Practices & meditations

Physical sensing & grounding

There are four elements of Spirit, relating to four directions. These are fire, air, water and earth. These also relate to four aspects of every human being. Our body is earth, our emotions are water, our mind is air, and our will is fire. So physical existence, the earth element, is one of the four elements of Spirit, which balances the three other aspects of fire, water, and air.

It's important to consciously experience physical existence, rather than be too often in the clouds or all in your head. First begin with your own body. Consciously touch your body; you are touching the material embodiment of Spirit.

Next, practice body-sensing. In this practice, you sense each part of your body, with concentrated awareness, from head to toes. Start with the top of your head, then gradually bring your awareness-sensing down through each part of your physical body. It's good to do this while also being aware of your breath.

This exercise produces a grounding of consciousness energy into your physical body, and it will help you be more present in your body. To be consciously present in the physical world has to begin with your own body. And it's important to be grounded in your body, as well being grounded on earth. This practice is also important because it reconnects mind with body, and it helps develop our subtle senses. Also, we are learning to ground our spiritual and mental energies into physical existence.

The spiritual path is not a withdrawing from physical reality; because this physical world is spiritual! We are born to be here, to be fully present in our body and to realize Spirit in this world.

Earth grounding

This is a practice to mentally and emotionally ground oneself into the earth. Send your energy and consciousness down through your body and down through your feet. You remain present and sensing in your whole body, but you also make an energetic earth-connection and ground your energies into the earth. Become more physically present in your body and grounded in the earth. Re-connect yourself with the earth and the ground you stand upon. Use conscious out-breath to make this connection and to send a root of energy down into the earth.

Now feel your energy connection with the earth below, and become more energy-sensitive to the vitalizing and healing earth energies. With conscious in-breath, breathe in and receive the good energies of Mother Earth. Receive whatever energies you need from the Mother Earth. Let her give you both physical and emotional nurturance. Let her give you both love and healing. On each in-breathe receive these good energies into you.

Then, on each out-breath, give your love, your appreciation and your gratitude to the Mother Earth. So, receive all you need and give all you have. This is the Way. In this way, we become more and more harmonious with Earth and with all of nature.

This practice involves mind and senses, breath and energies. It is not merely a mental practice, nor something you just visualize. It does indeed involve mind and consciousness, and visualization can be a helpful part of this practice. But if done right, you will actually sense or feel the energies move through your body, both downward and upward. You will actually sense the earth energies and energetically feel more connected with earth.

Breathing consciously in harmony

Conscious breath is essential. Breath is Life. Breath is Spirit. So be conscious of your breath.

We can breathe consciously with the Earth, in harmony and in balanced rhythm with the Earth. Breathing with the Earth is also called 'The Mother’s Breath', and it can be done at any time. It is a conscious natural breath, which is healing and brings us into natural harmony. When we are in this breath, we become closer to the Earth's rhythm and to our own natural rhythm. We come into harmonious rhythm with the Earth and into a more balanced rhythm with all of natural life. We each are naturally part of the Earth and have come from Mother Earth. Therefore, our body, breath, heart and mind can always re-connect and re-attune with the Earth Mother. This breathing practice helps us return to the natural rhythm of the Earth.

Breathing with Mother Earth is basically simple. First begin by just being conscious of your breath. Don't try to change it; just be conscious of your breathing. Follow each breath, in and out, like you are watching gentle waves along a beach come in, and then out, and in and out, and so on. Just be conscious of your breathing flow, however it is, and let it flow naturally. Most important is to just stay conscious of your breathing, and this probably won't be just easy. It will require intention, consciousness, and persistent practice.

Next, while being conscious of your breathing, also become sensitive to the energy of Mother Earth – sensing and feeling the natural rhythm of the Earth coming from below you. This will be felt as a natural harmonious rhythm; known by medicine people as the heartbeat of Earth Mother, the natural rhythm of Earth. Yet don't expect to hear a large sounding beat; it's a subtle sense and feeling. But just having a subtle feeling of this is enough, so that your breathing will gradually resonate with this.

So now, as you are consciously feeling the natural rhythm of Earth, let your breath consciously come into harmony with this larger rhythm and resonance of the Earth. That is, while being aware of your breathing, also feel the greater natural rhythm of the Earth; and then just allow your breathing to gradually harmonize with this greater rhythm of the Earth. That's basically the practice. The harmonizing happens when you're aware of your breathing, while simultaneously feeling-sensing the Earth rhythm. You don't have to rush this, nor try too hard to make it happen. It's a gradual process of harmonizing by resonance, so usually it takes your breath at least a few minutes to harmonize with the Earth resonance, which depends on your consciousness of breath and your sensitivity with Earth.

This gradual harmonization of the breath is helped by consciously breathing deeply; but in a relaxed way. Take in full deep breaths of the Earth energy, feeling that you are taking in all of the good energies of Earth. Then, breathe out deeply and slowly, feeling that you are letting go of all unnecessary past energies. We have to let go of old energies, before we have room for new energies. Keep breathing consciously and deeply, while feeling that you are gradually harmonizing with the resonating rhythm of Mother Earth.

Your conscious, slow, deep breathing will gradually harmonize with the rhythm of living Earth. Your breath will also become more balanced in its rhythm; meaning that your in-breath and out-breath will become evenly balanced. Balanced breath can be nurtured along, by counting or chanting 4 beats in and 4 beats out, but you can also just feel it when it's coming into balance. You'll know when your breath is more in harmony, when it feels relaxed, peaceful, harmonious, and evenly balanced.

