Crystals and meditation seem to be like peas in a pod here in the west. It’s not like that in the wisdom traditions that bring us meditation, but a newer intuition with its roots in the American cultural revolution of the 1960’s has put crystals into the same space that earlier traditions put crucifixes, singing bowls, malas, rosaries and sacred clothing.
Crystals seem to fit right in with the idea that we are all manifestations of the same consciousness. Something about crystalline formations speaks to our souls about the structure of the natural world. We can see and feel the truth of order and wisdom in the geometric faces of our mineral friends.
Meditation is a practice dedicated to understanding truth. When we look within we find a prismatic kaleidoscope of emotions, intentions, thoughts and ideas in which the same thing can take on different hues and angles from our broadening perspective. Sometimes in meditation we see a reflection of ourselves, other times we see right through ourselves and into the fractal of consciousness beyond.
Because of this seemingly obvious fit, people often ask what crystals are best for meditation and how to use them, so I thought I would take a few minutes to write up a general reply that can serve as the single and universal, authoritative answer to all questions relating to the interplay of meditation and crystals, forever and ever amen.
Well, maybe that’s a bit over the top, but I can at least give you my honest opinion.
Using Crystals for Meditation
The first thing to mention is that crystals are objects within awareness like any other. In a certain sense, it may seem that they have no special powers or properties at all.
However, they do have certain colors, and a color is a special property isn’t it? You won’t find any green citrine because citrine is orange to yellow by definition. Crystals also have certain structures that reflect the unique arrangement of the molecules they are made of. It is common knowledge that Quartz has been used in radios to transmit frequencies for quite some time now. That is another special property.
Optical Calcite refracts light in such a way as to present you with a double image. Crystals are used in laser technology to amplify the intensity of light energy that passes through them.
So in another very real sense, crystals have many special properties and while certain types of crystals, like Amethyst, Quartz and Citrine, share common properties among them, naturally occurring crystals are as varied and individually unique as people.
For this reason it is important to choose crystals for meditation based on a number of factors.
First and foremost, it is important that you are somehow drawn to the stone and comfortable with it, or perhaps even excited by it. Sometimes you may find a type of stone is exciting for you, like moldavite in general, while other times a specific stone is deeply intriguing in and of itself.
In any event meditating with a stone is, in some ways, like meditating with a person. It’s presence is known to you and it affects the comings and goings of forms in your awareness. Pick a stone that you have some kind of feeling about, rather than just picking a stone at random. If you were going to invite someone over for dinner, it wouldn’t be the first person you see on the street, it would be someone who seemed suitable for some reason.
Second, I like to use the chakra system to help guide my choices when dealing with crystals for meditation. If you are willing to believe that crystals have metaphysical properties, it’s no great leap to associate those properties with the color system of the chakras.
Of course there is a certain amount of intuition involved in this as well. You may not feel every yellow colored stone affects the solar plexus and often you may feel that a stone affects more than one chakra. Also you may not feel a physical response in any particular chakra, but the subtle qualities of your state experience may offer insight as to the chakra correlate. For example, a compassionate state might indicate a subtle stimulation of the heart chakra.
Third, it is important to decide how you will use the stones or crystals in meditation, and by this I mean both physically and metaphysically.
Physically, if you plan on holding a stone for meditation you probably don’t want a 200 pound crystal cathedral. However, if you are planning to anchor positive energetic patterns to create a sacred space for your meditation, a 200 pound amethyst might be just the the kind of anchor you are looking for.
Metaphysically, if you want something to ground your experience and help root your insight in practical, day to day life, Danburite is probably not the stone you are looking for, because Danburite is definitely crown chakra stuff. In that case something related to the root chakra, like Hematite or Black Tourmaline might be more appropriate.
At the risk of sounding redundant, this returns to the earlier point and illustrates why using an established metaphysical system like the chakra system is so important. First hand experiential knowledge of the stones is wonderful, but you can waste a lot of time reinventing the wheel and following unhelpful flights of the imagination. A basic understanding of the Chakras is very helpful in guiding the metaphysical aspects of your crystal choices.
Getting started with crystal meditation
Generally speaking the best way to get started with crystal meditation is to find a crystal that interests you and sit with it exclusively. Don’t overload yourself with ten different stones. Especially when you are starting out, it’s like being at a rock concert and trying to have a conversation, everyone is yelling and no one can really hear what’s being said.
If you want to get to know a crystal, sit down and have a nice quiet cup of tea and a one on one conversation. Spend regular time alone with one stone and you will start to recognize the specific qualities of consciousness that particular stone amplifies, subdues, enhances or alters in your awareness.
Now, that is not to say you have to marry the first stone you meet. Have tea with several stones, as many as you like actually, but keep things intimate. One on one is the best way to get to really know someone.
Eventually you will start to understand the different qualities and quirks and you will begin to see whom each might get along with best. Then you can start having tea parties for three or four and you know they will be wonderful gatherings full of participants that synergize well with each other.
If you are looking for a great guide book to get you started on the meanings and metaphysical properties of crystals and stones, stop by Evolve and pick up the Book of Stones by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian. Not only does it cover just about every stone you have ever heard of, it does so in a way that is easy to understand and relate to.
With these simple guidelines I hope you will find great joy and wonder as you explore the inner world via the vibrant path of crystal meditation.