I am not qualified to write a huge discourse on meditation, so I won’t.
I will say that I meditate most days (there are days that I forget which is a bit naughty).
I am no expert. I am just an ordinary person trying to get some peace in my life. I have books and books on meditation. Two of my favourite authors for books on developing a meditation practice are Ajahn Brahm and Thich Nat Hanh. Ajahn Brahm writes with touches of humour (must be the fact that he lives in Australia) that make him immensely readable.
Both of these wonderful men acknowledge that meditation is not something that comes with ease. It is something that needs to be worked on. I love that Ajahn Brahm has written openly of his struggles in his quest to find peace of mind in this crazy world. He has obviously succeeded but has not forgotten how hard it was for him to get there.
So with these wonderful human beings as inspiration, I set out one day many years ago to find that same peace.
Some days I win and some I lose.
Some days there is no taming the restless monkey that is my mind, so I don’t even try. I just sit quietly.
I have tried guided meditations. Some of these I find wonderful and some just don’t do it for me. It’s trial and error. The GG often says to me “How many CDs do you need”? I will keep looking until I find ones that work for me.
I also participate in the free 21 day meditations offered regularly by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. These are partially guided teachings and meditations. They are short (approximately 15 minutes) which is perfect for me on work mornings. Actually a new one has just begun if anyone wishes to register and give it a go. The current one is called “Finding your Flow“.
I have looked into purchasing these on CD (I don’t want downloads) however the cost of shipping from the US is outrageous.
However, I digress.
I also enjoying meditating to a CD of Wayne Dyer’s called “I am”. The music is calming and relaxing and is just perfect to settle me for the day prior to going to work.
So how successful are my meditations?
I’ll be honest. Most days counting my breath (a technique suggested by Ajahn Brahm) doesn’t get beyond 2 before my thoughts start gatecrashing and then I have to go back and start all over again. The most important thing that I have found is that I shouldn’t beat myself up because my thoughts keep intruding. I need to acknowledge the thought and then begin again. Timber Hawkeye (author of Buddhist Boot Camp) once wrote on his facebook page that there is no such thing as a bad meditation. Each time you take the time to centre yourself and still your mind you are doing well. If you have to acknowledge your thoughts 1000 times and bring your mind back to the present 1000 times, then it is still a good meditation.
These words give me hope.
I enjoy my meditation times.
I do not sit on the floor cross legged. I have tried that but my knees doth protest too much. I have tried a meditation stool where you sit on an angle with your legs tucked up underneath. Have I mentioned that my knees aren’t real good?
So when I meditate, I sit on the sofa in the spare room. Sometimes I light a candle but more often than not I don’t.
Just being in this room is incredibly calming and relaxing. Even the GG has commented just what a great ‘vibe’ the room has.
I take several deep breaths in order to stop and let go of the rush of the day and I begin to breathe. I concentrate on the inflow and outflow of my breath.
Some days I do an “I am” meditation in which I ask God (or the universe) to let me know what I am today and then with my inbreath I say in my mind “I am xxxx” and on the exhalation I say “I am”.
Other days, I meditate on a quote or a scripture reciting it over and over in my mind whilst stilling my mind for deeper insight.
And other days, I just breathe.
I always enjoy having music.
Music in itself is calming to me.
Search for music you enjoy. I love the sound of rain, bells, wind chimes, wind or birdsong. Sometimes simple piano music is all I need. My music changes with my moods.
Of course not everyone likes music. But it’s about finding what you enjoy and makes your soul sing.
Don’t be upset if you fall asleep.
I’ve sometimes come out of the spare room and the GG has said “You were in there a while. You fell asleep didn’t you”? 😳
I believe that everyone falls asleep at some point in their meditation experiences.
So meditation to me has become a big part of my life. As I said, I don’t practice it every day (or even twice a day as I know I should) however I aim for at least 5 days every week. And my life is so much richer for doing so.
Some days I find that life has pulled me in so many directions that just taking 10 minutes to stop and breathe is wonderful.
So that is my “M” word for today. It’s not for everyone but it’s worked for me.