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Posts Tagged ‘visualisation’

Tree as Vajra

‘Vajra’ means ‘ thunderbolt’ or ‘diamond sceptre’. ‘Vajra’ is the Indian Sanskrit name. In Tibet it is known as a ‘dorje’. Like many of the symbols of Tibetan Buddhism, it has a long lineage. It probably derives from the attribute and weapon of the early Indian sky and storm god, Indra, the primary deity of ancient Indian peoples. Like the ‘phurba’ or ‘iron nail’ it has precedents in shamanic practice for dispelling and controlling spirits.

The vajra is the symbol of the emergence of the universe. It clearly echoes the form of a tree. The central point of the vajra is the sphere, symbol of the primordial creative void, the true nature and source of both emptiness and form. This is the seed or the heart (the core or the trunk) of the Tree of the Universe.

From here arises the first manifestations of energy: the primal elements and their interactions. This is where the trunk begins to divide into separate boughs and roots.

Next, the vajra expands further into clearly separate parts, the spokes or tines, each dividing into apparently distinct entities and individualities in time and space. These qualities of time and space come about through the apparent separation of form and emptiness – represented in the vajra by the alternating bands of metal.

The enclosed space within these tines echo the shape of the original, central sphere – the true nature of all apparent manifestation is that nothing other than this exists. This void is recapitulated as each tine returns to unite in a final point where all individuality and difference merge together once more.
The branches and roots of the tree spread out from the point of origin, yet in terms of both electromagnetic energy patterns, movements of the water cycle and other natural processes within the tree, the divergent manifestation forms a closed circuit of energy, a continual return to the source and then further outward expansion.

The universal balancing harmony of the vajra shape, together with its dynamic, wrathful, feel make it a powerful symbol for protection and unity. We can develop a visualisation process that mimics and manifests the energy of tree as vajra within our own energy fields.
This has a spontaneously balancing and purifying effect.

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TREE VAJRA VISUALISATION

It is not so important where you ‘place’ this visualisation. It may be clearly superimposed upon or within your own body, or it may be easier to see it just within your mind. Do what feels easiest at first, and with familiarity integrate the imagery more clearly within your sense of body, time and space.

2. It will always be more anchoring to begin with an actual tree. One that is present, or one that you know well.

3. In these exercises it will always be better to visualise yourself with a luminous egg-shaped energy surrounding and containing your physical form. Seeing yourself simply as that luminous form with no physical characteristics is sufficient, and may be easier to imagine that seeing “yourself’. Such an image allows the experience of more subtle levels of sense information and a clearer interaction with other levels of awareness.

4. Form an idea or image of the tree you feel you can work with, ( one that seems appropriate, or one that comes to mind as you begin to settle down).

5. In your energy form, consciously move closer towards the tree until you find at a certain distance you begin to enter the atmosphere or awareness of the tree itself.

6. At this place, pause, and greet the tree energy, asking permission to continue with the exercise. (if there is a clear refusal, you may need to work with a different tree energy or centre and ground yourself some more).

7. Move towards the tree until you pass through and into the trunk. Stay still and integrate with the feelings.

8. Become aware not just the trunk where you are, but also the boughs and branches way above your head, and the roots spreading deep beneath your feet.

9. Upon this, superimpose an image of a clear, bright, white vajra, with one end in the topmost branches and the other going to the deepest roots. You will see yourself more or less positioned at the centre of the vajra.

10. Now reduce the size of the vajra so that it is wholly within your body. Take it down to the size that fits inside one of the main chakras ( allow it to go to whichever one it chooses, heart or solar plexus will be most likely).

11. Now enlarge the vajra again so that it reaches from the crown chakra, just above the top of the head, to the Earth Star about a metre below your feet. Maintain this image for a while.

12. Next reduce the vajra size a little so that its two ends are at the crown and the root chakra. Now rapidly expand the vajra, or sense that it grows in size, moving both up and down to fill the whole of the tree once again.

13. Allow any precise imaginings to dissolve. Simply rest in the space of the tree and vajra energy. Let any communication with the tree spirit or any healing, purifying and balancing processes take place now.

14. When you are ready, become aware of your body again within the tree.

15. Imagine yourself leaving the tree trunk, walking out into the world again. At the tree boundary, turn and say thank you. Return to your normal focus.

