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.

Read more

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…

Read more