Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.
Over the last couple of weeks, my mind has drifted in meditation and part of the issue is of course foci. I don’t have many and there is also something to having a ritual in meditation that helps you down-center and then clears your head in order to open it up to thoughts and feelings that are more focused.
I was reading another blog a little while ago and this is why my head has been thinking of a meditation altar of sorts with a few rituals to focus and calm down. Then I can concentrate on virtues and any other thoughts about the coming day. If you want to read the source document for my thoughts: ” Welcome to My Altars” – Myst Nokomis.
Of course, this leads to another discussion as meditation seems to indicate that I might be believing in something beyond and I have to reiterate that meditating does not necessarily indicate that one has spiritual beliefs. A book I would recommend for those who believe that meditation can be something outside the spiritual is How Words Can Change Your Brain by Newburg and Waldman. These two guys are neuroscientists who study brain patterns and basically developed a meditative technique based purely on meditation on positive virtues. It works in that it allows a human brain to very much focus on those virtues and it takes as little as three to five minutes.
Time to Look Through the Eye:
“To see the truth, change one eye for another”
Meditation for me then is not necessarily about faith. I follow Asatru for two basic reasons. Firstly, I am a practitioner of the Nine Noble Virtues and try to apply them to my life. Secondly, I am trying to recover my lost pagan heritage in terms of culture and religion. My meditation is more about the virtues and my studies of mythology and religion of the Vikings are pretty much about the second.
Meditation is about me awakening my mind and emotions. It about concentrating on the things that matter to me and how to engage the world around me. I turn inward in order to deal with the outward better when I come out of meditation. My desire for a ritual and an altar of sorts is about consistency. Religion has tapped into one thing if I take Newburg and Waldman’s book seriously, and that it understands the importance of routine and repetition. That’s the point for me.
For all practical purposes, I have no active belief in any god, goddess or force. It makes me academically an agnostic epistemologically and an atheist in the reality of my belief. If I have belief in anything then it is in humanity itself of which much of mythology is nothing more than personification of human forces of various kinds and the forces of nature that human beings relate to regularly. Humanity is my ‘diety’ if you will and I express that understanding through Asatru and relate best to Norse mythology. It’s not that I don’t hold myself open to other views. It is just I am still seeking and looking for the rational divine if it exists.
Spirituality is about virtue, relationships, mind, emotion, body, and connections. As such my one spiritual practice is meditation. I don’t pray anymore. I don’t fast or any of that stuff. I simply seek to get my mind and heart right at the start of every day and then live my life. In truth, this is probably the essence of all spiritual life.
On a practical side, I am going to make a meditation altar that involves as many of the senses as possible. Sight, smell, touch, sound, etc. I think the more I connect my meditational thoughts to as many senses as possible the more they will be both remembered and have a positive effect on my life. That, I suppose, is another thing that religion does tap into that is very human.
I need something that can move and be put away, probably has symbols, candles, and incense. For sound probably I will have to use my phone and earphones. I guess what would constitute a taste fitting for meditation might be a question I have but I will think about it. The main objective being to have tihs in place before the month is out.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.