Dedicant Path requirement #5 is for:
An essay focusing on the Dedicant’s understanding of the meaning of the Two Powers meditation or other form of ‘grounding and centering’, as used in meditation and ritual. This account should include impressions and insights that the Dedicant gained from practical experience.
I am glad that ADF included the ‘other form’ alternative, because I have come over time to regard this exercise as the Three Powers meditation.
It really began as part of my morning devotionals which incorporates a short prayer to the well, fire, and tree. The devotional would include the phrase:
Sacred well, flow within me this day!
So saying, I would then envision the water-like energy of the Earth Mother flowing up into me. Then:
Sacred fire, burn within me this day!
And with that I envision the flame of the Sky Father burning down into me. Then:
Sacred tree, grow within me this day!
And so saying, I would envision myself becoming the tree at the crossroads of the world, which drinks the waters of the goddess through its roots and devours the fire of the god through its leaves. To me this meditation has become very potent indeed, putting me directly at the sacred center of the cosmos.
From its beginnings during my morning devotionals I have taken this to new levels out of doors. During solitary rituals, and especially standing with a staff in hand, I have felt like I was truly experiencing for a fleeting moment what life is for a tree; the cool waters below me, the fire of the sun on my face, the wind through my branches, birds nesting in my limbs. These have been some of the most powerful moments of my solitary rites.
Even in non-ritual situations such as doing meditation in park settings I have found this to be quite powerful; feeling my skin become bark, being casually aware of insects crawling on me, and taking a passive awareness of activity around me while considering the endless cycles of seasons which make up the life of a tree. Young lovers carve their initials into trees hoping to thereby infuse their relationship with the longevity of the tree, which usually long outlives such infatuations…. and it is this deep life that I find the three powers meditation draws upon for its effect. Done well, the meditation has an eternal aspect to it, like staring into the night sky, which devours and makes meaningless all everyday cares.