Having at least a basic, regular meditation practice has been proven to be good for your health, but is also an effective way to boost the focus and visualisation skills needed for many Pagan magical and spiritual activities.
With that in mind, here are some Meditation resources to get you started, or help improve, your own practice.
– 2014, by Jenny Chase.
Meditation is the most powerful mind and body hack available. It will improve your health, wealth and relationships. Meditation is the age old art of purely focusing your mind and attention on one area. The practice of doing this has an almost endless list of beneficial impacts on your mind and body. With the incredible benefits that meditation offers it is no surprise that it has spread throughout every culture of the world. For centuries people of all different backgrounds have been using meditation to better their life and health. From businesses gurus to prisoners and from celebrities to monks – people from all walks of life have adopted meditation.
But what are the benefits? What makes meditation so powerful? Well, meditation has been shown to: Increase creativity Increase ability to focus and concentrate Reduce stress, anxiety and high blood pressure Increase levels of happiness and contentment Increase energy levels As well as many, many more incredible things. This book is the guide to helping you reap those benefits. It is a complete beginner’s guide covering everything from the neuroscience of meditation all the way to walking you through your first ever meditation So, if you’ve ever wanted to learn to meditate… grab this book now.
– 2017, by Daniel Goleman & Richard J. Davidson.
Two New York Times–bestselling authors unveil new research showing what meditation can really do for the brain.
In the last twenty years, meditation and mindfulness have gone from being kind of cool to becoming an omnipresent Band-Aid for fixing everything from your weight to your relationship to your achievement level. Unveiling here the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson show us the truth about what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.
Sweeping away common misconceptions and neuromythology to open readers’ eyes to the ways data has been distorted to sell mind-training methods, the authors demonstrate that beyond the pleasant states mental exercises can produce, the real payoffs are the lasting personality traits that can result. But short daily doses will not get us to the highest level of lasting positive change—even if we continue for years—without specific additions. More than sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious, less attached view of the self, all of which are missing in widespread versions of mind training. The authors also reveal the latest data from Davidson’s own lab that point to a new methodology for developing a broader array of mind-training methods with larger implications for how we can derive the greatest benefits from the practice.
Exciting, compelling, and grounded in new research, this is one of those rare books that has the power to change us at the deepest level.
We hope that’s helpful!
Comment below with your favourite Meditation resources?
Pagan Moots are regular (usually on the same day each month) social and educational meet-ups, and they are for anyone who is already thinking of themselves as ‘Pagan’ – or some variation ther-of! – or for people who are completely new to this and just want to pop in and see who’s involved locally, and what it’s all about.
If you’re interested in attending a Pagan Life Rites moot, they’re held at various locations around the country:
(Pagan Moot listings are correct at the time of publication.)
It’s been a while since we have last posted any news, but that doesn’t mean we have been idle. We have been dealing with the boring administrative things that keep our organisation going.
We have said a farewell to some Clergy Members, who have moved on to newer things, and, as a result, couldn’t give the commitment required to the obligations of being a Pagan Life Rites Clergy Member. However, we would like to give them our thanks for the hard work and input that they have put into the organisation and the hard work that they have done on your behalf, and we wish them well.
We also welcome a new Clergy Member, Anna Coote, and know that she will be a valuable addition to the Clergy Membership.
We are accepting new membership applications at the moment, which will close on the Autumn Equinox, so if you think you have something to offer to the Pagan community as a Clergy Member, please send us an email expressing your interest to email@example.com, with the subject line Clergy Application.
We have been welcoming new clergy membership applications since March, and have had a very good response.
If you wish to become a Clergy Member of Pagan Life Rites, then please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will send you an application form. Please have a look at our Membership page to see the criteria for applying.
All completed applications must be received by us no later than June 15th, 2017, in order to be considered for Clergy Membership this year. We will not consider any further applications after that date until the Spring Equinox 2018.
