Miyazaki Meditations

I’m not the world’s most visually minded person, which, I confess, makes visual meditation hard work. I’m also, sometimes, a really stressed and anxious person. When you’re lying there at night with a thousand worries rampaging across your brain, it can be hard to switch that off to go to sleep. I’ve been meditating regularly for a good twenty years, but I still find there are times when my brain is triggered into frantic and counter-productive activity.

Meditating when it’s easy is all very nice, and probably very good for us, but it tends to be when meditation is hardest that we need it most. So, how do you even start to meditate when your brain is full of angry weasels?

I like pathworking, but the trouble with pathworking is that you need something to hold the path. Lying in bed at night (where meditation in self defence is an issue) a pre-recording won’t work, and getting my stress-fest of a brain to organise anything is at best a long shot.

What I’ve taken to doing, is using journey sequences from the films of Hayao Miyazaki. I’m especially fond of Spirited Away, where you can walk down the tunnel, out into the landscape, over the river and towards the bathhouse – it’s the perfect opening for a pathworking. Miyazaki films are visually intense, and I find them to be good soul food, so making myself go over a journey sequence helps to calm the brain weasels, while being unstressful, and inherently settling.

Any strong and familiar visual imagery would of course do it. Any sequence from a game, or a film, that gives you strong visual imagery to work with can be borrowed as the opening to a meditation – whether you’re working along the edges of sleep, or not.

Inside our brains, we form pathways in a fairly literal sense. Panic, anxiety and other unhelpful things can become the paths we walk, and the more often we walk them, the more we wear those paths into ourselves. Taking a different path is restorative, it can break cycles of fear and depression, and gives us a chance to go somewhere else, in every sense.

I have a book on meditation,and there are other excellent meditation books at Moon Books – more info here http://moon-books.net/blogs/moonbooks/meditation-books/

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “Miyazaki Meditations

  • katiereablog

    I have never thought about meditation to help with my anxiety and panic attacks. This is definitely something I am going to look into. Thank you for sharing this. I’m following your blog as I am sure I will be able to relate to more of your posts.

    • Nimue Brown

      The trick is finding what sooths and calms your mind – we all respond well to different things, and depending on what triggers your panic, less well to some things – deep breathing can be fantastic, or a nightmare, depending on how you are, always go with what works for you, not what anyone says is supposed to work 🙂

  • alainafae

    Love Miyazaki’s films ❤ They've touched so many people in a positive way ^_^

  • Ryan C.

    Yay Miyazaki! I’ve never thought of using that imagery for meditation, but it sounds like a great way of visualising a path/journey.

  • Ziixxxitria

    Wow, this is a fantastic idea. Thank you so much for sharing! You’re very right that when we’re at our most stressed and meditation is the most difficult is when we need it most.

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