run from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at The Empowerment Factory. Reminders to follow, but if you’ll be in the area, please mark your calendars now, and make plans to join us!
Last night, I hosted a Reiki share here in the Providence area at this great space called The Empowerment Factory. I’ve hosted shares before, but not in this town, and not at that venue (and it was also the first-ever share held at TEF).
Even with all that being true, it was still an excellent experience! We have a couple of minor wrinkles to iron out, but everyone seemed upbeat and actively positive about the share, and we now have it shaping up to be a monthly deal. Drop me a line if you’ll be in the Providence area and looking for a Reiki-centric event, or keep watching this space for updates!
Most of you who see this will probably not be in the Providence, RI area next week…but just in case there’s a chance you might defy that statement by actually being around these parts at that time, then please consider attending the Reiki share that I’ll be hosting!
Reiki is a form of energy-based healing, with a very positive and meditative overall vibe. A Reiki share is an outstanding opportunity for both giving and receiving Reiki in a safe and supportive environment.
The event takes place next Wednesday (Dec. 14) from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. It will be held at a cool place called The Empowerment Factory, which is housed in a local artists’ colony, and which is all about personal growth and community-building. The address is:
999 Main Street #707 Pawtucket, RI 02860United States
I’m a big believer in the healing powers of meditation. Last night, I got into it a bit right around midnight, as it happened. I tend to use candles and incense set up alongside a few crystals of whatever varieties feel applicable at the time when I aim for a meditative state, and last night was no exception.
I heartily recommend the combination, as incense can at times produce a pretty substantial amount of smoke, while candlelight gives it an otherworldly flavor. Staring at the unfurling plumes of vapor can have a decidedly trance-inducing effect, and can be especially helpful if you have trouble quieting your mind when you attempt to meditate.
So for your viewing pleasure, here’s a minute-long excerpt from my midnight meditation…
Do you see shapes in the smoke…? Relax… Gaze into it… Smoke carries messages that you can hear with your eyes…
This shot captures a bit of my meditation session last night… It was all about the Egyptian God, Anubis, and the crystal Carnelian, both of which are associated with psychopomp functions (i.e., ushering newly deceased souls into the Land of the Dead). I tried doing this visualization exercise of descending into the Earth to have a meet and greet with Anubis so he could weigh my heart against the feather of Ma’at – this is how he runs his show.
Since I’m still here to be typing this post up this morning, the weigh-in clearly went pretty well…
Part of the reason I’m posting this, though, is to help maybe clear up some misconceptions about what meditation is, or what it’s “supposed to be.” I think that for anyone who’s never tried meditating before, popular media has left us with the impression that in order to do it “properly,” you have to sit in lotus position for long periods of time, chanting the “aum” syllable, casting your hands into mudras, and blanking your mind completely until you’re eventually levitating in a blissful nirvana-like state.
But it don’t gotta be like that. If you can do that, then sure, levitate away (and please give me some pointers – I’m not averse to more bliss in my life)…but there are alternatives.
You can go with mindfulness, as opposed to that blank-slate sort of mindlessness that gets harped on so regularly. Turning off the chattering mind is really difficult to pull off, and if you put pressure on yourself to manage that right out of the gate when you first start meditating, you may be setting yourself up for frustration and failure. Mindfulness meditation allows you to retain some of your “mind” while meditating, and it places focus on simply being aware of yourself as a physical body, and of the many sensations that you’re receiving from the world around you on a constant basis. Feel the slight breeze…feel gravity asserting itself upon you steadily from below…hear that dog barking far down the street…smell the faint scent of lilacs blooming outside your window… Sit in silence with all that for a while. Just sitting still and being fully aware can be valid meditation!
And so can visualization. This is a more active type of meditation that involves using the imagination much as a child does. Experience something fantastical or something archetypal. You can have some goal or objective. You can do symbolic things meant to empower yourself or illuminate things for you. You can try to commune with other beings in your mind — believe it or not, as you get better at slipping into a light trance-state, such as what hypnosis professionals try to induce in their patients, you may actually feel like you’re receiving answers!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again: if you can build some regular meditation into your days, you may find that you start to feel like a guitar that’s been properly tuned…