For the last two days (three now that I am writing more to this on Sunday morning), I have watched the snow coming day, then turn to sleet, and hopefully come Sunday melt away a little more. As someone that enjoys being outside, its been a little tough to head outside during this weather – though I have ventured out twice to distribute old bread and some bird seed. But it has afforded me a wonderful time to spend in meditation, journal writing, and catching up on classwork. All of which have reminded me how much my daily routine has changed in the last half year’s time.
Meditation or my Inner Path workings as I have started to refer to this process, is a very important part of my Spiritual practice. As Joanna Van Der Hoeven mentioned to me in a recent chat (I am paraphrasing here), prayer is talking to the Gods, meditation is the process of listening. And this makes perfect sense to me. Though I am somewhat recalcitrant to refer to my daily moments of greeting the rising sun and seeing off the setting sun as “prayer” — those moments can certainly fall into that category.
Sunrise is my favorite part of the day. Its quiet during this time of the day. In any rural setting I have been in – this is the most likely time I have found to encounter wildlife. Their quiet, seemingly serene manner of walking through an environment that is continually interrupted by the noisy creature known as man, is a breathtaking moment of clarity for me. Every morning, I stand by my little stone circle with my Kokopelli and Iron Crow Squadron members within it, and I greet the rising sun – even when its behind the clouds. In the case of bad weather, I stand just inside the house in the kitchen, and go through my moments of preparing for the peeking of my old friend coming over the horizon.
One of the first motions I use is a tree meditation that was taught to me long ago by my first High Priestess in my initial Wicca days. I stand with my feet shoulder-length apart, and breathe deeply, trying to clear my mind of stray thoughts that are unimportant. While I do this, I also feel my feet begin to shift downwards into the earth, taking roots like a tree. Embracing the feel of the earth’s soil between my feet, the feel of the aquifer deep beneath me. The water that moves through the soil and down towards the nearby lake, the touch of water. Once I feel firmly rooted, where no strong wind will likely blow me over, I return back above the ground, feeling the air around me. Sometimes warm, sometimes cold – sometimes refreshing, sometimes raking across my skin like the scratch of an angry animal – sometimes not moving at all, the air around me embraces me with its wild emotions – like a long-lost lover. Regardless of whether there are clouds in the sky or not, I can feel the warmth of the sun as it rises above the horizon, peeking out into the world around me. Illuminating those that sought the serenity and anonymity that the darkness of twilight provides. And during all of this, I slowly empty my thoughts – one at a time – until I am focused only on my breathing – slow and rhythmic. And I listen. I open my mind to all the senses around me and just listen. Sometimes, I can hear the wind pulsing through the leaves in the tree above me. Sometimes the sound of a nearby car driving past – radio blaring loudly. And sometimes, it is just quiet. Every once in a while, I’ll hear Crow’s quiet voice – reminding me of some point or perspective i had forgotten. Other times, its the quiet roar of silence. Until I feel the need to come back, pulling up my deep-seated roots until I am a whole human being again. And ready to move along with my daily life — with that moment of solitude, the memory of those sounds in-between the worlds still within my mind. Moving forward with purpose.
Not every morning is like this. Sometimes I am rushed to get out the door and on to my job. Other times, I have a visitor over and their company is more appropriate to be in conjunction with. But many of my mornings have elements of what I have written here. And this is only one of several things that I do in my daily practice. There are moments where I ground and center, just to mutter a prayer of hope for the world around me. There is my evening lamentation as my skyward friend disappears beyond the horizon to the West – on a journey to the other side of this world – beyond my ability to experience and perceive. There are my nightly moments of meditative thought, asking the Gods to help others see the world around them as something that they interact and live jointly with – not as a resource to dominate, control, and consume.
There’s many ways to go about doing things such as these. How you approach or even don’t approach such thing – well, that is ultimately up to you. I can only relay how these particular practices help me get through each day, provide structure to my daily walk, and enrich my understanding of the world around me. After all, my walk is my own — yours will be different. In some ways it will be similar or even the same, and differ in so many others. Its the handling and processing of these experiences that make us each unique…