Meditation by the Sea

Practices

Inner Dialog

This practice is especially useful when I have conflicting feelings or thoughts about a decision I need to make or find myself “stuck” in moving forward on a goal I’ve said I want. It involves acknowledging that I have different “parts” or “voices” inside who often at least appear to want different things, or to have different strategies for getting to a particular goal. There are many blog posts that are examples of this practice (“Living in Service to the Divine and “Fully Expressed are good examples.”)

The practice involves giving each “part” or “inner voice” a seat at the table and listening to him/her (yes, I sometimes experience inner parts of myself as male). It’s important that you take the role of facilitator of this inner conversation as much as you can, affirming each voice and supporting it to feel safe. I find that the “guidelines” I would use if I were facilitating a conversation among several people are helpful here as well, such as:

  • Use “I statements.” Own your own feelings and experiences; they are not others’ responsibility.

  • Wait your turn to speak.

  • Be open to others’ perspectives. Look for what you can learn from others.

  • Assume good intent on everyone’s part. We’re all doing our best.

  • Be curious rather than judgmental. Ask for more information to clarify rather than criticizing.

  • Listen respectfully.

  • Set boundaries gently, with compassion.

  • Take risks and ask for what you want.

 

 
Non-Dominant Hand Writing

A variation on – or perhaps addition to -  the inner dialog practice is to write with my non-dominant hand (for me, the left), especially for “young” voices. When I first started this practice, it was extremely awkward and cumbersome –sometimes I couldn’t remember how to form a particular letter or word, and would have to write it with my right hand and copy it with my left. There’s something about the forced slowing down and feeling of being a beginner that opened me to information that might not have been available otherwise. It’s enabled these young voices to share info that might have been left out if they’d been going at a “normal,” adult pace.

Welcome Prayer with Mudra Practice

When I pray, it’s usually spontaneously, responding to whatever is moving inside me in the moment. But one of the “scripted” prayers I’ve found to be extremely helpful both in the moment and over time is Father Thomas Keating’s Welcoming Prayer. I’ve never found an original citation for it, and there are many versions on the web. Here’s my version, slightly modified from the original to resonate more deeply with me (google “welcoming prayer” if you want to see the original):

  1. Welcome, welcome, welcome.

  2. Welcome all things that come to me today because I know they are for my healing.

  3. Welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations and conditions.

  4. Release my attachment to power and control.

  5. Release my attachment to affection, esteem, approval and pleasure.

  6. Release my attachment to survival, security and safety.

  7. Release my attachment to changing any situation, condition, person or myself.

  8. Open to the love and presence of Goddess...

  9. ...and Her action within.

 

When I pray this prayer, I usually incorporate a mudra (a ritualized gesture) to embody the prayer more fully:

  • I start with my hands palm up in front of me for the first three lines.

  • As I begin line 4, I bend my elbows and bring my hands to my chest in a tight fist, symbolizing my attachment; as I pray the words, I slowly unbend my elbows and open my fists until my hands are once again open palm up in front of me.

  • I repeat this process for lines 5-7, symbolizing releasing my attachment and offering it to the Divine.

  • At line 8, I extend my arms overhead, reaching for Goddess’ love and presence,

  • At line 9, I bring my hands (still overhead) palms together and slowly lower them to a namaste position in front of my chest.

 

A slight variation on this practice is adding the phrase, “And I turn it over to you” at the end of each of lines 4-7, and turning my hands palms down to symbolize giving that attachment to Goddess. I may visualize putting each one in Her hands with this gesture.

 

Goddess Jar or Box

The Goddess jar or box is literally that – a jar or box, decorated if you choose, where you can physically symbolize releasing something you no longer want in your life to the Divine. I find it especially useful for long-standing thinking or behavior patterns that are no longer serving me. For example, if fear of what people are going to think of my blog is getting in the way of my writing, I write a short prayer on a sticky note and put it in my Goddess jar. I might say, “please replace fear of what others think with trust and faith in You.” I envision putting my fear in Her hands as I drop the sticky in the jar.

You’ll also see several references in blog posts to putting my Super Ego self in the Goddess jar. When she’s running rampant, being critical and judgmental and shaming in my life, it’s like giving her a chance to regroup. It’s a way to say, “I need Your help with this, Mamas – I cannot deal with this part of me alone.”

I’ve been astonished at how freeing this simple gesture can be. Sometimes I notice an inner shift immediately, sometimes it’s over time. All in Her time, not mine!

 

 
Greeting the Divine Each Morning

Every morning, I start my journaling with writing out a prayer of gratitude to the forms of the Divine I refer to as the Beloveds. For me, the act of writing helps me to stay present; if I say prayers out loud, my mind is more apt to wander. Especially if I’m grumpy when I start, this focus on gratitude helps me to open my heart and make myself more available to the Beloveds. I find that doing this every day has a cumulative effect as well; the energy of gratitude builds over time.

The prayers are a little different each day, but each has three components:  

  1. naming the Divine forms I feel called to name that day,

  2. acknowledging my dependence on Them and my willingness to be guided or directed (or acknowledging that I need help with this surrender if that’s the case)

  3. expressing my gratitude for another day of life walking the Earth, and reminding myself that I walk both with the Divine (They are my guide, companion, support through the day) and as the Divine (I choose to be Their physical presence on the planet; They move through my thoughts, words, and actions on the physical plane.)

 

Here’s an example of a prayer I might write.

  1. Good morning, Beloveds All: Isis, Sekhmet, Great Mother, Yeshua, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, angels, guides, ancestors, ascended ones.

  2. I bow down in humble gratitude before You, knowing that You are the One Source, and I am a perfect, whole and complete expression of You in Your eyes. Help me to stay in right relationship with You this day, Beloveds.

  3. Thank You for another day to walk this glorious Earth path with and as You. Help me walk as actor to Your direction this day.

Suspension Prayer

When you feel stuck in old behaviors or patterns, this is a fabulous prayer to say. It goes like this: "God, help me to suspend what I think I know for an open heart and mind and a new experience. Help me to see the truth about _______________." Then, fill in the blank - for me, it's often "myself," but it could be anything: "my marriage," "my family," "_____ situation," or even "You, Beloveds!" 

More to come... check back periodically!