Yet, in the process of this harmonizing with Earth rhythm, there may be moments when you need to quickly breathe-in air or energy. These moments won't feel harmonious, but they are nonetheless needed in the process. So let it happen. Let your breath take-in deep inhales of air, taking in all the energy needed in this moment. And then release in deep exhales any held tensions or stresses. So, there will also be moments when tensions and stresses need to be released through your conscious out-breath. Let go of these on the out-breath. Let it go with a swoosh or an aah. Such moments may not feel harmonious or peaceful, but these releases of energy will lead to a more harmonious and balanced breath.

Therefore, just let your breath take-in energy when it feels needed, and then release energies when it's needed. This is part of the process towards harmony. So let all this happen how it does; it's all part of the process. Don't judge anything; it doesn't have to happen in any particular way. It doesn't have to always feel harmonious or balanced. But if we are conscious through these moments, and allow what's needed to complete itself, then we'll be moving towards a more harmonious breath.

Thus, always keep in mind the aim of this practice, which is for your breath to come into a conscious, balanced harmony with the natural rhythm of Earth. But in the process towards reaching this aim, your breath might have moments of needing to breathe in and out in ways that are not so rhythmically balanced. But this is just part of the healing process of breaking through your energy blockages, opening your flow of breath, and coming closer towards a more harmonious and balanced breath. So, don't expect your breath to instantly be in harmony and balance. Yet keep persisting in this practice, towards this aim.

The keys are: consciously breathing deep and relaxed, feeling the Earth's natural rhythm and resonating with it, harmonizing your breathing with an even balance, and allowing your breath to move through its own process towards harmony and balance. You need to hold a conscious intention of harmonizing and balancing the breath, but you also have to allow your breath to be harmonized and balanced by the Earth rhythm. Finally, you will feel the Earth's rhythm and vibration harmonize your whole being – mind, heart, and body. And you'll come into a natural, joyful balance of the breath.

Earth, Sky and Sun practice

Here is a practice to balance your alignment between the Earth below and the Sky above. As you breathe in, visualize and feel the vital life-energy from Mother-Earth rise up into your belly and then into your heart, and then continue breathing up into the Sky above. Energy is rising with your breath and consciousness. Then, with your consciousness in the Sky, and with a moment of pause, offer yourself to Great Spirit. Make yourself an offering to Great Spirit, and at the same time open yourself to receive the blessings of Great Spirit.

Then, as you breathe out, bring down this blessing through your head, into your heart, and then downward into the Earth below you. Release all your breath into Mother Earth. Then, with a moment of pause, offer yourself to Mother Earth, committing to give to Her whatever you can.

Then, once again breathe up and into you the good energies of Mother Earth, into your belly, then into your heart, and then upwards above your head, back into the Sky, all the while feeling grateful and receiving of the blessed energies Mother Earth gives. Keep repeating this rhythmic balance for as long as you can maintain it consciously.

Here is similar practice. As your consciousness raises up into the Sky, through your in-breath, feel the freedom of entering into the Sky World. In addition, see a Source of Light in the Sky above your head, which can be recognized as Great Spirit. Then, on your out-breath, carry this energy of Light down through your body and then all the way into the Earth below you. In this way, you are receiving spiritual Light from Great Spirit, then bringing this Light through your body, for both illumination and healing, and then finally grounding all of this into the Earth, and thus also sharing with Earth the Light you received. Then, on your in-breath receive the good energies of Earth, and once again raise your consciousness up into the Sky. Repeat all this.

Being a tree – integrating Earth & Sky

The Native Way appreciates the two fundamental aspects of our reality, Sky and Earth. It is said that we come from the Sky and from the Earth. We come from both – from Spirit Sky and Mother Earth. We are made of both, and both are important in our lives. From the Sky we are given freedom in mind, and from the Earth we are given practical abilities. We ground ourself in the Earth, and we free ourself in the Sky. This is the balance we can achieve.

Trees are called the Standing People, and there is much we can learn about our self and much that we can gain from them. Trees grow both downward and upward. They grow downward deep into the red Earth, and they grow upwards towards the blue Sky. Like trees, we can reach upward towards the Light of spiritual illumination and branch out into the freedom of Sky. But to pursue our spiritual and visionary journeys, we need the balance of being rooted in the Earth and in our bodies. We need a grounded rootedness and relatedness with all of life, as well as the inner freedom to expand our wings and illuminate our mind. This is related to Earth and Sky, respectively.

Here is a practice with tree spirit, to integrate Sky and Earth.

Stand up tall. Imagine and feel yourself being a tree. You can do this while standing back up against a large tree, but you can do this anywhere as well. Feel the qualities of being a tree. Feel the vital energies coming up from the ground and through your tree body. Breathe in this vital energy and up through your body. Slowly stretch out your arms, like branches of a tree. Breathe the life energy up through your roots and all through your whole being. Then, as you breath out, feel the energy permeate and circulate through your whole being. You are a tree-being full of life energy flowing everywhere through you, giving you strength and health. Breathe in and out, slowly and deeply, in a relaxed flow, with enjoyment and gratitude. In this relaxed flow of breathing, feel the energies of vitality and health circulating through you.

