When I was about 20 years old, my sister taught me how to meditate. Thank you, Arlene. Like riding a bike, it is something you may or may not use often, but never forget how to do. Though I am far from faithful about my meditation, through the years I have used it like a tool, pulling it out when no other tool would do the trick.
Many of my classes end with a minute or two of quiet meditation or the silent practice of gratitude. Lately, however, my body and soul yearn for more. After reading Eat, Pray, Love I was only jealous of Liz’s time India, staying at the Ashram, waking in the wee hours of the morning to just SIT. Interestingly, that was part of her journey that she did not enjoy and managed to find away around it. When I saw the movie recently, my interest in sitting, was reawakened.
I have begun to revisit my meditation journey. In my beautiful office, which I use for little else, with its calming colors and fragrances, I am designating part of the space to my meditation practice. Trying for 10 minutes a day, hoping to have days where my sessions will be longer, I am excited at all the benefits that I know I will derive from this.
There are many ways to meditate. Focusing on an object in the minds eye, (such as a flame, a heart or a peace sign) repeating a mantra (silently or not) such as OM, or focusing on the breath cycle are some of the more basic methods. Any good class, book or even googling meditation, will help you find many other techniques. I like to imagine a ray of warm, healing, sunshine radiating UP from the bottom of my spine, to the crown of my head, hence flowing through each of my chakras. At the top of my head, the healing light breaks through and rains down upon my entire being. Regardless of what method you choose (and there are no right or wrongs, here) the idea is always to return to your focus whenever thoughts begin to wander.
Many people have a hard time just sitting. This is THE NORM!!! The more you practice, the easier it becomes. Simply find a place that is peaceful for you and where you are able to sit up comfortably. It’s important you keep your spine tall as this helps facilitate much better breathing. Start with just a few minutes a day. The benefits are far too many to list so I’ll be back tomorrow with those. For now, I am off to my sacred spot.