In the lead up to Census 2016, Pagan Life Rites ran a social media campaign which encouraged those from various Pagan traditions to simply declare “Pagan” in the “Other” box for the question on religion. This was to unify our community under one descriptor to more easily demonstrate the number of people in our community who self-declare in the Census. For reasons of prejudice, privacy and family, there will also be some who will not self-declare on the Census (within the “Not Stated” category) so the figures in this report as outlined below may not be fully representative of the size of our community. There may also be persons of Pagan faith who may not define their spiritual path as a “religion” and so may opt for the “No Religion” category, which means that not all of those opting for this descriptor in the Census are Atheists or Humanists.
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In today’s report focusing on the data for this question we can see that there is a 39.1% increase in the number of people who opted for “Other Religion.” This brings the total number of this cohort to 97,700. The top three counties for this category are Dublin (122,079 / 24%), Cork (23.958 / 29.2%), and Galway (12,601 / 27.7%) with Kildare following close behind.
If you go to the data tables and run reports for religion selecting “Pagan/Pantheist” you will find that the total number of those who identified as such has increased by 40.5% bringing the total number to 2,645, an increase of 762 declarations. 1,913 of these were Irish nationals with UK nationals being the next largest cohort to declare (340). 1,209 were male (43% increase since 2011) and 1,436 were female (38.3% increase since 2011).
While a county breakdown for “Pagan/Pantheist” is not yet available from the CSO, the figures do show that our community is slightly larger than the Jewish community which currently sits at 2,557 declarations. We can also see that declarations of Catholicism have dropped from the 2011 figure of 84.2% to 78.3% in 2016. Of interest to us, given the above, are declarations of “No Religion” which have increased by 73.6% – meaning this cohort now represents almost 10% of the population – and the “Not Stated” category which has increased by 71.8%.
*“For the 2016 Census, the religion breakdown has been expanded. In 2011 the religions with a 0 figure were included in the Other Stated Religion category. The CSO attempts to capture and code all responses and have published any categories where there were 30 or more responses in 2016.”
Report chapter on religion: http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/population/2017/Chapter_8_Religion.pdf
Pagan Life Rites now sits alongside many other Civil Society Organisations listed on the Irish Links Directory of www.activelink.ie.
To find us there, simply hover over the “Irish Links” menu tab and select the “Civil Liberties-Human Rights” option from the drop-down and you will find the listing below on Page 3.
Much gratitude to the folks at ActiveLink!
The new Board of Pagan Life Rites was elected on 31st March. According to our Constitution, the Board is rotated annually and made up of four elected Regional Officers. We thank our previous Board members, Francis Devenney, Lora O’Brien, Fionnuala O’Regan and Vinnie Woods for their year of service and dedication. We welcome our new Board members, Sophia Boann, Barbara Lee, Kristian Märkus and Gavin Morrison. The outgoing Board members continue to serve as Regional Officers and Clergy members.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CLOSES MONDAY, MARCH 20TH
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The Minister for Education, Richard Bruton T.D., had extended the deadline to March 20th for receipt of submissions to the consultation process which shall assess the role of religion in schools with a view to considering changes.
In January the Minister had invited submissions from key stakeholders, affected or interested parties as part of a broad consultation process. This was initially open for a four-week period, however, to allow for as many submissions as possible, the deadline was extended and will now close on Monday, March 20th.
Pagan Life Rites fully supports the following demand for the repeal of subsection 7(3)(c) of the Equal Status Act, 2010, which currently permits State schools to use baptism as a mechanism for preferential enrolment. This is a breach of human rights and contravenes Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act, 2014, which compels all public bodies to implement Public Sector Duty, promote equality and eliminate discrimination.
This is your last chance to have a say in this consultation process. Please feel free to craft your own submission or copy and paste the template letter below and submit to: email@example.com.
