Saturday, June 14, 2008

Meditating in a Group or Group Meditation

It has been my experience that when one meditates in a group of people with similar desires and beliefs, the meditation process becomes stronger and deeper. This is similar but stronger than the intensity one experiences in Holy places, churches, certain places in nature, etc. It is not necessary to follow a particular process. Each may meditate in his or her own way, simply absorbing the higher vibration generated by the group. People who engage in silent prayer within the structure of their spiritual services experience this same heightened awareness.

The jury is still out on guided meditation. If the guide is good, strong and pure of heart, it can be a wonderful experience . It is like one is riding the crest of a wave. If not, it can be either a neutral or negative experience. Music and/or chanting have also been useful in deepening the meditative experience.

Some learn to meditate simply for the physical and emotional benefits. Others are seeking a deeper meaning of life and their role in it. I believe that most groups seeking spiritual growth through meditation welcome all who wish to meditate with them, and require nothing in return. This is a way to benefit from group meditation as well as to learn about the particular spiritual path. There are Buddhist groups who host weekly meditation sessions in many localities and they do not require any change in one's beliefs in order to simply meditate with them. I believe the Society of Friends also welcome others to sit with them. A search on Google will produce more such groups if anyone is interested in exploring this area.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sacred Places

Some places on Earth will feel more sacred than others. You can often feel the sacredness of these places because of what has happened on them. (excerpt from a Native American Elder's Meditation)

Since I have been working on an article about meditating alone or in a group, as well as meditating in sacred places, this meditation immediately spoke to me.

It does not matter how the places became sacred, only that those who used these places had a sacred, holy purpose. The temples, chapels, churches, cathedrals. mosques, monasteries, special spots in nature, in short all places may hold this sacred vibration. One does not need to belong to any particular religion or faith to feel the sacredness of such places, and use their power to intensify the meditation experience. It is only necessary to be open to the higher vibration these places come to hold.

Many years ago, our family went camping as we often did. There was a small chapel in the woods at this camp ground. The edge of the clearing was ringed with simple wooden benches. Sunday sermons were held there, alternating between a number of different faiths, as well as a number of summer weddings. There was a feeling of incredible calm, a peacefulness that was even more pronounced than what one generally feels when in the embrace of natures beautiful places. Meditation came naturally there. Nothing happened that would disturb a meditator, should one be meditating there.

I have also been in a broad cross section of formal places of worship. The same sense of holy tranquility was in all. They were all very conducive to deep meditation, prayer or worship, regardless of one's spiritual beliefs.

Another place that confirmed my belief in the sacredness of places that have been used for sacred purposes is a very old, small cemetery, overgrown and almost unrecognizable. What made me notice it was a feeling that I had a glimpse of an old man, sitting on a small stool, talking quietly to no visible person. When we went to investigate, we found a small, humble grave with a well kept wooden cross for a marker and a rickety old stool, ready to collapse at any moment. The area was filled with such love and peace that I had to linger and let the sense of that place wash over me.

We are all capable of sensing such holy places and reveling in their special tranquility. We are are also capable of shutting down the ability to sense anything, the choice belongs to each one of us.

Monday, June 02, 2008

What's Important

I have been writing almost all of my life, at least 50 years. In that time, I believed that only the spiritual growth articles were important. There are others out there who believe the same, as indicated by which posts generate the most interest and comments.I now believe I was wrong!

Each of us is a complete person, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We need to accept that and promote growth and balance in all areas.This entails much more than I have covered in my posts and articles on Balance. While that particular form of balance is very important, we must also nurture and grow our understanding of all facets of ourselves, and humanity in general.

When I write, I don't consciously think about what I am writing, but I do read what I have written when I am finished. Since I mull a topic over in my mind for quite some time before I am sure what I think abut it, I seldom need to change anything by the time I get to the writing part. Many of the questions I contemplate are those which have affected my own life, and many stem from questions or comments by others.

Our physical presence, this body, mind and heart that houses our spiritual selves is part of this world and part of daily life in it.In order to progress along our path, we need to deal with daily life. There are many things in daily life that can cause us to stumble if we do not confront them. For example, the terrible illness that can happen to us or to those we love, or the attempt to distinguish between the various guises love takes or the other emotions that disguise themselves as love.

Life is full of challenges here on this plane and if we avoid them, we can not progress on the spiritual plane either. We create so much static in our minds that important things are drowned out. Not all things on this plane are painful or difficult. There is much pleasure and joy to be had if we are open to them.

Someone asked me if there were any truly happy people. After thinking about it for a while, I had to answer truthfully that Yes, there are and I am one.In the depths of my being I am content. I enjoy the pleasures this world offers, nature's beauty, loving and being loved, children's laughter .. there is so much that brings joy and happiness.

If one does not deal with the negative things, the pain, misunderstanding, depression, illnesses, failed relationships ..then it becomes almost impossible to find any joy in life. Unfortunately, many of the problems people grapple with fall into the "not to be mentioned" category. That is why I so often find myself writing about cancer, menopause, the aging process, depression, death and a number of other things that people don't feel comfortable confronting.

It's all important.