Different Kinds of Meditation

Alexandra Genetti

I think there are two kinds of meditation – I call them ‘Discursive’ and ‘Numinous.’ What we do on this [Tarot] list is a form of Discursive meditation—as is making correlations between systems, pulling a card a day and then writing about it, etc. This is pretty common in western culture and I’m sure you’re all familiar with it and find it quite natural. Its main quality is logic.

Numinous meditation… it’s harder to put your finger on… It can be the spark of the creative process or the numi-nous exploration of visualization or something more… Its main quality is intuitive.

Both forms of meditation are important to gain an understanding of symbol—because they both are symbol, as it were.

Symbol is both logical and causal. Or to say it another way: symbol causes what it means and means what it causes. I think we, in the West tend to discount the logical aspect as unimportant—because it’s so familiar.

Just like the desire driving people to say that Tarot has an Egyptian origin… we want to elevate Numinous medita-tion to a mystical status – making it more important and more “occult.” To me the balance of both is very im-portant – as in everything…the Discursive form of meditation (which we are doing now, in discussing meditation) is as important as the mystical, Numinous meditation which is mostly what people have been describing in this thread.

I was noticing that the value tended to be placed in the meditation form that seemed on the surface more mystical, more Numinous and so devaluing a form of meditation that was less mystical (and generally more common in the West) like what we do here.

I think this Discursive meditation can seem very non-mystical (and not so Numinous) as the experience is so tied to logic and the mental faculties.

But they both lead to understanding and to illumination – and they both work—in balance—towards growth.

Followup by Fr. Also
By the way, this [way of thinking] has produced some especially transformative moments for me over the last six months. It’s clear that this form of meditation is easily as important as the other “more mysterious” ones.