Mermaid Tree

Exploring the complex, celebrating the simple

Ways to maintain your meditation practice November 18, 2009

 

In your outer life

If you can feel

consciously and soulfully happy

Even while doing

Ordinary, mundane things,

God will consider this

Your real meditation

~Sri Chinmoy

 

We all go through rough patches.  Life gets busy and stressful, and that can affect our ability/desire to meditate.  Worrying about work or school, trying to stave off a cold, and trying to plan life in general, does not exactly create a Zen mood that is conducive to meditation.  So maybe you tell yourself that you’ll meditate when you “have more time.”  Go ahead…raise your hand if you’ve done that.  *raises hand!*  Well, like me, you’ve probably found that this can lead to loooong periods of not meditating at all because you keep thinking you’ll be able to find time the next day.

What would really help, is if you do something simple every day (or every other day) to keep your spiritual life healthy.  So, the next time you get stuck, try using some of the methods discussed below to help maintain your meditation practice. 

  • Work with something that you connect with easily and that you enjoy using. For me it’s usually crystals and tarot. Even when I have trouble meditating, I just lay down with a crystal (or several) and let them do their thing!  When you are stressed, try not to do too many actual tarot readings because it’s hard to stay objective; and you might just end up confusing yourself more. Instead, you can pull a card each morning and meditate on that card. It helps give you some focus and guidance during the day.  (If you aren’t comfortable using the Tarot, you can purchase Oracle cards.  Some of them have messages written on them are especially good for daily guidance.)
  • Light candles instead of turning on the lights.(But make sure you don’t end up straining your eyes.  Go ahead and use a lamp if you’re going to read!)  Candlelight is always so soothing, and it puts you into a relaxed and receptive state. So even if you don’t meditate, your consciousness is still being brought into a state of openness and creativity. Just think of the Goddess Brigid’s flames of inspiration. 
  • Write in your journal, or write a letter to God/dess or your Angels.  It’s a wonderful way to sort through your thoughts.  Write what you are grateful for, what you are nervous or fearful about, what you need guidance about.  Write about the big things and the little things.  Just let it all out.  It’s between you and your Spiritual Team (and they love you and want to help you!  Just ask!)
  • Listen to music and dance.  Sound is such a powerful tool.  Ohm:  the sound of creation.  So listen to music that soothes, uplifts and empowers you. Listen to songs that you connect with good memories that’ll make you laugh!  And dance!  Your entire being (including your body) is a manifestation of Spirit’s creative force.  So using your body as a way to connect with the Divine through dance is not wrong.  Dance like a god/dess.  Dance like you are the wind soaring over plains.  Dance like you are a thunderstorm.  Dance by yourself, with your partner, with friend…just dance!  (And of course playing an instrument falls under this category!!!!!!)
  • Pray.  Say the prayers or invocations that make you feel reassured.  Say the Rosary, recite mantras, read the Charge of the God/dess, state affirmations, read from Sacred Texts.  Write your own prayers
  • Make sure you bless your food and water. It really helps. Appreciate and be aware of the food you are putting into your body.  I personally find tea to be incredibly comforting. Plus I love the blend of water and earth! The way the herbs infuse the water and transform it into something else entirely is a magickal process – alchemy. 

These methods don’t require a lot of time, and they can help you regain and maintain your spiritual, emotional and mental balance.  Give it a try!

What other methods do you use to maintain your meditation practice?  Comment below!

 

September Full Moon – the Corn Moon September 4, 2009

Filed under: Author: Tree — Mermaid Tree @ 1:35 pm
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“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.” ~Hal Borland

Well luckily for us tonight IS a full moon!  There is something truly magical about seeing the moon hover in the sky and glow with a gentle brilliance.  It is beautiful in every phase – a delicate sliver when it is reborn as the new moon, a waxing and waning crescent, and it’s most stunning form as a full shining orb.

The moon is most often associated with the feminine, while the sun is regarded as the masculine aspect. (There are always exceptions however!  Just think of Amaterasu, a Shinto kami – spirit/deity – who is the goddess of the Sun).  Working with the moon is a perfect way to connect with your Divine Feminine (regardless of your gender).  I like to take a few minutes to go outside and gaze up at the moon.  As her light hits my skin, I breathe in the energy and feel my intuition expand and my emotions calm.  A subtle joy fills me.  All is well.

The Moon is a wonderful teacher; her phases remind us to pay attention to the different phases we experience in our own lives.  When the moon is full it is an excellent time to give our goals an extra “push” since the energy is at it’s pinnacle.  The full moon increases our intuition and psychic abilities, bringing things into greater illumination.  I’ve found that it is easier for me to go into deep meditations during this time.  I also have very clear tarot readings (especially if I use a goddess tarot or oracle deck).

