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Archive for May 1st, 2014

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At some point as you pursue a spiritual path you will encounter the term “journeying”. A spiritual journey may take many forms and is not always what you expect it will be. This journey may be physical in component, such as a pilgrimage to a scared site or more surreal within the realms of consciousness and subtle body. Some of these are initiated and guided by shamans, witches, gurus, therapists or others who have been trained in such processes. Some are self-initiated through lucid dream work, meditation, astral travel or self-scanning.  These are those journeys of intent that we choose to set aside time and space to execute. These are also the journeys that become part of the tool box of learning we use as we build the scaffolding that supports our aspiration towards spiritual pinnacle. Whatever the vehicle of transport is, the intent is one of change, transformation and growth.

One of the primary contributors towards making the use of spiritual journeys effective and viable tools for spiritual growth is the way in which the consciousness responds to these inner travels and the expansion of that state into realms that are not of manifest reality. We remain in the waking realms of conscious thought for most of our day so that we can function in the physical world in the way that is expected and required. The forays into awareness of limitless and timeless space are those we encounter in a dream state as we leaving our physical state of awareness and entering into one that moves outside the boundaries of space and time. If disciplined sufficiently, this dream state can become one of lucid (or conscious) dreaming. The normal dreaming mind surrenders itself to the needs of the physical body for rest and unencumbered and unfettered is now able to move into the subconscious and beyond.

Those journeys we experience that are guided by the drum of a Shaman, the guided pathworking that is part of a workshop or ritual are a combined effort of the surrender of consciousness towards expanding awareness by the one embarking on the journey and the triggers of sound, spoken word, etc… of the one facilitating the experience. This is the reason that when a group participates in the same pathworking or shamanic journeying, there will be a variety of responses and reports regarding how deep the individual was able to go, the information received and whether it overtly “worked” or not. Suspending our state of alert consciousness is for most not always an easy task. Control factors largely in how flexible that surrender is. The element of trust looms large, particularly in a setting of guided or group work and as a society we have been conditioned to mistrust even our own self-guided experiences and their results.

Creating an environment that is conducive to allowing the consciousness to move freely and in an open and receptive manner and incorporating visual stimuli that is familiar and is associated with the goal at hand opens the inner paths that are part of the function of memory. Incorporating sound, as in the case of drumming for Shamanic journeying, creates a field of resonance that the seeker is carried upon energetically towards what is being sought. Toning, chanting, relaxing or atonal music produce the same results if constructed in careful manner to affect the ebb and flow of energy and the peaks and dips of consciousness. Stirring within something that resonates with those parts of ourselves that are not normally accessed in this way. The alert conscious states takes in the stimuli, processes it through the receptors of recognition as the subconscious opens revealing the memories and information that is more deeply anchored to what has entered into its deep waters.

Although the setting we create as we enter into a journey of consciousness often serves as the catalyst toward opening up the appropriate neural pathways, there is no need for a secluded space, candles or other ritual paraphernalia. We generally associate journeying only in the setting of spiritual growth, but the most common form of journeying is one that largely remains uncategorized. This is the journey we take while daydreaming-something that we all have engaged in at one time or another. Imagination and visualization factor highly into this experience and depending on how deeply you can disconnect from the mundane world surrounding you, can be as real and visceral in sensation as any physical experience would be. These are all the same components described in guided spiritual journeying, albeit in this form the steps are transparent as we slip into whatever world we have created.

Creating An Inner Temple

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One of my favorite forms of journeying is in using and writing Pathworkings.  Pathworkings take you on a journey through an inner landscape of keys that will unlock the stores of memory and bring to the ultimate destination of transformation. Actually, the writing of the Pathworking becomes a journey itself, as I allow my consciousness to open to being receptive as the setting, keys and environment unfolds, drawn up from the depths of the subconscious. The exercise below is a pathworking that incorporates physical and astral journeying in the creation of a Temple to be used for your personal inner work. Blessings on your journey!