Feel yourself being a tree. You are rooted in the Earth, and reaching upward into the Sky. Again, consciously breath-in and receive the Earth giving energy of life, vitality and health. Take in deep full breaths, and take in all you need to fill yourself with this good energy.

Then next, with eyes closed, inwardly look upward into the Sky and see Spirit Sun (our Father in the Sky). Breathe-in the nurturing and illuminating energy coming down from Spirit Sun. See this Light permeate and circulate through your whole being. This Light destroys and eliminates all impurities, all blockages, and all problems. This Light brings healing, spiritual illumination, and joy. This Light nurtures your own inner spirit and strengthens your will along the path of life. It helps you grow tall and strong in yourself.

So, in this practice the aim is connect with and receive from Earth and Sky, and to integrate this into our being. And by being a tree, we receive from both Earth and Sky, and we also integrate and balance Earth and Sky.

Here is another related practice, fairly simple.

Again, stand as a tree, though in this practice it's alright to sit. The goal in this is to connect with both Earth and Sky, and to integrate both kinds of energy into your being. We also use conscious breath in this. With your in-breath, breathe up into the Sky above. In other words, on your in-breath raise your consciousness up into the Sky. Raise up into Freedom Sky, where your consciousness becomes free and expanded. Pause here for just a moment, then on your out-breath breathe down towards the Earth and even into the Earth, while your consciousness moves downward through your body and into the Earth below. Your consciousness is grounding into the Earth, and this helps to ground your life. Pause for just a moment here, then raise your consciousness upward through your body and into the Sky above. Keep repeating this breathing rhythm of Earth and Sky.

Wind-Spirit energizing practice

Stand up tall. With your arms and your in-breath, bring up the vital power of the Earth into your personal centre of power.

Then, breathe-out this energy-power wherever you wish, or across the whole planet. In this way, you receive and give, and you learn to find a balance of receiving and giving.

Next, open your arms out across to the land, and with your in-breath bring the Wind-Spirit energy into you, which will give you strength and a feeling of power.

Then, breathe-out this Wind-Spirit energy across the whole planet, or wherever you wish. Again, receiving and giving.

Breathe-in the Earth-power and Wind-power, as much as you can possibly contain in yourself. It's alright to receive from the Earth and the Wind all that you can absorb and as much as you need, as long as you are also willing to give out and share whatever you receive. Though, when you receive these energy powers, you don't need to immediately give them out. The energy-power can be consciously stored in you, to use when needed; so you can store the power for a later use.

This Wind practice can become a natural flow of breathing. Feel the Wind energy come into you and then go out from you. The Wind comes in, then goes out. Eventually in this practice, the Wind of Spirit Breath just flows right through you, and you might experience the Spirit Wind breathing through you.

Increasing energy & expanding presence

We each have an energy presence, or energy aura. Your energy presence is not just confined in the body; it expands out from the body, ranging from just a few inches to perhaps a few feet or more. The following practice helps your energy presence expand out to arms-length or even beyond.

First, breathe-in the vital life energy of Earth. Take deep but relaxed in-breaths, breathing in the good energy of Earth. Do this for a few minutes. Let your out-breath happen however it does, and just focus awareness on the in-breath. Be especially conscious of your in-breaths.

On each in-breath, visualize and feel the vitalizing energy of Earth coming up into your centre of personal power, which is just below or around your belly button. So you are breathing the energy up from Earth and into your power centre, while visualizing and feeling this energy strengthen and increase your personal energy power. Slowly and deeply breathe the Earth energy into your power centre (or into this area) then hold it in for a moment or a few seconds, while feeling your personal power increase and be stronger. Just focus on this power strengthening in-breath – consciously breathing deeply and slow, and letting yourself fill up with all the vitalizing energy you need, and feeling your personal energy power increase from this. Keep doing this until you definitely feel a great increase in power, both in your body and consciousness.

Also helpful (though not necessary) is to use your arms and legs with this practice. Begin to slowly squat, like you are going to pick up something heavy from the ground, then open your arms and collect the Earth energy, like you are scooping up a large ball of energy from the ground. Bring this energy up with your arms and hands, then bring it into your power centre at your lower belly. Do this while breathing in deeply and slowly, and in a relaxed and flowing manner. You can make this practice into a slow, graceful dance. Hold the energy in for just a moment to feel its power-giving effects. And again, keep repeating all of this, until you definitely feel more energy and stronger in your power. From this, your whole body will feel more energized. You can even circulate the vitalizing energy throughout your whole body, or send it to where it might be needed.

Next, practice the out-breath phase. So for now, just focus attention mostly on your out-breath. Be especially conscious of your out-breaths. Now, with focused consciousness and intention, breathe-out energy from your power centre. Breathe-out consciously, slowly, and fully.

Visualize and feel your energy power expanding outward on each out-breath. This is your expanding energy-presence, or energy aura. Each conscious out-breath is breathing your energy-presence outward, and you feel your energy-presence expanding more and more into the larger space around you. From each out-breath, or each breathing outward, your energy-presence is expanding and becoming larger. You can even visualize your breath expanding out into infinity.

Outwardly expanding our breath and energy-presence is good. There's nothing wrong or unspiritual about having personal power and an expansive energy-presence; as long as your power is for the good and your presence emanates energies of love, peace, caring, consciousness, healing, or other spiritual qualities.

