Meeting held on Tuesday 9th May.
Attendees: Teller, Vyvyan, Briseilid, Cyberdragon, Velvet, Locksley.
Special guest writer is also the same man who led the meeting, Teller!
Teller talked about how all mystical traditions seem to have a meditative component, so the history is a bit hard to unravel – but there’s a powerful imagined history that says that in old Aryan/Vedic/proto-Hindu rites, there used to be a practitioner whose only job was to hold a perfect version of the ritual in their mind. There’s also the gayatri mantra (which crops up at the start of BattleStar Galactica) which can be translated as asking for a blessing on meditation. He talked about the jump from Hinduism to Buddhism, the spread of Buddhism into Tibet and further East, culminating in the austere practices of Zen.
We discussed the benefits of these styles of meditation – of being more in the moment, more present, more focussed, but also of the idea that one could realise the ultimate one-ness of Brahman (God) and Atman (Soul) by really intense meditation.
We also discussed middle-eastern mysticism. Teller said some stuff about The Zohar (a body of Jewish mysticism) which now he’s looked at his notes may not be entirely accurate. Ooops. And the origins of Sufism as first a philosophical and then a mystical practice. This fed into Judaism and Christianity, and Vyvyan will pick up here next time.
We did some Metta Bhavana – a Tibetan meditation of compassion, and talked about what that like. (Self, teacher, loved one, stranger, challenger, self, all sentient beings.)
A Metta Prayer –
may I be free from suffering
may I know my wholeness
may I dwell in the heart.
We had a lot of crisps, and talked a fair amount about Druid ritual. There was some talk about how we might get more intense experiences of the sacred or liminal in our ritual – most of those present expressed a desire to practice or develop our rituals further.