Zen says drop you in to this life. As frightening as this is, this is your life. Break it down: that fear you feel – notice it. You don’t have to run away from it. Stay afraid, feel it. With attention you’ll notice after a few minutes it’s not there anymore. This is really great for a few reasons. You concentrated- which is good for the mind, you weren’t controlled by your emotions- which is good for your psyche, and, perhaps, you noticed your sensations and feelings weren’t you- this is good for the soul. If you are able to sit and be, without identification, you are sitting Zen. If you are tilting the mind and attention toward the looker, the perceiver of experience, you are sitting self-inquiry. If you are letting your experience be without altering it (like we did in the example with fear), you are sitting mindfulness. These three things make up my toolbox of meditation. Anything else (the use of intention or visualization), I would consider creative or magical, depending how far your tilt the scale. I encourage the use of both meditation and creativity or magic. Both are helpful and useful for the mind, psyche, and soul. And I’m not trying to make some big inner map, talking about the mind, psyche, soul. I’m just saying, in general, those practices affect those areas. I don’t know how the human energetic experience is ultimately mapped out or if it could be. I guess when I say mind I mean the strength of attention, concentration. Very good to train in our distracted world. All this to say I’m pleased with this life. This meditative, magical life. I don’t even think people need to go the whole way with self-inquiry or Zen or all the way to magic. I could argue Zen and magick are at the heart of religion, which they are, but for most people a little more mindfulness and active creativity would go a long way to grease the wheels of life. Make the psyche a bit easier to deal with. Make life’s choice a bit easier to make. But this is a magic blog so going the full gamut reveals our connection to life, to our ancestors and the ancient belief in magic, to nature and the world around us and all its mysteries and the mystery of consciousness. What a wonderful world we live in.