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Thread: Western Style Meditation

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    Senior Member Wulfram's Avatar
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    Western Style Meditation

    Lately I have been seriously considering participation in some form of meditation style or technique.
    I am seeking to increase my ability to concentrate, since my mind tends to wander while I am trying to write or draw. I am also hoping to improve a few personal ailments such as asthma and eye problems without having to rely entirely on expensive and sometimes harmful medications.

    My biggest concern so far is that the overwhelming majority of meditation styles I have found are exclusively Eastern in origin.
    I have read many times where Westerners are warned not to partake in these exotic forms since they were intended specifically for the people of the area in which they originated.

    When I spoke to a woman here in Texas who used to teach yoga, she informed me that she stopped teaching because she felt that advanced yoga tends to draw in harmful elements, such as malicious entities.

    One thing that struck me as odd is that there does not seem to be any Western style techniques that are catered exclusively to those of European origin. I made a search through Skadi's archives and found the following threads:

    Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

    Does Anybody Do Yoga or Pilates?

    Yoga Postures


    But the one that stood out among the rest was a thread started by Dr. Solar Wolff.
    It seems that this resembles what I have searching for:

    Wyda (Keltic Yoga), The 19 Danubians


    Unfortunately the thread had few responses and when I searched the internet I could find nothing at all on this particular subject.

    I have always thought it as odd that so many Westerners turn to the East as if their styles are the only way to having peace of mind.
    This seems to me to be abnormal.

    I am also curious to learn if any of the earlier monasteries developed techniques of meditation that actually worked. I just cant see someone sitting in a cell and meditating for endless hours without becoming bored or even despondent. Those monks had to be onto something.

    If anyone here has any ideas on this I would be very appreciative of any information.

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    Senior Member paraplethon's Avatar
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    There is a form of "Runic Yoga" - more often called Runic Stancing wherein the Rune form is made and held in posture by the participants body in a standing position.

    This can be coupled with methods of intoning the Runes as well: drawing out mainly the vowel sounds in long exhalations but also in particular rolling of the 'R's as well.

    Further than that - there is a martial art which also draws from the runes glyphs - Stave, and no doubt you're aware of the connexion of the martial and meditative arts.

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    Senior Member Grey's Avatar
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    This Wyda seems to be considered an fluffy modern style of yoga with the term Druidic tacked on for marketing purposes according to most who've heard of it. Though I agree with one who pointed out that depictions of Celtic gods (specifically Cernunnos) seem to support the existence of such a thing.

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    Well, it depends a lot on how you view ancient history - there are many who believe that Hinduism is a remnant of Aryan spirituality. I'm no expert on the subject really either way, but ancient caucasoid skeletal remains have been found as far east as China, and given the mongoloid habit of dutifully passing down knowledge and culture from ancestors / superiours, and at the same time, innovating very little new culture of their own, an interesting hypothesis would be that much of ancient "eastern" culture is actually a preserved form of old Indo-Aryan culture, the progenitors of which have long since passed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baroqueorgan View Post
    Well, it depends a lot on how you view ancient history - there are many who believe that Hinduism is a remnant of Aryan spirituality. I'm no expert on the subject really either way, but ancient caucasoid skeletal remains have been found as far east as China, and given the mongoloid habit of dutifully passing down knowledge and culture from ancestors / superiours, and at the same time, innovating very little new culture of their own, an interesting hypothesis would be that much of ancient "eastern" culture is actually a preserved form of old Indo-Aryan culture, the progenitors of which have long since passed.
    I fully agree that Hinduism is of Aryan origin and a viable option, but the schism between the Hindus and other Indo-European peoples is so ancient that I'd be a good deal more comfortable with traditions indigenous to Europe proper. I believe that the Vedas are a valuable read for a European and serve as a hypothetical framework for one to view European religion, but an indigenous alternative would be preferable. And the same goes with meditations.

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    Senior Member paraplethon's Avatar
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    I have always thought it as odd that so many Westerners turn to the East as if their styles are the only way to having peace of mind.
    This seems to me to be abnormal.