Also helpful (though not necessary) is to use your arms and hands with this practice. Put your hands on your hips; then, on each out-breath use your hands to guide your energy-power outward into the space in front of you and all around you. There's no perfect right way to do this. Improvise. Be creative. Make it all like a dance. Now put your hands on your shoulders, and from here, on each out-breath, use your hands to guide your energy-presence outward into the space in front of you and all around you.

So, keep practicing this conscious out-breathing of presence, until you definitely feel your energy-presence has expanded outward to at least a few feet, or at least to the length of your outward arm.

Then return again to the in-breath practice and work with just this for however long it feels right. Then, return again to the out-breath practice, and work with just this for however long it feels right. Keep alternating the two practices. Eventually, with greater overall practice, the two kinds of practice come into a balanced rhythm and flow.

In a more advanced stage of these practices, after mastering each to some degree, you can work on balancing the rhythm and harmonizing the flow of your conscious breathing. So the whole practice can become much more flowing and natural feeling; though in the beginning these practices will require a more deliberate effort.

Find a balanced flow and rhythm of in-breath and out-breath, like gentle waves coming in then going out, in and then out, in a relaxed, unrestricted, flowing rhythm. You can even make this into a flowing dance with your whole body naturally moving in a rhythm of receiving and giving, in a dance of love and beauty and unity with all of life.

There is a slight pause between the in and out breath, but no break in the energy-flow. The energy of breath flows, in a relaxed way, outward into the space in front of you. To help you can make a sound like the wind blowing. The whole rhythm can be smooth, evenly balanced, and relaxed. To help nurture this flow, visualize and feel the breath energy-flow in a rhythm of up and in, then outward and sharing. In other words, through your in-breath the life vitalizing energy comes up from the Earth and into your power center; then, through your out-breath the energy expands outward from you in all directions, as your energy presence. You can also raise this energy into your heart centre, transforming it into love, then share this love energy outward into the whole world or to whoever you wish.

Come into a flowing natural rhythm of filling yourself, then emptying yourself, or of taking in then giving out. In doing this, consciously, you come into a balanced and harmonious energy flow. This whole practice is deliberate, yet relaxed, with a sense of 'allowing' the Earth-energy to rise up with your breath, then spontaneously flow out with your breath.

Your personal power centre has two aspects. One is to receive energy power from the Earth; the other is to give out or express your energy power into the world. So, there needs to be a clear channel and easy flow of energy, between the Earth, oneself, and the space to which the energy can flow out to. And there needs to be a good balance of energy in and energy out, related to breathing in and breathing out. Also, when there is a clear flow of energy, coming in and going out, then there is a healthy flow of energy moving all through your physical body and your energy-field.

Therefore, its good to remember that to increase your own personal energy power depends on increasing the whole flow of energy, both in and out. It's not just about how much you can take in; because it's also about how much you can give out. So, both the in-breath and the out-breath are essentially co-related.

Therefore, these in-breath and out-breath practices complement and nurture one another. The in-breath practice brings energy into the out-breath practice; while the out-breath practice clears our energy channel for increasing the in-breath practice. The more you can breathe out, the clearer will be your energy-channel and energy-flow, so that more energy will be able to move into you and through you. So, breathe out completely. Then breathe in completely. Then again breathe out completely. This is the flow. Of course this all seems obvious; everyone is breathing. But the power comes in, and expresses out, when this is all done consciously.

The more you receive, the more you can give; and the more you give, the more you can receive. This is the natural law in which we live. This applies to the life energy (the vital energy), yet it also applies to the love energy.

So after mastering this practice involving the personal power centre, you can then apply the same principles to a Love-energy practice, involving the heart centre. In the Love practice, you breathe-in love from the Great Mother or from Spirit-love that is all around you in the air. Then, breathe-out this energy of love to all creation, or to specific relations, friends, or to anyone who needs it.

Footnote on imbalances in breath:

Imbalances will be found in any restrictions of either the in-breath or the out-breath. Some people are in a mode of continually giving out or expressing energy outward, but they might not be well connected with the Earth energy source. They might be doing a lot of breathing out and giving out, but not enough of consciously breathing in the needed energy to sustain this. So these people need to consciously breathe in and receive the renewing energy coming from the Earth.

Other people get into a mode of mostly taking in energies, though usually these are energies from other people, rather than energies from the Earth. These people, then, are doing a lot of breathing in, but not enough consciously breathing out. They are more in a mode of breathing in and receiving, so the flow of life energy is not circulating in a balanced rhythm. Therefore, they might need to work more on giving out, or expressing out, or sharing, or doing for others. Maybe they have a fear of losing their power or their energy, so their out-breath is not free and trusting. But you don’t lose power nor energy when expressing it; rather, by giving or expressing it out, you open up the energy flow and circulation, which then increases and improves what you can receive. True power is not merely having it, but being able to freely express it, or give it out for a good purpose.

Spiritual healing

Spend some time in nature, or just in meditative silence, to open up in a receptive way to the Great Spirit. Breathe Spirit into you and allow it to radiate throughout your being. Breathe in the Spirit and breathe out the Spirit. And let yourself be breathed by Spirit.

Begin to feel the presence of Spirit move within you, within your body and your heart. Feel the Great Presence of Spirit move through you as a gentle, soft wind. As you do this with prayer and intention, you will more and more be transformed by Spirit and transformed into the Presence of Spirit. Allow yourself to feel this Presence, and you’ll begin to also feel yourself being healed by this Presence.

