Saturday, May 2, 2015

Nothing New Under the Sun - Asa Meditation

Things come and things go but so much remains the same, or at least they are similar.  Meditation is one of these things, something that mankind has done since at least the mastery of fire.  As humanity progressed, methods were exchanged and modified to meet a certain group's needs (and sometimes the claim was made that the method was brand spanking new and original).  The mystery schools of Egypt taught a form of meditation, as did those in Babylon, Greece, and Rome.  These four societies in that order, heavily influenced the Hebrew mystics and through them, Christianity.

Secular history tells us that in the early years of Christianity their numbers were not just miniscule but was composed of many varying sects, all boasting that theirs was the true faith.  One of those sects was known as the Gnostics.  And, the Gnostics embraced the interior life, also known as meditation and contemplation.  After Emperors Constantine and Theodosius I, orthodox Christianity won the crown and eliminated the other sects.  It was at this time that orthodox Christianity really began to hammer out creed, doctrine, and dogma; rigidity set in like a dead man with rigamortis. One of the things that was tossed out was anything remotely similar to meditation and contemplation. But, there was a group of desert monks living in caves who continued the practice.  Somehow over time, this too was lost.  It was lost until in the twentieth century, a fellow by the name of Basil Pennington revived the practice.  

Pennington was a Trappist monk, priest, and scholar who did not win any praises from the Vatican for his efforts (Pennington was a contemporary of Thomas Merton).  He called his modified meditation process Centering prayer and this process, when modified for today's Asatruar, can work quite well.  Below is the Asatru method I've developed.

The first step is by far the most personal; your personal Word.  This Word can come from the Eddas, Sagas, the Havamal, the Voluspa, or the name of a God or Goddess.  The important thing is that this Word is holy and sacred to YOU.  This Word will help you keep your mind quite and focused. Obviously, this Word will take some time to find but it should not keep you from starting the process. Here is a hint that you may find useful:  how many names does Allfather have?  Another:  what are Thor's sources of Power?  And one more:  what of Frigga and her handmaiden Goddesses?  

The second step is to find a comfortable place that is quiet and free from distractions.  A fire, if possible would be a good thing (but not necessary), along with an adult beverage or two.  As you sip your beverage, relax and quiet your mind, and silently say your Word a few times to yourself.  Armed with your Word, you can add a brief reading, a passage or two from any of the above mentioned texts (this may  be a good idea if you still do not have your Word - remember this Word is YOURS).

The third step is to close your eyes and let the silence overtake you.  If you feel your mind slipping away, silently repeat your Word; this will help you to focus.  The time and frequency that you spend in this Asatru meditation is up to you.  But over time, it can help you to live a fuller life as an Asatruar, and possibly bring you even closer to living the Nine Noble Virtues.

At this time there is something that must be said.  There are those so-called purists out there who will say, "That stuff is Christian and I ain't gonna do it."  These folks need to get over this attitude.  I modified Pennington's method for Asatruars to use.  Pennington modified a many centuries old method to use by people of all stripes in the twentieth century.  His source, those ancient monks, got the method from some other older guys, and those guys got it from even older guys.  And I can tell you, that those really old guys were not Christian.  So give it a rest; there is nothing new under the Sun.  

                                                    Copyright @2015 Terry Unger  


New Book !

Coming soon to an 'Amazon Bookstore' near you:  My latest book  ...  Nick Hammer - The Preacher's Son.  When blind faith comb...