This is a continuation from my last post about fear, and how meditation is so supremely helpful for easing fear. After 20 years of meditating and trying out different methods, I have really come to appreciate the tantrik and bhakti paths, which place more emphasis on feeling the sensations in the body, welcoming in pleasure, and communing with reality instead of just observing it.
Here are three things I started doing in 2019 that really made me love meditating again:
Bring in the imagination.
Yes, you can use your imagination in meditation! You’re not turning everything off and trying to transcend, but turning everything on and engaging with it as play!
One of the ways I’ve been exploring this is through a guided meditation by tantra scholar Hareesh Wallis where he invites you to imagine a golden column of light radiating along the central channel, or spinal column. On the inhale you imagine this golden light expanding, and on the exhale you imagine it contracting. Every time I do it within the first 5 minutes I start to feel it! It’s very subtle, still, shows me that the imagination and body sensations are linked.
Another way I combine imagination and meditation is through what’s know as reverse divination or tarot card pathwork. This is when you choose a tarot card to use as a visual aid for meditation. You actually ‘drop in’ to the card, or astral project into it, or you can simply think of it as playing make believe! You let yourself become the character on the card, feeling what’s around you in 3d, bringing in all your senses, fully transporting yourself into the colors, smells, sounds, and sensations the card stirs in you. This wakes up the senses, gets our imagination involved, and brings us into a creative flow state. Flow states are known to produce pleasure.
Rest in the Heart Space
One of the biggest breakthroughs I had in my meditation practice was when I changed the focal point from the head to the heart.
Most meditation techniques say “watch your thoughts” which naturally put us up in our head. Some methods such as Vipassana teach you to scan your body, yet still, the scanning itself is coming from the mind/ mental space, which is fragmented from the whole.
In 2019 I started listening to tantra teacher Hareesh Wallis’s teachings and what compelled me about his guided meditations were they were focused in what he called ‘the still point at the base of the heart.’
Not only that, but he instructed us to rest. To just rest there. And then, to observe the body sensations from there. What a game changer!
When I first started doing it, spontaneous tears showed up. Then I started to get more intimate with the still point at the base of the heart, and I discovered it was like a cave that I could keep going deeper into.
I found I could place difficult emotions there and they became digested in a safe way. I found that this heart space viewed the body, and the environment differently than the mental space. Looking at myself from there I felt much more compassion, depth, and love.
Meditating from the heart space is helping me live from the heart space. It’s helping me digest emotions and physical sensations instead of try to control them with my thoughts or from a fear-based place. It’s opening up more fresh space in myself, more pleasure, and more safety.
Physical touch is so needed right now, and when you bring it into your meditation it sends the message of safety and pleasure.
One way you can do it is to simply pat or brush your body, making sure to touch all parts of the body- the head and feet are especially good to bring in this sense of grounding and safety.
Another way is through self-massage. There are lots of videos on self-massage on YouTube, but truly you only need your intuition to do it. Just start kneading your arms and legs like dough, or using gentle circular motions on your face, and pressing into your feet in a way that feels good to you.
Self-massage is an amazing way to send the message to your body that you love it, honor it, and it signals to your mind it’s safe to be in the body, that there is pleasure and relaxation there.
I hope this was helpful! These are just a few suggestions, and I will post more down the road 🙂
Here are a few of the containers I offer if you’d like to work with me! I love to explore sacred play, receptivity, and self-worth:
Tarot readings– 1 hour live one-on-one video call
Moon Aligned Path (MAP) 3 month and 6 month containers for expansion via the moon pattern
Spiritual Coaching– Live tarot readings with each moon phase, live phone calls , in-depth support, home ‘play’, journaling, live guided meditations via video (6 months or 1 year)
Photo by Lauren Alexandra Photography