Keep opening up and receiving the Presence of Great Spirit. Fill yourself with Great Spirit, receiving more and more from the Spirit that is all around you. Let Spirit permeate every cell in your body. Allow the Presence of Spirit to cleanse your heart, your mind, and your body – filling you with love and healing.

There can be many layers of fear and distrust, which close us off to the feeling of Spirit Presence, and which hold us back from opening our hearts in the Spirit with receptive faith. Let all your fears be dissolved by your faith in the love and healing from Great Spirit.

Here is a healing breath practice, to help with this. On your out-breath, your releasing breath, let your fears, hurts and pains of the past be cleansed and released into the Earth. Cleanse and purify yourself of old air, old emotional pain and old thoughts. Know that you can let all this go. You can let go of everything painful, fearful and negative, and anything stuck to you from the past. So, if you have anything emotional or mental that you sincerely feel is not best or valuable to you, then you can just let this go and release its power over you.

This is completely your own choice. If you want to let it go, you can. But it must be released with conscious decision and feeling. This is all done through your out-breath. And the earth will transform it like compost. Trees can also absorb and transform any emotional stuff you need to let go of.

Clearing and purification is the first step to spiritual and physical healing. Remember that all physical, emotional and mental stuff is essentially energy. So your first important step is to release and clear all energies that are not positive, healing and beneficial. On your in-breath, gather all this stuff in a bundle, then release it all on your out-breath. Do this four times.

A great example of deep cleansing is the Native American Sweat Bath – to clear out any psychic, emotional, and physical stuff that is not positive and helpful to our health and harmony.

Visualize and feel the Earth taking you into it and nurturing you with its positive energies for your physical vitality and spiritual growth, yet also absorbing from you any negative energies, which the soil transforms into positive energies. Let go of any negative energies or problems, to be absorbed by the Earth; then receive the Earth's nurturing energies for health and harmony.

Next, visualize the fire and light of the Sun soaking into you, purifying and transforming your whole being. All negative and disharmonious energies are dissolved by this fire and light.

Next, visualize the spiritual water of Love flowing through you, cleansing away all that is not love and healing.

Next, visualize the wind of Great Spirit blowing through you and clearing away all negative thinking and false conditioning. Realize the One Spirit pervading through you.

Allow Great Spirit to come into you. Breathe Great Spirit into you, to purify your whole being, on all levels, from body to emotion to mind.

Clearing your emotions

Energies need to be freshly circulated in life, which is an essential aspect of health and healing. But too often, emotional energies get stuck and need to be transformed. It is possible to release our stuck emotional energies, including any emotional pain or distress, to the trees. It doesn’t hurt them; it actually helps them grow, because they can transform all kinds of emotional energies back into creative life energy.

So, find a tree to be your healer. Then sit or stand by the tree and allow it to absorb any emotional stuff that you want to let go of. The tree will absorb whatever you release and transform it into a positive energy. Just as trees transform our released air into fresh oxygen, so too can trees transform our emotional energies into fresh energies of love and vitality. Plants can do the same, but trees have the greatest capacity for transforming these emotional energies. So, let go of any sticky emotional stuff you have, then breathe in the fresh energies given by trees.

Here are three steps for healing.

Purification clearing with the four elements

We can use the four elements of Spirit to purify and heal us. The four elements are: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. They also relate to the east, south, west and north directions of the Medicine Wheel. Each of these elements offer particular gifts and powers to our spiritual life. Our spiritual being is made of these elements, which correspond to four components of our self. Our body is made of Earth, our emotions are made of Water, our mind is made of Air, and our will is made of Fire. Each of these elements of our self are respected in the Native tradition.

* Here is a healing practice using the purification element of Fire, which eliminates any impurities of the mind, emotions and body. A drum can be used, or not.

In a meditative attitude of being quiet and relaxed, visualize the fiery light of the sun above your head. Then, allow this fiery light into your mind, clearing away any wandering thoughts and purifying any false ideas or images about yourself. Visualize false and limiting beliefs about your self to be eliminated by the fiery light of Spirit Sun. PAUSE...

Next, feel this fire or this light purify your emotional being, eliminating any false feelings about yourself and any negatively reactive emotions. PAUSE...

Next, visualize and even physically sense the purifying fire of light eliminating any physical impurities or disharmonious in your body. PAUSE...

Lastly, visualize and feel the Light of Spirit Sun soaking into you and transforming your whole being into pure Light. Enjoy this experience of being purified in the Light. PAUSE...

* Here is a practice using the purifying water of Spirit to cleanse and heal you, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Visualize pure and cleansing water coming down from a waterfall above your head. Allow this purifying flowing water to clear your mind of any wandering thoughts or any stuck ideas about yourself. ...PAUSE

Next, feel this cleansing water purify your whole emotional being. Let it completely flow through all of your emotional energies, clearing away any disturbances, stresses, worries, and negatively reactive emotions. ....PAUSE

Next, visualize and also feel this purifying water cleanse and refresh your physical body, healing any physical ailments...PAUSE

Finally, see the water of Spirit as the healing energy of love flowing through you. Let yourself bathe and be cleansed in this healing water of love, and feel the joy of this. ....PAUSE

* Here is a practice for purification by the element of Air.

Air is the Breath of Great Spirit, and in the air is vital power. It is actually possible to breathe in the purest and finest quality of air from anywhere in the world.