It’s also helpful to take an inventory of your life (since the full moon brings clarity) and see what has grown into fruition, and in turn, what needs to be released when the moon begins to wane.  The full moon is also a powerful time for manifestation, so go ahead and visualize your life as being full and abundant in all aspects!

Every full moon has a special energy to it.  Various cultures have named each month’s full moon, and you can use this as a guide. In the lovely month of September, it is called the Full Corn Moon (thank you, Farmers Almanac) since this is the time of year when the corn is harvested.  In neo-pagan traditions the September moon is called the Full Barley Moon.  (Are these food names making anyone else hungry?).  Well anyway, I’ve found that the September full moon is especially powerful as it really brings the abundance of summer to a nice culmination.  It’s time to harvest all the blessings that grew over the past couple months, and make room for the new season.

I like that the Full Moon falls so early in September this year.   Later this month we have the sabbat of Mabon (also known as the Autumnal Equinox) to look forward to.  Mabon is a powerful day to bring balance into our lives.  (I will be posting more information about Mabon soon, so be sure to check back!)

So enjoy harvesting the blessings and lessons of the full moon and the preceding months, and then get ready to bring it all into balance later in September on the Equinox!  It is going to be a beautiful lineup!

What do you enjoy most about the Full Moon?  Share with our other readers by posting below!

 

Top 10 Free iPhone Apps For the Spiritual September 3, 2009

Filed under: Author: Mermaid,Technology — Mermaid Tree @ 6:30 pm
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Spirituality and technology aren’t usually considered a perfect pair, but there are many applications available for the iPhone that allow you to carry around your metaphysical and spiritual practices right in your pocket.  Like many Americans, I am not so financially fortunate at the moment, so I decided to make a list of what, in my opinion, are the top ten FREE applications pertaining to a variety to topics in the metaphysical realm.  Without further ado, here they are…

 

10) Zippo Lighter  This realistic and customizable lighter reacts to movement and breath.  It even flickers.  Try meditating with it if you are in a place that doesn’t allow fire or simply turn it on to tap into some fire energy when you are away from the candles.

 

9) River  This application is relatively simple, but good for anyone who finds water soothing.  Where are my water signs at?  In basic mode, it consists of a rock background with flowing water that reacts to touch.  The speed of the flow, meditative music, and background can all be customized.  It can be used just to relax or to tap into water energy.  Either way, it is pretty cool.

 

8 ) Whole Foods Market  With this app, you can find the nearest Whole Foods Market and access the website.  What I love most is the recipe sections that allows you to search by course or ingredients.  Mmmmmm organic!

 

7) Natural Cures  This is basically what it sounds like:  the app is an encyclopedia of natural cures to many different ailments and offers a lot of information about each entry.  Very useful!

 

6) My Past Life Free  Ok, so I know what you’re thinking and no, this application is so not accurate, but it is kinda fun.  You just put in your birthday and it gives you a past life scenario.  The app itself doesn’t even claim to be valid, but it does give you something to think about and might serve as a great conversation starter.

 

5) Bible Verses Free  This is a great, eco-friendly, and free way to carry around your favorite Bible verses.  If you subscribe to the Christian faith or find spiritual guidance through the Bible, I suggest getting this handy app for your phone!

 

4) iTarot  Using more traditional-looking tarot cards, this app provides a Card of the Day and a Love Card of the Day to the user.  While it doesn’t do longer readings (there are tarot apps that will, but you have to pay for them), this can be a useful way to learn your cards and their meanings as well as plan your day.

 

3) dhoroscopes  For a more traditional way to get day-to-day guidance, I suggest the Daily Horoscope application.  There are several horoscope apps available, but I like this one for set-up and accuracy.  Along with a daily horoscope, it also gives you a percentage of fortune in several areas of your life (like Love, Work, Emotions, etc), and who was born on each day.  You can also customize your icon. 

 

2) Goddess Tarot Lite Version  Again, this app does not do full readings, but it does give one-card readings and allow you to browse the beautiful 78-card deck, explanations included.  For more choices and longer readings, you can pay extra to get the full version.

 

1) Yoga  There are many yoga applications for the iPhone, but this free one (whose picture consists of a woman in light clothing in the lotus position) is my complete favorite!  Not only does it come with a variety of instructional yoga videos, but it also includes many choices for relaxing music and guided meditations. 

 

So, that is my list.  I hope you find it helpful in converting your iPhone into a piece of spiritual technology. 

 

Did I miss your favorite?  Post it below with a short description for our readers!