Meditating in the cremation grounds?

by Mari Ziolkowski

columbariuma few years ago...

well, we were not exactly in the cremation grounds, as we were all westerners living in a large west coast city, and the closest we could get to cremation grounds was outside a columbarium* ... however, at my impetus, there we were.

i had been following a path that was slowly revealing itself to be a part of goddess oriented tantric traditions, and to my surprise, felt a call to meditate in a graveyard. no, i wasn't crazy, and no, i'm not a ghost whisperer. rather, it was an inner directive. part of the left handed tantric path in india, it's true --

however, we weren't in india and i didn't have a guru. surprisingly i found a few kindred souls who wanted to join me. two men and one women, all having practiced in different traditions. one was following a native american path. one was following an initiated shakta tantric path. one was following the path of dreaming. one was following some of all of the above -- me. the columbarium being in a residential neighborhood, not situated conveniently on the ganges like in india, we chanted together inside my car. creating safe sacred space, in hope that energy raised would be of assistance to any souls who were stuck there ... the more chanting, the more heart opening energy, the more we sent it out freely to those in need ...

Presidio Graveyardanother night two of us ventured to an old military cemetery. it was close by, and we thought there would be plenty in need of assistance there (this was in the middle of the george w. years, and we thought it was the least we could do). because my friend was more comfortable between the worlds, i put him on the side where i could feel the heavier energies. we circled to create safe space, and then laid down to meditate on top of the car. i was listening to some heart expanding chakra music, and found myself focusing my energy on creating a ladder from the earth to the sky, right through the trees in front of me... when i felt/saw some rather churlish energy on the side of us - i told it to talk to my comrade, not me (as he was steadier with these sorts of situations). debriefing afterwards, turns out my meditation partner had indeed had to work hard to keep the churlish helmeted one out of our space and send him on his way (note to self, we needed stronger circle boundaries). then found out that unplanned, we had both been guiding folks to the same earth-sky light ladder- me with my heart expanded energy and he with his dreamtime/out-of-body energies ...

* For those who (like me) don’t know what a columbarium is – Mari tells me this is a public place where cremated remains are kept. (Editor)

Mari P Ziolkowski PhD

In the interest of healing self, others and the planet, Mari has been following the call of earth based/divine female energies for 20 years. Drawn to walk a heart path in the midstof the beauty and paradox of the earth plane, Mari continues to be engaged by the personal and planetary need to rebalance the feminine and masculine energies. Find out more about her work at:

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