Practice this now. Consciously and intentionally breathe-in only the finest and purest air. Or visualize a natural setting with lots of trees, then breathe in this pure quality of air. So we can breathe in the pure quality of air from where we are now, or we can visualize a special place from which to breathe this in.

We can also be purified by pure air. Once again, breathe-in pure air, then hold-in this healing air for a short pause, visualizing this air collecting any impurities in your mind, emotions, and physical body. Then, release these impurities through your out-breath. Keep repeating this practice, until you feel that all impurities are cleared.

Thus, the element of air can clear our mind and emotions. Whatever wandering thoughts arise, just let them flow out, to be released through your breath. Visualize any negative thinking or negative emotions flow out and be released with the breath.

In this way, your mental and emotional energies are purified by air and breath. Let the Breath of Spirit, the Spirit Wind, clear your mind and clear away any stresses or worries. Keep repeating this purifying practice, until your mind and emotions are clear and free. Gradually you'll experience pure healing air moving naturally into you, through you, and out of you, in a relaxed flow.

The power and spaciousness of air can also lead us into a mystical experience of pure space. Allow the pure air to breathe through you, until finally there is nothing but pure space in your mind. Then, on your out-breath, expand this pure spaciousness outward in all directions. You are expanding your consciousness through the whole universe. The whole universe is pervaded by the free and spacious presence of Spirit.

* Here is a practice for purification by the element of Earth.

Allow the gravity of Earth to take away all unnecessary tensions. Feel the downward pull of gravity take away all that you do not need or want. Allow the Earth to absorb and transform your emotional and physical impurities, stresses and tensions. Let go of any stresses, anxieties, fears, worries, or negativities, allowing these to be absorbed and transformed by the Earth. Let old energies be released to the Earth, so that you have room for a new creative energies.

Then, once you feel purified and clear, begin to ground your energy firmly into the Earth, making energy roots deep into the Earth below. In this way, we re-connect with the Earth Mother and all of the healing Earth energies. So now, begin absorbing the healthy, vital energies of the Earth. Through your in-breath, take in all you need for a strong, healthy life. Feel yourself being nourished by fresh vital and creative energy.

However, before we can truly receive nourishment and new creative energies from the Earth, we must first clear our energy channels by letting go of the stresses and tensions which block the creative life force. So on your out-breath, release anything that blocks the life energy coming up from the Earth.

Spiritual journey into Light

This will be a journey into the Light of Great Spirit.

Close your eyes. Become relaxed and centered. Let your mind become quiet and clear of thinking, empty and spacious. Though this itself can be a difficult practice, do the best you can.

Now, when ready, enter into the vast space of Sky-Mind, which is also the Mind of Spirit. You are leaving behind your physical body for awhile, though it's alright to remain conscious of your breath. You are also leaving behind your own limited mind, which is like a shell. Leave behind your shell and fly into the vast freedom of Sky-Mind, experiencing the pure Sky, pure Mind-Space, and feel yourself becoming more comfortable in this space of freedom.

Now, see a small light start to appear in this space of mind. This is the light of the newly rising sun. At first it is just a little light, but in the next few moments you will see this light grow brighter as it rises from the darkness. Go towards this light, and as you approach ever closer to the light, you feel its warmth and your mind is more illuminated by its brightness. Approach the light and go into the light, but also allow the light to come to you and receive the light. Allow the light to permeate into you, and let yourself merge into the light. Lose yourself into the light, in which you lose your separation from Great Spirit. So now, there is just Light, and you are this Light. Now radiate your Light to all creation, to all life and all the world.

Spiritual journey into Fire

A related version of this is to journey into the Fire of Great Spirit. It's basically the same kind of journey, but your attention is now on the fire quality of the rising Sun. You fearlessly travel into the fire and allow the fire of Great Spirit to consume you in a ritual of purification. You sacrifice yourself into the great Fire of Spirit, until there is nothing more of you, so that only the Fire of Spirit remains. And now you are this Fire.

One of the qualities of Fire is purification. Go into the Fire to be purified of any self-impurities and purified of any self-separation from Great Spirit. This is your willing act of self-sacrifice into the Fire of Spirit. Surrender and sacrifice yourself into the Great Spirit, into the Light and Fire of Spirit Sun. This is the Sun Dance ritual of sacrifice and purification.

Another quality in the Fire of Great Spirit is spiritual inspiration, to be found in our heart. So now, make a journey inwardly into your heart centre. With mind and feeling, journey deeper and deeper into your heart. On each in-breath, go deeper into your heart centre; and on each out-breath, relax and feel content where you are. Thus, you are traveling deeper, while relaxing all along the way. Keep going deeper, until you see a fire within. Come closer to this fire and feel its warmth. This is the fire of Great Spirit within you, which will inspire you with a spiritual passion and will to love all of life and to creatively serve life in some way. Each person finds their own way to express this fire, this inner passion of life. So now, look into the fire and see a vision of yourself being creative in some way, or expressing the Spirit in a unique way. See a vision of how Spirit is inspiring you. As well, feel this fire of inspiration and spiritual will within you. This is your inner spiritual power. Take enough time in this experience, seeing and feeling what the fire is giving, and how this fire is inspiring and empowering you, and receive from this. Then journey back to the outer world with this spiritual power.

