Shadow Work meditations can be intense. This is the third of this Shadow Work series so they are starting to delve deep into who you are (if you missed them here are Meditation #1, Meditation #2).
We can often feel controlled and defined by strong emotions. This can hold us back from taking the actions we want to make changes in our lives. This meditation will explore a feeling that may be trapping you.
If at any time this meditation gets to be too much, stop and you can always try it again at a later time or with a feeling that is not as intense. Take good care of yourself in this process and remember to seek help if this is too overwhelming alone.
Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Find yourself in a pine forest with a soft breeze blowing. Smell the pine and hear the crunch of pine needles under your feet. The forest is dark and cool.
You see a hooded figure up ahead walking through the forest. Walk towards them and they greet you with a nod. Ask where they are going and they wave for you to follow.
Your guide walks through the forest until they come to a small cluster of rocks. The rocks form a tiny cave just large enough for one person. Your guide waves for you to enter. You crouch down and sit just inside the mouth of the cave as it is not very deep.
Your guide begins to collect sticks from around the cave. Your guide stands the sticks up in front of the cave like a makeshift door. The sticks are light so you know that you can push them to exit the cave at any time. The sticks are also not too close together, so they make the cave darker but some light still filters in.
You sit in the darkness of the cave and feel the cool air around you. The air seems to breathe with you.
As you sit with your eyes open in the cave, colored balls of light appear briefly in front of you. Watch them for a bit, until one seems to persist and solidify. Reach out to touch the ball of light in front of you. A feeling seeps into your body from this ball of light. When have you felt this feeling before? What does this feeling make you think of?
Try to feel this feeling while letting go of the situations in the past that made you feel this way. There is nothing you need to do or fix. Just have the feeling. Where does it reside in your body? Is the feeling bearable without feeling you have to act on it?
Does this feeling define who you are? Is it the only way you can feel? Imagine when you have not felt this way? Recognize this feeling as one of many you can experience. When you are ready, I want you to push this feeling away and watch the ball of color fade away into the cave.
Take a deep breath and clear the sticks away from the door of the cave. Your guide sits by a campfire in front of the cave. Your guide reaches out their hand to you. Sit next to your guide and take their hand. Feel the love and pride your guide has for you enter your body. This guide has given you an ordeal and you have completed it. Feel your body release any tension from the cave as the love of your guide fills you up.
Silently thank your guide with a nod as you stand. Release your guide’s hands as they nod back to you. Walk back through the pine forest away from your guide.
When you are ready, begin to hear the sounds around your physical body. Wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes.
Take some time to journal or pull oracle or tarot cards to explore the following questions:
How do feelings control your thoughts and actions?
Are you able to sit with difficult feelings without needed to change them?
Do your feelings define who you are as a person?
Get more Shadow Work Meditations HERE or get the physical book on Amazon.
Free meditation recordings on Spotify: CLICK HERE
Journals on Amazon: Click Here
2 thoughts on “Shadow Work #3 – New Moon Meditation”
This was a difficult meditation to work out. I wouldn’t willingly enter a cave, but in the knowledge that the cave wasn’t real, I thought for a long time what the lights reminded me of. If there was only one at the end, I eventually concluded that it was most like the monolith seen at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you never read the book, it explains that the monolith drains David Bowman of his knowledge so that he returns to being an embryo, then fills him with a much more advanced set of knowledge, from which he can return to the earth and save it from nuclear war.
If the ball was like the monolith, then it’s beam would have been sending information to me that I would have a hard time assimilating in my mind, as my brain doesn’t seem to acquire and retain new information very well. It also recalled two situations in my college years in which I acquired knowledge that I remembered after I read this scenario – one pleasant, the one unpleasant.
The pleasant one took place in November 1978. I was struggling through a course called thermodynamics, and they scheduled an interim exam for the Monday evening after Thanksgiving. Engineering classes had no midterms – there were usually three to four interim exams with a final at the end of the course. Even though I was confused about the course material, I failed to spend a single minute studying during my Thanksgiving vacation. I didn’t really get to it until relatively late Sunday night and the session didn’t help that much.
I had four classes in a row that Monday morning (including thermodynamics) and when I got back to my room, there was a note from my roommate that my sister had finally given birth to her first child, and I was an uncle for the third time. This pleased me so much that everything about thermodynamics finally came together. I studied most of the afternoon and suddenly the answers were obvious, I was surprised that I hadn’t seen it before. So the exam that night was a breeze, and I think I got a score of 98. That was the end of my difficulty with thermodynamics.
The bad example took place 4.5 years later. I needed to get at least a B in a class on microcomputers in order to stay in graduate school and couldn’t do it. By then, I was totally burned out by college, much afflicted with clinical depression, and could no longer bear to spend much time studying. In addition, I was deeply infatuated with a young woman and was greatly disappointed that I couldn’t generate the same level of feeling in her (that is another sordid story in itself for another day). On the Monday after finals week, I went to see my grade that was posted outside the professor’s office, and so learned that I received a C and therefore my college career was almost certainly over. This is the acquiring of knowledge of the bad kind. It set off a sense of desperation that I felt for several weeks, and at which I made an extremely nervous and confusing confession of the depths of my feelings for this young woman, that only added to the misery of the whole situation. I think that I lost at least 25 pounds that month due to an inability to eat very much. Of course, I eventually managed to return to graduate school and finish my master’s degree, but could never accomplish my other goal.
So, the light beam would have brought out two sets of feelings out – one of satisfaction and pleasure at how a difficult problem had been overcome so quickly and so easily, and one of desperation, despair, and utter horror of facing overwhelming difficulties in achieving my most cherished goals, and a lack of pleasure to be found anywhere.
After college, my feelings made me more volatile, rather inconsistent in behavior. It was a matter that if I stepped into what seemed like a small stream of negative feelings, it quickly became a flood. I was unable to deal with any level of fear of making a mistake, of looking bad, that I would lash out in anger to drive away the fear that I felt. Over time, I learned enough about what I was doing to withhold any sort of reaction when the fear and resulting anger became strong, and let other people guess at what I might be feeling at any particular time. In the last few years, my self-control has been waning, and I have again been displaying more flashes of anger. I have just found it too difficult to restrain myself whenever I see a casual disregard for the realities of science, and when I’ve seen so much disrespect for the organization I worked for. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting old now and would like to see some things change in my lifetime. But as I wrote to my co-workers a few years ago, there are some dynamics in the organizations that will still predominate long after I’m dead.
I have been better able to live with difficult feelings in the last few years without trying to change them. I suspect that the anti-depressants that I take prevent me from feeling the full level of some feelings as happened in the past, which is a great relief to me. The only feeling that I’m unable to master is one of grief, which can become overwhelming very quickly and without warning.
I also suspect that my feelings must at least partially define what I am as a person. The need to resolve the stronger feelings does drive part of what I do, and the need to avoid reawakening certain feelings causes me to avoid doing certain things and taking certain chances. My brain is a swirling morass of feelings, thoughts, ideas, etc., and it would be hard to say that any one part of all the activity in my brain is the single definition of me as a person.
Finally, I wanted to say that the links you provided for Spotify only link back to WordPress, and you might want to correct them.
LikeLiked by 1 person