Step by step: A guide to meditation

Image credit: Dedda71

Meditation can be particularly useful during exam term when people are likely to feel more stressed than usual. Learning the skills of meditation can help you to relax both your body and mind and find peace in times of business. Starhawk's grounding practice is a type of meditation, the guide to which I share with you below:

1.Sit, stand, or lie down. Become aware of how your body is feeling right now – notice any points of tension or pain, notice your breathing, your heart rate, and your posture.

2. Feel for your feet, your seat, or your back upon the ground. Imagine roots, reaching out from your body, down into that ground. Imagine its texture, composition, and content. What is the soil like? Is it dry, or damp? Is it loam, sand, or clay? Is it hard or soft? Are there roots growing in it?

3. Feel your own roots reaching down, through these layers beneath you, through the bedrock, into the aquifer – and visualise your roots bathing in those cool, pure waters. Then send them on, down through the rock, into the Earth's warm, molten heart. Imagine your roots being bathed in the warmth, and take a breath, imagining all your stress and tension flowing down, through your roots, into the molten centre of the Earth – still burning with the atomic fire that created the entire solar system.

4. As you breathe in, imagine drawing up some of that fire from the core of the Earth through your roots. See the sparks of energy flowing up along your nerves and ascending your spine, flowing to any spot that’s sore or needs healing. Allow the energy to fill you up, rising to the top of your head. There, imagine the energy radiating out into the air around you, sending out tendrils, branches, leaves that surround you on every side, keeping out anything you don’t want to come in. Feel the tree you have imagined stretching out, its boughs bending in the breeze. Remember to breathe.

5.Imagine the light on its leaves. Notice the quality of that light – is it sunlight, or moonlight? Is it candlelight or starlight? Draw down some of that light, feel it filtering in through the tree, down into your body. Notice how the bright power of the sky mixes with the warm energy of the Earth. Feel both powers filling you up, restoring you from within; you are in balance, steady, clear, and calm.

6. When you feel ready, open your eyes. If you’re sitting or lying down, then stand. Feel your feet beneath you, and take a step. Notice how you can carry the feeling of peace and clarity with you as you move around – rooted between land and sky in this way, you are better placed to make choices, and face the day.

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