Meditation is a huge thing in the occultsphere online and offline. It seems that you can’t pick up any Magick 101 book without being told it’s important, or go to any kind of pagan event without seeing a guided meditation scheduled for some point of the day. But why is it so useful and why does it apply to the magickal practice?
According to merriam-webster’s concise encyclopedia, the definition of meditation is as follows:
Private religious devotion or mental exercise, in which techniques of concentration and contemplation are used to reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness. The practice has existed in all religions since ancient times… In many religions, meditation involves verbal or mental repetition of a single syllable, word, or text (e.g., a mantra. Visual images (e.g., a mandala) or mechanical devices such as prayer wheels or rosaries can be useful in focusing concentration.
Well that explains why it’s so popular. If every religion since ancient time has incorporated it, it probably is pretty reliable for something useful. Meditation often takes repeated attempts before success is held, and can be incredibly frustrating, as the mind is a difficult thing to wield at times. Some of the beauty of meditation is that it is a way of contacting the inner self, the universe, or god through the stillness and silence of the self.
Meditation’s deep roots have made it universally accepted as a way to hear God or commune with the soul. It is often seen as a way to channel and harvest the energy that is all around us. Since the mind is the active tool in use during meditation, it opens a path to the self. This allows the multi-layered facets of the personality to harmonize and easily identify issues that are preventing the self from achieving wholeness.
Setting aside time for daily meditation in 2 10 minute increments can increase self-discipline, stress, energy levels, and is healthy all across the board, and strongly encourages integration of the self. It is a slow process that becomes a solid foundation for further occult interests and skills such as lucid dreaming, out-of-body-experiences/astral projection, and greatly helps the mind become efficent and more successful with visualisation and general spellwork regardless of the specific taste in magick. Raja yoga and buddhist methods are among some of the most commonly known methods.
I find the wide range of techniques that can be used for Meditation beneficial in that if one method does not work for you, there is likely another method you could try out. Likewise, it will take quite some time to get bored of doing it daily. I hope you come back next monday to read about some of the many methods of meditation, and the basic techniques that work well for beginners. I’ll be doing them as well, as a cornerstone in my attempt to garner a respectable amount of self-discipline after letting it all slide a year or so ago. If you’re looking for further information to pursue on the topic until then, check out the Erowid Vault on Meditation.