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This is the first of a series of related meditation exercises that were created and presented in Japan last month. It can be done very quickly, or it can be made into a main practice. It will be especially useful for those who feel out of balance or struggling with aspects of their environment they find challenging and difficult.

WALKING INTO A TREE (PURE EMPTINESS TREE)

Emptiness presents no resistance, no opposition. Everything flows through freely and maximum harmony is maintained.

1. It will always be more anchoring to begin with an actual tree. One that is present, or one that you know well.

2. Form an idea or image of the tree you feel you can work with, ( one that seems appropriate, or one that comes to mind as you begin to settle down).

3. In your energy form, consciously move closer towards the tree until you find at a certain distance you begin to enter the atmosphere or awareness of the tree itself.

4. At this place, pause, and greet the tree energy, asking permission to continue with the exercise. (if there is a clear refusal, you may need to work with a different tree energy or centre and ground yourself some more).

5. Move towards the tree until you pass through and into the trunk. Stay still and integrate with the feelings.

6. Become aware of the edge of the tree trunk, where the living cells are. Be aware of the quiet central spaces of the trunk of the tree. Visualise these as a large, hollow space. Allow your own body boundaries and aura and those of the tree to become the same, so you are just aware of an inner space with edges at the outer boundary.

7. Now imagine from above the top of the tree, open to the universe, that the energy of space, the element of akasha, flows down into your energy tube, swirling and flowing with indigo and starlight. Feel the expansive,opening energy sweep through your whole being from top to bottom, from head to foot, from branches to roots. When it has filled your inner space allow it to concentrate at the outermost boundary, as if forming a new layer of tree bark. See it as a layer of intense indigo, or midnight blue.

8. Now return your attention back up to the top of the tree, open to the universe. See a refreshing flow of air, of wind, of breezes, with a vibrant green colour, sweep down filling and cleansing all the inner space, sweeping away all imbalances. Fill your inner space completely and the see the green energy of air concentrate at the outer boundary, on the inside of the indigo layer of akasha.

9. Return your attention to the upper end of your hollow awareness tree and see a forceful white flow of water rush downwards bringing clarity and openness. See that energy sweep round and cleanse every part of your inner space. Then see it concentrate in a layer of white energy on the inside of the green layer of air.

10. Return your attention to the upper end of your hollow awareness tree and now see a downward rush of fire, a tumble and roar of flames, red in colour, fierce and powerful. See it purifying, transforming, consuming all imbalances. See the red flames fill the whole of your inner space, then let it concentrate as a layer of vibrant red colour on the inside of the white layer of water.

11. Return your awareness to the upper end of your hollow tree awareness and see it fill with a deep, rich yellow of the element of earth. See that clean, nurturing energy fill all your inner spaces, settling and repairing, reestablishing order and harmony. Finally, let the energy of the earth element flow out to form and concentrate as a layer of vibrant yellow on the inside of the red layer of fire.

12. Focus for a moment on the five protective layers that form the boundary of your hollow tree awareness. Then relax and let the imagery fade. You are now just standing within the tree again.

13. Imagine leaving the tree, walk out into the world. Turn and thank the tree for its kindness and support. Return to normal awareness.

—–

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HAWTHORN

“warm breath
dark cave
summer stars.”

No smell so captures the atmosphere of early summer in Britain than the hawthorn blossom. It has a heavy, sweet, erotic earthiness that seems ideal for the burgeoning of life around the beginning of May when the branch-tops become laden with a layer of white, cream or pink flowers. Hawthorn is a tree long associated with earth spirits – the fairies in particular – and with the Earth Goddess. It is a small tree that never attains a great girth or height, though it suits its habitat of open scrubland, woodland margins and open moorland. It is one of the main hedging plants as it can survive heavy pruning and forms dense thorny barriers of angular branches. The wood is heavy and fine-grained, though not as hard as blackthorn or other fruit woods. It’s often contorted and expressively gnarled form gives each tree a personality and presence less easy to find in other species. Despite its rugged and wild appearance during the winter months, it has an aura of benevolence throughout springtime, summer and autumn when the branches are laden with small, dark red berries. Hawthorn somehow manages to express the epitome of the Threefold Goddess and the sequence of time marked by seasonal change. Herbally and energetically hawthorn benefits the heart by regulating any abnormal activity. Its generosity of expression in flowers and fruit and the guarded protection of its compact form and fierce thorns perfectly characterises the needs of the heart in opening to relationships with love whilst maintaining appropriate boundaries between the self and others. There are many sub-species and types of hawthorn, all of which work alongside the qualities of the heart, love, expression of emotion, personal path, universal consciousness, intimacy, relaxation, expansion, richness of the senses, relaxing into the experience of living.

