Earlier in the year, I helped to form a fledgeling coven with three other people. Currently, our coven still consists of the four of us, as we’ve decided to work out more details of the nature and purpose of our coven before we start taking in other members. But we’ve been meeting for study, discussion, and ritual on a regular basis since June. It’s been a rewarding experience.
Last night, I had the privilege of leading the others in a short meditation. I wrote out the basic meditation I developed and used in my last post. It went well, and the others found the experience moving and refreshing. We sat around and everyone shared a bit about what they experienced and what insights they gained from the meditation. I always love that part of a group meditation exercise.
Towards the end of the discussion, Jenna asked me if I went on the meditation when I led it or if I was too busy being the “tour guide.” I indicated that I didn’t go on the meditation, as I was too busy concentrating on what I was doing leading the group through the exercise. However, her question did give me a chance and pause to consider what does happen to me when I lead a meditation. While I didn’t find myself walking along or standing in the river, I wasn’t merely sitting there in a normal state of conscience.
It occurs to me that when I lead a guided meditation like that, I tend to enter into a meditative state of a slightly different sort. I find myself focused on leading the others. I find myself focused on the words I’m speaking, choosing them carefully. (While I usually have a strong sense of where the meditation is going and what I’m going to say, I don’t have a script.) I find myself feeling out the volume and tone of my voice, the cadence of my words. I find myself intuitively gauging the rhythm of the overall meditation and the atmosphere of the room.
One of the things I’m always amazed about by this process is that the meditation itself seems to enforce it’s own pauses. I often find myself about to speak after a pause, to guide the meditation along, only to have find myself not yet able to speak. It’s as if there’s a gentle force keeping me silent, letting me know that it’s not quite time yet. Then I get the sense that it’s safe to speak again, that the moment has passed and it’s safe to move on.
I know there are those who are quite adept at leading meditations and can actually make the same journey they are guiding others through at the same time. At this point, I’m not there. Maybe some day I’ll operate like that. But for now, I find myself going to a different place, a place where the process of leading becomes my own meditation.