An essay focusing on the Dedicant’s understanding of the meaning of the “Two Powers” meditation or other form of “grounding and centering,” as used in meditation and ritual. This account should include impressions and insights that the Dedicant gained from practical experience. (300 word min.)
Of all the kinds of grounding and centering I’ve tried, the two powers method is the one that I’ve experienced the most success with. At first I found it very difficult, especially depending on who led the meditation. It was hard for me if the guided portion didn’t go the same pace as what my mind was going. Normally things felt too slow for me. I’d be pulling the waters up and they’d reach all the way to my head before the speaker guiding the meditation would even have the waters reach our feet. I also had trouble with the guided two powers when the speaker would describe something differently than how I was seeing it. It was very jolting and would push me out of the meditation. I do really like the tree mentality though. It really helps me feel strong and firm. I’m able to pull energy up and center myself, but then also more able to ground it out after taking what I need.
I had much more luck with the two powers meditation after I had done it by myself. When I did it myself for the first time I could go and my own speed and the way I described things was exactly how I saw them. I began really getting it, and was finally able to work in group two powers meditation after I’d had an experience doing it by myself outside. I sat at the base of an old oak tree on Ohio State University’s campus. I was able to use the quiet mind techniques I talk about in the Mental Discipline essay to enter a calm state, and then I reached my energy into the tree. I used a real tree’s root to help guide my energy formed roots deep into the earth and pull the dark chthonic waters up to nourish me. I used the trees own tree and leaves to help guide my energy formed leaves to open and welcome the sunlight coming down. By using the tree to guide me, I got a feel for doing the Two Powers meditation and from that point on, because I had experienced with a guide first, I was able to more easily connect during a guided meditation. The script I wrote, included below, reflects this experience. I lovingly call it my Dryad Meditation, because of how you become one with the tree.
The Two Powers meditation I wrote for Three Cranes Grove’s Samhain 2010:
“Children of Earth, take a moment to calm your mind and body. Breathe deep and close your eyes. Listen to the sound of your own breathing. Hear your heartbeat thrumming inside you. Pause for a second and just listen.
See in your mind’s eye where you stand now, and picture yourself walking away from where you are. You’re walking towards a deep and old forest. Feel the cool, damp earth on your feet. As you enter the forest feel the cool autumn breeze brush your cheek.
Notice the sounds around you. A gentle rustling of leaves, perhaps from the wind, perhaps made by a squirrel bounding by. Notice the sunlight dappling across your face. A last breath of summer caressing your face, heartening you for the colder days ahead.
As you are walking deeper and deeper into the forest you suddenly come upon a clearing. There is a small pond in the middle of the glade surrounded by trees around the water’s edge. One of these trees calls to you and you glide over to it. Place you hands on the trunk and feel the rough bark against your palm. Feel the ancient wisdom emanating from it.
Turn and place your back against the tree. Feel yourself sinking into it, becoming part of the tree. Feel your toes mix with the roots twinning down into the earth. Allow you mind to follow those roots and tendrils as they creep ever deeper, until suddenly they plunge into the cool deep waters far below the surface of the earth. Use the knowledge of the tree to pull those waters up through your roots. Feel them approaching you, up and up, until they reach your toes.
Feel the waters pulsing up through your toes and heels, moving up your legs and pooling in your groin. Feel them surging up into your chest and down your arms. Feel your branches swelling and cool waters seeping into your fingers, your leaves. Feel the waters rush up and fountain out the crown of your head, your uppermost branches and leaves, and come cascading back down into the earth to soak back down cooling your roots again. Having taken your fill, feeling replenished, allow those cool, dark waters to bleed back down into the earth.
Again feel the wind brush through your hair, your leaves. Feel as the sunlight shines down on you, brightening and invigorating you. Allow your leaves to take in that bright, golden light. Let it convert to pure energy and infuse your head and chest with light and energy. Let it saturate your branches and flow into your finger leaves. Feel as it washes down through your groin and flows down you legs and energizes you down to your roots. Having absorbed as much light as your body will hold, let the remainder reflect back off you, back into the sky.
Feel how the combination of the cool waters and the bright light mixes within your body. Feel how it mingles and brings a new awareness to every essence of yourself. Let your attention drift over yourself from your roots, to your trunk, and on up to your leaves.
Let a breath of wind catch one of your leaves and watch as it drifts downward to land fall lightly into the pond. Watch as the water ripples outward from this light touch. Allow your awareness to follow this ripple outward and see as it collides with other, similar ripples. As you follow those to their source you see that they also come from fallen leaves.
Now seeing all these leaves in the water creating ripples that touch and rebound off your own, you notice all the other trees surrounding the pond. Reach out your awareness and sense that these trees are all part of this grove. Reach out and feel that you are not alone in this glade, but rather you are surrounded by the warmth of your kin. You are all here together.
Take a moment and allow this feeling of togetherness and oneness to soak into your mind, your heart, your bones and your soul. Listen to the breathing of those around you. Your hearts beat as one now.
With this new realization that you are here among family, you begin to disconnect your self from the tree, just as all those around you do. Wiggle your toes and separate them from the roots. Wiggle your fingers and feel the leaves fall away. Roll you shoulders, allowing you to step out of the tree and once again become your own self.
As you now look around you see that while before you came to this glade alone, you now are leaving among friends. It is time now to turn away from the glade and walk back out of the forest. Listen, as before to the sounds around you. You can now hear the laughter of friends, and you feel now not just the warmth of the sun, but the warmth of companionship. As you break out of the forest and head back towards you body here keep that feeling that you are now one with the people around you.
Now, step back into your body and take deep breath to settle yourself back in. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Now begin moving your arms and legs just a little as you feel yourself come back to this place. Here, among kinfolk, we may now move on with the work we have for today.”