Seven Meditative Vignettes

These seven mini-meditations were first posted as part of the blog Druid Journal Meditation, which I worked on in 2007 and 2008. Since that blog is now defunct, I’ve reposted the meditations here, along with some ruminations on their meanings.

The Pearl of Purpose

pearlofpurposeI was wandering along a dusty road at sunset. The road ran straight as an arrow toward a line of distant hills; the sun had just dropped below them, so the sand in the road and the tall dry grass on either side of it were all painted dusky purple. Marching along the road to my left was a line of tall wooden poles, like telephone poles without wires.

I had a sense of being watched; I looked off to the right, and saw a bison standing motionlessly a few dozen yards off, half-hidden by the grass.

The line of poles came to an end, and at the top of the last one was an iridescent translucent pearl-colored ball, about the size of a basketball. I shimmied up the pole and took the ball — it was so light and soft, I almost couldn’t feel it at all.

What is this? I wondered. The bison answered: This is the Pearl of Great Price. This is the Pearl of Purpose. A soul’s greatest gift, and the greatest gift you can give to another. It is Will, it is Freedom, it is Decision. Give it away — you will always have more. Hold it in your hand — it will bless your action. Hold it in your heart — keep it safe.

Oftentimes when I speak to a guide in meditation, I feel profoundly thankful, and I wish to give something back — not in exchange, but as a token of gratitude. At these times, I am inspired to reach into my heart and draw out a small white pearl, and hand it to the guide. I really don’t know what it is, but the guides all seem to be delighted with the gift.

The Shipwreck

shipwreckI was rowing a tiny boat out to sea, rowing hard, rowing urgently. Behind me land was a smudge on the edge of vision. The waves were choppy, the sky blustery.

A school of silver fish raced under me, surrounding the boat on all sides. Some leapt out of the water; they looked at me, they called to me. I jumped in after them.

The sea was dark and quiet and cool. I swam down, surrounded by the silver fish. Deep, deep below the surface, I saw an outcropping of undersea rock, long-frozen lava. Something was there, smashed and splintered on the crag.

A ship — a sailboat. Its sails long since dissolved, its white hull grimy, I swam up to it and rubbed away some of the slime.

There was the ship’s name: Endurance.

At this time, I was working very hard at my job and family obligations. Eventually I … well, I kind of broke down. I think this meditation was trying to warn me of that.

The Glittering Beach

glitteringoceanI was sitting on a beach, the waves crashing, flashing and glittering in the late morning sun. The ocean was like a sea of heaving light. As I sat watching, a young woman came walking up the beach towards me. She had a deep tan, and wore loose light clothes, orange and red. She came up and sat down by me, and I saw that her face was apple-shaped, open, honest, and smiling.

“I am a messenger,” she said. “I’m here to tell you that the time of freedom and joy is coming; it is coming soon. There will be universal peace and happiness, very soon.”

“I’ve heard this message before,” I said. “I want to believe it. But how can I know it is true?”

“Listen to your heart,” she said. “You know it’s true.”

“What sign can you give me?” I asked.

She held out her hand and gave me a tiny crystalline structure; it was alive, forming different shapes as I watched it, like a tesseract.

I did this meditation just after listening to my recording of the meditation for Loving Kindness, so I was at a very “high vibration”. Make of it what you will!

The Flute of Dawn

fluteofdawnI sat on a blanket in the grass shortly before dawn, the dew falling. I was aware of the cold and the wet, but somehow I didn’t feel it. A dozen yards away is a cluster of rabbits, barely visible in the half-light, nibbling contentedly, alert, calm.

I see a fairy princess approaching. She is about one foot high, translucent and ghostly, clad in a silver gown, with pearly jewels and crown.

What is your purpose here? she asks. Her words do not disturb the air.

I come in peace and fellowship.

Be welcome, then.

And now I can see the other fairies — banquet tables are laid out on the lawn, and they are feasting, talking, laughing in silver voices. The rabbits move among them, eating their own feast alongside them in fellowship.

I walk among the tables, too, for now I am the same size as they are — or perhaps size is simply undefined… They nod and greet me as I pass.

A young boy of the Good Folk is standing a little apart on a small rise, watching the sun coming, lost in thought. I greet him, and he offers me a gift: a fairy flute. Gratefully I put it to my lips. The sound of the flute is the same sound the sun makes when it rises…

In return, I reach into my heart and pull out a marble-sized pearl of purpose. He takes it with delight.

The Elemental Powers

meditationfailsA little way from the shore of the ocean is a rocky, sandy island, clothed in wind-beaten pines. It is the Isle of Smoke, the place I go to when I want to meditate on an intention manifestation. Today I’m standing at the far side of the island, where a tumble of rocks stands sentry at the edge of the sea.

But now a ghostly column of stones is rising from the rocky edge, and I can make out stairs carved into them. I hesitantly place a foot on the half-invisible stair… It holds my weight.

I climb. The stairs go almost directly up; sometimes I use my hands, as if it were a ladder. The island shrinks below me; I am far out and above the ocean. Higher and higher, and now I am leaving the very atmosphere behind — the blanket of air is gone, and I am climbing slowly up among the cold stars. I can feel the unbelievable cold, but it is simply there, not unpleasant or painful.

I climb a very long time, and then look down. The world is not round, but flat, small and square, a blue postage stamp almost lost in the black starscape. Still the stairs climb.