    I am also curious to learn if any of the earlier monasteries developed techniques of meditation that actually worked. I just cant see someone sitting in a cell and meditating for endless hours without becoming bored or even despondent. Those monks had to be onto something.
    In the first, it's simply down to the survival - however degenerate - of such practices in the East. Westerners have been doing it for quite a while now - just look at Theosophy for example.

    As for the second paragraph - verily. Saying the Rosary is more-or-less a form of meditation and, if we're looking at the Western Christian tradition, the training and practice involved in certain forms of chanting with their circular breathing could also be said to be meditative though more complex.

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    Senior Member Wulfram's Avatar
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    Here is something I found that is quite interesting:

    The labyrinth dates back to prehistoric time, and is perceived as sacred space. It seems to have been an integral part of many cultures, such as Celtic, Mayan, Greek, Cretan, and Native American.

    Today, labyrinths are still being used throughout the world as meditative and healing tools. When considering the labyrinth, there are only two choices: walk it, or don't walk it! If walked, it can change one's life.

    There are as many different ways to walk the labyrinth as there are individuals. As Dr. Lauren Artress points out, the seeking of answers to our questions is the act of walking a sacred path. When we walk the labyrinth, we discover our sacred inner space. We are attracted to healing tools such as labyrinth because they deepen our self-knowledge and empower our creativity. Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight into the life journey.

    It calms those in the throes of transition, and helps us to see life in the context of a path. We realize we are not humans on a spiritual
    path, but rather spiritual beings on a human path. It urges actions and stirs creative fires. To those who are in sorrow, it gives solace and peace. The journey is different for everyone , as is life, for we each bring different raw material to the labyrinth. We bring our uniqueness, and often depart with a greater sense of oneness and unity. So, walk as you are , with the understanding that you can access the truth in your soul.

    "The maze or labyrinth is, so to speak, the counter-image of the primal yearning for the cave. It is the image of that other primal yearning for greater awareness, and it is always an expression of the possibility of advancing rather than returning into unconsciousness and timelessness. For if the cave is dark, then the labyrinth is dimly lit. If the cave is an expression of remoteness from consciousness, a symbol of unconsciousness, then the labyrinth is a way, if still a confused way, into awareness."

    To walk the labyrinth is to make a pilgrimage, to discover something about ourselves and God. The destination is not important; the journey is! Labyrinths are not magic, though they are full of mystery, and they offer an avenue for participation in and the experience of many different levels of the mystery of life.

    History of the Labyrinth

    Labyrinths have been known to the human race for over 3,500 years, conjuring up such A Labyrinthimages as the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. They have been used in many different religious ways by many peoples, and as solar and lunar calendars. In Arizona and the American Southwest the Hopi use a form of the labyrinth in their religious symbolism, and the Tohono O'odham "Man in the Maze" is actually a "seven-circuit" labyrinth and is part of an elaborate creation myth.

    The oldest existing Christian labyrinth is probably the one in the fourth-century basilica of Reparatus, Orleansville, Algeria. And while Christians used labyrinths on pre-Christian sites and modeled their own after ones used by earlier cultures, the development of the high medieval Christian seven circuit labyrinth was a breakthrough in design. Its path of seven circles was cruciform (shaped like the Cross) and thus incorporated the central Christian symbol. Use of these labyrinths flourished in Europe throughout the eleventh and twelfth centuries and beyond, especially in the French cathedrals of Chartres, Sens, Poitiers, Bayeaux, Amiens and Rheims and in the Italian cathedrals at Lucca and San Maria-di-Trastavera in Rome.

    Medieval pilgrims, unable to fulfill their desire to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, went instead to many pilgrimage sites in Europe or Britain. In many cases the end of their journey was a labyrinth formed of stone and laid in the floor of the nave of one of these great Gothic cathedrals. The center of the labyrinths probably represented for many pilgrims the Holy City itself and thus became the substitute goal of the journey.

