Understanding Spirit Work vs Meditation
With many holistic practitioners offering meditation, it is important to understand exactly what you are participating in. Here is a quick explanation of the difference between meditation designed for overall well-being and meditation designed to connect with the spirit world.
Many people are seeking a quiet mind and strategies to combat fear and anxiety, and there are many types of meditation that will serve this purpose. The average person seeking this method for improved well-being may not wish to engage in any spiritual practices. In fact, the correlation between spirituality and meditation can keep those who are adverse to spiritual practices away from meditation, which is unnecessary if the difference is understood.
Meditation for relaxation typically involves breathwork, visualization techniques, and mantras or phrases to focus the mind. The goal is to achieve a quiet mind, relaxed body, and a sense of inner peace. It should be noted that benefits of meditation expand far beyond the above mentioned, but that is a good starting place.
Spirit-based meditation can also achieve similar benefits, but adds the element of connecting with the spirit world in some way. This may include connecting with angels and spirit guides or simply entering into non-ordinary reality. In shamanism, we typically journey to the other worlds known as the upper, middle, and lower world. Anytime a doorway or other threshold is used in meditation, this is a gateway to the spirit world. The participants are voluntarily entering into a place of unseen energies and spirits. When led by a highly trained teacher, these types of meditations become an invaluable tool for those seeking a spiritual path. Highly qualified teachers of spirit work are trained to keep students as safe as possible. However, it is my belief that no teacher can or should ever claim that safety is guaranteed. There is always an element of risk when working in the spirit world. As a shamanic practitioner, I see this over and over again with clients who have inadvertently become entangled with an unwanted energy. Sometimes this can be an unrested deceased person and sometimes it is something far more sinister. It is not my intention to fear-monger, but instead to be truthful and upfront. I respect the different teaching styles and belief systems of those who work professionally in this field. I am not challenging that, but sharing what I know from my own experience and training. To be blunt, the spirit world is not all love and light. Proper training is the key in helping to prevent unwanted experiences. Be sure the person who is leading the meditation is highly qualified and reputable.
What about chakra clearing meditations? I am a big advocate of energy clearing practices. However, it should be known that working with energy centers and "healing" energy of some kind is indeed a spiritual practice. While most of the time this is very safe, one should ask a few simple questions. If healing energy or light is being used in the meditation, where is it being sourced from? Is it one's own inner light? If not, then is it from the heavens, the stars, the earth? What is your relationship with this energy? In other words, know what you are inviting to enter your body!
If you are unsure about a meditation practice, education is the best insurance. Do your research. What type of meditation are you exploring? What are the qualifications of the teacher? What is the purpose of the meditation? Don't be afraid to ask the teacher questions prior to engaging in the practice.
I hope this is helpful to those of you exploring the world of meditation and spirit work. Be well and be safe.
May the blessing of light be on you,
Shamanic Practitioner, Usui and Celtic Reiki Master/Teacher, and owner of Sea in the Sky, LLC