At last I stop. I’m not at the top yet, but I can’t climb any further. Somehow hanging here before me is a huge ghostly face, like the ones carved into Mt. Rushmore. Its eyes are half-lidded like a Buddha’s; it half-smiles, like Mona Lisa. A vast presence, so huge, so unchanging, so pervasive that it touches each of us, yet so familiar that we never notice it. Motionless, as if carved from stone.

I look around, and see other ghostly faces among the stars.

These great beings, I realized, were the Elemental Powers, spirits of goodwill that bless us with a working world. Gravity, electromagnetism, nuclear forces, chemical bonds… They are linked to the Isle of Smoke by a tenuous stony stair.

The Man of the Delta

manondeltaA wide plain, a river delta, low hills on all sides, sandy, dry grasses, warm and humid; gentle breeze. There at the edge of the sea is a terra cotta tower, straight on one side and sloping on the other. I walk through the sand, avoiding the thousands of rivulets. The sky is heavy, waiting to unload its rain.

I am welcomed into the tower by a wizened old man, an earth spirit; his room here on the bottom floor has rugs, incense, woven hangings. It is an earth-toned palatial hut. He is a fantastic artist in cloth and pottery. Another old man, nearly toothless, sits in a corner, grinning and grinning, and playing a stringed instrument with unearthly beauty.

My host leads me up stairs to the second level — a huge, dark empty space. I am unlear on why this is empty. Then we go up a rope ladder to the top of the tower, where we sit and have a smoke and look over the sea.

We talk: he has been incarnated physically many times, he says, and has enjoyed it, but is taking a break for a while. His talk is filled with long, comfortable silences.

As I leave, there is much thanking and your-welcoming; as a token of gratitude I give him a Pearl from my heart, and he kisses it and it bursts into a hundred tiny white ghostly butterflies that fly round my head.

I feel intuitively that this man is one of my muses — perhaps the one who works with me when I draw.

Coming Back

comingbackI was rowing in a boat, across choppy water, returning from a long journey. I think I had been at the Isle of Smoke, a place I go in my inner landscape to place intentions and entreat the powers.

I rowed up to the shore, but I was utterly beyond exhaustion and I had a lot of trouble bringing the boat in. I noticed my body was wasted, emaciated, like I’d been fasting on the island. Had I been an ascetic? I was met on shore by my anima and bunch of others, who half-carried me, half-walked me up to my anima’s room.

She sat me down at the table and insisted I try to eat something. She gave me a spoonful of some white, pearly liquid, but I barely had strength to eat, and I found my body collapsing. I let it go, and without really meaning to, I disengaged from my body.

Now I was formless, a kind of shapeless ball hovering over the table. Everyone in the room looked up at me, and they started talking about whether I would return to the body. It was clear in my mind that I could choose to go back in or not — that it was entirely up to me; but I didn’t like the idea of not having a body, so I re-engaged. My anima helped me to a bed and fed me more, and as she did so, I felt slightly more enervated and awake.

I became aware of Apollo and some of my other guides standing nearby. Apollo was glad of my decision to return, and also congratulated me on finishing my time on the Island. I asked why my body was so weak, what the purpose was, and he replied I would find out one day. I could only laugh.

I did this meditation two years ago, at a time when I had been pushing myself very hard, getting sick, and not sleeping or eating well. My marriage was also ending, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I was, I think, subconsciously working very hard so that I could keep myself from having to face that fact. In a way, I was trying not to be present — to get away from my body — so I wouldn’t have to deal with my situation.

…It didn’t work. Thank goodness!

6 responses to “Seven Meditative Vignettes”

  1. Re:
    “I felt slightly more enervated and awake.”

    “Enervated” isn’t the English word for the meaning you probably have in mind. In English, “enervate” means the opposite of what you supposed it meant — please look here:


  2. Yup, Kate, you are absolutely right. Thanks for the correction! I must have been pretty enervated to have made that mistake. 😉


  3. […] was around this time that I did the “Coming Back” meditation that you can read about here; its overall message was that I had pushed myself far beyond what was healthy.  I had to get my […]


  4. Loved reading these meditations. I’ve been studying shamanisn and Druidry for a relatively short while . these sound like shamanic journeys. I would like to learn Druidic meditation techniques. can you post any helpful links? thank you!!!


  5. Thanks, Mark! I don’t know enough about shamanism myself to say whether they’re technically shamanic journeys, but there are elements of similarity, and some of my deeper and / or more feverish visualizations would probably qualify. 🙂

    As for links to druidic meditative techniques: to be very clear: any meditative techniques that the ancient druids used has been lost. Modern druids use an amalgam of techniques drawn from other traditions, which probably overlaps at least somewhat with what ancient druids did. I don’t know of any one good source for this information, but (if I may stray somewhat from modesty) my site might be a good place to start. You can look in particular at the posts in the Inner Landscapes category.

    I myself use a mixture of the visualization stuff I described here, plus things drawn from Buddhism (the tradition I was raised in). You can find out a lot about what I do, and download my guided meditations (available for a donation of any amount) on my Guided Meditations page here. Enjoy!


  6. […] DJ Meditation, I posted a description of one of my daily visualization meditations — no analysis, no rumination, just what I experienced. See what meaning you can draw from […]


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