Guided meditation for Epiphany
This meditation can be practiced with the movements described, while walking or in a sitting position, as desired.
Facing the centre of the circle:
Close your eyes. Take three deep, relaxing, cleansing breaths. Join me on the journey of the magi.
It is night. You are standing in a garden, which now lies fallow. You consider all the good things you have planted there, grateful for every blessing in your life.
You are a clever and creative person, but you know there is a greater wisdom beyond your garden gate, something special and mysterious that you are leaving home to find. Although that which you long for is not far away, it seems as if it is miles away in your heart.
You put on your travelling shoes, your cloak and your cap. You will travel light: your bag contains only some food and water for the journey and a small box in which you have placed a secret treasure very precious to you. You know that you will need this gift when you arrive at your destination. Now you are ready. You open the gate and leave the garden, stepping out on to the road which appears in front of you.
Turning to your right, to face your neighbour’s back:
You have planned your journey according to the stars, and there is one above you now which shines more brightly than any other, guiding you onward and lighting your way in the moonless night. The star seems to surround you with its brilliance, and you are not afraid. You follow it faithfully, hopefully.
Farther along the road, you meet two other travellers who, like you, are searching for that special something. You share a meal and exchange stories with them. They, too, are longing for the deep wisdom offered by the mystery you seek. They are kind and generous of spirit, and not so different from yourself, so you decide to continue the journey in their good and pleasant company.
Turning to your right again, to face outward from the centre of the circle:
By and by, the starlight leads you and your companions to a crossroads. There you enter the gates of a prosperous city, where material riches and exotic distractions abound. You choose to rest a while in a safe, comfortable inn near the marketplace. Once refreshed, you and your fellow travellers go out into the market to replenish supplies and enquire about the road ahead. You discover that many other people have come to the city on quests similar to your own, some believing solace lies within the city walls, but most knowing that it cannot be bound therein.
As you gather information for your journey, you meet a very important city-dweller who insists on sponsoring your venture as he believes it will be of great benefit to him and this city. He will provide you with enough money, food and water to reach your destination in exchange for news of what you have found at the end of your journey, news which you will bring to him as you pass through the city on your way home.
But you do not fully trust the city-dweller and are cautious around him, not revealing too much about what you already know. Unlike you and your companions, he seems fearful of that which has called you on this quest, and you suspect his motives. Nevertheless, you are grateful for the assistance and accept his offer. You leave through the city gates with a light heart, knowing that what you will soon find may well bring joy and wisdom to the city and its inhabitants.
Turning to your right again, to face your neighbour’s back to the left of you:
Back on the road, the journey seems never-ending, and the night is cold. As you travel through mountains and along a winding river, you are glad of companionship. The bright star overhead lights your way like a beacon of hope. You and your friends follow it until it rises to its highest point in the sky above. There it stops, shining down upon a small house in the woods a little further down the valley.
As you near the house, your heart begins to beat faster, and more loudly, and you find yourself bathed in starlight. You take the tiny box from your bag and clutch it to your chest. You glance at each of your companions and see that they too are wide-eyed, awestruck, holding tightly to miniature boxes very much like your own.
You walk toward the house without further hesitation or reluctance, drawn closer by the light coming from its interior. You know that you must see what it is inside that is causing such a perfect glow. You do not need to knock. You push open the wooden door of the little house and are temporarily blinded by a blazing brightness.
Turning to the right again, to face the centre of the circle:
Your eyes recover quickly from the shock, and you step across the threshold. Once on the other side, you are wrapped in a gentle warmth by the light which moments ago dazzled you. You are surprised, as it is a pleasant sensation, not at all intense or suffocating.
Then you realise that there is a fire burning in the hearth, and in front of it stands a beautiful child-like being from whom the light and the warmth emanate. This being of light opens his arms wide in greeting. Then he smiles at you in a way which both caresses you and melts your heart. You drop to your knees at once and place your tiny treasure chest at his golden feet. He is the Christ-child, the one you have been looking for.
He does not speak but instead lifts you gently to your feet. He bids you to sit by the fire and sets bread and wine before you. You are trembling and cannot eat, but you hear a soft, familiar melody begin to play, its source unseen, and this comforts you. You begin to feel at home. The Christ-child takes your hand, and in that instant, you know that you are loved, unconditionally, just as you are right now.
Facing the centre of the circle, to focus on your own heart centre/chakra:
In a little while, you fall asleep by the fire and dream deeply. You dream of the Christ-child, of his smile and of his unspoken words of love. He asks you to return home as soon as you can to share this wondrous love with others in your life. You agree without pause.
When you awake, the Christ-child is gone, but you know you are not alone. You rise and breakfast on the bread and wine which he has left for you. Your gift has disappeared, but in its place you find another small box on the chair where he sat by the fire with you the night before. The box bears your name and is as light as a feather. You clasp it to your chest and it begins to glow, radiating warmth and light deep into your heart.
You smile. It is time to go. You put on your travelling shoes, your cloak and your cap once again. You leave the house and walk down the path to meet your companions, who are also smiling. You begin the long journey home, humming the tune which comforted you by the fireside.
Now, breathe deeply, exhaling love. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes, knowing that you are not alone.
I would then share these things brought from Cumbria –
Earth: the sand I walked upon (and collected in my shoes!) while exploring the lovely beach at St. Bees – blessed be its protection & support
Air: the white feather I found in the garden (full of bees, butterflies and gorgeous flowers) of St. Nicholas’s tower – blessed be its breath of life
Fire: the ash that blew upon me from the steam billowing out of the wee steam engine which chugs along the 15-inch gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway line – blessed be its power, warmth & light
Water: a splash each from the Rivers Esk, Mite and Irt & the Sea herself – blessed be its ebb & flow, within & without
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