Nature Meditation on Amergin

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Introduction and History

Use this poetry-inspired meditation to get back in touch with nature. Image by Jorg Greuel/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Amergin was a leader of the Milesians, one of the ancient tribes that conquered Ireland around 1500 B.C.E., removing the Tuatha de Danaan from power. One of three Druids who spearheaded the takeover, Amergin is referred to as the First Druid of the Gaels in the Irish Book of Invasions.

Thought to be the oldest poem in the Irish language, Amergin’s song is lyrical and narrative, evocative of the strength and power of Ireland itself. Poets and bards enjoyed high status in early Celtic society, and Amergin’s song (which is actually a collection of several pieces) reflects that hierarchy, as well as some of the core beliefs held by the Druids and their people.

There’s a story that this song answers the question, “What is a Druid?“ This meditation is based on the translation by Lady Gregory.

To perform this meditation, begin by choosing a place far from the crowds. Pick a park with wooded hiking trails, find a spot by a calm lake or stream, or sit in the middle of a field of soft grass. Whichever place you select, try to make sure you’re out of the way of everyone else.

Now turn off your cell phone so you’re REALLY undisturbed.

You don’t have to memorize this incantation, but it helps if you study it a bit ahead of time so you have some focus. You may want to write some notes down to take with you, so you don’t forget where your journey is headed.

Sit in a comfortable position -- up against a tree, in a pile of leaves, on a majestic rock, wherever feels right to you. You can even lay down if you prefer. Close your eyes, and just listen. Hear the sounds of nature around you -- birds in the trees, the wind rustling through the grass, the trickling of a creek. Allow yourself to relax. Forget about your job for a while, your bills, your kids, your parents. Just focus on you, and where you are right now, at this moment.

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The Invocation of Amergin

Many people use meditation to bring them closer to spiritual enlightenment. Image by Juzant/Digital Vision/Getty Images

As you say each line of the Song of Amergin, stop to reflect on what it means in the natural world, and how it applies to you.

I am the wind across a deep, wide lake.
I am the wave over the endless sea.
I am the stag of seven tines, racing through the woods
I am the eagle in the aerie, flying above the rocks
I am a flash of light from the sun above, bringing heat to those below
I am the blooming plants, bringing sustenance and beauty
I am a wild boar, powerful and strong
I am the salmon in the water, swimming endlessly upstream
I am the hill where poets stroll for inspiration
I am the head of the spear the draws blood in battle
I am the god that puts fire in the head and honor in the heart

Take time to reflect on each of these thoughts. How do they apply to you and your place in the natural world?

Stretch your arms, and take in a deep breath. If you’ve been sitting, stand up. This is a warrior’s song, and to really feel its power, you should be on your feet and facing the sky. These last few lines can be shouted at the top of your lungs if you feel like it.

Who spreads light in the gathering on the hills?
Who can tell the ages of the moon?
Who can tell the place where the sun rests?

Think about the answers to these questions. How do they apply to you and your everyday life? How do they apply to your spiritual journey?

Take a few more minutes to think, and when you are ready, begin your trek home.