Meditation

The Master leads

by emptying people’s minds

and strengthening their cores.

Lao Tzu

 

 

The complete meditation falls into twelve sections: 1. The Grounding 2. The Clearing 3. The Tao 4. The Ray of Creation 5. The Jewel in the Lotus 6. The Archetypes 7. The Zen Soma 8. The Virtues 9. The Transcendentals 10. Our Father 11. Hail Mary 12. Glory Be.

Five gifts of sacred medicine (or “holy psychedelics”) are: 1. Teaching 2. Healing 3. Forgiveness 4. Purification 5. Consolation. Two additional gifts when combined with conscious meditation are: 6. Deification 7. Sanctification. Sanctification means “becoming a saint”, which is basically about building your character in the direction of holiness. Hence the Archetypes, Virtues and Transcendentals. Deification means “becoming God”. That’s ultimately what the Ray of Creation and the Centre/Whole meditations are about. For more on this, see the blog post: Becoming God.

The Core Meditation comprises three sections:

  1. The Ray of Creation: Amun, Ra, Atum, Ka, Ba, Gaia, Jah (corresponding to the Father)
  2. The Archetypes: Mystic, Shaman, Warrior, Monk, Philosopher, King, Friend (corresponding to the Son)
  3. The Transcendentals: Peace, Love, Goodness, Beauty, Truth, Consciousness, Bliss (corresponding to the Holy Spirit) 

About the Meditation

Gary Weber has described in detail how the “default mode network” can be deactivated through meditation. He calls it the “blah blah blah”, because it is characterized by incessant chatter, sometimes pointless and inconsequential, but sometimes of seemingly huge import. In Buddhist circles, it is known as the “monkey mind”, not because we share it with our primate cousins, but because we jump from thought to thought like a monkey jumping from tree to tree. This is what the mind does when it is “at rest” or “at ease”, in other words when it has nothing better to do. Hence the term “default mode”. We daydream, we ruminate, we worry and fret. It is characterized by self-concern, and as such has some clear evolutionary survival value. We do need to evaluate the past and project and plan the future. We need to think about our self-image and reputation and those of significant others in our personal and professional lives. That’s all normal and necessary. But, unfortunately, it can get out of hand.

If the default mode network is over-active, it begins to interfere with the activity-focused networks. We find it hard to concentrate and perform tasks efficiently and creatively. Attention deficit disorders (ADD) are neurologically characterized by the inability to inhibit the default mode network. Conversely, highly focused and creative people can silence the “blah blah blah” for extended periods of time. They can engage fully in a task to the point of being completely lost in it – they can enter “the flow”. Think of Mozart composing a symphony. Think of the last time you were “lost in music”. Where was your “default mode” then?

So the ability to systematically inhibit and even completely deactivate the default mode network is clearly an extremely useful thing to be able to do. Even if it comes back (and it always comes back) taking a brief holiday from it has well documented mental and physical health benefits. Meditation is one of the best ways to effect this deactivation or inhibition of the “default mode network”. Prayer, fasting, ecstatic dance and psychedelic drugs are some others, although they each have their disadvantages.

If you’ve ever tried to teach a class of rowdy children anything, you will know how difficult it is to get through to them. This is why discipline is so important. Only once you have a quiet, attentive classroom environment can any real learning take place. The same is true of our unruly minds. We can still process information with the default mode network rumbling away in the background, but nothing sinks in at a deeper level.

On the other hand, when the mind is perfectly still and quiet, new insights strike us with the force of revelation. We “get it” at a deeper level than the surface “blah blah blah”. Imagine you’re reading a poem, say T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. When the mind is quiet, the words touch you with a deep sense of meaning and beauty. When the mind is agitated and distracted, it’s all just a jumble of words.

Another way to understand this movement is as a movement from the left hemisphere to the right hemisphere. Words are then experienced as alive and profoundly meaningful, rather than as mere signifiers in a system of abstract signs. The word love, for example, has merely ideational, conceptual meaning when experienced through the left hemisphere, but carries a deep, inherently meaningful charge and energy when experienced through the right hemisphere. You “feel” the word rather than just “thinking” it.

