Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Meditation, trance and shamanic experiences

I tend to relate my subject matter from a personal experience format and my opinions are formed from these experiences. So when I tell you these things, keep in mind that your experiences in meditation and so forth are not wrong should they differ. More likely, you have different modes of perception and if they work for you then that is perfect. I tend to be a very visual person. I see things while I am in meditation and trances with pretty good clarity even if I don't always understand at the time what it is I am looking at.

Meditation practices are highly encouraged for it's calming and sorting effect on the mind's operation. You can either walk through a formulated pattern or your can go zen and allow the chains of the mind to loosen. I really have no preference for one over the other. I suppose, it would be more dependent on what my goal is for the meditation. I use formulated patterns for either stress relief accompanied by mudras or pathworkings when I wish to explore a specific aspect of my mind's inner workings. Trances I tend to use for interactions with divinity or my spirit guides.

The story I am about to relate to you happened many years ago and has had a very formative effect on my personal life. It's what lead me to trances in the first place and later to the tradition I now call home.

I was working on a pathworking excercise I had been trying to work for a couple of weeks with little success, something always interfered and I was beginning to become frustrated. I decided that I was going to continue practicing this pathworking until I got what I came for: an experience that would lead me to my seat of wisdom. It started just as it usually had, over the hill through the forest and on to the water in a swan boat through the mist. I usually got hung up on the mist. For whatever reason, my mind was having trouble parting it.

This time on the rocking boat, the mist parted and an island with a tower keep was revealed. I landed on shore and walked in. I started to feel things more deeply, things became very crisp and clear as I walk up the stairs toward the top of the tower. If this hadn't been my first experience with pathworkings slipping into trance I would have realized that things had shifted, but this was a new experience and I had no point of reference on the cues. I did think it funny at the time that everything had suddenly become more real for the lack of a better term.

As I walked into this huge library with books, scrolls and sheaves of paper scattered about, I immediately felt a buzzing sensation in my body as I laid my eyes upon a hooded man working arduously over a hand written work. He noticed my approach immediately and pointed to a seat that popped out of nowhere. He asked me a series of questions about my path including why I was on it and simply nodded. I was trying to see his face, the voice sounded familiar, but the shadows hid the features of his face very well.

I could tell that he was looking at me. It wasn't uncomfortable, it felt like someone who knew me just trying to understand why I was walking the path the way I was instead of following convention. He caught me off guard with a final question: who am I? Before I could even rationalize the question the answer flew out of my mouth as if I had known it all along: you are my Father's father. He removed his hood and a face similar to my father's smiled out at me. It wasn't a huge toothy radiant smile. It was one of cool, logical pleasure full of reserve and quiet pride.

Later, I described this experience to my mother who in turn responded it sounded like something my Grandfather would do. You see, I only met my Grandfather as an infant. He had passed the veil when I was very young. I have no memories of him on this plane. I came to realize after my conversation with my mother that something very odd had happened: my pathworking had shifted into a trance somewhere along the way and my Grandfather had arranged to have this conversation with me. It is possible that he was curious as to why I had made the decisions I had made about my spirituality. He was a philosopher in this life so I may have caught his attention.

After this occurred, other strange things would happen and continue to happen. I would meet people and beings that no one else could see, but they were there as plainly as any other person. I would have entire conversations with them that I can remember verbatim. Most recently was at a Samhain ritual I officiated in Tuscon. There was woman there who I was talking with. She commented on how much she enjoyed the ritual and was thanking me for coming all the way from Phoenix to do this for them. Other words were exchanged and later while speaking to my mother about this person and her curious words she developed a vexed look on her face. I described the woman three times to her and it was no one she knew or had invited. . . this was a by invitation only event. I spoke to my dad about this woman and he didn't recognize her either. I can only concluded that this woman was another one of my shamanic experiences.

I do have to wonder what the other people were thinking while I was having this conversation with the disappearing woman. I wonder if they perceived me as we perceived Giaus Baltar while he had his conversations with 6. You see, Six had always been invisible to everyone but Baltar and he was always left in these awkward situations because of these conversations. That must have been awful strange to them, if any of them were paying attention. It's not like the room was very large much less empty, so someone had to have seen something.

There is no right or wrong way to meditate. There is no defined amount of recommended time. I've know someone who manages to squeeze in only 10 minutes a day with a house full of kids and it helps her tremendously. I generally wait until kids are tucked in for either bed or a nap. I can range from ten minutes to almost an hour depending on what is going on in my life at the time and what it is I am seeking. Meditation is a practice. Even if in the beginning you are rubbish at it. . . keep trying. Your efforts will pay off, even if you are not trying to work up to jumping the hedge.

For information on the effects of time go to this post: Energetic Effects of Time

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