Take a look at the pentagram below and you’ll see what I mean:
Starting at the bottom at the ‘earth’ point and going clockwise around the pentagram in a circle we find the meditation progression:
- Firstly I settle down and relax my body, which is made of matter
- Next I concentrate on my breath (which is the Wind point)
- By concentrating on my breath and where it comes from, I activate the heart chakra (which corresponds to love/compassion/emotions/blood/thymus = the Water point)
- I then step into the gap/silence/space, or whatever you want to call it, and connect with Spirit/universe/God (the Void or Spirit point)
- In turn I receive pure energy as knowledge, inspiration and healing from Spirit - often in the form of heat either in my body, up my spine or in my head as in "fire in head"- and I am transformed (Fire)…
… Which in turn is reflected in me/my body (Earth). And so the cycle is complete.The use of imagery to impart an idea or concept has been employed by various spiritual groups for hundreds of years. Visual cues, such as symbols, mandalas, and other objects such as crosses, have the power of shifting us into a certain mind space in an instant. They are very powerful. If you doubt that just think for a moment about the power of logo's to express an idea or concept. Try it now. Think of a logo. I'm betting your already hearing the advertising jingle, watching the TV ad in your minds eye or running through their product list. Whoops, the one I'm thinking about has just morphed into sick looking, oil covered, seagulls! OK, so perhaps not the most positive one to choose, but you see how it works. Pick a powerful image, attach a concept to it, and bingo, your mind fills in all the gaps. It sets up a method, idea or belief system that can be accessed in an instant.
So, if you’re struggling in your meditation practice, try the pentagram symbol as an aid to the process. If you find that your mind starts to wander, or it starts chattering away as soon as you shut your eyes, visualize the pentagram in your mind’s eye and start to work around the symbol, starting with yourself – Earth.
“Abandon the search for God…
instead, take yourself as the starting place” Monoimos
If you find it hard to visualise, print out a copy of the diagram above and pop it on your lap when you sit down to meditate. You can either look at the image until you feel you want to shut your eyes, or use it as an icon and keep your eyes focused on it as you settle into the meditative state. Eventually, with time you’ll find that your mind will remember what to do – Earth (start with your body), Wind (focus on your breath), Water (engage with your heart chakra), Void/Spirit (move into the silence/gap/communue with Spirit), Fire (be transformed from within).
As I was thinking about this post earlier, I found myself singing the Native American chant (thanks J for reminding me!)...
Earth my body, Water my blood, Air my breath & Fire my Spirit.…Chants work, too, as a trance, or meditation induction process, but that’s a different blog for another day!