Our fire of inner passion & inspiration

One of the qualities of Fire is inspirational passion, or creative inspiration. This fire of inspiration can be discovered in your heart. It is the spiritual fire of your heart. Journey now into the inspirational fire of your heart. Conscious breathing can help in this. On each in-breath, journey deeper into your heart centre. On each out-breath, relax further into your heart centre. Keep doing this until you feel comfortably present in your heart.

Now, journey further into your heart space – to look for and discover your inner spiritual fire. You will see a small fire glowing in the distance. Come closer to this fire, approaching with respect and care. When you reach this fire, you realize that it's your very ancient home. It's the fire you left a long time ago, in your journey to the outer world. And now you have returned. You have returned to your innermost home and to the inner fire that has kept burning within you.

This home and this fire has been waiting for you to return. It welcomes you with love and acceptance, and you feel this. Welcome home. Sit by this fire to be warm and comfortable. Feel the the warmth and goodness of this fire; this fire within.

Now, begin to receive from the fire. First receive the warmth and the light. Take all the time you need to receive all you need. Next, let your consciousness go into the fire. Go into the fire – to discover your inner creative passions. Discover what inspires you. This is your inner spiritual creativity. Spend enough time to explore and discover what your inner inspirations are. Go into the fire to find them, but also let them come out from the fire to find you. Discovering just one or just a few creative inspirations is worth the journey; which can then be remembered and taken back into the outer world journey.

The fire of your soul

In meditation, inwardly look to the East and see the Sun rising. This Sun is your inner soul (though also a reflection of Great Spirit Sun); it's the light and fire of your soul. And as this Sun rises from the East, it is emerging into consciousness and actualization. See it rising and filling your heart with love and the will-to-express love. Feel the joy of this and your gratitude for having this spiritual fire within.

Next, center your consciousness in the heart and begin to feel a spiritual inspiration emerge from within. Feel the fire of life and love deep within the heart. This is your own fire, though also part of the Fire of Spirit. This is your fire of love and your inspiration to express love. Go deep into yourself and find this fire within, which is the fire energy of your soul. It's like a fiery sun within you.

Allow this inner fire of love to grow, then send this love out into the world. On your in-breath, increase your awareness of this inner spiritual fire. This fans the fire to increase its potency. Then, breath out this fire of love into the world. See and feel your fire of love going out into the whole world, kindling people's inner fires and inspiring their hearts with love. See the fire of love expand and blaze into the whole world.

This is also the fire of our love expression, our love passion and our creativity. The power of our creative expression comes from this fire. Our will to express love and beauty emerges from within, but this is also the creative expressive will of Great Spirit, which expresses through each of us in different, diverse ways.

This practice awakens, kindles and expands the fire of your soul, which might begin as just a spark, yet eventually it can expand into a great fire of love radiating out into the whole world. Then, as we give of ourself and give of our love, the fire of our soul grows larger and brighter. This spiritual fire heals all parts of our being and gives healing to all who can receive it.

Allowing your soul to emerge

Here is a meditation for recognizing and allowing the intention of your inner soul to come forth into the light of awareness. In this meditation, you let the inner will of your soul come out from the hidden darkness and into the light of knowing.

Sit comfortably and relaxed, and just be aware of your natural breath. Feel comfortable with your own naturalness, trusting in your spiritual nature, and let the breath find its own natural rhythm. Breathe in as deep as it feels good, and breathe out all tension. Let yourself feel completely relaxed and trusting.

Now realize that deep within you, deep within your heart space, deep in the depth of your inner being, is the light of your soul, the expressive power of your soul. Know that this soul power is mostly hidden, like a seed deep within the earth, and you are now going to nurture this inner seed with love and allow it to emerge from out of the earth and into the light of the sky. You will be completely receptive and allowing, so that this inner soul presence can emerge and reveal itself. Do this now. For a few breaths, breathe out love into this depth of your being, and breathe in the presence of this inner soul. ...PAUSE

Allow your innermost nature to emerge from the depths, with love and acceptance. Allow your deeper intention of self-expression to be known. Allow the deepest you to be known. This deepest you is your inner soul. Be receptive to the inner intention of your emerging soul, and feel what this intention is. Let your inner intention speak.

You could ask yourself, “How do I wish to manifest creatively and expressively in the world?” “How do I see myself being creative and spiritually expressive?” Then, allow a vision of yourself to emerge, a vision of what you truly wish to manifest, or a vision of how you truly wish to be. ...PAUSE

This meditation allows the power and vision of your inner soul to come forth. You may hear your inner soul speak. You may feel the special quality of your inner soul emerge. You may become aware of your soul’s vision of self-expression.

Do this practice more than once, to help the power of your inner soul emerge more and more into clarity and expression. For this is a way to acquire self-knowledge at the deepest level. Also, allow your inner spiritual will into awareness, with acceptance and love. You then become more clear about your soul direction in life, and your unique spiritual potentials are gradually allowed into expression. This is true spiritual freedom, allowing your inner spiritual potentials and intentions to emerge into the light of recognition.

Then, stand strong in your own self-integrity – in knowing your deepest intentions and directions in life. This is the power of your soul. Let it grow strong. Then, you begin to live from the power of your soul, from the power of your deepest intentions, and as your power of self-integrity and soul-direction becomes stronger, then nothing can defeat it or dissipate it.