Submission deadline extension: http://www.education.ie/en/Parents/Information/School-Enrolment/Role-of-Religion-in-School-Admissions.html
Subject: Submission concerning the Baptism Barrier
Dear Minister Bruton,
Please accept my submission to the consultation on the Role of Religion in School Admissions.
I want all children to have equal access to their local publicly-funded schools and I want religion to have zero bearing in admission policy and practice. It is not acceptable in a modern, pluralist society that parents feel they have to baptise their child to ensure access to a publicly-funded school.
I believe that the only equality and children’s rights option is option 4(i). Repeal subsection 7(3)(c) of the Equal Status Act, 2010, in respect of publicly-funded schools.
This is possible by amending subsection 7(3)(c) of the Equal Status Act, 2010.
I strongly recommended that you, as Minister for Education and Skills, take this opportunity to remove all religious barriers from school admission policy and practice.
Consultation Paper specific issues:
A. The removal of the Baptism Barrier would be of benefit to families and children of the many minority religions, Irish indigenous traditions, and those of no religion, as it would increase their ability to gain entry to their local publicly-funded schools regardless of its denomination.
B. I have seen strong constitutional advice from leading constitutional experts that shows option 4(i) is possible.
C. I believe option 4(i) would be the simplest to implement.
D. Option 4(i) is the simplest approach that does not impact any of the issues outlined in the consultation.
Allowing schools to use baptism as a mechanism for preferential enrolment is a breach of the human rights of your service users. Your department is legally obliged to act in accordance with Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act, 2014, which compels all public bodies to implement Public Sector Duty, promote equality and eliminate discrimination.
Pagan Life Rites and HSE Work Together to Introduce Change
Acting on reports from our community members, Pagan Life Rites has successfully negotiated an agreement with the Health Services Executive, resulting in a HSE directive now issued to all CEOs of our fifty national acute hospitals requesting the PAS systems to include Pagan categories of religious identity.
Not Long ago some community members had relayed to Pagan Life Rites their various experiences in Irish hospitals. Issues arose upon registration as patients at the hospitals when people were asked, as a matter of standard procedure, which faith community they belong to. In most hospitals there was no option for “Pagan” on the PAS (Patient Administration System) database and so patients were either entered as “Other” or opted for this in lieu of poor choice. At other times hospital staff had referred to “Pagan” as being “No religion” and were registered as such despite protest by patients. Even when registered as “Pagan” on arrival staff had twice changed the religious identity to “Christian/Catholic” on the physical version of one patient’s medical records.
Pagan Life Rites has since taken on the task of remedying these issues for our community. We have engaged with senior management of the Health Services Executive (HSE) and raised all of the above issues as a matter of concern given that they conflict with the ethos and guidelines of the HSE’s 2009 Intercultural Guide. Following consultation, we have successfully negotiated an agreement with the HSE that frontline hospital staff operating and maintaining the PAS registration database shall be issued with supplementary material explaining what Paganism is. At the heart of this agreement is the HSE directive now issued to all CEOs of our fifty national acute hospitals requesting the PAS systems to uniformly include the following categories of religious identity for patients to choose from. Collectively these options are reflective of Ireland’s Pagan community. Any person not falling within either of the last four subcategories below may simply opt for the main category, “Pagan.”
• Pagan – (if patient does not fall within categories below or is not specific)
• Pagan – Wicca
• Pagan – Shamanism
• Pagan – Heathenry
• Pagan – Druidry
Some hospitals have already commenced the implementation process which should be completely rolled out over the coming weeks. Be mindful that one hospital group within the broader network has currently included the main category only (“Pagan”). Should you encounter future difficulty with registration please assert to staff that their hospital CEO has been issued with a directive from the HSE for inclusion of the above categories.
Furthermore, the HSE has kindly provided the hospital network with the contact details of the clergy of Pagan Life Rites who offer chaplaincy support to patients and loved ones of the deceased. We are very grateful for the kindness and support of the Health Services Executive.