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This is a description of my journey through meditation, to perform a specific goal. Integration of the Shadow Self, that is a part of us all.

This is a deeper meditation. The 'Shield' and 'Calm Mind' meditations should be mastered before attempting one as deep as this.


Understanding, accepting and integrating along with moderating the dark side of our human nature, is a necessary step in the upward spiritual path.

Our shadow side is that part of us that motivates our Ego to act out in improper (ethos vs. pathos) ways. As we strive to do good and proper acts we tend to 'shun' this part of our selves. But as long as we just ignore or shun this part of ourself the temptation will always be with us and left in this state, it can pop up impulsively and cause harm. This also cuts us off from a necessary part of our essence.

It can pop up in sudden unexpected opportunities. Such as not telling the clerk that she gave you change back for a $ 20 when you handed her a $ 10 dollar bill.

It is not about premeditation. Premeditated acts signal that we have already let the dark side lead us astray. This is when karma comes into play. We are all responsible for our own actions.

And this is not about waiting for the stop light to turn green at a deserted intersection at night. That is nothing more than deciding if you wish to obey rules of human absurdity.

Why integrating the shadow self is important is because it unifies. Once you have done this you will feel a distinct difference. A depth of strength that was not with you before. It is as if a light turns on when 'moments of opportunity' present themselves and there is no hesitation as to which is the better course of action to take or not to take. There comes a clarity of vision that remains present after integration, with the best and strongest energies of our dark side available when we may need them, focused into positive acts.

This is not... an easy meditation. It requires courage. Courage to look at our own dark side squarely in the face and be the stronger one. Because much of our strength, courage, determination, all of the 'survival instincts' are rooted in the aggressive nature of this shadow self, it will fight back.

It took two meditations for me to accomplish this goal. For me, my dark side was illusive and resisted and it turned into an actual chase. A chase that led down the stairs, deeper and deeper into my own soul. It was only when I reached the bottom of the stairs and stood in a darkened cellar with nowhere else to go or hide, that I was forced to face my Shadow self.

It is possible to venture deeper, farther, into the Self. One can take this to an experiential conclusion. I decided once more to journey back down those stairs. There was more work for me to do. With a torch in my hand, down I descended.

For me, this journey starts at the base of a very large ancient tree. There is a very thick door, tightly wedged, heavy upon it's hinges, and extremely difficult to pry open. But with determination I set my will upon the door until it is opened.

Down the stairs I go. I know the way now, down and down I go. I reach the bottom as before but this time there is nothing there just an empty room. I stand there for a moment in the center looking around to see why I am there. This room is not large maybe 20 feet on a side almost square but not quite. It is shaped out of stone just like the stairs that lead back up the tunnel. I have to move a little to let the light from my torch reach all the corners.

I am alone. I go to the far wall and stare at it. It does not look right. It seems to be set wrong but I am not sure in what manner it looks wrong, it just is. I start pushing against the wall. I feel it start to give, so I push harder and it falls backward and slams hard against the floor into the room that was behind it. I step into this room and see about a half dozen shadowy figures. I recognize each one. I know them.

They are the lives I have spent letting my Dark side rule. This wall that they were behind, is the partition that is in all of us. I could feel from them/me, shame, remorse, guilt. The past is the past, no more guilt, no more hiding. I forgive myself.

There is only myself standing down there now. I feel a sense of completeness, wholeness, and release. I head back up the stairs.

The Tree and the Door is now a Pathway within. It is possible to use this path to go deeper into my own soul. It has now become a bottomless well of remembering and wisdom. As the ancient saying goes, "Know thyself, and know the World"


Jennifer Sanfilippo


photo 4,000 year old Yew tree, Crowhurst, England



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