*****

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HAWTHORN BREATH
Breathing in: upon a constant stream of moving breeze from the distance in a straight line into the centre of the back (at heart level).

Breathing out: upon the stream as it emerges out of the front of the centre of the chest.

TREE TEA
Hawthorn flowers soothe sore throats. The bark is a mild tranquilliser that can help with fevers and malaria. Flowers, leaves and bark all regulate heart function bringing elasticity to blood vessels, reducing palpitations and giddiness.

******

HAWTHORN GODDESS

Attraction of atoms,
Mesmeric swing of electrons,
Neutron heart –
The yearning of gravity.

The constant dance of suns and planets,
The magnetic tide of the years,
Pulling green fire
Furled from rock-bleak branch.

Lying warm in lust nest
Dreaming of you,
Shining one.

Nesting in warm lust,
Weaving dream,
Shining one.

Clasped together
Magnetic dance,
Heart sharp drop.

Star for stone
Blood for thorn
Bud for spring
Attraction, fascination.

Root to soil
Iron to Pole Star
Spiralling inwards
Spiralling outwards.

Dancing hearts
Bud to heaven.


****

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MIDLAND HAWTHORN

Expansion into heart, growth, direction, awareness, enthusiasm, fractal patterns, inward expansion, thousand-petalled

Inward expansion
Heart mother
Thousand petals.

Expansion inwards
Open fractals
Thousand petals.

Inner expanse
Heart mother
Fractal patterns.

Inner expanse
Heart mother
Fractal petals.


****
Midland Hawthorn Breath:

Breathing in: bring the breath in to the heart.
Breathing out: see the breath expanding out from the heart as a growing sphere. At its furthest, outermost edge, there is a sense of stars.

****
The Hawthorns all work with the energy of the heart. The heart is the centre, the core, of a thing, the place from which everything expands and originates. The first often gets swamped by the second, the third, the succeeding experiences that explore and elaborate in greater and greater complexity and originality. It is easy to get swept along with the new until there is so much to experience simultaneously that we grow tired of having to make choices, decisions, changes. We lose sense of control, sense of perspective and are overwhelmed by possibilities. Yet we have travelled so far away from where we started that it seems impossible to find a way back to a simple, honest, central point. Midland hawthorn helps us to experience a return to the centre, focusing energy and awareness in one place so that we can see the chaotic whole for what it is. Chaos and lack of order is simply looking at things from an inappropriate distance. Getting closer or going further away patterns will begin to emerge that we can recognise and follow.
Within infinity every possible point is the central point, and within that central point everything else is enclosed: expanding inwards, remaining in the centre, patterns unfolding endlessly. A small tree that becomes the universe. A wavy-edged leaf becomes a map directly to one’s goal. The music of the heart beating.

****

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Birch Breath

“Bone white
birth reveals
all in beauty.”

The birch is amongst the most graceful of trees. Its white bark and long elegant boughs, often with down-swept branches, make it easy to see from a distance wherever it might be growing. Birch is a pioneer tree inhabiting the poor, rocky soils of heath land and lower mountainside. Living on the edges of the inhabited world of man it is easy to associate the tree with the spirits of the wild, particularly female lunar and fertility deities. In keeping with its character as a liminal dweller on thresholds the birch carries associations that appear contradictory but elucidate its significant role and symbolism.

The ghostly white bark represents both light and life- the power of life to conquer and regenerate, to give birth and flourish – and also of the cold, lifeless bones of the dead, the dwellers of the Otherworld and the ancestors. In the Scottish Highlands the birch is sometimes seen as a benevolent female spirit, a dangerous, devouring witch or a home for the spirits of dead girls. This symbolism may well reflect an ancient association with the Great Goddess, whose aspects included the nurturing fertile Mother at the same time as the ravening destructive force of War and Destruction. She is the Mother who goes to all lengths to protect her offspring from harm.

