August 8, 2015
But I breathe, "Ho-tep", breathing in, opening root chakra on "Ho" syllable, releasing, exhaling on "tep" syllable, and I am becoming more peaceful, more content with each breath/syllable.
It is a twenty minute meditation, ideally done morning and evening, which is proving quite beneficial.
A video, "Scientific Proof that Mediation Benefits the Brain" shared to a group both Julia and I are members of, inspired Julia. Neuroscientist Sara Lazar shows that "it can improve memory and make you more empathetic, compassionate as well as helping with stress. And it does this by actually changing the size of key regions of our brains."
Julia used to do transcendental meditation many years ago, and found it very helpful. She wished to get back in the habit, and encouraged me to also try it. She had been given a special two syllable sound to use. I tried different two syllable combinations and then settled on "hotep", the ancient Egyptian (Kemetic) word for peaceful and content. To put the breath focus with it seems a natural addition.
I've been doing this for about two, three weeks, and I do feel more relaxed. It seems to be helping my immune system, and I find I'm having less flare-ups of an auto-immune illness I have. So my body is more 'hotep', too.
I'm finding this a great blessing.
I learned something new recently. Although later associated with Osiris, the Djed "was associated from Old Kingdom times with the chief Memphite god of creation, Ptah, who was himself termed the 'Noble Djed" (Richard Wilkinson, _Reading Egyptian Art_, page 165) The Djed symbol is understood to represent "stability".
"In BD Spell 142S variation 4, Ptah is in fact called 'the August Djed in the House of Re'." (Andrew Gordon and Calvin Schwabe, _The Quick and The Dead: Biomedical Theory In Ancient Egypt__, page 118)
Gordon and Schwabe speak of "This link of the djed with the backbone and vertebrae" and show an illustration of the "Djed immediately behind (bracing, giving added stability to?) the spine of the creator god Ptah." (_TQatD_, pages 117-118)
Horemheb's tomb (KV57) has such a Ptah:
Original photo by © William Petty)
Coffin Texts Spell 532 reveals: "'I have received my spinal cord through Ptah-Sokar, my mother has given me her hidden power.'"(_TQatD_, page 188) Could that mother have been understood to be Hathor? "Here we will but mention in passing the Egyptians' paramount cow-mother goddess Hathor. As 'Lady of Life', she was responsible for giving life to all creatures (LÄ II 1025 and notes 23-24)."(_TQatD_, page 27)
As I look at that image of Ptah, I notice a few things. Look at the nodes on the Djed pillar beside Ptah, see where they are. I do not think it is a mere co-incidence that they align with the locations of the chakras. (Of course some will say that it is a co-incidence and there is no relationship AT ALL. Peace be to those folks, but I'm suspecting there might be. Perhaps the ancient Egyptians knew of these centers by whatever name they called or didn't call them.) Anyway, note the placements:
In the image below, from my 2009 paper on "Egyptian Serpent Power", we see in Utterance 478, from the Pyramid Texts:
"I am the Eye of Horus... I ascend to the sky upon the ladder of the god [Seth].
Ptah, the peaceful and reconciling God, is the perfect one to bring stability and soothe Set, represented here in the head of the Was Scepter:
Of course, it is all about balance. As I said in the old pdf, "There are images of Antewy, a combined form of Horus and Set, standing amidst a series of uraei. I think the following two images are illustrating the ‘chakras’, with the position of Set-Horus at the center, the heart chakra."
When I am not in balance, my mind is restless, it wants to race everywhere. But with meditation, I can soothe my restless mind, utilizing the heka of Ptah.
Note of August 19, 2015:
Yes, sometimes the 'soothing' doesn't seem entirely successful. But I know I am better off for the time spent. Most times I am just concentrating on the breathing, and not thinking about the chakras, as that is too complicated most days: "Ho-tep", breathing in on "Ho" syllable, releasing, exhaling on "tep" syllable.
Note of December 13, 2015:
And some days I don't even think much about the breathing, or the syllables, as my mind races from thinking about this goal or that goal, or... But, hey, at least it's twenty minutes, away from the computer, resting with my eyes shut, and maybe a few actual meditative thoughts occur.