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Last Update : 15/01/2024
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Most High Blessings,
This page is about the practice of meditation/Iditation within Rastafari. 
Although Rastafari has religious aspects, it is more often seen by InI as a spiritual movement and the term “meditation” is often used. But how can this be described? Or how is it put to use?  
First of all whats good to know is, like other aspects within Rastafari meditation is more a personal experience and because of this there are more ways to describe how we see and practice it. We can still give some insight into this, which is usually a bit different then other more conventional meditation techniques.

RASTAFARI IDITATION/MEDITATION

When Rastafari speak about meditation it is not so much in terms of a practice like other meditations, but more as a State of Being and being Focused on something. We see it as being deeply in tune with nature and YAH and try to have an increased focus on things that have to do with mindful things like giving Praises to YAH and/or Haile Selassie I through Prayer or Chanting, making Nyahbinghi or Reggae music, Reading the Bible or other scriptures, Positive Thinking, Reasoning and Thinking about life situations. The more we focus or bring InI intention to what we are doing is what we call “to Meditate on” and by doing this trying to get deeper insight and overstanding about it by having Full attention on it. So Anything that has to do with Mindfulness and Life and doing that with the highest focus or intent is part of the meditation of a Rastafari. Then there are ways to achieve or enhance this Highness. What comes next are some examples to do this with.

GANJAH/HERB

Herb or Ganjah is often used to enhance and strengthen the meditation of Rastafari. There are Rastafari that smoke Herb especially for meditative reasons and have found that it assists into bringing InI in a strong and deep meditative state in which we acquire peace of mind, relaxation, strengthened physical health and get deepened insights about anything we put InI Intention on...We see it is an instrument to get closer to YAH and Mother Earth on a energetic and spiritual level. It is used to get in a heightened state of awareness where we can feel One with the Life Force YAH.
It is often smoked with a Chalice Pipe and preferably pure without tobacco. Some Bless the Herb before smoking it by giving a short prayer and are aware about the fact we are burning something sacred and treat it with that type of Raspect. 
We have found it in the Bible as the Tree of Life or the Tree of overstanding about Good and evil in the garden of Eden. Also Kaneh Bosm is mentioned in the Bible (Exodus 30:23, Song of Solomon 4:14 and Ezekiel 27:19) and was used to make an anointing oil for priests. Calamus is the word that was later translated from the word Kaneh Bosm in newer versions of the Bible and there has been much debate by scholars if this word meant Cannabis, InI as Rastafari say it does and it is seen as a Holy Sacrament.
There are also many Rastafari that don’t smoke Herb and it is a misconception the All Rastafari partake in the use of Ganjah.

TOBACCO

A lot of people use tobacco in their spliff, but it’s good to know that tobacco is what they call a “downer” on an energetic level. It brings people down Spiritually, mentally and physically. Pure Ganjah is what we call an “upper” it gives the feeling of being High and also functions as a medicine. These are two conflicting energies that can disrupt the purity and strength of meditation if combined. Tobacco is unhealthy and addictive, especially the cigarettes of most of the packaged brands. It makes people dependent and possibly smoking too much which can bring people in a dormant/passive state. Herb on the other hand is a Healer, that has the possibility to free us Spiritually, Mentally ánd Physically, Ganjah by itself is also not addictive.
Rastafari often only smoke pure Herb and this is especially Important when used for meditation, as there is a big difference in meditating when smoking with or without tobacco. Not to say ones can't achieve heightened states if we do use it, it is just different and less pure. Also when tobacco is used by Rastafari it’s preferably plain unprocessed tobacco like tobacco leaves or cigarette brands like American Spirit or lucky strike natural blend. Ordinary cigarette brands contain between 700 and 1200 different chemicals. So be aware of this, and try to smoke pure tobacco if InI don’t smoke pure Herb. (look up the list of harmful chemicals used in cigarettes).

INCENSE

Rastafari often burn incense in use for meditation, this can be different things.
Frankincense and Mere are often used together and most popular as they are mentioned in the Bible.
Copal is a popular incense as this is (just like Frankensense and Mere) indigenous to Ethiopia.  
These 3 Resins are used for purification and protection against negative influences (health wise and spiritual), and are used to get in touch with the spiritual side of life. It is usually burnt on a piece of coal and sometimes smoked too.
Sage is often used as it is well known for it purifying properties.
Ganjah is also used as incense and not only smoked.
Although not really incense, the burning of plain wood in fires can also be seen in this way, as it gives of an essence that can influence the spirit and runs away bugs like mosquito's. Rastafari are known to burn plenty of Fires specially during Nyahbinghi gatherings.

LOVE

Love is a very Important factor within Rastafari and also assists in Meditation, having a loving and kindhearted spirit, feeling one with nature, and all the other qualities that accompany Love, enhances meditation in a way that this Love makes it easier to link up with the Life Force then if we would have negative feelings and thoughts inside. Not to say people can’t achieve results by meditating without the feeling of Love.
Love and the feeling of Oneness is also something that can be gained/found through meditation. But already having Love in our heart greatly improves and increases the chance to gain spiritual awareness and connect with the Higher realms as Love is the essence of Life Itself, YAH/Mother Earth.
  
MUSIC

Music has a big part in a Rastafari Meditation, one might find that Nyahbinghi music is the best suitable, as this is a spiritual type of music that has a deeper impact on peoples state of being, physically and spiritually. The Vibrations of the drums and and messages can bring InI in a Meditative state and doesnt create much distractions like Reggae possibly can.
Reggae is also very suitable for meditation because of the messages that come through the lyrics which is something good to focus on, we can meditate on the message, think about it and learn from them. 
Both types of music also loosen the body and brings us in the Riddim of Life, the Heartbeat riddim which in turn can create more linkage to the Life-Force .

