A Meditation on Meditation

Meditation is rapidly following yoga into mainstream Western consciousness.  Rock stars and rock-star athletes,  high school cheerleading squads,  type-A corporate leaders and followers, academically-pressured college students, they’re all jumping on board, joining Eastern religious  followers and New Agers in pursuit of peace, mindfulness, and spiritual connection.  Adult coloring books proliferate, leveraging off the centuries-old Buddhist spiritual practice of creating intricate mandala designs.

But not everyone is wired for success with traditional approaches to mindfulness:  closed eyes, counting breaths, or gazing at a candle flame or budding rose.  I’ve been at it for more than thirty years and have yet to corral my Gemini brain for more than a few minutes at a time.  Still, I stay with it because I just can’t imagine getting through life without what those few minutes provide.  

The fact is that meditation need not – really cannot – be a “one size fits all” commodity and, as in virtually everything in life, astrology can help you find the approach that works best for you.  The beauty of your astrological chart is that it is uniquely yours.  Why shouldn’t the way you seek to connect to the peace and wisdom of Spirit and the moment not reflect that individuality?

The overall nature of the chart is a good starting point.  Do you have lots of planets in fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)?  It’s going to be hard to literally sit still for more than a moment, so it’s a good idea to investigate physical approaches like walking a labyrinth.  If your chart is airy (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) it’s the mind itself that’s a-buzz. Give it something to do like chanting a mantra, saying a prayer, or counting prayer beads.  Inward-turned water (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) and solid, stable earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) are more attuned to the classic approaches.  The earth signs would benefit from direct contact with the natural world: sitting in a garden, or even indoors with your feet in tub of dirt!  As you might imagine, things like a solitary seaside walk or installing a trickling indoor fountain enhance the experience for the water signs.   

Examining the planet Neptune in your chart and the sign (Pisces) and house (12th) associated with it provides further design elements for your meditation approach.  These are the symbols actually associated with spirituality and its practices like yoga and prayer and meditation.  What house is Neptune in?  It could give an idea of the kinds of experiences that will release that planet’s gifts.  For example, those with Neptune in the Fifth House might enter the present moment through creative pursuits (think those coloring books) while Neptune in the Ninth House suggests that formal religious rituals could be the path for them. What planets are in the Twelfth House or in the sign of Pisces?   They give insight into the kinds of energies you can use to quiet the mind and be present in the moment.

There’s only one requirement that applies to everyone across the board: You have to power down the smart phone (and all it represents) if you’re going to power up your connection to everything precious that meditation and mindfulness offer.  You simply can’t get there with a ticket to NASCAR.

Why not give it a try?

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