Photos by Jem
Meditation is a kind of quiet practice where a certain amount of time and effort is dedicated in order to pay special and very close attention to a meditation object. Learning how to meditate is really about learning how to pay attention to one thing. But why? What’s the point of meditation? And what’s the point of meditation in magick?
What’s the point of meditation?
There are so many variations of meditation and each variation has a different purpose. Let’s look at two examples, mindfulness meditation and guided meditation. There are of course plenty of other variations but mindfulness and guided meditation are the two versions we are influenced by. Then there is our own style of meditation (we haven’t come up with a name for our unique mash-up style that we share with our audience) and we will look at what the point of this is too!
What’s the point of Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about being aware of where we are in the space (such as feeling a hard floor underneath us) and what we’re doing (this might be simply breathing in and out) and not being overly reactive to what’s going on around us. Mindfulness can be both guided or unguided, which basically means the actual meditation session could be led by an instructor who speaks during the meditation (guided) or it can be silently, where you bring your own awareness to the space you’re in (unguided).
The main point of Mindfulness is to try to put some space between thoughts and actions or between thoughts and judgement. This can often lead to a state called ‘decentering’. This is when we invite objectivity in and sort of stand back from our own thoughts, emotions and reactions to things. The point of it being that once a person has practised mindfulness often enough, and the ability to ‘decenter’ practised, that it leads to less rumination and less emotional reactivity experienced in the moment.
This will then bring in certain benefits. If we are less emotionally reactive in the moment, we can perhaps be more resilient. If we aren’t spending time ruminating about the past, we can perhaps have a more positive mindset about our present and even our future.
What’s the point of Guided Meditation?
Now we know that Mindfulness meditation is all about being aware of where we are in the space and what we’re doing without judging it. Guided meditation is about being guided in that process. It basically means a second person (either in real life or recorded) is relaying a set of instructions and the listener follows along. Guided meditations can be used as a format to deliver other types of meditation beyond Mindfulness meditations. For example, a guided meditation might include instructions to pay attention to the breath, equally it could include instructions to imagine a scene in the mind (these are called visualisations) or instructions connected to working with emotions.
The point of guided meditation is to be guided. So for beginners, the point of being guided will lead to a state of having learned how to meditate. Some guided meditations are visualisations. The point of this type of meditation is to be guided through things like imagining scenarios, imagining positive outcomes or to reframe events from the past as lessons to learn. The point of visualisations is to help achieve specific successful outcomes or release issues that might be getting in the way of goal achievement.
This obviously comes with certain benefits. For example, athletes and entrepreneurs often use visualisation techniques as part of their jobs to achieve success. Guided meditations that help release negative experiences or emotional blocks can mean we feel more positive going forward.
What’s the point of meditation in magickal practise?
So now we know the point of meditation may be different depending on the different types of meditation being practised. Like lots of magickal practitioners, we practise meditation as part of our magick. The point of this is firstly to connect our intentions directly with our spellwork. We do this using visualisation methodology because we know if athletes and entrepreneurs can achieve success doing this, so can we!
The other point of meditation is to create a positive mindset. We teach through our Magick Discovered course that there’s more magickal success to be had if we have a positive mindset. So, if we accept that meditation has some benefits, some of which create a positive mindset through reductions in rumination or clearing emotional baggage, we feel that practising meditation will create better results for us magickally speaking.
Reasons not to meditate
Meditation techniques like visualisation or mindfulness were developed in order to experience ‘the self’ in a different way. These experiences can be both pleasant (through the benefits we have talked about) and less pleasant. For example, in some meditation practices confronting personal challenges and looking deeply at emotional experience is an important part of the exercise.
However, some research indicates that meditation practise can produce unwanted effects in people who might be more sensitive. For example, people with certain pre-existing mental health conditions can experience episodes when they meditate.
So we encourage anyone who is unsure about practising meditative techniques to seek appropriate professional support before experimenting with meditation.
What’s the point of our meditations?
Here at Magenta School of Magick, we offer free guided meditations on our website (and new ones every week to our subscriber audience!). These meditations are all guided, secular and are a sort of mash up of mindfulness, visualisation, emotion-work exercises rooted in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and goal achievement rooted in neurolinguistic programming. When we say mash-up we literally mean there will be mindfulness practise mixed right in there with the visualisation, which usually sets the scene for some emotion-work or some goal achievement.
The point of our meditations is to guide anyone from the inexperienced through to experienced meditators through the exercises. The point of it all being to help either release a specific emotional block, visualise a specific outcome or to create a bit of space between thoughts and feelings. Sometimes all of these at once. So the point of our meditations are not just for more successful magickal practise (although we believe the two are linked). The point of meditation is ultimately that with enough practise, we can perform better at work, or school or that we can form more productive relationships and become better parents, better siblings or better friends.
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