The conversation of how important developing the practice (and yes, it is a “practice”) of meditation is when it comes to studying magick has come up recently. Being a long time practitioner of both, it is my opinion that the two go hand in hand together. Yet I am often surprised that this is not the general perception of all magickally orientated people. The reason for this seems to relate to how the word “meditation” is actually interpreted.
The dictionary meaning of “meditation” tends to refer to being engaged in an act of “contemplation or reflection”, as well as to “engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness”.
When looking at meditation from a magickal perspective, there is actually no evidence found within the medieval grimoires to suggest such a practice was used, save for prayer. Therefore this indicates that magick can certainly be performed without meditation. However, considering the benefits that meditation can bring to the individual alone, I am personally of the view that when the practice of meditation is included to one’s magickal practice then the latter is brought to a completely different level.
Without focusing too much on the overall health benefits of regular meditation practice, the benefits for the magickal practitioner can be equally as immense. Meditation is, after all, the act of getting distracted from your focus, recognizing that when it happens, and then returning to the focus. This builds a knowledge of your own mind and mental process that will greatly aid with discernment: Discerning another voice from your own mind (ie, that of spirit, Deity, even your spiritual guide or “higher consciousness”), and discerning fantasy wishful thinking from real contact with the higher forces in the universe.
The control and knowledge of mind also helps in being able to shift into different states of awareness so that a gigantic “lets break reality” evocation to physical appearance is not necessary every single time you want to talk to the spirit you have a relationship with.
If you consider magick as more than just communication with spirits (be they Goetic spirits, Deity, guardian angels etc), but a process of initiation and unfolding towards divinity, then how much more important is this process?
Meditation can be a difficult practice to master, especially more so in our “ever-ready Instance” world. Meditation has also been dismissed by some magickal practitioners as “non-magickal”, especially when the preference is placed on the physical external “doing” as opposed to the non-physical internal “listening”. Yet when meditation is included into a magickal practice, when our focus in turned inward and the external distractions dissipate, often a much deeper reasoning behind the purpose as to why the external ritual is being performed in the first place can be revealed.
Most Monday evenings I run an open meditation circle at the Isian Centre of Metaphysics in Parafield Gardens which focuses on assisting attendees to develop the practice of meditation. Engaging in regular meditation is definitely something to consider if you are interested in bringing your own personal magickal practice to a different level, not to mention the health benefits it brings.