LIVITY/FOOD

Rastafari know that it is Important to have a healthy Life style to be fully spiritually aware that the body is a Temple and needs to be taken care of and nourished well. The right food needs to enter the Temple so the energy flows are not disrupted. Some people might underestimate this, but this is very Important.
Raw food is the best food that can help with Spirituality, as raw food is still alive when we eat it. Cooked food is not alive, the vitamins and such are still in there but the real Life force has left. So Raw food is what we recommend for having the highest potential for spiritual growth. Many Rastafari are vegetarian or vegan which is also good. It’s more important that we don’t put junk food or unhealthy fluids (like soda pop) in the Temple and don’t have it influenced by meat, milk products, alcohol or drugs. Not only Rastafari know this, if we look at other teachings about spiritual awareness and meditation, a vegetarian or vegan livity is often recommended. Not to say ones can’t achieve spiritual awareness if we do eat meat or fish, but we must be aware of its possible negative aspects.

FOREIGN INFLUENCES

We have explained Meditation as being Focused on something and in tune with nature and going into depths with the use of Ganjah. But there has also been some influence with some of the more conventional meditation techniques within the Rastafari community. This influence came with the Indian population that migrated to Jamaica during slavery times when there were also a lot of Indian people working on the plantations, and they brought along their culture that was full of meditation techniques that are different then how we have explained it so far. We won’t find this influence so much within Boboshanti or Nyahbinghi livity, but as there are many Rastafari finding InI own way it is only natural that some ventured out into other kind of practices. Mutabaruka for instance (a well known Jamaican Rastafari radio host) made his listeners become acquainted with the teachings of Buddha and how to do some simple meditation techniques. Other then through him Rastafari do a lot of study on different aspects of life and especially the spiritual side of it. So because of this certain knowledge about these eastern meditations is acquired and used. With internet it is also becoming easier to learn about these different techniques. But going to classes where the people learn about Yoga meditation, Kundalini meditation, Zen meditation, MerKaBa meditation etc. like we see in other countries…We don’t see too much of this within Rastafari livity or Jamaican culture in general. For one because the financial resources are often not there but more so because Rastafari is more a Biblical and African livity and are not involved too much with these eastern philosophies that teach these kind of meditating techniques.
Although we might see more of interest in these type of meditations from Rastafari that live in countries where this is practiced more, like in europe and the usa.

INTENTIONAL / NON INTENTIONAL

There is a difference between intentional and non intentional meditation. Non intentional is more a natural state of being when we just relax, being still in the mind and just observe the senses that we can feel inside of InI. That is a form many Rastafari practice and often combine it with Ganjah which intensifies the feelings and senses. Ones may have many different experiences in that state of Highness. It can enhance creativity, inspiration, it can give insights into Life, physical relaxation, mental relaxation, maybe feeling current flows (Life energy) moving through the body which can give the feeling of being linked to a Higher energy.
Intentional meditation is a bit different and where more focus comes in with the intention to go into depths of the spiritual side of Life, sitting or laying down with the intention to feel and move the energy flowing through our Temples, focusing on breath, the mind and senses within the body. The same effects as mentioned above can be achieved but with more power and deeper overstanding. As mentioned How this is done is a personal choice and experience. Finding the right path for one self, that’s the main thing… finding something that feels good for InI personally.
People all have differences, physically, mentally, and spiritually. This also means there are different approaches in gaining spiritual awareness.

BIBLE

Meditation is mentioned in the Bible a couple of times and gives some insight about what it meant by it in more ancient times. When we read these scriptures it indicates that Biblical meditation is more a form of focus and observance of the law and YAH and doesn’t indicate that the Incients were meditating in a way like people do in the eastern countries.
Through the livity we can see that Rastafari are practicing this type of meditation, as YAH and his Law is often what motivates InI and there is a strong focus on the principles of the Bible. The Twelve tribes of Israel for instance keep the principle to read one chapter a day of the Bible. By doing this ones are encouraged to Meditate on the words more, not taking in too much information. Boboshanti have a similar way to put more intent into the scripture by reading 7, 14 or 21 Psalms at certain times. The Bible can also be used in a way that we begin whatever meditation we have with a Psalm and/or close the meditation with a Psalm or Prayer.
What follows are some scriptures wherein Mediation is mentioned to get the Biblical perspective of it.

Genesis 24:62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. 63 And Isaac went out to Meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.  64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her.

Joshuah 1.6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt Meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 

Psalms 1:3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he Meditate day and night.  

Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  8 The statutes of the LORD areright, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the Meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalms 49:1 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: 2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together. 3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the Meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
 
Psalms 104:33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 34 My Meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD. 35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalms 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.  2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. 9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. 15 I will Meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. 16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

Psalms 119:41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. 42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.  43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. 44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. 45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.  46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. 47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. 48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will Meditate in thy statutes.

Psalms 119:88 Quicken me after thy loving kindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth. 89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. 92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. 93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. 94 I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts. 95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy  me: but I will consider thy testimonies. 96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. 97 O how love I thy law! it is my Meditation all the day. 98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my Meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

Psalms 119:137 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. 138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.  139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. 140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. 141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. 143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. 144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. 145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes. 146 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. 147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. 148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might Meditate in thy word.149 Hear my voice according unto thy loving kindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.

Psalms 143:1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. 2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. 3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. 4 Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. 5 I remember the days of old; I Meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. 6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.  

InI pray this Explanation gives some insight about the Meditation Rastafari observe. We will explore this aspect of Rastafari more closely in the near future and share the outcome of that with InI so we might grow in spiritual awareness. Blessed Love
Rastafari
Emeror Haile Selassie and Empress Menen Love Unity

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