This question also came in via our newsletter, where we ask, what’s the one thing you’re struggling with in your practice?
If I have to list one thing that I was struggling with, I would probably have to list discipline (or focus). Life is hectic and there is tremendous amount of info coming down the pike to sort through every day.
This is something I can definitely relate to — I’m sure most of us can! Life gets busy, whether with school, work, kids, personal projects or all of the above — it can be difficult to carve out time to practice.
But it’s simple really, all you have to do is, you know, do it.
Easy peasy, right? You get excited, pumped, start getting really into it. You do all the things. You’re great! Centred, perfect, at the top of the world!
Until…you slip. And feel crappy because you feel like you can’t cut it, and beat yourself up over it. Which leads to avoidance. Which leads to more failure.
Aleister Crowley said that 90% of Thelema is self-discipline, and that applies to magical practice too. Here are a few things to think about to help you maintain momentum:
Five myths about Aleister Crowley debunked.
Barbara Moore explores the nuances of “cards of ending” in the tarot.
Speaking of tarot, here’s a great post for those getting started. Continue reading
Entering altered states of consciousness has a dramatic effect upon a ritual. Everything becomes more profound, from the smell of the incense, to the colour of the candlelight, to the feel of your wand in your hand. The objective here is not to enter into a full trance, instead these three techniques allow the ritual magician to expand their consciousness while remaining active on the material plane. They are well suited to everyday practical magick. None of the techniques described here require the use of drugs. Continue reading
After putting myself in too many people’s shoes, and seeing the world through everyone else’s eyes for too long, I start to become a warped and weary alien to myself. I no longer recognize my own face and I need to recharge. This is when I head to my studio to sit. Continue reading
Compassion and Meditation: The Spiritual Dynamic between Buddhism and Christianity, by Jean-Yves Leloup
Inner Traditions, 9781594772771, 165 pp., 2009
A French Orthodox priest teaching meditation in a Zen dojo, this might seem strange but such is the life of Jean-Yves Leloup. A long time practitioner of Hesychast, a Christian form of meditation, Leloup shares his experience in this form as well as his understanding of and connection to Buddhism. He believes that meditation without compassion is lacking something, and in the same thought that compassion without meditation is incomplete.
While it would be an oversimplification to attribute compassion to Christianity, and meditation to Buddhism, and try to combine them; Leloup does think that both systems contain both compassion and meditation, but that their differences and similarities can support each other. He is not alone; he briefly traces an interesting history linking Christian and Buddhist practices and ideologies in religious texts going back to the 1700′s. Continue reading