This is also the power of your inner will. Recognize and accept your inner will and build it strong within you. Accept that you have will, you have intentions, and you have self-power; and there is nothing unspiritual about this. We are not meant to live as weak or passive beings. So accept your power and build it. Then use your power for the good of Earth and for the good of others. Accept and appreciate your own power to be spiritually expressive in the world, and let no one take this power away from you. This is the power of your soul – to self-express your inner potentials and your unique creative expression of Great Spirit.

To enhance this power even more, consciously breathe your soul-power outward – to expand outward and become stronger. Let your out-breath carry the power of your soul into the world around you.

A vision quest journey

In this vision quest meditation you will receive new vision and understanding of your self and your soul direction. First, you'll have to spend some time letting go of stray thoughts and becoming quietly open to have vision and guidance from Great Spirit, or from your own inner wisdom. To help, hold an intention to stay conscious and receptive in the journey, and not drift off into irrelevant thoughts. A clarity of spiritual vision and new understandings are only possible when the mind is sufficiently empty, still, and receptive.

Wisdom Spirit of the North Wind will come to teach us and enlighten us, but only if we are listening, seeing, and receptive to guidance and wisdom. Wisdom Spirit does not come if our mind is chattering and we are not ready to listen in receptive silence. So get your mind ready by practicing this attitude.

In this present meditation, you will climb to vision mountain to receive vision, or some kind of understanding. You'll need to be in a receptive space, and also in an attitude of humility. You'll need to approach vision mountain with humility and a sincere wish for vision and understanding, or to know the Truth and the Way. Then, if you're open to hearing guidance or having vision, it will suddenly and unexpectedly show up.

In your imagination, begin to make a journey up to Vision Mountain. You are climbing to a higher view. Keep climbing, and know that in each step you are approaching ever closer to wisdom and vision. Keep going until you reach the top. Then look for a Teacher who is waiting for you, to help you. This Teacher could be from the Spirit Lodge of Guides, or it could be an animal guide, or if you cannot see a Teacher then look for an object on the ground which will guide you in what next to do. All that is next to do is to just be present with the Teacher and just listen, or be open to having a wisdom vision. Ask to have a vision to help you understand what next; then let the vision unfold.

Meditation in the heart

Our own being is like a medicine wheel, and the sacred space of this is in our heart. In our heart we feel our relatedness with all beings and all life, and we also feel responsibility. In our heart is the merging synthesis of Earth and Sky. In our heart is our spiritual love, our spiritual truth, and our spiritual will. In our heart is our sincerity, caring, inspiration, and beauty. Our love is our inner beauty. And when love is expressed, there is beauty. In our heart is where we can deepen the understanding of ourself and unfold the Spirit within.

Here is a meditation of the heart. Close your eyes. Become aware of your breath. Begin with relaxing and releasing tensions in the body. Then relax and release your emotional tensions. Then relax your mind and let go of thinking. Relax your mind and settle your emotions, until you become like a peaceful lake. Allow your breath to naturally come into a relaxed and peaceful rhythm. Stay aware of your breathing, in a relaxed and peaceful feeling of just being and just breathing. Now see your beingness as a peaceful lake, the water calm and serene, and also clear. You can look clearly and deeply into the water.

Now let your consciousness gradually descend down, deeper and deeper into this lake of your being; all the while breathing consciously and relaxingly. Gradually, go deeper into the heart of your being. Then at some point, you just settle peacefully in the depth of your heart centre. Relax here in this space, breathing relaxed and rhythmically, and feeling at peace in the heart centre of your being. Just be in a receptive, allowing attitude.

With receptive patience, just listen and wait for an important truth about yourself to be revealed. Allow this truth to reveal itself. It may be a quality of your real being, or something that wants to be recognized. Whatever truth or feeling you receive, meditate more on this. Consider how this is important to you. Receive what you can, then rise back up into physical awareness.

The flower of your being

Close your eyes and imagine a most beautiful flower in front of your inner vision. Let this flower come more clearly into vision, and enjoy its delicate and colorful beauty. We often take beauty for granted, so spend a moment to especially appreciate the beauty of this flower. You can even smell the beauty.

Next, feel the beauty of this flower emanate to you and into you. You are receiving the beauty essence of the flower. Breathe this beauty essence into you, and keep doing this until you feel your whole being is full of beauty. Enjoy in this experience of receiving beauty. Feel the beauty nurture you at a very deep level in your being. Feel the joy and appreciation for this.

Now again look closely and clearly at this beautiful flower. Imagine yourself being this flower. Look at the flower and say to yourself, I am this flower. This is me. Take some time with this.

This flower is a mirror reflection of who you are; its an essence of who your are, which is reflected back to you as this flower. This is a reflected mental image/symbol of a quality of who you are. It's an essence of who you really are; it's an essence of your soul. In fact, we can discover in nature many reflections of our own essences; and therefore, we can also meditate on other examples in nature to see their essences in our own being.

So look at this flower and see yourself. Look at this mirror image of who you are as a real being, the flower of who you are. Feel what it's like to be this flower. Also, think about the qualities of this flower and how these qualities are also in you.

Next, notice how the flower is so freely expressing itself, its beauty and any other qualities you can discover in it. Its flowering is its expression, its radiance, and its way of saying to the world, 'here I am, here is who I am.' The flower isn't timid or worried about expressing itself, or thinking it's not worthy to be flowering. It's just naturally flowering, naturally expressing, and naturally radiant. Feel yourself being naturally radiant like this.

More practices are in the book, Shaman's Walk