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Scott K Smith

2632 West Avenue 35
Los Angeles, CA, 90065
United States

213-254-5302

Home of Scott K Smith, Magick Maker
On Magick, Health, Healing, Ritual, Energy, and Spirit. Dedicated to the Gods in all of us, TheSacredOther.com

Musings

Healer. Artist. Intuitive.

What I Do: Meditation

Scott K Smith

What is meditation?

"We might think that the meditative state is something we can grasp onto, solidify, and possess, but that is actually not the case. Our practice is to touch in, make contact, and let go, over and over again - that is the rhythm of awareness." ~David Nichtern


"We might think that the meditative state is something we can grasp onto, solidify, and possess, but that is actually not the case. Our practice is to touch in, make contact, and let go, over and over again - that is the rhythm of awareness."

~David Nichtern

What if you could access your deeper awareness in social work, in activism, art, with your children and family, at any moment? 

What does it look like when we, for a moment, strip away the traditions around meditation and we look at the mechanics of [meditation], and build from there? How does it feel to build your, practice of coming into personal center?

When I teach meditation I may reference Buddhist or Western Esoteric practices, but what we build is flexible structure of practice based on the language of your cosmology. What you have in your world will work, we look to explore... break apart and restring it all with a tensile strength of emotional flow and mental fluidity. 

The fundamental truths we are seeking are available within us because it is our deeper, aware-being that holds the axis point between intuitive wisdom and higher ordered thoughts; it is the being who can know. That being within myself, I call, my true awareness. 

We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.

Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)

What does my meditation practice look like?

My favorite stories to tell comes from my personal life. 

My mother on reading one of the the Dalai Lama's book The Art of Happiness, said "I can't meditate. I try and I can't sit still. I think too much. I can't do it." I had been watching her read that book, and thinking about what may have been going on in her mind. When my mom said, "I can't" I recalled her standing in the kitchen at the sink. 

My mother isn't a classic American mom, so please don't think the she was Mrs. Cleaver by any stretch of the imagination, but she did care for us, and she did keep a clean house. We all did. On a personal aside, I'm glad I was taught chores, responsibility, and personal accountability. 

Recalling my mother at the sink and her quiet engagement with her thoughts it occurred to me that the act of washing put her into a kind of zen state. She may have gone to the sink angry, or a thunderhead of thoughts, but left with a sigh or a solution born of clarity. What my mother did at the sink is a kind of meditation. 

Not everyone can sit still. I quote the late, great Peter Paddon (loosely) in a podcast on magick that, "Not everyone can sit still. I can't. I know lots of people that need something more visceral." He spoke about needing to move, to shout, to enter into the meditative/magickal mindset from a more palpable doorway. 

Your meditation practice may be:

  • Jogging or sport
  • Art
  • Walking in nature
  • Singing
  • Quiet contemplation
  • Abstinence and ritualized silence
  • Ritual! 
  • anything that connects you to your inner beingness.

The Center for Contemplative Practice identifies hundreds of types of meditation, and does not limit their definition to their list alone. 

I would go so far to say that any act is a potential meditative act, and you can surprise yourself by letting your preconceived concept of meditation go, and allowing for the breakthrough of realization that your inner beingness can deliver in any act, silent or engaged. 

Many people think it is simply having no thought, making your mind blank while sitting in an uncomfortable cross-legged position trying to look peaceful. While that can be considered a form of meditation, it comes with a lot of preconceived ideas about what ‘no thought’ is. Meditation really means to contemplate something, to focus our attention on it. Meditation is a type of focused concentration.

Many experiences can be a focus for meditation, and give you what we might call meditative consciousness, opening a gateway within. Various forms of exercise, crafts, and music can induce a meditative state...”
— Christopher Penczak, The Gates of Witchcraft: Twelve Paths of Power, Trance & Gnosis

In a World...

In world where media and people want to constantly grab our attention and eviscerate a response from us; in a society that locks into polarization, with institutions that focus on fear and propaganda; In world where religion, culture, and tribalism initiate the demonizing and "othering" of people "not like us," Meditation is fresh air.

Meditation is Life. 

When I meditate I see where I was caught in the wheel of life, pulled by emotional extremes, caught up in mentalizing everything into concepts, forgetting that I am in an animate world of many living things; forgetting that I am connected. 

Meditation is connection. 

When I facilitate GATHER or other Meditative spaces in Ritual, public or private, it's about connecting to our self. When we are in the place where we feel the fullness of our beings in the awareness of our connection, the world is animated in a different way. There are greater potentials for diverse solutions, different choices and paths, deeper meaning, greater respect for one another. 

Meditation is Change, it is Magick.

Meditation state is a place of deep relaxation where you can pinpoint the things you do and to set a paradigm switch from effect to cause. So how to be a cause in your own life.
— Roseanne Barr

I invite you to meditation. I invite you to a Gather, to class, or simply to sit with one of the many forms of meditation, and consider, respect the practice as it evolves within your own life. 

I'll post a few ideas for meditation in the next 7 days for you to play with. Follow along on facebook here: Facebook.com/TheSacredOther

Best,

Scott K Smith
TheSacredOther.com

Community of Temple Los Angeles
Temple-LA.com