Feather, Stone, and Light: Meditation Interlude

At first there are only confused images.  I try to return to familiar places:  the Temple, the Forest of Branching Paths, the Sun Prairie…  But they slip away without coming into focus.  I blink, look at the flame again, allow my frustration to pass.  I try to focus on visualizing a single tree, a pool of water with light rippling, a mossy stone…  Nothing.  I can’t hold on to anything.  Again, I breathe, look at the flame, and allow the frustration to pass.  Sometimes it seems like 90% of all meditative practice is learning to forgive yourself for not meditating…  I try again.

Oh yes!  There it is.

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Mapping the Inner Landscape

I’ve come to realize that the geography of my inner landscape reflects my personal spiritual journey.

athenaeum2008zThe inner landscape I visit most often in meditation consists of a number of consistent regions. I’ve described them in detail in other articles, but in brief they are:

The Abyss of Fear

A bottomless chasm that radiates terror. It is always dark at its edge — although no stars are visible in the sky — but everything is lit by an unholy blue light. A path, unevenly paved, leads away from its edge into…

The Forest of Branching Paths

The path gradually becomes completely unpaved, lined with springy fallen leaves. It is a wood of oak and birch. The forest is pitted with hidden dells and valleys, waterfall-fed pools frequented by goddesses, nymphs, and less pleasant things. A web of footpaths weaves among the trees, and one can frequently find souls wandering along them – I have encountered ancestors, minstrels, a band of thieves, and hidden realms of other people entirely. But if you follow the right paths, you will eventually come to…

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