Magick and Meditation
Magick and meditation might not sound like obvious bedfellows to some, but they have a long association, and for good reason. Whether one views magick as being a deliberate manipulation of spiritual energy, or a system of being which brings about results for purely psychological reasons, the ability to calm and focus the mind is extremely important, and meditation is one of the most beneficial methods for developing that ability.
Today we will look at three different types of meditative practice that magickal practitioners can choose to incorporate into their daily lives. Each meditation type is accompanied by a book recommendation for those who wish to explore further.
Vipassana meditation, more commonly referred to as Mindfulness meditation or Insight meditation, involves observing everything that arises and passes away from moment to moment without commenting, ruminating or judging. The mind is trained to become fully aware of the present moment, noticing all that it experiences, whether it is the sensation of a breeze passing over the skin, the sound of a dog barking in the distance, thoughts that arise from within, and so on. The end goal of Vipassana, which was taught by the Buddha, is the elimination of mental defilements, the development of equanimity and the attainment of complete liberation, or enlightenment.
Recommended Reading: Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henelopa Gunaratana
Like Vipassana, the practice of Samadhi meditation was also taught by the Buddha, and involves focusing the mind on a single object. The most common object of meditation is the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils, or on the rise and fall of the belly as one breathes. When practicing this style of meditation, the mind is quietened to the point of stillness, and the meditator enters a state of absorption, which is a very pleasing (some would say blissful) feeling of serenity.
Recommended Reading: The Experience of Samadhi by Richard Shankman
Mantra meditation is a technique which involves the repetition of a mantra, which is a word or phrase that is used to occupy the mind and serve as the object of focus. Some people use mantras purely as a tool, much as the breath is used in Samadhi meditation, whilst others prefer to use specific mantras (or sacred sounds) in order to improve conditions in their lives. Mantras are best spoken out loud, at least to begin with, but they can be repeatedly silently when the situation makes that more appropriate.
Recommended Reading: Mantra Meditation by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
All three of these meditation styles can be enormously valuable to a magickian, so each individual practitioner should feel free to pursue the one that resonates the most. Although all of the styles mentioned have been practiced for thousands of years in Buddhist, Hindu and other traditions, the techniques themselves can be practiced by anyone, making them perfectly suited to the modern magickan.