Alignment Meditation is a mantra-based meditation for the deactivation of the default mode network and the cultivation of the virtues. The first part of the meditation is designed to quiet the mind and relax the body. The second part is designed to instill and strengthen positive qualities, through seven archetypes: Mystic, Shaman, Warrior, Monk/Nun, Philosopher, King/Queen, Friend; seven virtues: Humility, Chastity, Prudence, Temperance, Patience, Diligence, Gratitude; and seven transcendental ideals: Peace, Love, Goodness, Beauty, Truth, Consciousness, Bliss.

For information about The Clearing Meditation click here: The Clearing Meditation

For more on The Ray of Creation click here: The Ray of Creation

Testimonials

“When I first met Seb to learn how to meditate, I was in a really horrible place mentally. I didn’t like myself at all, and the only way I can think of describing it is like I wanted to escape from my own brain. I was actually a massive skeptic and couldn’t imagine how meditation would help me with this issue, but I was desperately seeking change and willing to try anything. I’m so glad I did now.

From session 1, Seb was completely understanding, non-judgmental, and compassionate, making me feel entirely at ease. He explained everything as we went along in ways that I could easily understand, adapting his teaching methods each session based on my progress. I never felt ‘spoon-fed’, though, he taught in such a way that would lead me into fully discovering and understanding things for myself, which was a great way of learning.

Within about 2 weeks I remember noticing that I was having significantly fewer negative or hateful thoughts about myself. Within 4 weeks of starting, I actually caught myself having POSITIVE thoughts towards my inner and outer world, which I hadn’t had in probably about over a year beforehand.

The change was so noticeable within me that I couldn’t believe it at first, and others around me began to notice pretty quickly too. I’ve not stopped recommending meditation to just about everyone I meet since then (it’s been almost a year since my first session with Seb!) and cannot express in words how much it has literally changed my life for the better. I am very grateful and sincerely hope that anyone who gets the chance to work with Seb in this way will take the opportunity.”

Eilidh Weir

“I’ve been attending Sebastian’s weekly meditation classes for the last 5 years and I can honestly say that they have transformed my life. In the past I had struggled with depression and addiction problems – for which I’d previously followed a 12 step program – however, I found that Seb’s weekly teachings were an invaluable part of the process. Sebastian’s unique guided meditations helped me connect to an inner power source, which in turn slowly gave me the ability to transform my outer world. I’m in a very different place today than I was back then and I’m very grateful to Seb and can fully recommend him!”

David Hews

“I started meditating with Seb about 4-5 years ago at a challenging period in my life. Seb’s meditations are both beautiful and calming; through his guidance and teachings I have developed a new understanding of my inner world and have been able to access an inner wisdom, clarity and stillness that is a great source of comfort and happiness in my life. Thank you Seb for introducing me to the power of meditation!”

Laura Pandora Sale

 

The Full Meditation

The full twelve steps of the Shamanic Christian Zen meditation are as follows:

  1. The Grounding

Connect mind with the senses.

Feel the weight of the body on the chair,

The play of air on the face and hands.

Include everything:

Breath, body, smell, taste, sight, touch, sound.

2. The Clearing

Anatta Anicca Abhaya

Karuna Karuna Karuna

Dosa Nirodha Karuna

Tanha Nirodha Karuna

Dukkha Nirodha Karuna

Upekkha Upekkha Upekkha

Karuna Mudita Metta

3. The Tao

There was something formless and perfect

before the universe was born.

It is serene; empty;

solitary; unchanging;

infinite; eternally present.

It is the mother of the universe.

No space. No time.

No body. No mind.

4. The Ray of Creation

Amun

Ra

Atum

Ka

Ba

Gaia

Jah

5. The Jewel in the Lotus

Om

Ma

Ni

Pad

Me

Hum

6. The Archetypes

Mystic

Shaman

Warrior

Monk

Philosopher

King

Friend

7. The Zen Soma

Zen

Soma

Body

Heart

Mind

Soul

Spirit

8. The Virtues

Humility

Chastity

Diligence

Temperance

Patience

Prudence

Gratitude

9. The Transcendentals

Peace

Love

Goodness

Beauty

Truth

Consciousness

Bliss

10. The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

11. The Hail Mary

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.

Holy Mary Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

12. The Glory Be

Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.

Forest Magician painting (top of page) by Vladimir Kuchinskiy