    The Chartres cathedral labyrinth, upon which Grace Cathedral's labyrinth in San Francisco is modeled, has a particular, though probably typical, history. The majestic twelfth-century Gothic church a few miles west of Paris was built on an earlier, pre-Christian religious site, and became an important pilgrimage goal for medieval pilgrims. The astrological and pre-Christian origins were never entirely lost at Chartres, but became incorporated into the symbolism of the cathedral -- and of the labyrinth.

    Chartres, like most medieval churches, is a cruciform design. The labyrinth is located in the nave approximately where the thighs of the crucified Christ might have been in this symbolic representation.

    One of the most famous aspects of Chartres cathedral is the spectacular rose window over the great west doors. It has the same dimensions as the labyrinth and is exactly the same distance up the west wall as the labyrinth is laterally from the cathedral's main entrance below the window. An imaginary cosmic hinge located where the doors and floor intersect would, if closed, place the rose window directly on top of the labyrinth, thus the sparkling, colored light of the window and the darkness of the labyrinthine pilgrimage are combined.

    The sacred geometry of the labyrinth involves the numbers four, seven and twelve, emerging out of the "paths" and "walls" themselves. The labyrinth is divided neatly into four quarters around a cross, standing in the medieval mind for the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and also for the four stages of the Mass (Evangelium, Offertory, Consecration, and Communion). Labyrinth meditation might be based on one of these or some other set of four, assigning each quarter section to one, and so forth.

    Seven is the number of 180 turns there are in each quarter of the labyrinth. This relates to the seven Liberal Arts of medieval education, the chacras of the human body, or perhaps the seven paths of the classic medieval cruciform labyrinths.

    Twelve is the total number of the labyrinth's paths and center, thus relating it to the twelve-month calendar. The "lunations" around the outside of the labyrinth are a lunar calendar and can be used to determine, among other things, the date of Easter, which falls on the Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after the spring equinox.

    The six "petals" of the center of the labyrinth provide individual opportunities for symbolic representation and meditation. Moving clockwise from the entrance, they represent mineral, plant, animal, human, angelic and unnameable properties. In the very center of the Grace St. Paul's labyrinth, three consecrated hosts, representing the three persons of the Trinity, are embedded in the concrete inside a metal pix.

    Walking the labyrinth models the classical three-fold spiritual path. Walking in: Purgation, emptying or letting go. Time in the center: Illumination, clarity, insight. Walking out: Union, initiative, integration, and action in the world.

    Suggestions for Walking

    The labyrinth is a path for prayer and meditation. Collect yourself before you start. Sit and rest along the low wall for a while. Walk around the outside once. Think of different people, events, situations, places or things in your life to develop a specific intention if you wish to use one in your meditation. Get centered.

    There are two common ways of walking. The way of silence and the way of image. In choosing the way of silence it might be helpful to focus on your breathing. The way of image might be done by reciting a prayer or a name for God over and over to yourself. Ask yourself: How am I loved? How do I love? In either case or in some other manner best suited to you, be open to your heart and mind. Pay attention to your thoughts as they rise and then let them go.

    The labyrinth is a place of presence; allow yourself to be present to yourself and to God. The labyrinth is a teacher; let it teach you through the mysterious power of God. As you walk the path, thoughts and ideas may rise up for you and in you -- often in refreshing and startling ways.

    One way to feel more connected to the experience is to walk barefoot and slowly. There is no need to rush. Some people feel a sense of confusion as they first start, remember there is only one path in and one path out. You will not get lost. For some people running as quickly as possible to the center, resting there, and then running quickly out is a powerful experience.

    Experiencing the Labyrinth

    People have different experiences walking the labyrinth. As with all practices of prayer or meditation, your experience will grow and deepen the more you do it. There is no "right" experience. Some people feel a sense of A Labyrinthpeace. Others find old memories rising up as they walk. Others find themselves thinking about an immediate situation or person. Others walk at varying speeds as different thoughts and emotions come and go. Some people experience physical sensations, perhaps become light-headed, or have a feeling of floating above, a feeling of weight, or of great warmth. Some people have profound insights. Others have very small experiences or none at all. The experience of walking the labyrinth is different for each person, each time. Whatever you experience, it is your experience. Relax and see what happens.
    http://www.findingstone.com/workshops/labyrinth/

    Any thoughts?

