Sometimes meditation is as easy as sitting down and deciding to do it. Just a few days ago I had a particularly good session where I got the kind of “worship glow” I used to get during really powerful rituals. Things just clicked into place and I had this sudden sense of understanding, connection to the universe, and complete calm. That was a good one.
And then at other times I can sit or lie there for an hour and have everything just not work. That was today. But a lot of times I have no idea why that’s the case, and it’s just a frustrating situation. Today at least I’m pretty sure I can nail down a few reasons.
There are times when I’m thirsting for a connection to the divine in a general sense or to a particular god or spirit. Those are some of the easy times. The desire and intention are already there, I just have to show up.
Today I didn’t even plan to go into meditation at that time. I was actually just putting away something upstairs, and I guess since I often do that right before I go into meditation or worship time, I kept walking on autopilot and didn’t realize where I was going until I was there. I decided to go for it anyway, because what the heck, I’m trying to get to daily meditation anyway, I’m here, might as well go for it. But my mind was elsewhere, and getting all those other things out of my head was a no-go.
That’s the big reason. I’m not sure there’s really any way around that, but there are some things I could have tried that just didn’t occur to me. If I was going to do it again (and I’ll try to keep it in mind for the next time something similar happens), here’s what I’d do.
1. Light candle and say a prayer.
2. Set up meditation area with stone and yarn (sensory aids), open meditation noise app on my tablet, and settle.
3. State intention.
4. Begin meditation, probably the centering prayer I was doing awhile back, possibly find a line from a comic book or something to focus on instead.
It’s easy to forget the purpose of ritual in entering an altered state of mind, especially when it often happens so easily for me. And when, by contrast, my rituals often don’t have the level of power I’m expecting in that sense, making me wonder if I’m doing something “wrong” since I’ve never been to a group ritual and seen how other people do it.
My high day celebrations have become more spontaneous and less ritualistic over time, because it seems more effective and less false that way. But maybe it’s time to lower my expectations and see ritual instead as something to do every day, to make that switch into worship space easier and more familiar. I’ll be trying that over the next few weeks.