The name ‘birch’ derives from the same Indo-European root words as ‘light’, ‘shining’, ‘bright’. But birch also shows that all beauty is balance, for the white purity of the bark splits to reveal black underneath. There is no birth without death, no light without darkness, no beginning that is not also an ending. We cannot rest our eyes on true beauty until we accept the whole interaction of life with death, until we stop favouring, stop judging, stop comparing. The oldest traditions of the Great Mother are uncompromising in their clarity. All aspects of human experience, good and bad, are manifest in Her forms and faces. There is no possibility of compromise with human frailties or wishful thinking if we want to attain a true state of clear, birch-like awareness.

Breath:
Breathing in through the solar plexus.
Breathing out, imagining the breath swirling around the inner walls of the body(as liquid swirls around a vessel).

Tea: All parts are useful, including the rising sap in early spring which can be tapped to make an excellent wine. The bark is diuretic and laxative. The leaves are high in potassium so taken together with the bark can prevent the sodium-potassium imbalance that can occur when taking other diuretics. Both the leaves and the sap are anti-inflammatory and are useful for arthritic conditions and skin irritations like psoriasis. The buds can be used in cases of cystitis (the alkalising effects of potassium helpful here as well).

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Tree at the Earth’s Core.

If you have worries or concerns, particularly with things that are larger than your own influence, offer then up to the heart of the planet with this exercise. A solution or answer may surface in your mind.

Sit comfortably and relax into the weight and gravity of your physical body.

Allow your awareness to sink downwards into the ground and to extend as searching roots.

At the same time as establishing a web of roots spreading in a downwards and outwards direction, visualise and feel a vigorous taproot of your consciousness diving strong and straight, down towards the very centre of the planet.

As your root system becomes strong and established, really begin to focus on that deep thrusting taproot.

It dives through soil, subsoil and rock. It is sure and strong of the pull of the earth’s core. As you attend to this energy picture you may be aware also of many different levels of all sorts of possible scenes, landscapes and matter as your awareness dives towards the heart of the planet.

When you reach that central point of energy, allow as much as you need to flow into your body. You are of the Earth’s body, made of its energy. Be aware of this unbreakable bond with this planet. Allow your awareness to settle and take comfort from belonging.

When ready, allow the imagery to fade and return to the here and now.

***
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Complete Rootedness

This can be very useful when there is a sense of dislocation in our energy – such as too much head activity or when grounding is difficult because of strong thoughts or emotions.

Begin by taking a moment to relax body and breath.

Allow awareness to follow the gentle pull of gravity.

Allow the roots of your awareness to expand from all parts of your body.

First, feel the roots of energy grow and spread from your toes and feet. When this process is underway, move your attention up the body.

Allow the roots to descend from the base of your spine. Really feel your awareness root into the ground as if it were a continuation of your physical blood and nerves.

Feel the weight of your fingers and arms. Roots of awareness and secure, grounded energy grow from them, down and out into the earth.

Feel your chest and back expand and contract as you breathe. Roots shoot from them simultaneously and lock your energy deeply into the ground.

Now roots of energy awareness spread over your head and from all your senses. You can feel them expand outwards into the earth from your ears, from your eyes, from your tongue, from your mouth and from the very top of your head.

Awareness from the whole of your body now extends and reaches down and around to create a total rootedness and groundedness to the earth.

Take time to focus on those parts where it seems more difficult to visualise the roots extending outwards.

When you are ready, gently allow the visualisation to fade and bring yourself back to your physical body.

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Tree: Roots and Branches.

This simple visualisation allows grounding and centring before then opening up awareness to more universal types of energy.

Begin by relaxing your body. Allow awareness to sink downwards to your contact with the ground.

Extend your awareness beyond the physical body to make searching roots that spread deeper and wider with each exhalation. Continue this process until you feel really secure and well-rooted.

Now with the intent to hold that sense of rootedness, focus on the top of your head. Feel the energy of the sun and the vast spaciousness of the universe gently drawing up your energy. Mould that expanding energy into the form of boughs and branches, growing in an ever-widening dome upwards and outwards.

Once you have a clear sense of these spreading branches, see if you can maintain in your awareness both the root system below your feet and the branches above your head. If it helps, you can visualise your body as the tree trunk holding in place and focusing the energy of root and branch.

When the imagery is comfortable and stable begin to sense and integrate the energies that each outgrowth of your awareness is receiving and releasing into its surroundings.

When it is time to stop, allow the imagery to fade and sit still to integrate the experience before resuming normal activity.

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