Water Over the Earth

A place can tell how things should go and what should be said.

It was a new space in Horizon Worlds, from a new young builder who learns and creates like a pro. Except he’s an inspired high school amateur working for the love of it.

Somehow he knew to begin with a journey, to let people enter his world and go through a process before they reach the place for what we think of as meditating. It’s all meditating, or it can be.

He put big stones in the water that need careful jumping to cross. He put creaking sounds in the bridge and left a boat to carry passengers to the other side. He let’s us out of the boat to be swallowed up by the earth and placed gently in the meditation room.

Cushions in a circle. Candles and incense burning. A little gong.

When everyone has made their way and the group is assembled, we begin the formal part of the meditation.

We start with a gentle focus on a natural breathing cycle, starting from down at the diaphragm, feeling the air fill the lungs, and then noticing it go out through the nostrils, feeling the air on the nerve endings to keep our attention on the breathing.

When other thoughts come in we just notice them and go back to the breathing.

Breathing in. Breathing out.

And when we begin to settle in, I invite the group to return to the start of the journey in this Horizon VR world, where the meditation really began. To recall what first came up when they saw the stones and the effort that would be required to cross … no judgment, just recalling the moment.

Was there joy? Impatience? No blame. We’re just noticing.

The meditation was underway. Now we are remembering that the obstacles are the path.

The boat was the opposite of the stones. No effort required, but also no control. Recall how that felt.

We always walk over a bridge or take a boat across the water to get to another realm, another kind of world not like the one we’re in most of the time every day.

Crossing the great water reminds us of how we feel when take on a project and complete it.

When we left the boat, we left the water. The water was above and we dropped suddenly and unexpectedly into the earth, below.

In the interplay of natural forces that teach us about change, Water over the Earth is Hexagram 8 in the I Ching, the hexagram of Holding Together.

It is also known as Union, just as we have all gathered in union here to meditate.

Water naturally holds together. Its outward expression of flowing as one comes from its inner nature, how water just is.

When we as individuals can bring all of our own inner parts into a place of harmony and acceptance, we can be a force for bringing other people and groups of other people into harmony and acceptance.

Holding Together.

Now I invite you to let a sound help draw your inner parts together more coherently with its synchronizing frequency

Sha Riiiiing

Feel the sound waves flowing through you, engaging all the little rhythms going on inside your physical body.

Sha Riiiiing

Imagine the sound waves going in your ear and meeting your ear drum, with thousands of little hairs shimmying around as the drum beat rolls and sound flies off the hairs as electrons into you.

Just hear the sound.

When something else comes into your attention, just notice it and go back to the sound ...

… Now that we’ve settled in for a few minutes, I invite you to let go of your tuning fork and turn your attention gently back to the breathing.

Staying down low for the whole breathing cycle now. Small breaths in from the diaphragm and then pushing small breaths back out.

All the breathing down where our system will know we are safe, so it can relax all vigilance. It can calm down. Our tummy breathing is like a baby’s breathing and it says everything’s ok.

Gentle breathing in

Breathing out.

We can share this calm.

We can find some place in the body where the calm is and leave our attention there while we also think of someone, some person who needs our support, or we think of everyone, all of us on planet Earth together, and form the intention …

May you be safe

May you be secure

May you feel this calm that I feel now

I invite you to form these intentions yourselves …

I don’t know about vibes going out over the ether, but I do think that practicing this kind of generous intention helps each of us.

Now as we prepare to end this meditation, let’s slowly take a few fuller breaths, filling our lungs again, feeling the air go out our nose.

And again.

And now lightly tapping feet on the floor or the ground, heel-toe, heel-toe

And shrugging your shoulders up and down, up and down.

Gradually opening your eyes and coming back to the Meditation Room.

Checking-In after a guided group meditation feels easy and natural and people who usually don’t speak up publicly find themselves unusually willing to share. Anyone is free to pass with no judgment and some do.

At this session, everyone spoke up. The first check-in came from someone who had never meditated before and was convinced she would never be able to. Too active, too fidgety. But for some reason, she sat still this time and followed the thread beginning to end, staying with it in the stretches of silence. She seem very pleased.

As it turned out, only one other person in the group had very much prior experience meditating, which happens a lot in social VR. A few years ago when I was just starting my own VR Meditation practice, I believed that only experienced meditators would give it try, as kind of a novelty.

I was wrong.

The social VR meditation experience is for newcomers. We welcome you. Please join us.

There are Retreat Centers throughout the world where the obstacles and the bridge and the boat ride to another world could be accommodated. But a young person couldn’t construct in a day and maintain it as a side gig.

In Virtual Reality, the journey emerged out of the imagination of someone just learning and loving it. His self-directed curriculum became ours to use in the manner intended.

The shared experience was deep and varied, from getting-there to hanging out after the check-ins. This is the People and Place Package a meditation in VR provides.

Tom Nickel writes about VR and Meditation and more on Medium.

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Learning Technologist focusing on VR, Video, and Mortality … producer of Less Than One Minute and 360 degree videos

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Tom Nickel

Tom Nickel

Learning Technologist focusing on VR, Video, and Mortality … producer of Less Than One Minute and 360 degree videos

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