One of the common hang-ups we hear in the Cabal, both from new Postulants to veterans of magick coming to us for the first time is that they have extreme difficulty meditating. Further, astral projection, remote viewing and achieving an out-of-body state is near impossible for them. It doesn't have to be this way. There are many means by which to achieve the void mind without having to necessarily meditate in a conventional manner.
The very concept has been so pigeonholed and overthought that many individuals simply give up on the idea of ever being able to achieve it completely. Let's take a look at how this breaks down and how we can escape the trappings of conventional void philosophy.
In essence, the Void Meditation is a tool for helping us to achieve a non-biased perspective that is detached from our identity of self so that we may see ourselves more through the eyes of the divine. This creates a window into the subconscious and soul so that we can further identify and destroy blockages and bondage while also being able to reach into those cleansed aspects of self and harness inner power to move as desired. This can be accomplished in myriad ways, but some of the simpler in form, but no less impressive in function shall be covered.
The kaihōgyō, or "circling the mountain" is a common practice performed by Tendai Buddhist monks. This is a walking meditation in which the monk spends the day walking a path around the mountain; climbing and descending cliffs and steep drops, trekking over and around hills, wandering through the forests and doing so while most times visiting sacred sites at various intervals for further reflection and rest.
I’m not saying this is what you must do, though it certainly would be enjoyable. However, what I’m making note of here is that walking meditations, even walking to the local party store on the corner can present the opportunity for such a meditation. As you walk, take in the sounds and sights around you. In the most mundane of ways, this could be a path you walked a thousand times before, but when you are performing kaihōgyō, dedicate an extra bit of yourself to immersing yourself in your surroundings. This may even be in the midst of a blighted, urban wasteland. However, remove your usual responses and rediscover this path as if it were for the very first time. Clear your head, smell the aroma in the air, feel the wind on your skin, close your eyes and allow the sun or even the darkness of night to envelop you. Walk rhythmically; each step in time with your breathing, release your anxiety and worries. Enjoy the world around you. This is the first phase. You’re learning to just be you in your environment. No other forces exist beyond yourself in that place, in that moment.
Another common form of meditation is so cosmopolitan that it’s easily overlooked. The spa treatment. When you’re relaxing in the tub or at a spa; immersed in aromatic waters or under the hand of a masseuse. The calming music and pleasant chromo atmosphere is a wide gateway for us to not only relax, but to also take the time to observe how these stimuli affect us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This is the second phase: learning to understand how you function internally in non-physical means.
Hobbies of any sort can be therapeutic and spiritually rewarding. We immerse ourselves in a purpose. This creates for us a means by which to channel our energy and intention. It doesn’t have to be seen as such separate arts. Gardening, building models, painting, making music or writing, even cleaning our homes or polishing your boots can be both rewarding and calming. Why? Because we are not stressed nor do we have to necessarily succeed by achieving some expectation of quality at the end. On the contrary, you’re exerting energy and intention to accomplish what is before you. We do what we enjoy and it makes us feel good within and without. This is phase three: channeling energy and intention into accomplishing a task.
Now, let’s combine these into a fluid process by using the walking meditation as an example…
You have decided to meditate, yet you’re not feeling so confident with the results you’ve been having in your conventional meditations. The lotus seat is just too uncomfortable, mundane thoughts just keep invading your concentration, your roommate is watching television too loud and now that you’re sitting here in this boring posture and unable to move, you feel the wind really leave your sails and you yawn. You’re growing tired. Not even necessarily tired from being awake, but from this. Your body is tired from work and the gym. Your head has been pounding all day from the sound of industry and technology buzzing and whining in the depths of your mind. Noise from idle speech, advertisements and every fan and motor in your apartment is maddening.
Therefore, you lace up your shoes and you grab your jacket. As you step outside, there is a cool breeze in the air and the sky is overcast. There’s even a faint wisp of cold wetness that touches your face; the remnants of the misty rains from the storm earlier. You know of a path that’s about a mile long that wraps through your neighborhood, so you begin your walk.
As you begin, you turn your attention to the sound of the chilled winds breaking through the trees, the rolling leaves along the sidewalk, and the few drops of rain that splash against your jacket. You take in the colors of the world around you; the autumn colors mixed against a neutral, greyed out blue-violet-orange and red evening sky painted divinely as if by the gods in watercolor. The wind, being brisk and moist with the softest whisper of a chill awakens your once-tired being. The wind in your hair and filling your nostrils is pure and welcomed. The colors of autumn are calming and entrancing; reminding you of your youth as you played for hours with neighbors and friends. You feel just as alive as the wind and the earth, as pure as the gentle rains, as suitable to transform as the changing colors of the leaves. You’re unaware of yourself as your conscious mind is existing purely in the world around you. You are so singularly focused on immersing your consciousness in the atmosphere that you’ve forgotten about keeping pace or breathing, yet all is perfectly aligned. There is no exertion and you require no effort whatsoever to maintain this surreal state of awareness or your normal bodily functions. You are one with the earth, rain, grass, trees, leaves and sky. You are simply being.
As you walk through your neighborhood in this heightened state of spiritual oneness, you close your eyes as you move along the pathway over a small wooden bridge over a brook in the local park. You not only know the path, but you’ve become one with the path. It is effortless to walk, even with eyes closed. Every step falls into perfect placement and alignment with where you know you must go. The sound of the waters rolling over rocks and into other little waves beckons you for a moment as if some siren’s song was too alluring to deny. You pause for a moment to kneel down and reach in. The cold waters are exhilarating so you cup some of it and splash it over your face. You’ve never been so alive, so purified and never as present in anything as you are in that very moment. There, by the brook you are the wind and the water, the earth and the fire. You are divine for the divinity of the earth has touched you.
Her elements embrace you as you finish the last steps of your walk. As you stand once more at your doorstep, you return to your awareness of you, there, at the apartment. In that moment, you realize how clear your mind is, how healed your body is; lacking any ghost of the headache or muscle aches you felt earlier. You’re alive and bold, thankful to the earth for her blessings. A part of you wants to take another lap around or even go wandering further from your usual route. Yet, you choose to wait. The atmospheric secrets and their blessings shall be revealed another time.
Examine this for a moment. Each phase was addressed and the result was also firmly sealed as you accomplished the very goal of Void Meditation: clarity of mind was achieved as well as both purification and healing of the body, the mind and the spirit. It all came down to immersing yourself in all that which was outside of yourself without regard for yourself. By becoming one with the elements during the walk, you removed your focus from “I have to do this and that…” You removed the sense of it being a chore and you also allowed your consciousness to drift beyond the mundane trappings associated with being within ourselves.
It is my sincere hope that you will take this lesson and learn to apply its very core message to all that you do in both the mundane and the spiritual.