I had other plans for a post today but between feeling a bit crummy and out of sorts and getting ready for a job interview tomorrow (finally!) I’ve run out of writerly steam. Expect book reviews and more Dedicant Path stuff later! Instead of anything requiring too much thought and planning, today I’ll post my ongoing Meditation Log for ADF’s Dedicant Path. I need 5 months of recorded meditative practice to meet the DP requirements. Here are my notes since keeping my log since August 11.
My first official day of the five-month meditation training with ADF! Whooo.
Previous to meditating I lit my Brighid candle, lit some incense, and anointed myself with water from my Brighid well. I also read from Cailtin Matthews Celtic Devotional to get in the mood.
All I did today was count my breaths, up to 100. There were many stray thoughts and emotions that got in the way. (It’s been a difficult morning thus far – depression was awake before I was!)
Another day of counting breaths. My depression had lessened by this morning, so it was easier to focus and not worry about the circles of anxiety my brain likes to project into the silence.
Counting breaths again. Meditation seemed easier at first, in that my mind settled into something approaching stillness after the first few breaths. I took deeper, longer breaths this time, which extended my meditation session. By the 50th breath – midway through – I was starting to get bored and restless.
Still using Celtic Devotional to prime myself before seated meditation. Still counting to 100 with slow breaths. I’ve been trying to find a good position to meditate in. My bed is comfortable, but I don’t really have straight posture. The floor with pillows is bad for my back. I’ll try seated on a chair next time. My thoughts were scattered and all over the place today.
Today I sat on a small bench for meditation and my back did tremendously better. I felt fairly calm at the end of 100 breaths so I went on for another 50-60 (lost track of the exact number). Thoughts and emotions still doing their thing. I felt fairly zen-like at the end, though I suspect it may partially have to do with being sleepy!
Today I had a small breakthrough. I meditated for 100 breaths and struggled at first with several disturbing thoughts and emotions – no doubt the effects of a lingering nightmare – but eventually calmed down. I tried to count for another 50 breaths but kept losing my place. I was in a very calm, quiet space where boredom was gone and I felt my thoughts echo a bit, as though my mind had expanded and they didn’t seem so tightly crammed together.
I meditated later in the day, a few hours after my morning Celtic devotions. I almost put off meditation after being reminded painfully of something that had happened in the past, but I thought it best to go through the meditation anyway. After all, meditation is supposed to help me deal with psychic upsets, isn’t it? I counted my breath to 100 and dealt with painful memories. Though sometimes I would consciously lose track of my place, a quiet counter was always going and I could pick the numbers back up immediately. After the 100 breaths I started my first work with the Two Powers. I imagined the cool, dark energy of the earth being pulled up into my three cauldrons – womb, heart, and mind – and the bright energy of the sky being pulled down in opposite order. I had the most sensation around my third eye, but then only briefly; overall, my visualization skills need a lot of practice.
A week without meditation was interesting. I had a bad day today – got triggered about some bad things in the past – and I tried to use meditation to calm myself down. It always feels like grasping at smoke, but at least I can make sure that when I’m upset, I’m not hyperventilating. Later, I had a dream where Apollo came and comforted me, so I just lit a candle for Him and meditated a bit in His direction. It was difficult to stay focused, but it was nice to have a focal point instead of just counting breaths.
Today I meditated in a hospital chapel. It was interesting in a Christian setting, but it was so early in the morning I had the place to myself and it just seemed like a sacred, quiet area. I counted my breaths and turned my thoughts to Apollo again, but my focus was scattered.
I meditated after evening devotionals tonight and counted 100 breaths. Things were very unfocused and scattered, though I seemed to calm down around 80 breaths.
I don’t know if it’s fair to call what I did today meditating, but I did use deep breathing techniques to keep myself calm when going to the emergency room. It ended up just being a migraine but the symptoms were alarming and I’m afraid of blood work, but I took deep breaths and was able to keep from panicking.