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    Eala Freia Fresena
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    Try Rudolf Steiner, he got schooling from a herb collector from obviously a long line of european men.

    Though he was in the beginning part of Theosophy he rejected it later. He created a distinctly european path. He also worked with christians like Rittelmeyer and developed a pathway for them too, though he never engaged in that way.

    I tried them out and they are working.

    I would also look into William Blake and his order foundation. They have exercises but I don't know much about them.

    Another is Edred Thorrson, Stephen flowers. They are on a spiritual revival of old germanic religion. They also have a lot of exercises.


    For your eye problems I can recommend Aldous Huxley's 'The Art of seeing'. He is giving a lot of good exercises to heal your eyes in contrast to modern eyedoctors who simply amend the eyes. He claimed he healed his vision from going bad and worse to a normal vision. I try them currently and they at least have a temporary normalisation of the eye's. I continue and see what is going to happen.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Senior Member Wulfram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocko View Post
    Try Rudolf Steiner, he got schooling from a herb collector from obviously a long line of european men.

    Though he was in the beginning part of Theosophy he rejected it later. He created a distinctly european path. He also worked with christians like Rittelmeyer and developed a pathway for them too, though he never engaged in that way.

    I tried them out and they are working.
    Thank you Ocko.
    Did Steiner write a book on this?
    Would you have a link to a site that I can visit?

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    Senior Member Wulfram's Avatar
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    The following article implies that you don't have to pray for someone or yourself through a god. But how does one do this?
    Prayer is considered a form of meditation. Traditionally, it has been used to plead ones woeful case or as a way to give thanks.
    But If you circumvent God/a god then exactly who, or what, does one pray to?
    The individual who wrote this article did not go into enough detail on this aspect, but it is an interesting read nonetheless.

    Study: Prayer Actually Heals

    Prayer heals when it's close-up and personal, and there's a study to prove it.

    It's not just any kind of prayer, but "proximal intercessory prayer," or PIP — when one or more people pray for someone in that person's presence and often with physical contact — that was found by a team of doctors, scientists, and religious experts to have remarkable results in healing some patients.

    A team of medical doctors and scientists led by Indiana University professor of religion Candy Gunther Brown found in the study, conducted in rural Mozambique, that prayer brought "highly significant" improvements to hearing-impaired participants and significant changes to the visually impaired.

    Fourteen hard-of-hearing and 12 visually impaired study participants were recruited at meetings of pentecostal Christian groups in three Mozambican villages and one town.

    They were tested with a handheld audiometer or vision charts, depending on their impairment, both before and after they took part in a prayer session.

    "There was a highly significant improvement in hearing across 19 ears of 11 subjects" and "significant visual improvements," says the study, which will be published next month in the peer-reviewed Southern Medical Journal.

    Two of the hard-of-hearing study participants were able to hear sounds at 50 decibels lower after the prayer session and three of the visually impaired subjects saw their vision improve from 20/400 or worse to 20/80 or better.

    The study focused on the clinical effects of prayer and did not attempt to explain how or why some participants saw such remarkable improvements.

    "This study shows that in some instances there are measurable effects that can be demonstrated using clinical studies," Brown told AFP.

    "I consider this very much a first step and an indication of the direction for where research needs to head. Much more needs to be found out about why these effects are noticed, what are the mechanisms, are there structural changes involved," she said.

    Stressing that their study sample was small and the conditions under which the study was conducted were far from ideal, the researchers urged "future study... to assess whether PIP may be a useful adjunct to standard medical care for certain patients," especially in countries with limited care options.

    "The implications are potentially vast given World Health Organization estimates that 278 million people, 80 percent of whom live in developing countries, have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears and 314 million people are visually impaired," the study says.
    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/health_...mo_code=A722-1

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