A lot of conversations about how to be a Wiccan or a Witch end up touching on the importance of meditation, of calming and controlling our reactiveness to situations so that we can stay “in the moment,” so that we can guide the magic through our own specific intent. Have you ever wondered why there is so much emphasis placed on a practice that many people struggle with? It’s because meditation is one way to gain self-awareness, a true awakening. Before we can master our gifts we must first be conscious of who we are and how we fit into the whole of existence. Spiritual Mastery is the road we must travel to become highly skilled in areas of spirituality, metaphysics, and the occult.
Before your eyes glaze over too much more, let me ask you a question…what does this road look like? Are you conjuring up images of sitting for hours on end in a saffron colored robe, eyes weeping from the smoke of thousands of incense sticks, repeating “oooommmm” until your throat is raw? Hey, if that works for you, GREAT, but is that the only way to achieve spiritual mastery? Obviously if I’m asking the question, I must have another perspective, don’t you think?
Let’s come at this from that other perspective. Do you cook? Most of us cook, even if it’s only for survival. Some of us can get quite good at it. We all have the capability to cook, but some of us actually strive to take it to a higher level. What separates those who barely cook from those who make it an art form? The answer is simple…only two words: daily practice. This doesn’t mean doing the same thing day after day for hours on end. Daily practice is actually devoting time and energy each day to learning and perfecting your craft. For the chef, this means more than just standing in front of the stove. Reading to learn recipes, watching cooking shows to see techniques in action, going to farms and markets to learn about ingredients, eating to develop a good palette, AND cooking are all potential tools for mastering this skill.
So you see, while meditation has been proven to be an effective tool for gaining spiritual mastery because it gets you to focus on being in the moment, it isn’t the only path. The keys to what you need to do are simple. The right tool (or tools) must include both focus and sustainability. What do you do that gives you the kind of singular focus we’re talking about? Runners talk about how when they’re running everything but their breathing and their stride just fades into the background. With something like archery, you focus on your breathing and the release. When folding paper cranes, you’re focusing on your breath and the shape coming out of the paper. Seeing a trend yet?
Whatever you choose to do to quiet your monkey mind (that part of your mind that always seems to be chattering away, sometimes screeching, sometimes throwing poop at you), remember that it must also be sustainable, something you can do day after day. Start small…think minutes rather than hours here. If you started going to the gym for 2 hours a day, is this sustainable for you? What are the odds that you’d get frustrated and give up? You don’t strap on running shoes for the first time and then run a marathon, and you don’t obtain spiritual mastery in moments (it’s a lifetime pursuit).
You also need to set the WHEN for your spiritual practice. If you’re not a morning person, getting up at the crack of dawn simply won’t be that successful for you. Think about it…we can all find 10 minutes a day for ourselves, right? Promise yourself those 10 minutes each day (but don’t beat yourself up if you have to skip a day, just pick up where you left off when you can), schedule them as part of that promise.
We’re not born spiritual masters, but that’s ok. Spiritual mastery is more about the journey than the destination anyway. Awakening to who you are and how you fit into the world around you isn’t easy, but nothing worth having ever is. As you begin this journey, you’ll see your relationship with yourself, your spirit, and even your life elevate and evolve. Ready to take that first step? Say it with me now….”ooooommmmm.”