That was probably what I was thinking about a year or so ago before I actually decided to be open to new ideas and experiences and began to meditate on my own.
I admit that I was sporadic at first and have run hot and cold with my meditation practice ever since I first started. I go through periods where I meditate daily and others where I don’t meditate at all. But meditation is alot like a good work out. You always need to remind yourself how wonderful you feel after to motivate you to practice the next time.
I am writing this 101st blog post after having spent the past fifteen minutes meditating. I sat myself down in my upright comfy chair in my living room, set the timer on my Blackberry, took off my glasses and closed my eyes.
That’s how it starts. Some people like to light a candle to signify the start of the practice…so that it can be blown out at the end to signify its completion.
I took in a deep breath, released it through my mouth and settled into my meditating. I continued breathing in and out through my nose..paying attention to each breath…feeling the coolness of the breath as I inhaled and the warmth of the breath as I exhaled. I heard the sounds of the street but paid little attention to them.
About two minutes in, the telephone rang. It startled me…but I re-focused my thoughts on my breath and was able to continue on.
My mind tends to wonder…thoughts come randomly towards me and then pass on, letting go of each one as it travels by. This is ok. The whole point of meditation is to not hold onto these thoughts…rather to just observe them and then let them go.
In the past, I have performed meditations where I actually drifted into a light sleep…which isn’t really all that good. Its important to be awake; aware and mindful.
Time does a funny thing when you are in a meditative state. This past summer I was part of a group that started off each session with a half hour of chanting followed by about 45-50 minutes of meditation. The time just flew by. I would look at my watch and be astonished at how short a period of time 45-50 minutes feels when meditating.
The best part is how you feel when you are done meditation. I feel phenomenal. Calm, quiet, still and clear. I finish my meditation by taking in another deep breath, releasing it through my mouth and saying “Swa-ha” which means to “let go” in Sanskrit. I say this to signify that my practice is over and is behind me. I will not dwell on how busy or unbusy my mind was with thought or how focused I was or wasn’t on my breathing because it is over and in the past.
I felt compelled to start meditating again after watching a brilliant documentary about George Harrison. I never knew how spiritual a person he was and how dedicated he was to meditation…truly inspiring.
There seems to be a sudden increase in popularity around meditation and I totally understand why.
Meditation gives us an opportunity to pause, to breathe and to shut our minds down. It gives us the opportunity to turn inward and to listen to our bodies, our breathing. It resets us. With the world still reeling from the recession, unemployment at an all time high, household debt climbing, job security questionable, meditation is the perfect medicine.
The more I write about it, the more eager I am to meditate again. Its very easy to do but just like everything worthwhile in this life, it takes commitment and dedication.
So, find that comfy chair. Dim the lights, put on some quiet music (instrumental preferred), sit up straight, with your spine elongated, feet planted on the floor. If there is a mantra you would like to use, then use it, repeating it throughout your practice. Close your eyes and begin…..