Step One:

Turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow the space of your consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths; allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower. With each breath your physical body appears to become lighter and your center of consciousness floats upwards towards the inner eye. You feel enveloped by the mist of transition between the Physical and Astral. And as this veil thins you step through a veil of dark blue mist and find yourself standing centrally in a circular room. As you look around you see that this space opens out to a star lit night sky. The velvety blackness above holds a twinkling of starry light that fills the panoramic view above. The walls encircle you and are of a deep bluish purple.

Stand in this space and offer up the intent that it will mold and shape its interior to what your needs are. Now, take some time to decorate this space as you will. Add whatever you wish to this space that will make it uniquely your safe haven and sanctuary to visit and work within. With each new addition, breathe into that addition, empowering it with your own dynamic and energetic fingerprint.

When you have established the space to your liking, take a moment to look around at what you have created. Take a mental picture of how this space looks. Make note of the feelings evoked when you scan your creation and the anticipation you are feeling at the thought of return to this space to renew and practice your craft. Allow all of this energy to wash over and through you and as you scan the last object you feel the mist of veil forming around you. The clarity of your Temple begins to fade and you find yourself once again as observer looking at the blank inner screen colored in the veiling that just surrounded you. Breathe into this space as observer and the knowledge of gateway that is available at any time for your access. Bring your focus of awareness back into the pattern of breath- the rise and fall of your chest and the expansion and contraction of lung. Bring your awareness into the physicality of your body on chair or floor- the sounds of the space in which you are sitting. Breathe deeply and fully and when you are ready and fully re-anchored in your physical being, gently flutter your eyes open.

The Physical Foundation of the Journey

Allow several days to pass before you return to your Temple; but each day in between, call up the vision of what you have created, breathe into its structure and feel its enlivening within you. Now, envision what the outer doorway of your Temple looks like, if you were to approach it via a path. In a journal write down or sketch what the doorway of your Temple looks like. Add as much detail as possible. See it clearly in your mind’s eye on your inner screen. Now, write in your journal what you would like to accomplish within this Temple. This may be spell work, energetic practice, devotional or connecting with the Divine. These actions engage the physical you and call you to be attentive to what has been created in the inner realms. Do this consistently for the days leading up to your next journey to your Temple.

Step Two:

Now that you have established your Temple, sitting quietly where you will not be disturbed, begin again as you had in its building. Establish a relaxed and even pattern of breath, allowing your consciousness to float up to the third eye and your inner screen. As you sit observing this blank screen, envision yourself walking towards it. Each step creates a stone that forms a path leading to the doorway of your Temple. Continue walking as far as is needed, engaging your senses in the power of projecting this manner of manifestation within the astral.

When you finally arrive at the doorway to your Temple space, gently breathe into the space in front of you. Make note of its construction and any symbols that may adorn it. Does it resemble what you had crafted in your physical experience or has it changed? Allow whatever presents to hold dominance in your visioning and allow the doorway to open with the intent of your will. Step inside, take a moment to make note of any changes since you were last here. Breathe into each of these changes offering thanks for the deeper lesson that is unfolding within your consciousness that are represented by the changes here. And, now begin the work of your making.

When you have completed any given task you decide upon always take a moment to scan your surroundings, making note of any changes. Take some time to offer up thanks to the support of this space and any insights received. Return stepping through your doorway noting the sound of the door closing gently and securely behind you. The path of stone you created stretches ahead of you. Take a deep breath in and begin walking back on the path, reaching a few stones away and finding yourself enveloped in a gentle mist of transition. You step through and find yourself standing once again as observer of this inner screen. Breathe into this space as observer and the knowledge of gateway that is available at any time for your access. Bring your focus of awareness back into the pattern of breath- the rise and fall of your chest and the expansion and contraction of lung. Bring your awareness into the physicality of your body on chair or floor- the sounds of the space in which you are sitting. Breathe deeply and fully and when you are ready and fully re-anchored in your physical being, gently flutter your eyes open.

Other Resources:

The Healing Temple

Pathworking or Guided Meditation: Part 1

Pathworking or Guided Meditation: Part 2

Foundations of Practice: Journaling

Digital Image by Luke Bailey

 

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